A dentist? Zane Grey gave up dentistry to become the most famous western pulp fiction author? I guess he just couldn’t sink his teeth into the profession. This interesting factoid and a couple of others highlight a look at the prolific output of Mr. Grey and his influence on our ideas of what the West was like. Considering he wasn’t born until the West had already been won, I suppose he created his own vision of what he’d have liked the West to be. Which according to critics, was very bad fiction with overwrought characters and unrealistic action–which he ignored on his way to deposit the coffers from publishing the ‘trash’.
One statement in the article at ABE that I just don’t buy–Zane Grey had written so many books during his lifetime, which ended in 1939–that the publisher released one a year up until 1963, and then slowed down to stretch the books out longer–the last book was published a mere couple of years ago.
Why does this story smell like the Eliot Roosevelt one? You know, he’s the guy with the trunk full of manuscripts not yet released? I’m skeptical. Can there be some cowboy ghosts out on the prairie sending a new book every couple of years?
I’ve never read a Zane Grey, and probably never will. But it’s fascinating knowing this man literally put this genre of book on the map.
Here’s the ABE link: