Thursday, January 11, 2007

I guess it won't kill me to read a western

"You should read this," my husband said as he dropped a slightly used-looking paperback book on my desk. "It's a romance novel."

I snickered. "How would you know?"

Friends, my hunk o' burnin' love doesn't do romance novels. Not even mine.

Oh, he's wildly supportive of my writing. A couple of years ago, he took over the grocery shopping and food preparation for our family so I could have more time to write (and I appreciate that far more than I desire his feedback on my writing). He also promotes my work to an embarrassing degree, pressing my business cards and books on business associates and even people he barely knows. Once when I picked him up at the airport, a perfect stranger waved at me.

"Who's that?" I asked my husband.

"Oh, just some guy I sat next to on the plane. I told him about your book and gave him one of your cards."

Now in addition to being a tireless promoter of my work, my husband is actually bringing me romance novels to read. I don't know where he got this book, but since he'd never read a romance novel on purpose, I'm now wondering at what point in the story it occurred to him that he was actually reading a romance.

I've heard of Zane Gray, naturally, but I've never been a fan of westerns, and I've always assumed there wasn't more than a touch of romance in his books. But isn't that Joan Wilder and her man Jack on the cover?

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Ramblin Regina said...

You're durn tootin' thats Joan Wilder and Jack on the back cover!

Marianne Arkins said...

That was my favorite Zane Grey novel. You should give it a try! In fact, it's been years since I read it, I may give it a try again.

Kristi said...

I was never a Zane reader - more of a Louis girl. :) But that does look like Joan and Jack on the back cover....might have to give 'er a try!

Ramblin Regina said...

I've never read any Zane Grey but I've read every book Louis Lamour ever wrote, some more than once. I especially love the Sackett books. I'm definitely a Western lover.

Brenda Coulter said...

I'll probably read the book over the weekend. It looks kind of interesting.

Animom said...

Ever heard of Stephen Bly? He writes western, Christian romance -- with a wonderful touch of humor. Also under other genre as he's a pastor... some non-fiction as well. Just thought I'd mention it. :o) Chris R aka Cantnever

Bonnie Calhoun said...

More power to ya...I have to read a book a week for the CFBA, not much time for extra reading!

Anna Adams said...

Ohmygosh, that does look exactly like Joan and Jack (and now I'm in the mood to watch that movie again--with no time. Thank you very much, Brenda!). I've never read Zane either, but my grandma had shelves of them along with Nancy Drew and Judy Bolton and Louis L'Amour.

I don't know where they went, but I've always been sorry my boy, a big LL fan, never got his mitts on them.

Can't wait to hear what you think of this one, Brenda! (And in return, I'll suggest a truly evocative book I'm reading practically a-page-at-a-time so as not to finish it. Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. So far, each page is a treasure.)

Mirtika said...

Didn't read it, but saw the flick with Ed Harris, and yes, it was romantic. That's why I stopped to watch it all. :)

I'm not a big Western fan, but I like a good romantic flick.


Brenda Coulter said...

A movie with Ed Harris? How did I miss that? How old is it?

I haven't been able to read the book yet. It's still on my desk, though, so I'll get to it.

Animom, I'm not familiar with Stephen Bly's work, but on the whole, westerns don't appeal to me. Maybe I'll change my mind after reading the Zane Grey.

Hi, Anna! I've heard of Shadow of the Wind but didn't think I'd like it. After your glowing recommendation, maybe I should give it another look.

Brenda Coulter said...

Okay, I finally read Riders of the Purple Sage. The dialogue is incredibly stilted. Instead of using dialogue tags, Grey identifies speakers by having them constantly call each other by name. Even back in 1912, when this book was first published, that would have been considered sloppy writing. But Grey's descriptions are wonderful, and the book is embued with a powerful sense of place. The story's good, too. There's a strong primary and also a secondary romance, but the slightly ambiguous ending keeps the novel from being a being a true romance (at least for those of us who use happily-ever-after to define that).

I'm still not a western fan, and I don't think I'll read any more of Zane Grey's books, but I did enjoy this one. And now I'd like to see the movie.