18 January 2016

Book Review: Riders of the Purple Sage, Zane Grey

Riders of the Purple Sage

Title: Riders of the Purple Sage
Author: Zane Grey
Published: first published 1912
Pages: 142
Source: Amazon freebie
Format: Ebook

Rating: 1.5/5

"Told by a master storyteller who, according to critic Russell Nye, “combined adventure, action, violence, crisis, conflict, sentimentalism, and sex in an extremely shrewd mixture,” Riders of the Purple Sage is a classic of the Western genre. It is the story of Lassiter, a gunslinging avenger in black, who shows up in a remote Utah town just in time to save the young and beautiful rancher Jane Withersteen from having to marry a Mormon elder against her will. Lassiter is on his own quest, one that ends when he discovers a secret grave on Jane’s grounds."

I finally got around to reading Riders of the Purple Sage. I'm not too sure what I think of it. It was an okay read, however, I could feel myself getting bored and I only carried on because I inherited a copy from my great-granny (I couldn't read said copy as it was falling apart hence the ebook).

Riders of the Purple Sage was an okay introduction to Western's, I suppose. It's the first one I've read. But, I'll probably need to read another to fully make up my mind whether their worth reading.

The descriptions were detailed and beautiful. I could really imagine both the Sage, Cottonwoods and the Valley. But, and this is weird to say, I think they are full on and overdone.

The story is told from the third-person perspective following both Jane and Venters, alternatively. These characters, as well as Lassiter and Bess, were okay, but I didn't particularly warm or connect to any of them. I didn't particularly understand what was happening to them most of the time.

I also felt the story was very slow paced with only small bursts of action. I thought a Western (from seeing the occasional film on TV) would have more action really. Again, this pace is probably due to the detailed descriptions.

The ending was also extremely abrupt and there was a horrible cliffhanger. I don't feel that everything was tied up as it should have been. But, apparently there is a sequel so I'm guessing a lot of the story will be wrapped up there. However, I doubt I will reading that anytime soon.

Overall, I'm glad I finished Riders of the Purple Sage mainly because it belonged to my great-granny. However, it is unlikely I will pick it up again.




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