Customer Reviews for

The Virginian (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Average Rating 4
( 103 )
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5 Star

(47)

4 Star

(26)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(7)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Loved this book

It was what made a western a western if this book was the originall bluprint of what a western was it has it. This book was amazing it has many great points great original sayings, the characters in here are original it has some good humor, you just get so taken with th...
It was what made a western a western if this book was the originall bluprint of what a western was it has it. This book was amazing it has many great points great original sayings, the characters in here are original it has some good humor, you just get so taken with the story you cant just put it down. I give this book a high recommendation.

posted by 5513313 on January 24, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

The original "Western"

I must say I admire Owen Wister's restraint. Rather than ruining his novel with too much mindless action, Wister focuses on the more domestic aspects of life in the old West, incorporating his action scenes sparingly. However, I can't say I enjoyed this book as much as ...
I must say I admire Owen Wister's restraint. Rather than ruining his novel with too much mindless action, Wister focuses on the more domestic aspects of life in the old West, incorporating his action scenes sparingly. However, I can't say I enjoyed this book as much as most of the other classics I have read. Unfortunately, Wister's story never really "gets off the ground" until probably the last fourth or fifth of the book; before then the story lags and is even incoherent in parts. The narrator known simply as "the tenderfoot" guides the reader through much of the story but occasionally drops out completely, which, though not necessarily a big problem, did strike me as strange. Wister originally wrote the stories that would become The Virginian as serials, or short stories in local newspapers, later combining them into a single volume and crafting a "novel." As a group of short stories, I could get into these--as a novel, not so much. Lest I sound too critical, the story does possess redeeming qualities, however. Wister develops the romance between the Virginian and Miss Wood in a superb manner, and he also interjects his own thoughts into the story on occasion (much like Tolstoy). His portrayal of Judge Henry, well-schooled in law, is marvelous, and he can be astoundingly funny in parts. Ultimately, however, the book, as a novel, falls a little flat. I'd rate this book a 4/9, if that gives you a better idea than the rather limited "five star" system.

posted by TheQuillPen on April 1, 2009

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  • Posted December 3, 2011

    This started it all -- from cowboy movies through Star Wars protagonists

    Until last summer, this was just one of those books I had on my 'bucket list'. I bought it and didn't start to read it until two months later. Then, I read it and then, I read it again, dog ear-ing pages that made sense, had notable descriptions, quotations, etc.

    The Virginian is a classic. Wister takes a long range introduction, as if he had a movie camera in the first few pages, describing what he saw from the train window as everyone noticed that distinctive cow-puncher who was able to corral the wild horse when others failed. And so we meet "The Virginian". The rest of the story unfolds, with fantastic descriptions of the landscape, segues of thought, opinion, politics, etc. For me, it brought the West alive, made me care about the characters and, yes, see how history repeats itself even today. Folks in the old West were concerned about pollution and clean air, just wonder what they would say if they saw our American landscape today.

    This novel introduced the new American hero and a new way of writing without the Jane Austen angst and insufferable hoity-toity innuendoes.
    No wonder it created a sensation.

    It's a great blueprint for aspiring writers as well: just try to write smoothly as omniscient, first person and third as well as Wister does without confusion. If I 'ain't' confused, you won't be.

    Hmmm, I should read it again . . . after the holidays! Yes, seh!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2010

    Wonderful!

    THE best treatment of masculinity I've ever read in fiction. Delightful.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2007

    the best western I have ever read

    I had to read this book in history class and loved it. It presents that mystery and excitement of the west that you genreally don't get from history books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2006

    Still wonderful

    Although not fond of Westerns generally, I devoured this first as a pre-adolescent, in an unabridged, well-annotated version. That edition introduced objects and references that might otherwise have been lost on me--there is an enormous amount of history, and humor, here. The characters and subject matter are engaging, athough the pages of philosophical musings can be tedious.--Just skip them until you're ready for them. This work has given me a lifelong appreciation for the West when it was young, and a special interest in Wister's life and works--he saw the West firsthand. The Virginian is the template for all things 'Western' that came after it, and none has matched it. (I found a 100-year-old copy of its sister work, 'Lin McClean,' in a used bookstore. Aha!)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2005

    Wonderful

    This novel is highly compelling and maintains an accurate account of the Western era. Each segmeant is incredibly enjoyable, and the language flows quite clearly. Conflict between the character's natural duty and pursuit of love, too, makes it all the more interesting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2004

    Recklessness and loose morals out west

    This book has the theme of the wildness and the loose morals that were present in the west during the years 1874-1890. The Virginian is sort of like a gypsy and an experienced traveller who has seen it all and is harden by it. This book shows that the west in those days was based on the survival of the fittest and a lack of caring for others. The Virginian out smarts them all and does get his own way by trickery and intellect.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2004

    best hero ever!

    this is the original western written when the old west was still alive and kicking, and the virginian is like robin hood in cowboy incarnate! the plot is interesting and the characters are really complex. there are also funny parts that keep you reading. even wister's introduction is funny. 'when you call me that, smile!'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2014

    Zgjg

    Dhgodudogidisudgxx

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2014

    Read......Trampas and The Virginian conflict

    Can anyone tell me the conflict between trampas and the virginian? How it started, escalates through the book, and is resolved? Also, what parts of the book can it be found?

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  • Posted March 24, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    great period piece

    I was reading biographies of Theodore Roosevelt, and learned that Owen Wister was a lifelong friend of his from Harvard, so read this as an aside. it's nothing like the 60's TV show.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2013

    Question

    Is this the book that became a movie, or a tv show?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    awesome

    One of the best books I've ever read. An amazing story of love and adventure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2012

    Love this book!!!

    I actually got onto this book by watching a western series entitled "The Virginian," which has become my favorite western series. Anyway this book is good, a few tough words, and parts are somewhat disconnected. It might be a bit hard to endure all of the long descriptions, but when you are finished reading it,you'll not regret it. Good story, climax, and expression. In the beginning you will find yourself in medecine bow with the narrator and you can just see the virginian exactly. This story depicts western life and culture well.

    Love how the virginian ACTUALLY gets the girl unlike in the series!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2011

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    Posted August 8, 2011

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    Posted June 25, 2011

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    Posted April 23, 2009

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    Posted October 28, 2012

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    Posted May 15, 2012

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    Posted July 25, 2010

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