Considered by many critics to be the very best Zane Grey Western, The U. P. Trail narrates the story of William Neale, a young engineer working for the Union Pacific railway. He must contend with Indians, bandits, badlands, and bad weather to get the train to the destination. And in the midst of all this, the love of his life is kidnapped! The railroads were expanding to link the nation, with the celebrated golden spike marking the spot in Utah where the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific would meet.
Published in 1918, The U. P. Trail became a best seller for Grey and was made into a film in 1920, starring Roy Stewart and Kathlyn Williams.
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This book was original published in 1918. It is considered a classic western. The book is in the public domain now. Gray was a dentist who quit to write primarily westerns. His first novel was published in 1904. He became one of the most popular western writer and many of his books were made into movies. I have read many of his books over the years but, somehow, I missed this one.
This book is considered one of his best. It also could be classified as a historical novel. The book is about the construction of the Union-Pacific Railroad. The story is driven by man’s ambition to expand the railroad to the pacific coast. Our protagonist is Warren Neale, a civil engineer on the railroad. His girlfriend, Allie Lee, seems to be always in need of recusing. One of the most interesting characters is Neale’s best friend Larry “Red” King, a rough gun toting Texan cowboy.
The book is well written; the style and language is of 1918. The book was meticulously researched. As far as I could determine the facts in the book are accurate. Gray places his fictional characters into the history of the building of the railroad. Gray does a great job writing about the railroad construction, but his weakness is attempting to write a love story. That is not his forte and he should have skipped that part of the story.
Jim Roberts does a good job narrating the book. Roberts is a prolific audiobook narrator.
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- California Native
Great story--stiff reading
Story is a classic and the characters are well developed, but the plot is unbelievable in the number of times one woman could be captured and rescued. Reading recalls the radio shows of old in its tone, but is so halting and stiff that it distracts from the narrative.
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