By Jack Schaefer
Houghton Mifflin, 1954. 214 pgs. Western
When a mysterious man rides onto his father’s farm, young Bob Starrett feels a strange combination of fear and admiration. Joe Starrett invites the traveler, who introduces himself simply as Shane, to stay on for a while as hired help on the small farm. Shane stays and becomes involved in the valley’s land war which eventually becomes deadly.
This is a seminal western novel. Complete with a mysterious and lonely hero, a lawless wild west setting, and don’t forget a little gunplay. I can’t say this was my favorite book ever, the author does seem to ramble on a bit, but it was quick and entertaining.