Zane Grey - Riders of the Purple Sage

Posted by Backyard Urban Gardening on Saturday, July 18, 2009

I am currently reading Zane Grey's Riders of the Purple Sky, the novel many credit for starting the western novel genre. Published in 1913, it was Grey's first major novel and remains one of the most popular. Since the original printing, it's never been out of print.

I've enjoyed the first four chapters, although the writing style is cumbersome and overly descriptive at times. However, on the positive side, Grey's writing leaves no doubt as to the setting and surroundings. I close my eyes and I can imagine Cottonwoods and Jane Withersteen's ranch in vivid detail. I'm eager to learn more about Jane, Bern Vinters, Tull, Oldring, Milly Erne, the Mormon elders, and most of all how Lassiter fits into the whole Gentile versus Mormon theme the novel is introduced with.

Born in Zanesville, OH in 1872, Zane Grey's novels focus heavily on adventures that take place in the great outdoors. After reading a few as a child, I rediscovered westerns last year after reading Boone's Lick by Larry McMurtry, set in a town near Boonville, MO where I lived as a young adult. (I have added McMurty's prize winning Lonesome Dove to my next up list.)

Will there be more novels by Zane Grey in my future? It's too early to tell, but stick around awhile. I'll let you know.


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