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3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  7,189 Ratings  ·  492 Reviews
Shane, a stranger the Starretts take into their home in Wyoming in 1889, becomes involved in a feud between the cattle ranger and the local homesteaders. "Narrative and literary superiority." -- Kirkus Reviews
Hardcover, 151 pages
Published September 1st 1983 by Turtleback Books (first published 1949)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 13, 2016 Checkman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of great stories
Shelves: beach-read, western
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; the man who shares the values of civilized society, but has the destructive skills of the outlaw.He rides out of the wilderness to aid the band of pioneers and take on the land-grabbing cattle barons in a violent but satisfying bloodletting. In 2012 this is a cliche, but ,as I have pointed out in the past for older ...more
Fantastic storytelling. A great classic Western. All the elements needed:

- A dark and mysterious stranger
- A passionate narrator
- The oppression of the little people
- The evil cattle Baron
- Gunslingers
- Clever one liners
- Riding off into the sunset

Even if you don't like westerns, if you enjoy a good, well-written story I think you will enjoy this one. (also, it isn't very long so it is a nice quick read)
Dec 14, 2012 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 02, 2010 Ben Loory rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 it was amazing  ·  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
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
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!!
Apr 04, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bettie, Wanda
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 09, 2010 K. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Natalie Lydia
Apr 23, 2010 Natalie Lydia rated it it was ok  ·  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
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
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
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
May 01, 2012 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Charlie Collins
May 29, 2016 Charlie Collins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, western

I've been meaning to read this one for a long time. I enjoyed the movie when I was a boy and the book didn't disappoint. Great western classic.
Nov 08, 2015 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I read this book as part of a reading challenge as a book I was supposed to read in school, but didn't. I did not expect to like it at all, so I was pleasantly surprised that I really did enjoy it. Without the reading challenge, I would never have even picked up this book. Westerns are not something I'm interested in, but for some reason, I just enjoyed this. It tells the story of Shane, the mysterious loner who rides into town. He is instantly adored by men, women, and children alike. He's good ...more
Chris Gager
This one-night read was only OK but worked well enough as a palate cleanser after the disappointing "The Blind Assassin". Prose-wise the whole thing was overly mythic: The mysterious god-like Shane drops in on the ordinary pioneer folk to help 'em out some. The movie is definitely better but changes the ending a little bit visually. In this book Shane ride off into the mist and darkness with a seemingly serious bullet wound while in the movie Alan Ladd rides off(also with a bullet wound) into th ...more
Jul 14, 2009 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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".

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
Tim Rees
Sep 20, 2016 Tim Rees rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading Shane was an experience that lives with me still, even years after having read it. I have always loved the romance of the Old American West. For a long time, as a teenager, I was addicted to westerns. But Shane is so much more than a classic western. But, although I know you know the story, I don't want to spoil your experience of the novel, so I'll simply ask you to read it for yourself...
Aug 30, 2010 Coyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 04, 2016 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
SHANE by Jack Schaefer is a beautiful story, well told. A Western, yes, and apparently the basis of the Western movie ("oater") genre. But so much more than just material for a screenplay. The narrative flows smoothly and quickly, and Schaefer boldly explores the emotions and thoughts of his characters without sacrificing the pace. I especially liked the POV coming from young Bob, who shares perceptive commentary on the events and people around him. Through his eyes, we gradually come to underst ...more
Feb 01, 2016 Chelsea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first western, and I thought it would be a good choice because supposedly it isn't like typical westerns. I think it's because the story doesn't center so much on life in the Old West as it does on the characters themselves. This book focuses on the upstanding Shane, who demonstrates the ideal hero of the West and presents the ideal role model for the narrator, a man looking back on his time as a boy. This book is also recommended as a cure for anxiety from The Novel Cure, because of ...more
Portia S
Feb 08, 2012 Portia S rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 06, 2010 Jean-Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all-time-faves
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
Apr 08, 2009 Lars Guthrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'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
I've never been a big fan of the movie Shane primarily because of the casting. Alan Ladd has a menacing enough presence for film noir, but seems dwarfed by big sky country; Jean Arthur, at that point in her career, could more plausibly have played Ladd's mother than his love interest; and I find Brandon deWilde so annoying that I don't think I've ever made it through the movie in one sitting. So I was prepared to like the book better than the movie. After all, some consider it the best work of W ...more
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Fiction Fanatics: September 2013 - Shane 9 31 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.

More about Jack Schaefer...

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