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Paperback Riders of the Purple Sage Book

ISBN: 0671527665

ISBN13: 9780671527662

Riders of the Purple Sage

(Book #1 in the Riders of the Purple Sage Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New


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Book Overview

A gentile sage-rider is about to be whipped by the Mormans to coerce the rich and beautiful Jane Withersteen to marry against her will. In desperation Jane whispers the prayer, "whence cometh my help!" Just then an unlikely hero, the infamous gunfighter, Lassiter routs the persecutors and is drawn into this conflict on the Utah-Arizona border.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Riders of The Purple Sage

I love Zane Grey and find his book so entertaining. I loved the story line

The Heoric and Romantic West: myth and adventure alive!

The word Lassiter is a name synonymous with gunslinger, hard-edged men with no fear and little room for mercy and love. But when a particular Lassiter entangles himself in the lives of a small Mormon border village, among the purple sage wilderness of Utah, it is anything but slow or dull. The plot is very complex, blending romance and love, adventure, religion, mystery, suspense, hero mythology, rough and tumble adventure, introspection of man's frailty, and the blind and honest realizations that life, when the moment is right and with the right people, becomes more than it could have been. What Grey does is incredible, both describing the Utah canyons and sage fields with such vividness and detail; and weaving an intricate tale into an epic odyssey of three people, richly depicted and alive: Jane Withersteen, a devout and wealthy Mormon gradually comes to question the churchmen whom she put so much faith in, who are slowly and sneakily trying to break her by taking away everything she loves. Bern Venters, a young Gentile who is caste out, a hunted and marked man who sheds his youthful fervor when he shoots then saves the life of a young innocent girl, Bess. And then, there is Lassiter, a man haunted and wrath-filled by the disappearance of his sister and the loneliness of his trade, has roamed for over ten years to find out what became of her, arriving just in time to meet Jane and save the life of Venters. But when he meets Jane...everything changes. In fact, all gradually change, become so much more as each meet their opposite and struggle, their stories which are told with such care, it will make you heart pound and react TO THEM. It's wonderful! Have you ever read a book where you're shouting at the characters: 'Don't do that!' or 'Why can't believe him!?!'? Grey evokes imagery and emotion, drawing in the reader, forcing them to interact, react and feel as the characters do. While there is a strong negative representation on Mormanism, it is not the religion itself that is denounced (for Jane represents the goodness of the purity of faith--be it Mormanism or no) but the men who abuse that belief in order to control others. It is more about true belief in people and what it means to believe, for oneself, versus domination and subjugation of its followers and the harsh punishment of those who do not belong, i.e., the Gentiles. This is a concept that is universal, so please, please don't be offended or come into the story with bias. Remember: this book was written in 1912, and is both a reflection of the times, some history of the area and also, it is an extremely integral vehicle for the plot and an important impetus of change. Some one commented that the dialogue wasn't good. Heed this person's opinion with caution, please. While the vernacular and style can be distracting (at first), the words are magnetic and vivid, the character's own voice resonating in your head, and the meaning moving. In a way, the dialogue is Grey's own way of

Riders of rhe Purple Sage

This is a real classic. I first read it as a teenager, now I'm 66 and enjoyed it just as much if not more.

Zane Grey's Legacy

A master of the western genre, Zane Grey's trademark is his devotion to detail in both description and historical accuracy. When I read this novel, I felt as though I was there, riding alonside Lassiter--the classic gunslinger dressed in black--as he defends the spinster Jane Withersteen against efforts by unscrupulous men to take her ranch. Longer than the traditional western novel, this novel is the apex of Grey's work. A fascinating read (and ride). Thomas E. Hart Author of "Days of Vengeance" A western novel.

Classic western story

This is the only western I've ever read; I'm mostly into classical literature, science writing, and non-fiction, but I asked friends for a book rec in the field, and they said read this one and the two Thomas Berger novels about Little Big Man. The novel is interesting in that it's not a stereotypical western story. The main character is a woman who owns a large cattle ranch and is basically the mainstay of the little town of Cottonwoods, a Mormon town on the Utah border, sort of like the Cartwright family was in the popular TV western series, only in this case, Lorne Green is replaced by a female lead. The novel also is unusual in that it shows her struggling against the tyranny and even criminality of her fellow Mormon ranchers, who don't like the fact of a beautiful, wealthy, but unattached woman, who wields considerable influence in the local town despite their best attempts to undermine her. One the things that sparked my interest in the novel was hearing an English prof in a radio interview on National Public Radio talk about some of the scholarship that is being devoted to genres like the western novel. She was working herself on the books of Karl May (The Legend of the Llano Estacado), Owen Wister (The Virgianian), and Zane Grey. One of the interesting things she had to say had to do with Grey's vivid prose descriptions of the western landscape. She said Grey's prose sensualized the landscape, giving it an almost masculine sensuality and almost sexuality. I'm about halfway into the book, and I can say that the rugged countryside of sheer, rock-walled canyons, arid plateaus and valleys, and wide-open spaces of this part of Utah are vividly described by Grey and serve, not just as a dramatic backdrop against which the novel's events take place, but as a palpable force for good or evil by itself. Contrary to some other reviews I've read that said the plot wandered a bit, I'm not really noticing that. I think the book has a strong plot with a lot of powerful elements going for it: interesting characters (including a dangerous and mysterious but chivalrous gunslinger), a sympathetic main character who struggles and triumphs against society's evils (not just a few western-style bad guys), beautiful and evocative descriptions of the landscape, and, as the backcover says it, "hairsbreadth escapes." One last interesting thing is that, if I remember correctly, Zane Grey was actually a Pennsylvania dentist who failed in his attempt to set up a profitable dental practice in New York. He wanted to get into writing westerns, and when his first novel was a big success, his writing career was launched and he never looked back. Riders of the Purple Sage is probably his most famous book, and despite it's not being a typical western novel, it has become a classic in its field.

Riders of the Purple Sage Mentions in Our Blog

Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • June 05, 2019

Celebrate Larry McMurtry's 83rd birthday this week with one of these rip-roaring Western adventure tales.

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