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The Heritage Of The Desert (1988)

The Heritage of the Desert (1988)

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0891907572 (ISBN13: 9780891907572)
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About book The Heritage Of The Desert (1988)

A "gentile" wanderer finds himself drawn into a feud in Mormon country among cattlemen and rustlers, while falling in love with a young woman who is not sure she wants to be Mormon. If you've read Riders Of The Purple Sage then when you read this one it'll be déjà vu all over again. The characters, the story, and, even more so, the setting will all remind you of that better book. If you haven't read Riders Of The Purple Sage yet, read it instead. It is one of the greatest western novels ever written. This one is decent, too, but doesn't rise to the same level. Typical of Grey, the female background characters are more compelling than the male main characters. Two of the best characters are a dog and a horse!

This novel was predictable and rather trite, but as Zane Gray's first western, this was only the starting point for a writer who would grow a great deal. Not susprisingly, considering that the book was written in 1910, the novel reflects some pretty stereotypical notions of Navajos as "noble savages," an idea circulating strongly in America at that time. Ultimately, what is most memorable about this novel are the loving, impassioned descriptions of the Utah and Arizona desert, filled with their grandiose beauty, rich color, and enormous scale.

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