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Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 8, 2014
Riders of the Purple Sage is a classic of the western genre. I picked this book up, after ten years of living in Utah exploring the canyons, mountains and sage that Grey so vividly describes throughout the novel. His descriptions are quite awesome, but real. The story taking place in Utah, can't help but to involve itself with the Mormon religion. Evidently, Zane Grey was not LDS. Of course, the villainous character he describes to the LDS leadership of Cottonwoods, the fictional Utah border town making the back drop of the story, was not without warrant, but is also offset with the good nature of the town's people and even the devout Mormon heroine of the story who becomes the love interest of Lassiter a Mormon hater bent on vengeance in the name of his sister. The book was written in 1912 at a time when the Mountain Meadow Massacre was still a fresh wound in the minds of "gentiles" in the area. The LDS had even declared war on the U.S. government not so long before this book was written. This not even to mention the antics of such LDS enforcers as Porter Rockwell, still celebrated in Mormon culture, and Wild Bill Hickman, villified for having turned on Brigham Young. One familiar with these aspects of Mormon culture, will not find the plot to be incredible. Indeed, whatever tensions modern LDS believers may have in regard to this epic tribute to the beloved landscape of Utah, those who have lived as gentiles in Utah for any substantial period of time will recognize the tension with with Zane Grey presents the LDS, having ourselves known the Jane Withersteens, who even as devoted adherents of the Mormon religion stand opposed to it, and the Bishop Tulls of the region also driven by every prejudice the culture of the LDS instills in them.
So it is a classic of the genre, this is a great book. I especially recommend reading it to those who are perhaps planning a visit to see Bryce, Zion, Capitol Reef, Canyon Lands or Arches, or otherwise find themselves in Utah.
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