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The Shepherd of the Hills
 
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Harold Bell Wright
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The Shepherd of the Hills

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,569 Ratings  ·  212 Reviews
1907. Prior to his artistic and writing career, Harold Bell Wright served as a minister. In The Shepherd of the Hills he writes about a man who comes from the world of cities to the beautiful Ozark hill country. Among the people of the district, with their simple, direct ideals and way of life, he finds the peaceful atmosphere he craves, while his more intellectual philoso ...more
Paperback, 222 pages
Published October 12th 2007 by BiblioBazaar (first published 1907)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,489)
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Dorcas
Mar 02, 2016 Dorcas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-reads
4.5 Stars

Have you ever been so intimidated by the plethora of 5 star reviews of a particular book that you dare not pick it up for fear of disappointment? This happens to me occasionally and is probably the main reason this lovely 1907 dustjacketed book stood in my bookcase for well over a year before I read it. Shocking, I know.

Still, I'm a firm believer in "the right book at the right time" and this was the right time so it all worked out.

I won't go into detail on the plot because there's a lo
...more
Sandy
An extraordinary story. Beautiful writing. Down-to-earth characters. One of my all-time favourite books, I'm sure. I am speechless and can think of no better way to honour this book than to quote this beautiful passage.

Here and there among men, there are those who pause in the hurried rush to listen to the call of a life that is more real. How often have we seen them, David, jostled and ridiculed by their fellows, pushed aside and forgotten, as incompetent or unworthy. He who sees and hears too
...more
Lydia Presley
The first time I read this book I was about 9 years old. It sat, along with several other Harold Bell Wright books, on my dad's bookshelf. I can still feel the old cover if I close my eyes and imagine it. So it's safe to say there's a lot of memories held within this books pages.

I remember shortly after I read it my family took a trip to the Ozarks in Missouri. It's pretty famous there and there is even a life showing held out doors. As I re-read the story over the last few days I found myself r
...more
Tweety
What a marvelous, prefect ending! Haven't got anything to say about it all yet.. I'll try writing a real review later.
Vivian
May 25, 2011 Vivian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
I found a 1907 edition of this book and snapped it up, knowing it to be my mother's FAVORITE book of all time. I had given her a paperback reprint but she insisted that it had been edited and was not as good. I began reading them simultaneously and found her accusation to be true. First, the country dialects have been removed, possibly because they cast those who use them as less educated and refined and also because many of today's reader's don't wish to be slowed down with stumbling through pr ...more
Darlene
Dec 27, 2011 Darlene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Here and there among men, there are those who pause in the hurried rush to listen to the call of a life that is more real. How often have we seen them, jostled and ridiculed by their fellows, pushed aside and forgotten, as incompetent or unworthy. He who sees and hears too much is cursed for a dreamer, a fanatic, or a fool, by the mad mob, who, having eyes, see not, ears and hear not, and refuse to understand…We build temples and churches, but will not worship in them; we hire spiritual adviser ...more
Keri
Mar 28, 2012 Keri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh books of yesteryear! This book put Missouri (and Branson for that matter) on the map. For those of you who've never been, you'll fall in love with those Ozarks again and again in this novel. The people are pure, good and evil is obvious, where "ma" and "pa" comfort you. This book is like eating mashed potatoes and gravy on a cold fall day.
Craig
This is an outstanding story. Young Matt (Grant Matthews) is a young, giant of a man living in the Ozarks with his parents in the late 1800s. His parents are hard-working, upright people who have raised him to possess good moral strength. The narrative pits him against the evil forces and numerous trials, which he handles with quiet dignity. He is the prototype for mankind. His perfect mate (physically and morally) is his childhood friend. She was promised to another before she knew about love a ...more
Jade
Mar 25, 2016 Jade rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a certain comfort about old tales that doesn't make them necessarily better than newer books, yet it's obvious they come from some special distant place.

I read this one twice because the first time I wasn't paying attention well enough by the end and had way too many questions. I enjoyed it much more the second time and realized it was my distraction and not the book that made it confusing. I was very interested, as I read it again, in how the story would unfold, who really was the she
...more
Tara
Nov 17, 2015 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm giving this 5 stars in honor of my mother who always told us it was one of her favorite books. She read it in high school. It took me a lot more years to finally get to it, but I agree it's a great read, good enough that I read it through twice in a row. It's an interesting tale with nice descriptions of the setting (one of the things my mom still remembers liking about it). Several little scenes leave you on the edge of your seat as to how they might turn out. There's a little romance, and ...more
Samantha
Jan 07, 2012 Samantha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My family and I found ourselves on an unplanned trip to Branson a week ago. While there, at a little store, I found this "gold nugget". I had never heard of Shepherd on the Hills nor the author before and the back of the book read "Fourth best selling book ever published and second most sold next to the Bible". This sparked my interest. So, I bought it and began reading. It is by far one of the BEST books I have ever read. The details of each scene were perfect. Everytime I opened it I felt as i ...more
Susan Jo Grassi
Mar 26, 2013 Susan Jo Grassi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not inclined to read romance novels but this is not a true romance novel. There is, of course, the love between a man and woman but there is so much more; the love of nature and of God and all his creatures, the beauty of the Ozark Mountains, the peace of a time long past, a time that will never come again. Most of all this is the story of the love of life. The constant learning, growing and discovering what life is about. What it means to truly live as oneself. There is mystery, fantasy, cr ...more
Becca
May 06, 2009 Becca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book made cry so much. Wright definitely loves nature and his writing is full of beautiful descriptions. Any one who has grown up in the country or appreciates it will understand exactly what he is describing, and if you're from the city I think this would make you long for the open fields and hills. Beautiful book.
Kara
May 26, 2015 Kara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderfully written, mysterious story showcasing the simple beauty of the Ozarks. This story has a bit of everything-- action, romance, good vs. evil, mystery-- all wrapped up with some wonderful lessons on what truly matters in life. Now I want to go back to Branson and catch the stage-play of this story!
Laura
Janice
Sep 26, 2015 Janice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This sweet, sentimental, spiritual book, published in 1907, tells a story of mountaineers scratching out a life in the Ozark Mountains. Set in Stone and Taney Counties, Missouri, the author's thick paint and wide brush illustrating the never ending pastoral scenes at times almost chokes out the story line. And at other places, where I think the author has dropped or forgotten the story, he eventually returns to tie up loose ends creating a ' happily ever after ' ending.
The mountaineer dialect wi
...more
Roger
Dec 07, 2014 Roger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
RATING: 3.75 out of 4.0 rounded to 4.0

SUMMARY: The story is set in the time period odd when the Ozarks was the frontier. An artist from the city comes to the Ozarks for the summer, had an affair with a young girl, and leaves. The girls broken heart leads to her death. And, his longing for the girl and guilt leads to his suicide. The young man's father makes the same trip to the mountains and find peace with the family of the young girl.

COMMENTS: We took a trip to the Branson Mo and I saw a refe
...more
Kathryn
I started reading this book, when my husband took me (and our kids) on a surprise trip to Branson for Mother's Day. I have always enjoyed going to the outdoor theatrical production of the book, but had never read it. So ... I stopped at one of the gift shops and bought it. I'm so glad I did! Obviously, the characters were a bit 'dated' (the book is old 'ya know), but I must admit the story makes you yearn for quiet time with nature. I felt myself wanting to shut off the noise of society and the ...more
Dee Toomey
Nov 11, 2008 Dee Toomey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the movie rendition starring John Wayne, which is why I purchased this book and read it. As is often the case when a movie is made from a book, there are difference, but the basis of the book was well covered in the movie. The book itself...well, it is even better then the movie. Set in the Ozarks, the author makes the people of that location come alive. They become "friends" or "enemies", as if you are actually living there at that time and place. Wonderfully written, this book has humor ...more
Debbie
Written in 1907, it was the second most popular book at the time (besides the Bible) and was what sent people flocking to the small unknown town in the Ozarks, Branson, Missouri. Since we were heading to Branson for vacation this year, I had the library track down a copy of the novel and read it on the 10 hour trip there. It read kind of like a combination of Little House on the Prairie and Oklahome--a good family in a log cabin with some bad guys, a ghost, and a love story, where everything wor ...more
Jennifer
Dec 16, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any intereted in a great old-fashioned story!
Recommended to Jennifer by: Katheryn Mitchell
Shelves: rural-america
This book was highly recommended to me by cousin - a high school student had give her a copy when she was teaching. I would never have pictured this one off a store shelf, but I 'm thilled to have read it. What a lovely truly American story - with so many twists and turns, you can't see them coming! The Ozark dialects made me slow down, but were fun to figure out, too!

Most interesting to me was the universe messages that are included by the author - the same ones that ring true today in our ever
...more
Sylvester
Mar 23, 2011 Sylvester rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
Not much like the John Wayne movie of the same name. I got this off Librivox, and the reader, Emily Jarmard, was so perfect (like Cherry Jones reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder series) that I nearly gave the book 3 stars. Her voice *is* Sammy. And there were things I liked about the book; the setting, the character of the handicapped boy, the simple language - but there was just too much sentimentality for me. For those of you who like a little sentiment, though, and an old-fashioned mountain sto ...more
Stephen
Sep 30, 2014 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So close to five stars. I really enjoyed this. The only things against it are the non stop use of backwoods dialects, and the religious overtones, which are at first subtle enough, but really gather steam at the end. I'm familiar with the John Wayne movie that is, I now find, rather loosely based on this book. Apparently, there was a whole genre of "Oakie" novels early in the last century, and this may be the most well known. It really does paint a lovely picture of the landscape, and the people ...more
Joanne G.
I read this before a trip to Branson, Missouri. It enhanced my vacation and the experience at the Shepherd of the Hills outdoor play. It was delightful to see the book brought to life.

My four stars reflect my experience; without the trip to Branson, the book might have garnered three stars. If you ever plan to visit Branson and Shepherd of the Hills, I highly recommend reading the book beforehand to familiarize yourself somewhat with the country, people, and history.
Debora H
Feb 11, 2016 Debora H rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read "The Shepherd of the Hills" while in high school. My family lived near the Ozarks and at times vacationed there. I fell in love with the rolling hills, characters, and underlying mystery. I just needed to curl up with an old friend and chose Wright's book for my companion. It was everything that I remembered: calm, charming, and sincere.
Liana
Feb 15, 2008 Liana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
If you've ever been to Branson, you have to read this book. Another story of good people living hard lives from the land. Also there's a love story that crosses social boundaries, and we know that usually means trouble. Mysteries, secrets, and redemption. Good vs evil. It's a timeless story.
Kristy
Oct 04, 2009 Kristy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderfully written story that has held up since 1907. Its always great to read books that take place where I have been. Although I've only been to the Ozarks a handful of times, I can see it clearly in my mind while I read the story.
Matthew Dishman
Its interesting to see what life would have been like around where I live at that time. It was good but hard to follow at times.
Courtney
Jul 28, 2007 Courtney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably the best book I have read with a Missouri setting. Makes me wish I was an Ozark mountain girl 100 years ago.
Lisa

While in Branson, MO earlier this month, I visited Inspiration Tower and took in its marvelous views. Placards near the windows showed quotes from Harold Bell Wright's book The Shepherd of the Hills that described the stunning hills below and off in the distance. While taking in the beauty of these words and the surroundings, I hoped that copies of the book were available in the small gift shop at the base. Fortunately, they were, and the book is now a cherished souvenir of my visit.

The story li

...more
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Harold Bell Wright was a best selling American author of the first part of the 20th century.

Between 1903 and 1942, this minister-turned-author wrote nineteen books, several scripts for stage plays, and several magazine articles. At least fifteen movies were made from his novels. Seven of Wright's books appeared on the top ten best sellers lists, two of them twice, including a number one seller in
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“…I never understood until the past months why the Master so often withdrew alone into the wilderness. There is not only food and medicine for one’s body; there is also healing for the heart and strength for the soul in nature. One gets very close to God…in these temples of God’s own building.” 8 likes
“Here and there among men, there are those who pause in the hurried rush to listen to the call of a life that is more real… He who sees and hears too much is cursed for a dreamer, a fanatic, or a fool, by the mad mob who, having eyes, see not, ears and hear not, and refuse to understand… ” 7 likes
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