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Publisher's Summary

A gentile sage-rider is about to be whipped by the Mormans to coerce the rich and beautiful Jane Withersteen to marry against her will. In desperation Jane whispers the prayer, "Whence cometh my help!" Just then, an unlikely hero, the infamous gunfighter Lassiter, routs the persecutors and is drawn into this conflict on the Utah-Arizona border.

The mysterious loner hires on to Jane's ranch. Through battles with gun-slinging cattle-rustlers, cut-throats and the calculating Mormans, Lassiter unveils his tale of an endless search for a woman abducted long ago. Grey unfolds his story of seduction, secrecy, captivity, and escape on the dust swept purple plains.

Judged by critics to be Zane Grey's best novel, Riders of the Purple Sage changed the western genre when it was first published in 1912. This novel shows the gritty as well the gallant in a more candid portrayal of the West than had come before.

©2002 Tantor Media, Inc. Originally published 1912.

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  • D. Hamilton
  • 2018-10-03

The book that started the Western genre

This narrator struggled with the male western accents and particularly with the two crucial female voices-often sounding like Jack Lemon and Tony Curtis hamming it up in drag in Some Like It Hot!