When in the early 1900s Zane Grey took his manuscript to two publishing companies, they rejected it because of the theme of Mormon polygamy, fearing it would offend their readers and subscribers. Then Grey made a special plea to Frederick Duneka, who was vice-president of Harper & Bros. and who had been Mark Twain’s editor at that company. Duneka and his wife read the novel and liked it but feared it would offend some readers. Harper & Bros. agreed to publish a changed version of the novel and purchased both the book and magazine-serial rights. Given the task of executing the necessary editorial changes, a senior editor of the company made changes in tone, diction, and style as well as content. The novel first appeared in nineteen installments in the monthly magazine Field & Stream from January 1912 to July 1913.
Blackstone Audio here presents the original, uncensored, unabridged novel Riders of the Purple Sage, obtained through the Golden West Literary Agency with the cooperation of Zane Grey’s son, Loren Grey, and the Ohio State Historical Society.
In Cottonwoods, Utah, in 1871, a woman stands accused and a man is sentenced to whipping. Into this travesty of small-town justice rides the one man whom the town elders fear. His name is Lassiter, and he is a notorious gunman who's come to avenge his sister's death. It doesn't take Lassiter long to see that this once peaceful Mormon community is controlled by the corrupt Deacon Tull, a powerful elder who's trying to take the woman's land by forcing her to marry him, branding her foreman as a dangerous 'outsider'. Lassiter vows to help them. But when the ranch is attacked by horse thieves, cattle rustlers, and a mysterious masked rider, he realizes that they're up against something bigger, and more brutal, than the land itself.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Wendall M. Barclay on 16-03-15
It's getting harder and harder to find good books that aren't filled with foul language and sex. This is a good clean book. A little cheesy at times but give me cheesy over raunchy any day. Maybe I'm a minority as far as that goes but it's getting harder to find a book that I would recommend to my kids that are adults now.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Kristi R on 16-05-13
Western classic of Mormons as the Bad guys.
What did you like best about Riders of the Purple Sage? What did you like least?
I enjoyed the story especially the discovery of the secret valley. I didn't care much for the dated treatment of women, however this book isn't as bad as some I have read.
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
The ending was perfect and well worth waiting for.
What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?
Mark Bramhall has the perfect western twang to his voice. He doesn't do as good a job as the women, is horrendous for little Fay and sometimes all the men sound the same, but his voice is a good listen.
Do you think Riders of the Purple Sage needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
I would love to find out what happens next, especially to little Fay!
Any additional comments?
Zane Grey is an icon of western literature and is a great listen for those who love this genre.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful