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The Call of the Canyon

Zane Grey

Book Overview: 

Glenn Kilbourne returns from the war and travels to Arizona to regain his health. There he is nursed back to health by an Arizona girl, Flo Hutter. Kilbourne's fiancée, Carley Burch arrives in Arizona but soon becomes disillusioned with life in the West and returns to New York. Carley soon learns that life in the Big City is not what she really wants. Should she return to Arizona? Will Glen still love Her?

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Book Excerpt: 
. . ., caves, seams, cracks, fissures, beetling red brows, yellow crumbling crags, benches of green growths and niches choked with brush, and bold points where single lonely pine trees grew perilously, and blank walls a thousand feet across their shadowed faces—these features gradually took shape in Carley's confused sight, until the colossal mountain front stood up before her in all its strange, wild, magnificent ruggedness and beauty.

"Arizona! Perhaps this is what he meant," murmured Carley. "I never dreamed of anything like this.... But, oh! it overshadows me—bears me down! I could never have a moment's peace under it."

It fascinated her. There were inaccessible ledges that haunted her with their remote fastnesses. How wonderful would it be to get there, rest there, if that were possible! But only eagles could reach them. There were places, then, that the desecrating hands of man could not touch. The dark caves were mystically potent in th. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I have never read a Western, and I tackled this one primarily to have some exposure to the genre before I dismissed it. I was surprised how thought-provoking it was, especially as the author juxtaposes two ages and two types to great effect. Who thinks about the seismic changes of World War I and th

Absolutely loved this book. Plan on reading more by him in the year future. I was immediately captivated with his prose. Wonderful characters.

It is 1919 and Carley Burch is a young orphaned woman who lives a socialite’s life of ease and pleasure in her New York City family home with her aunt Mary. Her fiancé Glenn Kilbourne has come home an injured, sick, and broken man after fighting in France during World War I, so he has gone West to A

A beautifully written tale of a tender-footed woman's journey from decadence to self-realization. Although the descriptions of nature are quite poetic, evoking vivid images of the wild-west and its terrain; yet I found the story-line to be a little problematic. Often the protagonist is just lost in

Westerns have their fair share of space on my favorites shelf... In addition, two of Zane Grey's other works even have their own place on the list of my heart-stories, and I think The Call of the Canyon, may just have joined them there.

My full review can be read here.


The best parts of this book are the beautifully detailed descriptions of the landscape and the characters’ interactions with it. The story itself is problematic. Contrary to the author’s intent, I really liked Carley through most of the story. Although she was a little self-absorbed, she was spunky

I found the book extremely relatable at many, many places. The author has such a gift for painting landscapes, that all my senses seemed to respond to his descriptions. I did not like many of his views, or rather, how he thinks they're the 'supreme truth' or whatever. This fact made the book a littl

Different Zane Grey

As a young teenager - late 50's - I read everything I got my hands on. When I discovered a box of Zane Grey books that my mother had read when she was my age, I read every one - western and books about Betty Zane and the settlement of the Wheeling area. I loved every one. Never re

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