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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  5,674 ratings  ·  379 reviews
The classic western, basis for the 1953 film of the same name.
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 1st 1983 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1949)
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Jul 12, 2014 Checkman rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of great stories
Shelves: western, beach-read
A classic that is more than a western. It's also a story about one of the myths of the United States - the heroic Lone Hero on the Frontier. Shane is the embodiment of the Lone Hero, someone who shares the values of the society, but has the destructive skills of the outlaws.He rides out of the wilderness to aid the band of pioneers and take on the land-grabbing cattle baron. In 2012 this is a cliche, but ,as I have pointed out in the past for older stories, Shane is the archetype. It still has a ...more
I read this book in high school in Sophomore English class. The teacher I had was wonderful,and she was out 8 weeks due to surgery. Thank God she was with us when we read,and discussed this book. I don't really remember the discussion in class much, but I did remember that I loved this book when I was a kid.....then after reading it the first time in 1976....I wondered why she had it on our class roster of novels to I am 2012,and I downloaded it onto my NOOK. I was prepared ...more
Ben Loory
jesus christ, what a beautiful book. i'm tempted to call it holy. there's a part of me that wants to read it every day from now until the end of my life.

Where was Shane? I hurried toward the barn. I was almost to it when I saw him out by the pasture. He was staring over it and the grazing steers at the great lonely mountains tipped with the gold of the sun now rushing down behind them. As I watched, he stretched his arms up, the fingers reaching to their utmost limits, grasping and grasping, it
Apr 23, 2007 ward rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
This is the book I grew up with, having it read to me as a boy. It is an American classic and considered one of the great Westerns in league only with Lonesome Dove.

This is THE novel from which the wester movie genre was created. The dark hero with a mixed and unstated past, the western town with a struggle raging between migrant farmers and cattle ranchers, the hired guns and dark saloons all comprise elements of this short story. This is THE story that gave birth to the image of the laconic co
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shell The Belle
three to four stars - read this in High School when I was about 14 - loved it then - cant remember much about it now to give a proper review, but I remember liking it!!
Jeremiah Boydstun
Contains minor spoilers

Loved this book from beginning to end for two primary reasons:

First, Schaefer has an elegant and simple style that is, much like the story itself, quintessentially American: relatively short declarative sentences, the sparing and precise use of modifiers, and the brief and intense focus on those aspects of characterization and setting that highlight common themes and images in American fiction (but themes that are also timeless and universal). Some of these themes include
Mikella Etchegoyen
Westerns are so far out of my comfort zone of genres that I didn't have many expectations at all for this book, but if I had it would have exceeded them all. There is always something different about seeing a story--that, quite possibly, has been told a hundred times over--through the eyes of a child. The charged sexual tension between the adult characters and the undercurrents of social relations between the different groups in the town are masked by the naive view of the narrator. It is a stor ...more
Natalie Lydia
Apr 23, 2010 Natalie Lydia rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Had to read it for school in the 8th grade, and it was horribly bland. Searching my mind for various memories of the 8th grade lead me to this book.
Shane, set in the Old West, tells a story of a boy, and an lone stranger. This mysterious stranger, named Shane is practically an vigilante who is running away from something( that thing is never implied).
The first 4 chapters are about the boys father and Shane cutting a dead tree. SERIOUSLY!!! you got to be kidding me, was my thought when i read th
Tim Schneider
This one is probably a shade closer to 3 1/2 stars than three. And it may pale a bit by my having seen Alan Ladd and Jack Palance a few too many times.

This isn't the stereotypical shoot 'em up western. There's action...but it's not the focus of the book. The focus is a quieter look at the myth of the west. And ultimately that's what Schaefer gives us. It's a western myth. Shane is the Demi-God who rides in and out of the lives of the mortals. Making it (their lives) better...and in some ways wo
The classic western that inspired the classic western movie. The Western Writers of America voted this the best western in the last 100 years and rightly so. A mysterious stranger comes to town with a clouded past that he does want to revisit. He falls in with a homesteader in Wyoming who's fighting off the machinations of a cattle baron. It's a pure western send-up and in Schaefer's sure hands it rolls along seamlessly. Schaefer captures the wide expanse of Wyoming's open ranges and the close k ...more
Okay, this book was beautiful and so classically western. I loved the simple and crisp prose, with nothing flowery or irrelevant. Shane comes into the Starretts' lives like some cowboy Mary Poppins. Is there ever any doubt that he will set things right? Of course not, because he is Shane. Joe and Marian Starrett are a breath of fresh air as far as literary couples go - respectful, hard-working, loving, strong, equally yoked and having many other qualities I'd attribute to a healthy and exemplary ...more
I knew I would enjoy this book before I read it. After all, one of the best western movies of all time is based on the story. I never get tired of watching the Alan Ladd film classic directed by George Stevens, with a perfectly chosen cast. Especially noteworthy is Jack Palance, billed as Walter Jack Palance in one of his best bad-guy performances as the evil hired killer Stark Wilson.

If you've enjoyed the movie, don't miss the book. Whereas the former is primarily action-oriented, the latter co
Ms. Yingling
Not a fan of westerns, never seen the movie with Alan Ladd, and had my doubts as to whether this 1949 title should be kept.

It should.

I haven't decided on a reader for it yet, because the first half of the book is a lyrical character study of a drifter who arrives at a farm in Wyoming in 1889. While the family is happy, trouble is brewing. The father hires Shane to help with the work, and ends up getting more help than he bargains from the enigmatic stranger whose every move whispers "danger".

It's been a really good thing for me to categorize my library. I have found a lot of jewels that I know I probably picked up at DI and then forgot about (how silly of me, I know!). This book must be one of those. Found it last night on the top shelf of the "man & boy" shelves.

Anyway, perhaps I'm too effusive with my stars, but I usually give books stars based on how much I enjoyed them or how much they changed my life. This one falls into the first category. What a great little book! Hubby
Jaime Contreras
This was one of the first books that I read for high school. I actually took to it quickly and in the end loved it. This is a book about honor, idolizing a man, developing a concept of what it means to be a man and a great western. I am not a huge western novel fan but this one is a favorite of mine. Shane, the gunfighter is no angel but he maintains a code and is trying to change his life. Life steps into his life in the form of Bob Starrett, a young boy who idolizes the mysterious stranger. Th ...more
Marcus MacGregor
What is the best Western ever written? For my money, that’s an easy one: Shane, by Jack Schaefer. (I know the movie is also considered to be a great classic, but to me, Alan Ladd just doesn't match up to the hero described in the book.)

This quintessential tale of good-versus-evil is also one of the shortest — my copy has only 119 pages, making it pocket-portable. It is the ideal summer read for any young adult, male or female.

What's so great about it?

The character for whom the book is named is t
BOTTOM LINE: The Old West, from the viewpoint of a young boy. Even better than the movie.

Everybody knows the story: ex-gunfighter winds up working for a small farmer in his fight against a big rancher. The movie got most of the story right, with surprising fidelity to this gentle tale of Big Men and the frontier ethos. The book does give a bit more depth to the characters and allows the richness of the setting to permeate. Love of the Land is the central theme, and the kindness of good folks onc
A fantastic book, or at least a well-read one.
I'm not really a huge fan of Westerns, but this one did the job well. It was particularly interesting to read this having seen and taught the movie (which I don't really like) several times. The movie really does capture the important themes out of the book, even if it doesn't quite carry the struggle Shane himself goes through.
Shane carries all the standard Western-genre issues: what is the difference between civilization and barbarism, and how do
Portia S
This was one of the best books I read when I was still a pre-teen, lovely innocent and happy (me) It was like a fantasy coming to life, where a man as noble and as good as the stereotypical hero in every faerie tale graced my whole all female class. I think we all feel in love that semester.

Shane is a tale of a real cowboy, who was strong, silent, intelligent yet unwanted by some. He did not live and die by his gun though, he was one who wanted to make peace.

The part that really struck me was
Excellent. On the surface a dime-store western but dig deeper and you'll find a remarkably American novella that captures through the characterization of its primary players a complex tapestry of the longing for a better tomorrow in the face of a troubled past and despite a recognition of one's resposnibility to oneself, and more importantly, to those for whom one cares. This is another of the many pieces assigned for classroom reading by students at the 7-9 grades who's value and themes are lik ...more
Lars Guthrie
'Shane' is a little shopworn for me, having seen the movie countless times. The film is quite faithful to the book, so much so that I could not re-image Shane while reading as anyone other than Alan Ladd. It was also probably a little flatter and paler in the shadow of the other YA Western classic I just read, 'True Grit.' On the other hand, its familiarity was as comforting as a security blanket, and the nuanced differentiation between the adults' lives and Bob's put me in mind of yet another c ...more
“Shane,” Jack Schaefer’s classic tale of the lone gunman who rides into town and becomes the friend and guardian to the Starrett family at a time when homesteaders and cattle rangers battled for territory, has been reissued with illustrations by Wendell Minor. The captivating images, combined with a new introduction by the author, will introduce a new generation of readers to this timeless story of bravery and integrity on the Western frontier.

Told from the viewpoint of young Bob Starrett, “Shan
I'm not a huge fan of westerns, but occasionally I'm in the mood for one, and today I was in the mood.

I enjoyed Shane, but like most of the westerns I've read I found it to move at a fairly slow pace. Also like most of the westerns I've read I found the characters to be a little flat. I think, though, that the main point of westerns is to reflect the landscapes in which they are often set. Where some people look at the land and see barren, open, flat, and uninteresting landscapes, the true beau
Andy Hickman
Narrated in the first person and POV of young Bob Starrett this 1949 Western novel is grave, serious and stoic. Set in 1889, Bob lives with his parents (Joe & Marion Starrett) on their Wyoming farm. Refusing to sell their land to Fletcher results in vivid confrontations with Fletcher and his men.

In rides the mysterious Shane: no surname, no history, no nonsense, no guile. The tarnished hero goes the way he came because killing “marks” a man no matter the circumstances. The significant symbol
Rosi Hollinbeck
My review for the San Francisco Book Review:
Young Bob Starrett is fascinated when a stranger rides down the road and into their lives. The stranger exudes a sense of danger, and Bob is excited when the man stays. There are a lot of unanswered questions about this Shane, so Bob makes it his business to figure out what the story is. The man is a hard worker, but his clothes and actions belie his work as a farmhand. A cattle rancher in the area, Fletcher, tries to buy out several of the farmers in
William Galaini
Shane, a roguish and perfectly handsome gunslinger, roams into the farm of the Starrett family. The wife becomes smitten with him, the husband admires and looks up to him, and the boy idolizes him. Yes, Shane rides in nobly to forsake his gun-fighting past to save everyone's day and be ex-halted in the process.

And that is exactly what kept disengaging me from this novel. It is SUCH a blatant male power fantasy that I had a hard time keeping my eyes on the page at times because they kept rolling.
I saw the movie Shane years ago but did not realize it was originally a book until this past week. I listened to an audio recording and was blown away. It has almost the mythic dimensions of a Greek tragedy set in the Wild West along with a moving, albeit slightly pedestrian, coming of age story.

The story is told from the perspective of a boy in a household that is visited by a mysterious horseman whose first words are “call me Shane.” Shane starts helping out around the house and the father, mo
Good coming of age story. At times I would have liked the writing to be a bit better but the themes of loyalty, love and what it is to be a man are well represented. Interesting that the best representation of a fist fight(bar brawl) that I ever read was in the same book as one of the best depictions of pure (not romantic) love.
Brad McKenna
I don't read many Westerns but to me this one seemed to be the paradigm on which all Westerns are based. Shane is the mysterious stranger in town. He's a quiet man who seems to be tormented. In this particular story, he's taken in by a homesteader's family. The little boy comes to idolize Shane, the homesteader himself comes to respect him and the missus is enthralled with him.

The last is portrayed with the usual misogyny of the early 20th century. Her place is in the kitchen and she knows it. S
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Fiction Fanatics: September 2013 - Shane 9 30 Sep 19, 2013 09:42AM  
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Schaefer was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of an attorney. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1929 with a major in English. He attended graduate school at Columbia University from 1929-30, but left without completing his Master of Arts degree. He then went to work for the United Press. In his long career as a journalist, he would hold editorial positions at many eastern publications.

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