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Zane Grey


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The first accurate and thorough biography of the man behind the myths of the Old West

About the Author

Thomas H. Pauly is a professor of English at the University of Delaware. He is the author of books on Elia Kazan and the historical background of the musical Chicago.


Since most Americans associate the name Zane Grey with cheap paperback Westerns in a revolving metal rack behind the Coke machine at the local stationery store, this fascinating new biography (the first since Frank Gruber's 1970 Zane Grey) is guaranteed to open some eyes. Pauly (English, Univ. of Delaware) has an admirably complete grasp of the various facets of his subject, e.g., Grey's connection to the nascent film industry, his consuming hunger for ever larger and swifter ships, the nature of his novels, and why they filled such an American need. Grey's childhood (in Zanesville, OH, where else?) was central. His stern, hard-working father, Lewis, was fast supplanted as a role model by poorhouse inhabitant Muddy Miser, who played a real-life Nigger Jim to the dashing but confused teenager. Enrolled in Penn State's dental school but playing semi-pro baseball, Zane was soon (and until the end of his days) embroiled in affairs of the heart and groin with the first of the numerous women who sometimes simultaneously played such a gigantic role in his life that they're part of this book's title. By age 30, he was a practicing dentist and an aspiring novelist whose trips west finally inspired him to try his hand at the then-unknown genre of Western. By the 1920s, he was the most popular writer in the country, regardless of literary critics' perpetual sniping. This absorbing biography is highly recommended for all collections.-Charles C. Nash, Cottey Coll., Nevada, MO Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"Although fans of Zane Grey may be taken aback to discover certain characteristics or traits of this famous writer, what emerges from Pauly's text is an honest and straightforward account of the charms and foibles of a man who defined and lived his life as he saw fit."--Journal of the West

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