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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 Audiobook, 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: January 2006 ISBN: 9781470800000
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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.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 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 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 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 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. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Daniel | 1/25/2014

    " I can't say I'm particularly proud of this read, but like all books that I smile back upon, it came along at the right time for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Josie | 1/7/2014

    " Easy reading- curious to know what happens "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Susan Peterson | 1/6/2014

    " I picked up the book because I'd never read a Zane Grey novel. I couldn't get through it. I really needed tightening, and the characters were pretty one-dimensional. Not my cup of tea. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caroline | 12/31/2013

    " A classic in the western genre, and overall a great story that will keep you up too late. Might be offensive to members of the LDS church, considering Zane Grey really really didn't like Mormons and he flaunts that here. So long as you're not easily offended and understand it was a different time period completely, I think this is one all fans of westerns should read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charles Bell | 12/29/2013

    " This is a great read for children "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike Hagan | 12/27/2013

    " Every once in a while, you need a good western. This is one of the best of genera. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherry | 12/20/2013

    " I was inspired to read this because we visited Zane Grey's summer home near where we live. I enjoyed it but wouldn't call it my favorite style of book. The scenery descriptions are amazing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kevin Lucia | 12/10/2013

    " There are some books you simply DO NOT rush. Counter-intuitive to today's "faster, faster" society I know...but there it is. Some books are so lush, so vivid, time must be spent. And it is time WELL spent, IMHO. Riders of the Purple Sage is one of those books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane Marie | 11/20/2013

    " Okay for the entire library. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Theresa | 10/27/2013

    " a good sad story, with happy endings, i can see why it inspired a lot of westerns but i think it was a little prejudice ... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phillip Cushman | 10/19/2012

    " Zane Grey books are simple uncomplicated enjoyment. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Read1000books | 9/5/2012

    " One of the best books I've ever read, western or otherwise. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James | 7/19/2012

    " Good read, but it presents Mormons in a very bad light "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorelle | 6/7/2012

    " A timeless story with that fires the imagination. Possibly the best chase on horseback in any book or movie I've seen or read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James Ouderkirk | 5/9/2012

    " As always an excellent western "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeri | 3/17/2012

    " Another unexpected new favorite. There's romance, religious hypocrisy, more romance, western style swashbuckling, (I LOVE a good swashbuckle!) and a satisfying ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristen | 2/15/2012

    " Grey didn't become the biggest name in Western literature for nothing! One man against an army of outlaws. The only thing I didn't like were the references to Mormons as freakish, cultish, misogynistic people. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 GA | 5/11/2011

    " Very early western novel. Too much romance. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 4/20/2011

    " I haven't read a Zane Grey novel in years, but I recalled from before that his descriptions of western landscapes were nearly epic. And so they are. Worthy reading for that alone. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Robin | 3/12/2011

    " Ok, now I can say I've read one western. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patricia | 3/5/2011

    " I found this book to be quite an eye opener of the way the Mormons lived in Western Utah in the turn of the century. Breathtaking narrative on the landscape of the Sage plains and horsemanship. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marla | 2/27/2011

    " A good western read includes interesting outside look of the Mormons of Southern Utah. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paulette | 2/17/2011

    " I am sure that my review is skewed by the fact that my dad and I each read so many Zane Grey and I have fond memories of my own cowboy father. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clay | 2/14/2011

    " I've been curious about this book for years. It was a fun read, but deserves all the criticism it receives. The writing is very hyperbolic and not in a good way. It is easy to see where it started so many Western cliches. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Abby | 2/1/2011

    " I would be a liar if I said I did not enjoy reading this book at all.

    Beyond that, not so sure what to say. The plot, obviously, is somewhat bankrupt, not surprising for what it is. But, entertaining anyway. "

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About the Author
Author Zane Grey

Zane Grey (1872–1939), born in Ohio, was practicing dentistry in New York when he and his wife published his first novel. Grey presented the West as a moral battleground in which his characters are destroyed because of their inability to change or are redeemed through a final confrontation with their past. The man whose name is synonymous with Westerns made his first trip west in 1907 at age thirty-five. More than 130 films have been based on his work.

About the Narrator

Mark Bramhall has won thirty-four AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been a finalist for the Audiobook Publishers Association’s prestigious Audie Award for best narration. He has been named by Publishers Weekly and AudioFile magazine among their “Best Voices of the Year” in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. He is also an award-winning actor whose acting credits include off-Broadway, regional, and many Los Angeles venues as well as television, animation, and feature films. He has taught and directed at the American Academy of Dramatic Art.