Riders of the Purple Sage...
A classic of the western genre by master storyteller Zane Grey, Riders of the Purple Sage is the story of Lassiter, a black-clad gunslinger who appears in a small frontier town in a remote corner of Utah just in time to thwart the matrimonial designs of a Mormon elder upon an unwilling bride, the young and beautiful rancher Jane Withersteen. Lassiter does not appear by chance, but is on his own quest, which ends with the discovery of a hidden secret on Jane's ranch.
Propelled by Grey's characteristic mix of action, adventure, romance, violence, conflict, and sentimentalism, Riders of the Purple Sage is one of the most widely-read westerns of all time, second only to Owen Wister's The Virginian, the first true "western" novel.
Zane Grey (1872-1939) was an American author best known for his popular western adventure novels and stories. Riders of the Purple Sage (1912) was his best-selling book, and his westerns are still widely read today, with many never having been out-of-print. In addition to the perennial commercial success of his books, over 100 film adaptations, several western television series episodes and a television series that ran for five seasons have been based on Grey's novels and short stories.
Grey published over 90 books, including those published posthumously and originally published as magazine serials, which have sold over 40
million copies. Grey placed nine different books on the top ten bestsellers list between 1917 and 1926, with sales in excess of 100,000 copies each time. One of the first millionaire authors, sales of Grey's books exploded all over again in the 1940's and 1950's with the advent of paperbacks, and more of his books have become films than any other American author.
Grey died of heart failure on October 23, 1939, but new "Zane Grey Westerns" continued to appear until 1963, when the backlog of his completed manuscripts was finally exhausted. Like Owen Wister with The Virginian, Zane Grey was able to make "the west" a part of his characters and stories, not merely a "background." They are not novels set in the old west, they are true "western" novels. Grey's works became the standard based upon which other publishers sought to get into the "western" market, and with writers like Max Brand, Ernest Haycox and, later, Louis L'Amour following in Zane Grey's footsteps, Grey became one of the foremost influences in building the image, and mythology, of the American West.
About the Author
Born in 1875, Zane Grey was raised in Zanesville, Ohio, a town founded by his mother’s family. His passion for the American West was aroused in 1907 when Grey toured the West with Buffalo Jones, a noted hunter and adventurer. Grey published a total of 85 books — popular adventure novels that idealized the Western frontier. Riders of the Purple Sage remains his best-known book. He died in 1939 in California.