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Shane Paperback – March 18, 2014
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"If you read only one western in your life, this is the one."—Roland Smith, author of Peak
"Shane is a work of literature first and a Western second."—St. George Daily Spectrum
"A real superiority here."—Kirkus Reviews
"Its pace is steady. Its tension is of the uncoiling spring variety. It’s as clean as a hound's tooth."—Saturday Review of Literature
"The author has created a tale which captivates the reader’s attention from beginning to end. . . . The book almost demands completion in one sitting."—Library Journal
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I did not have hope or excitement when I picked this up for the first time, which was wrong of me. Why did I assume a western would be boring? I don't think I had even read a western before. From the beginning I got sucked into the mystery of Shane, and then the suspense of the story as tensions and threats grew in their town. After finishing the book I watched the movie yesterday, but I felt the book was much better. Perhaps because with books you can let your imagination make the characters and setting your own.
I always thought westerns made people out to be the good guy/bad guy, simple as that. But as in life, the characters in the book show that it's not so simple to judge, and a person can change. That sometimes the good vs bad, right vs wrong judgements aren't so simple either. The book shows a time in our history, being that it starts in 1889, and gives you a much more personal idea of what it was like back then.
A simple style of writing that suited the story. Found this one to be a bit of a "tear jerker" actually. Not a lengthy read by any means. The author managed to convey much with a minimum of fuss. Loved it to bits. Time and money well spent.
This is the first Western I've ever read, and I had no idea what to expect beyond the very vague theme of "cowboys". I really enjoyed this! Shane is told from the perspective of a young boy (and at first, I thought this book would span over a larger period of his life...mostly because I can't remember the last book I read from the perspective of a kid who wasn't tasked with saving the world or something equally as wild), and the titular Shane is a mysterious man who comes to his farm and ends up staying with his family for a time. Shane has a dark past, which is only really referenced in his ability to kick anyone and everyone's ass when necessary.
The villain of this novel is a rancher(?) who wants the homesteaders (like our narrator Bob and his family) off of his land; this villain is so different from the majority of villains in books I've read recently, as he's just a man and a realistic one at that.
I definitely read the relationship between Bob's parents and Shane as bordering on polyamorous. I doubt this was intentional at the time, but they all seemed to fall in love with each other (and when Bob's father thought he was going to die, he gave Shane and Bob's mother his blessing).
This is billed as a teen book, but it didn't feel that way to me. It's a story about friendship, hard work and loyalty. I very much enjoyed it.