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To the setting [S], which was formerly a part of this list, I have added the time of the action [T]. The Rainbow Trail [S. A sequel to Riders of the Purple Sage and one of the few instances in which the second story is as good or better than the first. Probably my favorite because of the empathy I feel for the main character, a defrocked minister. Grey is grappling with the problems of an adequate religious faith and tolerance.
A Mormon and a First American play important roles. Riders of the Purple Sage [S. Mormons, Gentiles, outlaws, and range riders interact in a thrilling story of adventure. The pressing problem for the heroine is finding a religious faith to replace an outgrown inherited one; for the hero it is finding a surrogate for revenge. This is generally considered to be the all-time best selling Western.
Wanderer of the Wasteland [S. It involves outlaws, miners, a faithless wife and vindictive husband, unfortunates, and a knight of the wastelands seeking redemption for murder through suffering and good works. Every serious student of Grey must eventually come to terms with this book. The Vanishing American [S. Be sure to read this in the paperback edition , for the book was so far ahead of its time that Harper would not publish it as Grey wrote it. It is a haunting, and profoundly religious book about an educated First American in love with a white woman and caught between two cultures and two religions.
The Man of the Forest [S. An early hippie recluse is forced into struggling with the meaning of life and the ills of the society he has rejected. The number one best seller in A fascinating account of the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad.
Grey handles factual and geographic materials well. The book has some poignant minor characters, and an unforgettable description of one of the worst of the end-of-the-track hell-on-wheels temporary towns of the railroad. It was the number one best seller in The Border Legion [S. The book begins and ends in Idaho, but its main setting is in the gold mining camps along Alder Gulch in Montana.
Category:Lost Western (genre) films - Wikipedia
A story set in a remote valley made famous by Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch. The book is based on the actual story of an Englishman who founded a ranch in the Henry Mountains of southern Utah and hired outlaws to protect his interests from other outlaws. It is a compelling story of the possibility of human regeneration. The Desert of Wheat [S. The growing of wheat is complicated by the I. It was a best seller.
Woman of the Frontier [S. This is one of the books Harper emasculated in a misguided attempt to protect the public. Thirty Thousand on the Hoof [S. Originally titled The Frontier Wife, this is a tribute to the unsung heroines of the West.
It also deals with some of the problems related to World War One. To the Last Man [S. The foreward alone is worth the price of the book. One theme is the senseless and devastating power of hate; another is the possibility of a victorious struggle against an evil heritage.
It was on the Best Seller List in The hero is part First American. I like beautiful horses and women, First Americans, primordial deserts, and adventure; and this book has them all - plus a Mexican revolution. Perhaps my high enjoyment rating of the book is based in part upon conditions relating to my first reading of the book and the extended, and still unsuccessful, efforts to solve all of its geographic puzzles. The Call of the Canyon [S.
An Eastern socialite has a hard time making up her mind whether or not to honor her engagement and follow her wounded veteran fiance to Arizona. The Thundering Herd [S. A highly accurate account of the near-extermination of the bison set in a background of romance and conservation.
It is worth noting that the first chapter places the story in a much larger context than the last quarter of the 19th century. It was number three on the Best Seller list in The Shepherd of Guadaloupe [S. See how many stereotypes you find overturned - like an Anglo hero working as a shepherd for a Mexican in what is considered to be cattle country. The Maverick Queen [S.
Based on the true story of the fate of a suspected madam who was reputed to have traded her charms for unbranded calves mavericks. The Mysterious Rider [S. A remorseful man spends a lifetime trying to atone for a tragic mistake, and gives his life to prevent another.
Part of the story is close enough to history that one of my sources of information while investigating the site of the book asked me not to record a name he had given me. The book was a best seller in The Last of the Duanes [S.
This was published in Argosy in , but was not available in book form until Grey had many cowboys that were handy with pistols, but I think Duane is his only true gunman. Rangers of the Lone Star [S. It is one of two Grey romances written in the first person the other is Western Union.
It is not nearly as somber as The Last of the Duanes. The Lone Star Ranger [S. Harper, not satisfied with either Last of the Duanes or The Lone Star Rangers, had an editor combine the outlaw years of the former with a reworked version of the latter to produce a not-too-comfortable-union in which the two rangers became one and a new heroine is introduced. For years Zane Grey fans helplessly pondered over the fate of Jennie, the first heroine; now we know.
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The Lone Star Ranger is still exciting reading, but I prefer the other two to it. It was on the Best Seller list in Under the Tonto Rim [S. A social worker seeks to improve the living conditions of settlers in a remote area - some who want and some who do not want to be improved. You will have grasped something of his meaning if you are satisfied with where Lucy spends the last two pages of the book. It stresses the intestinal fortitude it took to be a frontier wife.
The book has an unusual and thought-provoking ending that I will not disclose. An important character of Knights of the Range takes the lead here and faces a terrible dilemma when he falls in love with beautiful identical twins whose brother has been murdered; but he also become involved with two other very attractive ladies, who may have something to do with the murder. One twin is more passionate and the other more thoughtful, and the hero is drawn more to the one who matches whichever part of his dual nature is in ascendent at the moment.
I shall not disclose the surprising suggestion one twin made to end the impasse nor which one finally won the hero. One of the all-time best selling Westerns. The story deals with the difficulties of ranching on the lawless frontier. The friendship between Nevada and Ben may remind you of the biblical David and Jonathan. Another example in which the sequel is as good or better than the first Forlorn River.
The Code of the West [S. It deals with the same problems as The Call of the Canyon but with a backwoods hero and a saucy heroine from Erie, Pennsylvania. The Light of Western Stars [S. The action takes place during one of the Mexican uprising in the early teens. Probably more English teachers have put this book on their reading lists than any other Grey romance. The Heritage of the Desert [S.
It deals in part with the age old question of how to deal with evil - the other cheek or both fists. The story highlights a recuperated Easterner, a lovely Navajo-Spanish heroine, and a Mormon patriarch with the gift of seeing into the future. The Last Trail [S. The story centers around the friendship of two strong men, the passing of the frontier, and the separating paths of the two bordermen. Some of the incidents in this book have haunted me for over half a century.
The Spirit of the Border [S. Nostalgia plays a part for me in rating this book, as it was the first ZG I read. George Washington, Frontiersman [S. Grey had a stroke on August 11, ; he died of a heart attack October 23, During that two year period, he dictated this book and Western Union. The latter was published in Carlton Jackson edited the George Washington book, and it was published in There is some unevenness in the writing, but it contains some memorable passages and is well worth reading.