The Modern Library 100 Best Novels Challenge discussion

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100 Best Novels - Discussion > Shane - Jack Schaefer

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message 1: by Stephanie (last edited Aug 27, 2009 08:59AM) (new)

Stephanie Shane by Jack Schaefer

September 2009 - Post comments here.


message 2: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie I requested this book in interlibrary loan and picked it up yesterday. I have the edition pictured, which is full of illustrations. This book will probably be a 1-2 hour read for many of you.


message 3: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 57 comments I picked up a shabby copy from the library this week. I'll probably start it sometime next week.


toria (vikz writes) (victoriavikzwrites) Another one on order from Amazon. Not looking for this book very much. I seem to remember a very bad film.


message 5: by Garlan ✌ (new)

Garlan ✌ I recall an excellent film. Possibly one of the 10 best westerns of all time. Of course that's a personal opinion... The book does look like a 1-2 hour read. Thanks, Stephanie!


message 6: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 57 comments I remember liking the film too, Garlan; but it's been years since I've seen it. I'd like to see it again. I've always been a big fan of westerns.


message 7: by Garlan ✌ (new)

Garlan ✌ Me too. But then again, I grew up in the southwest reading Zane Grey, Louis L'Amour, Max Brand and Elmer Kelton as well as a slew of others. Worst thing you can do to a kid is give them westerns to read. Everything's black and white, good vs bad, which is way too simplistic for today... But I still liked them a lot.


message 8: by Molly (new)

Molly Hart Read this as required reading in the seventh grade. Watched the movie too. I remember liking the book, but not the movie. We will see...

I remember thinking that it was an awfully short book when it was assigned in English class. I was disappointed--the larger the book, the more "advanced" I thought it was....


toria (vikz writes) (victoriavikzwrites) Book arrived. Glad to have a short book to read after Dune. Might try and read some this afternoon. As for the film, I was quite young when I saw it and all I remember is this pathetic kid shouting "Shane, come back Shane." over and over again. Perhaps, I should give it another try


message 10: by toria (vikz writes) (last edited Aug 30, 2009 09:29AM) (new)

toria (vikz writes) (victoriavikzwrites) well I've managed half. But, I'm hating nearly every minute. I hate westerns. However, the characterisation is fairly good and its short, so I'll probably read it.


message 11: by Garlan ✌ (new)

Garlan ✌ I started and finished this book today; a VERY quick read. I hate to keep butting heads with you, Vikz, but I found the book to be a very good read. I've always liked westerns even though they tend to be somewhat simplistic. Maybe we can agree on Winesburg, Ohio. Good reading!


message 12: by LynnB (new)

LynnB Still waiting for this to come in on inter-library loan!


toria (vikz writes) (victoriavikzwrites) Garlan wrote: "I started and finished this book today; a VERY quick read. I hate to keep butting heads with you, Vikz, but I found the book to be a very good read. I've always liked westerns even though they te..."

Don't think we are going to have to go head to head on this. I've just finished it and, I must admit, that it won me round. I wouldn't say its the best book I've ever read and I think I still prefer Dune. But, that's because I have a soft spot for science fiction.

As for Shane, I really liked the mother (she had spirit and reminded me a little of Mrs March inLittle Women) and even grew to like Shane. Although, wouldn't say he's my favourite literary character. I like its sparse writing style and it was an achievement to tell such a story in so short a book. And the kid nots s annoying as I remember in the film.


message 14: by toria (vikz writes) (last edited Aug 31, 2009 08:59AM) (new)

toria (vikz writes) (victoriavikzwrites) Intrigued by the book and its author, I Googled Jack Schaefer and found this good article http://www.orrt.org/schaefer/. Thought you might be interested. What do you think? Might follow up his later work. Any suggestions?


message 15: by Garlan ✌ (new)

Garlan ✌ That was a good write article. I didn't know that he had written Monte Walsh (which was made into a film as well), and when I first read the title, Mavericks, I thought it was "Maverick" as in the TV series and later a movie with James Garner, Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster. I don't suppose its the same though... This was the first Schaeferbook that I've read. His college background was interesting as well as his journalism background. thanks for the link.


message 16: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie I started this short novel yesterday. While I am not normally drawn the the western genre, after reading several books with an "American West" theme for Busy as a Bee Books, I have an open mind. This seems like it is going to be a good story with a strong and interesting hero. I know the movie is critically acclaimed. I would definitely go western over sci-fi anyday. ;) I love the illustrations in my books too.


message 17: by Garlan ✌ (new)

Garlan ✌ I'm going to throw in a plug for a sci-fi book anyway. Its on the Modern list; "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card. Its a VERY good story and easy to follow. It has all the elements needed in a good story; a strong protagonist (even if he is just a young boy), an "evil" antagonist, internal struggle with character's beliefs and mores, external struggle, good vs bad; the whole gamut. I highly recommend it. You won't be disapointed with this book.


message 18: by Molly (new)

Molly Hart I really liked Shane the book. Don't like movies though--any of them. (Can't sit still.) The book reminded me of Billy Budd--but a whole lot clearer of a story. And the innocent would be the narrator Bob, or the whole family. I did some eye rolling with the Western theme, which I have always found "over the top." You have to love a good story though, and this one qualifies.


message 19: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 57 comments Garlan wrote: "I'm going to throw in a plug for a sci-fi book anyway. Its on the Modern list; "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card. Its a VERY good story and easy to follow. It has all the elements needed in a go..."

I'll have to check the attic for Ender's Game. I know my son read this years ago. Not sure how far in the series he read. My attic is a treasure trove of SF & Fantasy.


message 20: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 57 comments Started and finished Shane today. I liked the sparse writing style too Vikz. It suited the story well, with Shane being a man of few words, the strong, silent type. I liked how the story developed Shane's internal struggle with his true nature and how the reader learned more about him by reading about the look in his eyes or his body posture and physical actions rather than his thoughts. One thought Shane did express to Bob though stuck with me, "What a man knows isn't important. It's what he is that counts." I liked that!


message 21: by LynnB (new)

LynnB I finished Shane the other day, and found it to be a good book. It was about good vs. evil, and the psychology of male pride vs. a man who got his strength and power not from a weapon but from within himself. Shane was the ultimate good-guy cowboy. He carefully considered the consequences of his actions before he took any action. The book shows a way of life where virtues were important and that way of life was passing by.

The author wrote from the point of view of Bobby, boyish, showing his awe and reverence for Shane. It was a learning experience for Bob -- Shane taught him loyalty, honor, not to brag, quietness of the soul. And not to carry a gun, though Shane is finally forced into this, which is when he knows he must leave.

As Lisa and Vikz said, the sparse writing style suited the story well, as it reflected the man, Shane. I was surprised that I liked the book as well as I did, but I thought it was very good.



toria (vikz writes) (victoriavikzwrites) Lynn wrote: "I finished Shane the other day, and found it to be a good book. It was about good vs. evil, and the psychology of male pride vs. a man who got his strength and power not from a weap..."

A brilliant review/summary of this book


message 23: by LynnB (new)

LynnB Gosh! (blush) Thanks!


message 24: by Erin (new)

Erin I agree - Lynn's review is right on...

It wasn't until the the stump was cleared that I really got hooked by this book.



message 25: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 57 comments Clearing the stump was my favorite part of the book.


message 26: by Eric (new)

Eric pearson I just finished and while I am not a fan of westerns I did enjoy the book. I loved the stump clearing, just two men working out all kinds of problems through clearing a stump. I also loved the line that shane says to bob. "What a man knows isn't important. It's what he is that counts." I have wrote that down in my little notebook I keep for great lines from books.


message 27: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie That was a great line, and like everyone else has mentioned, the stump scene was fantastic.


toria (vikz writes) (victoriavikzwrites) yes, I was intrigued by stump scene too.


message 29: by LynnB (new)

LynnB I wasn't as enthralled by the stump scene as you all seem to be - but then in my 20's my husband and I dug out two big stumps off our property by hand, so I probably had a little bit of a different mind-set while reading that part ;-)


message 30: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Yes, it is much more romantic. I don't think my husband would have read that stump scene with as much delight as I did - he, too, had to uproot something this summer that was large and insanely intent on staying put in our ground. BUT, there was no Shane. Maybe if Shane had been there, things would have been different.

Did anyone read the illustrated edition?


message 31: by Jenn (new)

Jenn I don't really have much to say about this book, other than I enjoyed it as a quick read. It does seem to have the standard Western novel formula, but I enjoyed the simplicity of it and the way the story was told through a child's eyes. I watched the movie too, and found it to be a great, classic Western.


message 32: by Gregory (new)

Gregory Rothbard (polycarp55) Men often need something besides a cup of tea and a chair to commune together. That is why I loved the stump scene so much.


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