Zane Grey’s books shoot fast and straight from the hip, hitting readers dead center with thrilling action. His name has become synonymous with western adventure. Because of his killing speed with a revolver, Buck Duane has lived the lone-wolf life of an outlaw. Every day is a struggle against desperate men anxious to prove themselves—and a bigger struggle to hold onto his basic human decency. So when the Texas Rangers offer to deputize him for a dangerous undercover mission, Buck grabs it as his final chance for redemption. The trouble is, the odds are good that the mission will kill him. In books like The Lone Star Ranger and To The Last Man, Zane Grey takes readers to a time and place where men lived by the speed of their draw and the strength of their convictions. Narrator Ed Sala gives compelling voice to the lonely longing of a Texas outlaw.
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Zane Grey wrote simple Westerns in the "romantic" vein; the kind where the good guys are always noble, the women pure, and the bad guys are just plain evil. They're not realistic or modern in anyway, and sometimes his portrayals of Native Americans are simply offensive. But in a story like this, about a young man forced to kill and then flee his home and make his way among bad men, Grey's strengths seem to me to shine. His landscapes are clearly drawn, and the cowboys, gunslingers and lawmen speak of life, death and the vicissitudes of fate in phrases sometimes almost Shakespearean.
In this story the hero's life plays out against the vivid backdrop of SW Texas' cliffs and arroyos. Amidst the wasted and sometimes evil lives of the outlaws hiding there, young Buckley Duane strives to keep his humanity and morals in tact. Along the way he manages to bring out the best in several older outlaws, rids the area of some evil men, and acquires a reputation for indiscriminate killing he doesn't deserve. An opportunity to save Jenny, the chaste young girl he encounters with the outlaws, could be his salvation or his undoing. Eventually Duane is invited by McNelly, the famous captain of the Texas Rangers, to help clean the outlaws out of the area that once harbored him.
One of the strengths of this recording is the narrator, Ed Sala, whose warm, laid-back and slightly twangy tones are perfect for this book. I often turned it on as much to enjoy his story telling skills as to hear more of the plot. There weren't many female characters, but I didn't find myself cringing as I listened to them like I sometimes do when narrators are having to portray the opposite sex. I would definitely listen to more books told by Sala.
I have always been told that Zane Grey wrote the best westerns of this or anytime. I have read 3/4 of his books and listened to this one and am underwhelmed by the contrived and predicatble plots and story line. I have no problem with the telling of the story on this Audible book. In all honesty all westerns in this genre are predicatble- comboy rides into a hostile environment, always involving an attractive young woman, bad guys cause trouble for all the 'ggod guys' and the hero saves tha day, often single handedly.. I have read more than 20 of Louis La'More's books and most of them fall under the contrived and predictable comment.
The story detail was not great, but okay.
The telling of the story was good.
Comparing a book to the same presentation in a movie is tough! A well written script and acceptable 'stars' can elevate a mediocre book to a good movie and sometimes to a great movie.
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