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Riders of the Purple Sage (Riders of the Purple Sage, #1)
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January 2020: Thriller > (POLL BALLOT) Riders of the Purple Sage / Zane Grey - 3***

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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5800 comments CROSS posted to Poll Ballot Tally

Riders of the Purple Sage (Riders of the Purple Sage, #1) by Zane Grey
Riders Of the Purple Sage – Zane Grey
3***

From the book jacket: Cottonwoods, Utah, 1871. A woman stands accused. A man, sentenced to whipping. In … rides … Lassiter, a notorious gunman who’s come to avenge his sister’s death. It doesn't take Lassiter long to see that this once-peaceful Mormon community is controlled by the corrupt Deacon Tull – a powerful elder who’s trying to take the woman’s land by forcing her to marry him, branding her foreman a dangerous “outsider.” Lassiter vows to help them. But when the ranch is attacked by horse thieves, cattle rustlers, and a mysterious Masked Rider, he realizes they’re up against something bigger, and more brutal, than the land itself…

My reactions
I hardly know what to write about this classic of the Western genre. It’s full of adventure, violence, strong men and women, tenderness, brutality and an abiding sense of justice. And, of course, there is the landscape, which Grey paints so vividly it is practically a character.

Yes, the story line and dialogue are a bit melodramatic. But Grey’s story still captured this reader’s imagination with its sense of drama, almost non-stop action, and bold characters. I was reminded of the many western movies I watched with my Daddy in the ‘50s and ‘60s. They were exciting and the good guys always won. Clearly those movies (and other books of the genre) had Grey’s strong foundation on which to build. I’m glad I finally read it.

UPDATE on second reading, January 17, 2020: I chose to read the text in preparation for my F2F book club discussion. If anything, the chase scenes were even more thrilling. And the descriptions of the landscape! The melodramatic - "bodice-heaving" - dialogue was also more evident and I found myself laughing at the ridiculousness of some of the "love" scenes. Still, now that I know there is a sequel ... well I may just have to read it.




LINK to my review


David Putnam (davidputnam) | 279 comments Great review. I read this one when I was young and don't remember anything about it. Your review makes me want to pick it up again.
Thank you.
d.


message 3: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7469 comments "bodice-heaving"

LoL-but I am glad you enjoyed it! I enjoy reading older books occasionally just for the entertainment value


message 4: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 6664 comments BC - your story of watching westerns with your father in the 50's and 60s resonated with me. My dad was a huge fan of Gunsmoke which we watched as a family (because of course in those days you only had one tv in the house and Dad got to decide what to watch once he sat down after dinner). In the 60s there was also a Saturday morning western movie showcase at 7 AM that I watched religioiusly -- the bad guys all had black horses and black hats, and the good guys were on white horses with white hats, the good guys always won and the damsels in distress were always saved. I still am very fond of a good western...

Riders of the Purple Shade was some years ago made into a TV movie which was excellent. Don't remember what network or cable channel did so. Maybe I'll do some google research this weekend.


Booknblues | 5765 comments I love it when somebody reads Zane Grey as he was my Mom and Dad's favorite author and we had many of his books in our house, which I of course had to read. I enjoyed everyone of them, but they are very black and white/ good vs evil and formulaic books.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5800 comments Theresa wrote: "Riders of the Purple Shade was some years ago made into a TV movie which was excellent. Don't remember what network or cable channel did so. Maybe I'll do some google research this weekend...."

It was made in 1996, starring Ed Harris as Lassiter and Amy Madigan (Harris's wife) as Jane Withersteen. BTW ... I went to college with Amy and we collaborated on a couple of project for voice class. At my F2F book club on Wednesday, the professor cued up the movie on the "big screen" for us while we enjoyed dinner ... sound off, though.


message 7: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 6664 comments Book Concierge wrote: "Theresa wrote: "Riders of the Purple Shade was some years ago made into a TV movie which was excellent. Don't remember what network or cable channel did so. Maybe I'll do some google research this ..."

That's it! It was really enjoyable, as I remember it.


message 8: by Karin (last edited Jan 19, 2020 04:42PM) (new) - added it

Karin | 6997 comments Zane Grey! I read at least one when I was 10 on the recommendation of a new friend who was the same one to get me reading adult Robert Heinlein novels, etc. I remember nothing about it other than that it was a western and that it was by Zane Grey (evidently that name was unforgettable for me!). We were a pair of precocious readers.


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