Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey

Riders of the Purple Sage (Riders of the Purple Sage, #1)Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This laughable fantasy is a cross between a fairy tale and comic book for horny teenage boys of yesteryear. Out on the Utah prairie two broad-shouldered, straight-shooting men separately find beautiful women who are near helpless without them and who give themselves to the men. Either man can single-handedly kill a half dozen attackers and take only flesh wounds in return which they stoically endure. The plot is convoluted and makes little sense. All you need to know is that there are bad guys and good guys clearly identified and killing is the way things get settled. One man finds a hidden Eden where a man and women can live with abundance all around.

The one aspect that I found most interesting is the way Grey portrayed Mormons of the day. It would be politically incorrect today. Mormonism comes across as a violent cult led by lustful hypocritical men. While I’ve known several Mormons that I like and respect, there is some truth to the cultish aspect. My son was cut off from contact with a good friend when he was in elementary school when the friend’s Mormon mother found out we weren’t Christians.

The writing style is hard to describe. It’s an amalgam of rusticity, elegance, and hyperbole. It’s so different from anything else I’ve read that I imagine any other Zane Grey book would be instantly recognizable.

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