ward's Reviews > Shane: The Critical Edition

Shane by Jack Schaefer
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M 50x66
's review
Apr 22, 2007

it was amazing
Recommended 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 cowboy - but does so by revealing adulthood through the eyes of the narrator, a young boy who wants to be a man and is torn between idols - the grace of his gentle but strong father and the violence and danger of an honrable but displaced drifter.

The first few pages alone are one vivid and unforgetable description of Shane, an unknown cowboy as he rides up a long road in the summer sun to the shade of a tree.

This is the book that taught a generation of American men, what it was to be strong and proud - and could only have been written by an American in America. It must be understood that what today may appear cliche is in fact the original gold standard from which the cliche poorly copied.

I recommend this book to everyone, boys, girls, men and women. Moreover I recommend this edition. The original story being roughly 150 pages, this edition provides twice that in contextual information concerning this stories creation, its impact on American culture and the idealistic image of an american culture it represents.

This book is a must read.
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07/21/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Sheena-kay Graham I completely agree with you Ward. Shane's an excellent book.

Flash Sheridan Also agreed, except that the movie genre pre-dates the film, and even the novel. This is a late and self-aware book.

message 3: by Janis (new)

Janis I would have thought The Virginian and the Zane Grey novels were just as influential.

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