- File Size: 870 KB
- Print Length: 124 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1497574153
- Publisher: Modern Library (December 18, 2007)
- Publication Date: December 18, 2007
- Sold by: Random House LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000XUBEH0
- Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,449,581 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Riders of the Purple Sage (Modern Library Classics) Kindle Edition
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|Kindle, December 18, 2007||
|Length: 124 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top Customer Reviews
"Riders" has two very remarkable features. The first is the surprising complexity and mythic depth of the story. There is for example, a Garden of Eden theme, with two of the characters isolated for an extended time in a lush wilderness. This is so strikingly like the Emil Zola novel "La Faute de l'Abbe Mouret" (The Abbe Mouret's Sin) that one wonders if Grey had read and been inspired by that work. Interwoven with this is an Oedipal theme. If all of this sounds a bit much for a cowboy yarn, I can only say that it really is all there.
The other remarkable thing about the book is its attitude toward the Mormon religion. The hero is an avowed "killer of Mormons". The LDS church is depicted as essentially brutal and tyrannical. This, I suppose, reflects a prejudice of the time, but I wonder how present-day members of that church regard this novel.
It has to be said that Grey is not a great writer and in particular, he cannot do dialogue. In fact, the dialogue in the first few pages is so appalling that I nearly gave up on the book there and then. However, I'm glad I stuck with it. It is such a fine and strange story and has such a wonderful sense of place.
Lassiter is an archetype of the mythic Western hero. In him we see the origins of both Shane and Ethan Edwards (from The Searchers, Amos in the novel)--a lone gunmen fighting for Justice, he has descended upon Mormon Utah with a vengeance, obsessively searching for the sister who was kidnapped by a Mormon proselytizer.
Jane takes him on as a ranch hand, but makes him swear to forsake violence. Inevitably (as in High Noon), events force her to release him from his oath.
Despite an extremely harsh view of Mormons, this is one of the truly great Westerns; a must read.
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.Read more ›
After Riders of the Purple Sage was released in 1912, it was labeled "scandalous" by Heber J. Grant, then president of the Mormon church.
Grey reportedly lived several years in Utah, in the society of the saints, in a small cabin he built. Surrounded by Mormon guides and farmhands, he came to hear of secret blood-oaths taken in temples to which only the faithful could gain admittance. He heard of binding loyalties to a priesthood patriarchy, and of plans for the Mormon "political Kingdom of God" to eventually consume all others.
From his writing, it appears that Grey joined other 19th and other early 20th century eastern writers and editors in their moral outrage at the "patriarchal order" of the Latter-day Saints. The antebellum eastern press unitedly condemned slavery and polygamy as "the twin relics of barbarism."
Set in 1872 in a fictituous souther Utah town of Cottonwoods, Purple Sage became the best selling of Grey's western novels.
The book is a clasically-romantic double love-story, replete with cattle rustling clergy and other Mormon scoundrels. It is set in some of the most majestic scenery of the United States, "where the clear blue sky arches over the vales of the free," a Mormon hymn asserts.
The plot starts with lovely Jane Withersteen, faiful saint of Cottonwoods, saving sagerider Bern Venters, a gentile friend, from lynching by local church leaders. Jane is then robbed and scourged by her wicked churchmen -- punishment for refusing to become the plural wife of her bishop.
She subsequently falls in love with a Mormon-hating gunfighter known and feared across the territory as Lassiter.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is 100 years old, yet very readable. You don't see the plot twists coming. Although, by today's standards, it might be a little slow in getting to the action, the riding... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
Beautifully written. I loved the characters Lassitter, Jane ,Venters and Bess. Poor Wrangler i.. l felt sorry for Lassitter's sister.Published 7 days ago by Victor M. Santos
THIS BOOK SHOWWED THAT THE MORMONS WERE NOT VERY NICE PEOPLE. EVIL, ACTUALLY!Published 7 days ago by RICHARD STAMM
Take your time! Savor the people and their struggles. Zane GREY was a gifted wordsmith as well as a dentist.Published 8 days ago by Jack G Hardy
I enjoyed the authors descriptions of individuals and places. Rarely long winded. I've ordered more of these classics to savour this summer.Published 9 days ago by Amir Arbisser
Too many descriptions and details before the story became clear.I am sure to the writer the details were important.Published 14 days ago by TallahasseeLassie
I read many Zane Grey books as a kid, but not this one. It is a great read!Published 26 days ago by LD
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