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The Virginian

Owen Wister

Book Overview: 

Ostensibly a love story, the novel really revolves around a highly mythologized version of the Johnson County War in 1890′s Wyoming … The novel takes the side of the large ranchers, and depicts the lynchings as frontier justice, meted out by the protagonist, who is a member of a natural aristocracy among men.
(Summary from Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Creek were few as yet, and the homes scattered; the schoolhouse was only a sprig on the vast face of a world of elk and bear and uncertain Indians; but that night, when the earth near the fire was littered with the cow-punchers' beds, the Virginian was heard drawling to himself: "Alfred and Christopher. Oh, sugar!"

They found pleasure in the delicately chosen shade of this oath. He also recited to them a new verse about how he took his Looloo girl to the schoolhouse for to learn her A B C; and as it was quite original and unprintable, the camp laughed and swore joyfully, and rolled in its blankets to sleep under the stars.

Upon a Monday noon likewise (for things will happen so) some tearful people in petticoats waved handkerchiefs at a train that was just leaving Bennington, Vermont. A girl's face smiled back at them once, and withdrew quickly, for they must not see the smile die away.

She had with her a little money, a few clothes, and in. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This novel The Virginian, the first real western book published in 1902, began the genre as a popular art form in America the wild cowboy and the schoolmarm, cattle rustling the lynchings, Indian attacks an explosive card game the deadly shoot out between the good guy and the villain in the streets

I cannot believe that I sat in American Lit reading Hawthorne when I could have been reading this. If you have never heard of this book, then I am not sure why; just as I am not sure why I had never heard of it. It is surely Romantic, and sometimes Heroic, but there is a depth of emotion, wit, and t

This book took me longer to read than I wanted it to but I am glad I finished it. Considered to be one of the first western classics is why I decided to read this. It felt like I was reading something out of Laura Ingalls Wilder with the plains and the description of the mountains yet it was somethi

This book kept surprising me, from the start to its very end. It surprised me in a good way.

I went into this expecting a rough and tough, wild west cowboy tale. The beginning is the opposite; the start is instead cute and amusing. We are told of a hen, Emily, who sits herself down on not just eggs

Published in 1902, this book is considered a seminal novel of the American west. Set in Wyoming Territory in the 1870’s and 1880’s, the book’s narrator is met at the railroad station by the Virginian, and they gradually become friends. The Virginian works as a cowboy on a cattle ranch. He develops a

The Virginian, Oh What a Man! Wow, this was so good; I could not put it down. The Virginian is the most incredible, honest, honorable, handsome (sigh) hero to come along the pike in a long long time. And what a scamp, LOL at his plot to switch the babies (clothes and all) around, so that the parents

The western genre isn't one that I'm very familiar with, having read (in my impressionable early teens) some of my uncle's Tabor Evans Longarm series paperbacks. And let me just say for the record that the
thing the main character Longarm
riding was a horse....Consequently, my on

I have been meaning to get to this book for years, literally. It's one of the novels I'm sure my dad read and he wasn't really a reader, at least not when I knew him.

I'm sure that some of you will like this book far better than I do. I think that it's an exceptionally well written novel. The prose i

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