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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

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  1,160 ratings  ·  168 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 1,736)
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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
Keri
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.
Darlene
“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
Susan Jo Grassi
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
Jade
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
Samantha
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
Dee Toomey
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
Sylvester
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
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
Courtney  Mroch
I never would've known about this book if not for my neighbor who lent it to me. We were talking about how I like to visit haunted places and write about them. His eyes lit up when he asked if I'd ever been to the Ozarks. Him and his wife had taken a vacation there and had learned about it's supernatural/paranormal background and had also discovered this book, Shepherd of the Hills. He told me it was sort of a ghost story, mystery, romance, and Christian book with a strong sense of place. He was ...more
Becca
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.
Liana
Feb 15, 2008 Liana rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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.
Vicky Hunt
This is an incredible story! I have to resist the idea of spoiling the story, so I will just comment on the style of the writing.
1. The author writes in alternating patterns of action, conversation, and narrating/commentary on life/God/everything.
2. Often, the work focuses on the beauty of nature, but even more often the focus is on human nature.
3. The book was first published 107 years ago (1907.) I knew absolutely nothing about the author as I read. I had tried to find the book on wikipedia
...more
elizabeth anderson
Speaks to the soul

I chose this rating because the story spoke to my soul, spirit.the story started a longing in my heart for greater things than this world.it shows how God is so much a part of every detail of our lives and so entwined with our spirit.that if we will just be still,let Him open our eyes and ears and heart, He will do a work in us , turning our damaged selves into who we were meant to be.and to know we are loved, cared for, gently, tenderly, His beloved who He works constantly to
...more
Vivian
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
Laura
Last year when I was on vacation in Arkansas/Missouri, my family and I visited the site upon which this plot was formed -the Ozarks. We even got to see one of the cabins and all of the trails - and we had a really corny guide. Then a few months ago, I found the book at a library sale and bought it. I read the whole thing in two days. Now how do I describe it? It was interesting and boring at the same time. It was boring because you basically knew how the whole story would turn out as soon as it ...more
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
Dottie
My mother was named Sammy after her mother read this book. Her father died 7 months before she was born. Her mother wanted to name her after her father Samuel, but didn't dare name her Sammy--a boy's name. This book was a best seller of its day, and a friend gave it to Grandma Maggie and told her to read it and then she would want to name her baby Sammy after the heroine of the book. She is a bright young woman named Sammy. Grandma did and my mother was then named after her father Samuel.
Beside
...more
Karen
It's books like this that make me want to have grown up in a time when all you had was your land and your joy in working it and being with those you love. Sammy (girl) is torn between going off to the city to live among those who find joy in material and superficial things (among those who have money) or to stay in the Ozark Mountains in which she was raised. While her fiance is away she is determined to be schooled and ends up learning a deeper meaning for life. This paragraph from the book pre ...more
Suzanne Moore
This story is full of secrets .. and the backwoods ways of Ozark mountain folk. As the story begins a stranger appears portraying a gentle spirit despite his obvious sophistication. He takes a job herding sheep for the Matthews family, and soon becomes well-loved by the community of Mutton Hollow who begin referring to him as Dad Howitt. He is trusted for his wisdom and belief in God. In the shepherd's back story, he has made his way to the hills to escape the apathy of city life and rediscover ...more
Sheryl Tribble
The book that made Branson into the tourist trap it is...

I think I've read a Harold Bell Wright I liked better but this one's alright. Don't agree with HBW's eugenics comments but that's my only gripe. I read a lot of older stuff so the pacing doesn't bother me but might if you only read stuff written after Hemingway.

I'd read this before but wanted to re-read it before visiting Branson; I don't know if Wright got the people of the time right but the area is as beautiful as he describes. You can
...more
Lorna
A beautifully told story of people living in the Ozark Mountains in the early 1900s. Wonderful descriptions take the reader back in time—back before the railroad, before buildings and "progress." Back before the billboards and the roads and the traffic ruined it all—back when the mountains were as God created them and intended them to be. The book made me wish I could have known the land at that time. I only wish it hadn't taken me so long to decide I should read it.
Ashley
I really liked the story in the novel, although sometimes the characters and their actions are a bit stereotypical or over-the-top. That can be annoying at times, but it wasn't enough to deter me from enjoying this book. It's about a man who is considered successful by everyone he knows, and yet realizes that this success is preventing him from being who he wants to be. So he leaves his life behind and heads out to the Ozark Mountains. The backstory is that his son had been to this same area, fe ...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
Sarah Sammis
Some how I ended up with two copies of The Shepherd of the Hills by Harold Bell Wright, a story that has become an outdoor play in Branson Missouri. It was also a John Wayne film (1941). It was apparently the first book in the United States to sell one million copies. Despite all that praise, I wasn't able to finish it.

The novel set in the Ozarks has a similar set up to Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore. There is an orphan boy with a long dark history. Now though an old man, known as the Shepherd h
...more
Shellie Nicholson
Loved this story! I grew up around the Ozarks and have seen the play in Branson many times. This story is full of love, mystery, and people you fall in love with. I felt as though I stepped back in time and watched the story unfold. It's a beautiful story, one I plan to share with my kids someday.
Kettie
I got tired of reading about "giants" - there are 3 in the book and he doesn't know how else to describe them. "Young giant" is about as far as he modifies it. Manly men have to be big, anyone small is weak. Unless you're a woman and this story happens to have the loveliest little heroine anyone has ever seen. If you're from the city, you're less of a person than if you're from the hills. As far as it being a great depiction of the Ozarks, could've been the Allegheny, Adirondacks, or Appalachain ...more
Kyle Allred
I read this while I lived in Kirbyville, MO, right in the middle of the Ozarks, so the story really came alive in my mind as I read it. The book is old, but I found myself really relating to it and I admit that I cried during the the later portion. It was a worthy read. My only complaint is that during some of the action sequences, the dialogue is a little wordy and not practical for the pacing of the scene; it gets humorous sometimes, for example SENTENCES exchanged between punches. I'd recomme ...more
Iris Eng
My birth Father was 61 years young when I was born. He sang to me while I set on his knee. He took me fishing and to his Barber Shop. There were a few books he HIGHLY endorsed and REALLY wanted me to read. This was one of them. It is a GREAT book based on a historical account. "Old Matt and Aunt Mollie's" cabin is still standing in the Ozarks. Lookout point is there. They have statues of Pete and other characters. There is also a play that is performed in the Amphitheater every summer based on t ...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
...more
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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.” 6 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… ” 5 likes
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