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review 2017-09-06 15:28
Wildfire by Zane Grey
Wildfire - Zane Grey

***eBook available for free on Amazon***

Lucy Bostil has been a tomboy all her life, riding the most willful horses, doing anything she pleases, more than content with her life, but when she meets Lin Sloan, she learns she hasn't yet lived her life to the fullest.

Sloan has followed the wild horse he's named Wildfire for months and across thousands of miles before he captured him. When Lucy stumbles across him on one of her rides, both man and untamed horse fall for the spirited young woman, but danger is looming ever closer and both man and beast will strike a hard bargain to save the woman they love.

This is far from height of literature, and let's face it, the love story, hidden between these pages, is rather cheesy and not very-well written. I could even say Zane Grey is an acquired taste. A taste that I appreciate.

I don't read his stories for the plots or the romance or the characters. I love his stories for his descriptive narrative style. When I read the scenes with Sloan stubbornly following Wildfire through the desert, the high plains, and the monumental canyons, images rise in front of my eyes as if I was watching a movie. As if I was there.
I rode alongside Lucy that day when she ventured into the valley of monuments and found Wildifire, Nagger and Sloan, I sat beside old man (and utter bastard) Bostil as he watched the first race between Sage Kind and Wildfire, I was there on the arduous trek through the canyons with Lucy and her pursuer, and I trembled as I watched that last race-for-life through the blazing forest.

The story was nice and rather well-written, but merely an ornament to the imagery and descriptions of the vast plains, deep canyons, the roaring Colorado and the fields of sage. The romance and that last few suspenseful chapters were merely a bonus.

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review 2017-03-03 13:40
The Call of the Canyon ★★☆☆☆
The Call of the Canyon - Zane Grey

The best parts of this book are the beautifully detailed descriptions of the landscape and the characters’ interactions with it. The story itself is problematic. Contrary to the author’s intent, I really liked Carley through most of the story. Although she was a little self-absorbed, she was spunky and independent and determined. When she arrived out West, she stubbornly pushed herself to cope with the physical hardships she was unused to, to prove to herself and to the man she loved that she was no “tenderfoot”. Her dawning appreciation of the beauty of the landscape was enjoyable to witness. Then it all went to hell when she began embracing the author’s (and her fiancé’s) ridiculous ideas about the duties of  “American women”, which include giving birth to a “troop of healthy American kids” (I shit you not, that is a direct quote) and serving as her “American man’s” helper as he strove to build civilization in the West, while dressing modestly and unfashionably, so as to not distract the men from their own duties, and not pursuing any interests of their own. This whole modesty concept is reinforced through a running commentary by all Western characters on her fashionable city dresses being so revealing. This being set around 1920, this wanton display included rolled stocking and exposed calves. And a woman so dressed should be neither surprised nor upset when sexually assaulted. Instead, she should be upset with herself for inviting such a natural response from men.


I try to judge all books by the mores of the times in which they are written, but remember that this was published within a year of The Great Gatsby, which also had some things to say about 1920’s decadence, but none of it was about women staying in their place behind their menfolks and pushing out packs of kids and covering their legs so they don’t invite assault.


Audiobook, read by John Bolen. The audio quality was poor, with a lot of static and background noise, and Bolen’s performance was unimpressive. He sounded uninterested in the material, and the voice he used for Carley was a really strange sort of faux-British accent that I guess was supposed to represent an upperclass, East Coast, voice. Rating 2 stars only because I was able to finish and for the way the landscape was brought to life.


Read for the 2017 Romance Bingo. It fits the following bingo squares:

Key to My Heart:

Because the MC has a complete change of heart once she embraces her lover’s philosophy and way of life.

(spoiler show)

It unlocks her happiness and purpose in life.

Wedding Bells: Because the whole point was to get him to marry her, and apparently, marriage was the only acceptable quest.

Historical Romance: Post WWI. Although it was actually a contemporary romance at the time it was written, so maybe not.

Second Chances:

She rejects his way of life and breaks the engagement, then goes running back after her change of heart, hoping that he hasn’t already married another. Of course, HEA, with her barefoot and pregnant for as long as she’s fertile.

(spoiler show)
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review 2015-11-23 14:21
The Last Trail - Zane Grey

 The Last Trail  by Zane Grey
Story of Fort Henry and it's occupants and how some travel there to set up their farm to work it.
Even with the military being there the bordermen can't handle all the corruption of the Indians and their friends.
Helen and her father and nephew have arrived and she's quite put off one of the bordermen won't pay attention to her.
Story takes you to the places the bordermen hunt for those who've stolen the horses and women.  You feel like you're there with them as they crawl along the ground
and smell and touch and see things in the surroundings.

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review 2015-08-02 00:00
The Border Legion
The Border Legion - Zane Grey I dunno, pretty standard fare for the genre, I think. There's bandits, there's horses, there's one beautiful, pure, intelligent, fearless, young woman, facing the "one thing worse than death", but who occasionally needs a truly manly man to rescue her.

In this case, we're out on the edges of Idaho, where a gold strike is about to happen. Or at least so the prospectors hope. Gold makes people crazy and steals their souls. Then there are those who don't want to work for gold, so figure appropriating someone else's gold makes more sense to them. That makes them crazy as well.

Joan Randal has a fight with her sweetheart, and he heads off to the wild border to become "bad". Joan repents some harsh words she said, and heads out to bring him back, because, after he left, she realized that she loves the galoot. Well, naturally, she can't find the sweetheart, but gets picked up by a gang of thieves. The head of the gang falls in love with her. Eventually her sweetheart shows up to join the gang. She redeems him, of course, and perhaps the head thief a little bit as well.

Not great literature, and it dragged a bit, but if you want mindless adventure with manly men and womenly women, I'm sure this will suffice.
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review 2014-01-21 10:50
Valley of Wild Horses by Zane Grey
Valley of Wild Horses - Zane Grey

Read by Vincenza – Intrigued by the cover I just had to pick this book up and see what it was about.  Oh, a western! Zane Grey!! OK, I’ll read the first paragraph and see what it’s like.  Then I was hooked.  It is only with a well-written book that the language draws me in, and this book had the language, the larger than life characters, the soft purple hues of the Painted Desert all in the first paragraph.  I was hooked.   This book speaks of true mate ship, of good people and bad people and good people who do bad things then redeem themselves through sacrifice and overcoming adversity.  Great story.  Pity about the cover!

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