Ernest Haycox – The Silver Desert (1935)



Category: Set in “Modern” Times
Date Finished: November 21, 2015

First published in 1935, this western is set in that time period, with the heroine, Lily Tennant, a brand-new movie star, escape to Reno for rest and relaxation, while trying to determine whether she wants fame and stardom or not. While there, she meets a strong-willed rancher, Tom Sebastian, who owns a vast ranch north of Reno. There isn’t a lot of typical western action here, but some examination of the themes of wilderness and independence vs. modern society. Naturally the wilderness wins out, though there are despicable characters in both realms. There is a sense of melancholy, especially in the early chapters, that I enjoyed. Definitely a much more literary western than most.


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