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Download Riders of the Purple Sage: The Restored Edition Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Riders of the Purple Sage: The Restored Edition, by Zane Grey Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,850 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Zane Grey Narrator: Mark Bramhall Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Now, for the first time in a century, Zane Grey’s best-known novel is presented in its original form exactly as he wrote it.

In Cottonwoods, Utah, in 1871, a woman stands accused and a man is sentenced to whipping. Into this travesty of small-town justice rides the one man whom the town elders fear. His name is Lassiter, and he is a notorious gunman who’s come to avenge his sister’s death. It doesn’t take Lassiter long to see that this once peaceful Mormon community is controlled by the corrupt Deacon Tull, a powerful elder who’s trying to take the woman’s land by forcing her to marry him, branding her foreman as a dangerous “outsider.” Lassiter vows to help them, but when the ranch is attacked by horse thieves, cattle rustlers, and a mysterious masked rider, he realizes that they’re up against something bigger—and more brutal—than the land itself.

When in the early 1900s Zane Grey took this manuscript to two publishing companies, they rejected it because of the theme of Mormon polygamy, fearing it would offend their readers and subscribers. Then Grey made a special plea to Frederick Duneka, who was vice-president of Harper & Bros. and who had been Mark Twain’s editor at that company. Duneka and his wife read the novel and liked it but they, too, feared it would offend some readers. Harper & Bros. agreed to publish a changed version of the novel and purchased both the book and magazine-serial rights. Given the task of executing the necessary editorial changes, a senior editor of the company made changes in tone, diction, and style as well as content. The novel first appeared in nineteen installments in the monthly magazine Field & Stream from January 1912 to July 1913. Blackstone Audio here presents the original, uncensored, unabridged novel Riders of the Purple Sage, obtained through the Golden West Literary Agency with the cooperation of Zane Grey’s son, Loren Grey, and the Ohio State Historical Society.

Riders of The Purple Sage is undoubtedly the most famous novel of the American West. Grey’s narrative momentum, mastery of suspense, and thorough understanding of the mythic power of the landscape set this genre-defining proto-Western apart from the countless Hollywood movies and pulp novels it inspired.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Poignant in its emotional qualities.”

    New York Times

  • “Episodes of bravery, scoundrelism, chivalry, horsemanship, and ready shooting…make up the body of his story.”

    New York World

  • “Zane Grey epitomized the mythical West that should have been…The standout among them is Riders of the Purple Sage.”

    True West

  • “A powerful work, exceedingly well written.”

    Brooklyn Eagle

  • “[A] well-handled melodramatic story of hairsbreadth escapes.”


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tim Moore | 2/16/2014

    " Fun, but also a much better read than in assumed. Great character development and a good story line. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Seth | 2/4/2014

    " The first page and the first few chapters are particularly well written. The beautiful landscape descriptions of the rugged frontier in Utah, the "wild purple upland waste," made me think of Stephen King's desert setting in his The Wasteland series, where The Gunslinger is out in the desert with purple mountains sketched across the horizon. This book has a good, classic, original Western story. It has one slow section about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way through the book. I got so bored, I put it aside for awhile. Once I got through that slow part, the pace of the story accelerated through the ending. The beginning and ending are good. Throughout the story, the author uses Mormons as the bad guys, so I can understand that some folks will find it offensive. I guess I've read other classic works of literature (such as King Solomon's Mines) also tainted by offensive depictions of certain groups of people. Nonetheless, I appreciated the characters, the landscape descriptions, and the plot twists. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Anjanette | 2/2/2014

    " The cover of this book says that this is the restored edition of the novel. Apparently when it was first published, Grey's editor cut huge portions out of the novel. With the approval of the author's son, the editor of this edition reconstructed the novel from the original manuscript. The only thing it needs now, ironically, is a good editor. As it stands I can see perfectly well why it was cut so heavily. For example, in the first 5 chapters the words "rider", "purple", and "sage" are repeated over two hundred times, I suppose either in case you forgot what book you were reading or because Grey didn't own a thesaurus. The descriptions are painstakingly detailed to the point of tedium. There is so much that is unnecessary that any effort on the part of the reader to imaging the surroundings is just wasted. I read this because Zane Grey was one of my father's and my grandmother's favorite authors, but I can only assume they liked him pared down to a manageable level. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Maria | 1/30/2014

    " so, apparently, I'm a big Zane Grey fan. also, i've concluded of myself that I really love westerns. so...whatever. but, yeah, this book is really well put together and i appreciated the author's obvious crafting of the story. it is no haphazard or after-thought-ish thing. it is beautiful and poignant and filled with difficult questions you are forced to think about. i liked it a lot. i think all mormons should read it, but only the original version, free from editorial mayhem. "

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