Book Review of
The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains
The Virginian cuts an impressive figure when the unnamed narrator of Owen Wister’s groundbreaking novel first encounters him in Medicine Bow, Wyoming. Dark-haired and physically imposing, the charismatic Virginian quickly befriends the narrator, whom he nicknames “the tenderfoot,” and the two embark on a three-hundred-mile journey to the ranch where the Virginian works. Life on the frontier is unforgiving—filled with hardship and violence—and as they travel together, the tenderfoot recognizes all the ways in which the stoic and principled Virginian exemplifies the heroism and romance of life in the Wild West.
Published in 1902 and considered to be the first true Western, The Virginian broke the trail for every great poet of the frontier, from Zane Grey to Louis L’Amour to John Ford
I loved this book. It was so great in some parts. I do have to say that this was a very slow read, but I really appreciated Wister’s artistic way to paint the Old West. If you are into westerns like me, you have probably heard or watched some of the TV show The Virginian. Unfortunately, the TV show just takes some of the characters out of the story and changes them entirely into different characters. All I can say is the book is much better and poor Trampas, who is a good guy in the TV show, is the bad guy in the book. If you can get through some of the tedious parts, you will be able to enjoy the original western novel that inspired so many westerns that we read today.