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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  9,148 ratings  ·  730 reviews
A stranger rode out of the heart of the great glowing West, into the small Wyoming valley in the summer of 1889.
It was Shane, who appeared on the horizon and became a friend and guardian to the Starrett family at a time when homesteaders and cattle rangers battled for territory and survival. Jack Schaefer’s classic novel illuminates the spirit of the West through the eyes
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 1st 1983 by Starfire (first published 1949)
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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,148 ratings  ·  730 reviews

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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)
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  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; 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 when revie ...more
Edward Lorn
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shane was my father's favorite movie. I remember watching it with him on many occasions. The film remains one of the only positive memories I have of my old man. I was never a fan of westerns, but as a kid who desperately wanted his father's approval (approval that, I might add, would never come; he's been dead since 2011), I'd force myself to consume the things he liked in the hopes that I might become one of those things.

And then I grew up and realized my father wasn't someone whose approval I
Jay Schutt
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Was just reminded of reading this one in school all those years ago. Great story and really enjoyed it.
Charles  van Buren
A deceptively simple tale

Review of Kindle edition
Publication date: May 14, 2017
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
Language: English
ASIN: B0725P6KR2

A great piece of American literature which happens to be a western but is much more than just a well written western story. Even if you have seen the 1953 released movie with Alan Ladd, and maybe even more so if you have, the tension builds as you read until the explosive, but expected, climax is reached.

Shane is a man attempting to escape the
Mike (the Paladin)
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
Good book. This is another where the movie will probably forever more be better known than the novel itself. In this case it's also a good happens now and then you know. As they say even a blind hog finds an acorn occasionally.

Anyway...Shane. The book opens with the (almost stereotypical) dark rider riding through and meeting a family whom he befriends. But if you think about it...this is one or the characters that established the stereotype. So he (Shane) becomes almost a part of said
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's no living with a killing. There's no going back from it. Right or wrong, it's a brand, a brand that sticks. There's no going back. Now you run on home to your mother and tell her, tell her everything's alright, and there aren't any more guns in the valley.

Watched Shane for the 3rd or 4th time over the Christmas (the first time I've seen it since seeing Logan over the summer which referenced extensively) so I thought I'd drop one of my iconic not-read-the-book reviews.

Shane is best re
Splendid little novella, one of the very few told from a child's first person POV that managed to convey the plot with the adequate doses of childish hero-worshipping while still staying realistic, to pull at heart's strings and yet manage to end satisfyingly. Memorable character, too. Why don't they write Westerns like this anymore?
I unashamedly loved this. To my mind the quintessential western. Wouldn't be too many readers I suspect who haven't heard of Shane. The story of a lone gunman who comes to the rescue of the Sharratt family and against unbeatable odds takes on the "bad guys" and triumphs.

A simple style of writing that suited the story. Found this one to be a bit of a "tear jerker" actually. Not a lengthy read by any means. The author managed to convey much with a minimum of fuss. Loved it to bits. Time and money
Jeremiah Boydstun
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: westerns
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
William Johnson
My first Western! And what a way to start ...

I suddenly was compelled to read and watch Westerns, something I had only brief knowledge or experience in. I'm not sure why, exactly, the genre left me behind because I grew up watching Star Trek which is essentially, as Gene Roddenberry explained, "Wagon Train to the Stars". A lot of the same concepts and ideas in Trek apply to Western tropes as well. So I had some of the ideas ingrained in me but just never took the official plunge into the subjec
Apr 22, 2007 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
Robin Hatcher
A recent discussion with friends about the classic movie version of Shane made me decide it was time to read the book. I'm glad I did. The writing and the story is strong. Next time I watch the movie, I'm going to see it through fresh eyes.
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've had some fun today learning about the book "Shane" by Jack Schaefer. I've been doing historical reading on the author and history of this book. It was required reading in my high school. Don't know how long they gave us, but I was able to read it in just a few hours today. Schaefer moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and lived there for around 40 years. He died in 1991. There was a movie about Shane, staring Alan Ladd, and Jack Palance who also lived in Santa Fe. I've seen him there when he was ...more
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fantastic story! I read it years ago & remembered liking it & the movie a lot, but so many books are disappointing on a reread decades later. This is NOT one. Like To Kill a Mockingbird, reading it from two entirely different age perspectives just made it even better.

Yes, it's a western & the type of story has been done to death, but this 1949 book is one of the trend setters. It's so concise & well written, too. Highly recommended. This time around, I listened to it &
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!!
Mar 31, 2013 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.
Bob Mayer
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A classic tale. I always preferred the gunman on the book cover over the buckskins in the movie. Doesn't seem like a gun slinger would be wearing buckskins, but maybe that's just me.

A lot of subtext between Shane and the mother-- did he really walk/ride away because you can't live with a killing or because of her?

Ultimately, this book touches on our fascination with guns, a timely topic. It falls in with the mantra that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. While th
Sep 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A dark stranger rides in to town and captures the heart and soul of a family and they will forever be changed. A quick(100 pg) YA read with good vs evil theme and a real cowboy feel.
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
Much better than I figured. Would have been five stars if it were a bit longer and written with a little more adult content. The writing style was smooth, the story was interesting - I'll have to check out the movie.
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never saw the movie but after reading this I got to see it.
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: x06-june-2017
Early in the novel, Joe tells his wife that he's confident she is "safe" with Shane. I was like, Why? What does that mean? Does he know Shane's gay? Did I miss something?

After that, I couldn't stop reading this book as a between-the-lines MM romance between Shane and the dad, Joe. And the mom was just kind of cool with it, or maybe it was a whole polyamory thing. With that mindset, some of the dialog is absolutely filthy. Urban Dictionary doesn't even have definitions for some of the metaphors.
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
Aug 09, 2010 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
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bettie by: Laura
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Sep 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, western
I remember seeing this short novel as a kid. It was typical of what some 7th to 9th graders tended to read. It never looked too appealing to me. For one thing, I was not a reader -- unless it was an assignment, I just didn't read stuff at that age. For another, I was not really into westerns, and Shane just looked like a cheesy western story. Not judging a book by its cover (and title) was not fully ingrained into my way of thinking at that early age (actually, I still have a bit of progress to ...more
Natalie Lydia
Apr 23, 2010 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
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Fiction Fanatics: September 2013 - Shane 10 47 Feb 28, 2017 07:26AM  

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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.

“What a man knows isn't important. Its what he is that counts.” 0 likes
“A gun is just a tool. No better and no worse than any other tool, a shovel - or an axe or a saddle or a stove or anything. Think of it always that way. A gun is as good - and as bad - as the man who carries it.” 0 likes
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