The U[tterly] P[reposterous] Trail

The U.P. Trail is a romantic tale of the building of America’s first transcontinental railroad, the Union Pacific. Zane Grey weaves all the traditional western cliches into his boy-meets-girl story.

Beautiful Allie Lee, headed east to a father she never knew, is the sole survivor of an Indian massacre . Handsome UP surveyor Warren Neale finds her. When she recovers from the trauma, they fall in love.

Henchmen of her  late mother’s gambler boyfriend, Durade, kidnap Allie.

Sioux capure her from the henchmen.

Allie escapes.

Meanwhile, Neale has lost his job after losing his temper with profiteer Allison Lee. Neale and his cowboy pard, Red, are degenerating in Benton, a temporary railroad town.

Allie and Neale are reunited.

Neale get his job back.

Durade gets Allie again.

She escapes.

They are reunited.

Allison Lee turns out to be  Allie’s father. He takes her east, decides he can’t stand her.

She escapes.

Allie and Neale are reunited.

I’ve may have left out a few “she escapes, they are reunited” bits, but you get the idea.

Grey has a keen eye for detail and I-was-there understanding of what happened, but the hackneyed plot and cardboard characters — the bad guys actually wear black hats — make this novel enjoyable only by the most enthusiastic Zane Grey fan.

The U.P. Trail
by Zane Grey
Grosset & Dunlap, 1918
409 pages
1918 bestseller #1
Project Gutenberg ebook #4684
My grade: C-
© 2008 Linda Gorton Aragoni


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