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The Shepherd of the Hills
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The Shepherd of the Hills

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,854 Ratings  ·  252 Reviews
"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 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".-----Harold Bell Wright
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1907)
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Dorcas
Feb 29, 2016 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 l
...more
Sandy (CA)
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 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 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
Jun 03, 2008 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.
Jade
Feb 26, 2013 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
Oct 31, 2015 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
Dec 29, 2011 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
Mazzou B
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
loved this book! I am surprised I haven't read this classic before. I really liked the quality of this old book. I appreciated the character depth presented and the unique and dramatic back story.
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
Susan Jo Grassi
Mar 14, 2013 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 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
Apr 14, 2010 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!
Elizabeth
I am overcome by the beauty of this book.

I thank my friend Courtney for telling me to read it.
Olivia
{3.5 stars}

Although sometimes I was a little confused with the events throughout this book, I liked that the writing wasn't as in depth as other classics I've read. All the characters were riveting, but I especially liked Sammy, Young Matt (especially how protective he was of Sammy...and just his honourable attitude in general), Pete (*sniff*), and Mr. Howitt. There were a few surprises along the way that I found intriguing.

The Christianity in this wasn't what I expected--it's more of a social g
...more
Janice
Sep 04, 2015 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
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
Roger
Dec 07, 2014 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
Kettie
Jan 07, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Diana Day-Admire
This is a classic- Living in Missouri I have visited the Ozarks often and love the history surrounding the Branson area. This may well be a work of fiction- But Bransonites- make it come alive. I haven't re-read this in a while and I've pulled it out multiple times when thinking I want to read a good story. It has everything in it mystery- love- family- disabled- Wonderful description.
I see the story as I read it because I've been there. I know those hills. It takes a certain focus and dedicati
...more
Dee Toomey
Nov 11, 2008 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
Stephen
Jun 19, 2014 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
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
Sylvester
Mar 23, 2011 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
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.
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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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More about Harold Bell Wright...
“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… ” 10 likes
“…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.” 9 likes
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