Our bookclub: Shane, by Jack Shaefer

We have written before about our Members' bookclub - open to Members & spouses (& one or two guests). We thought we'd share some of our bookclub notes here from time to time...just for fun!

Our bookclub was started by Rotarian Brian Dobinson in 2011 and he has run it since. It's still going strong despite lockdown - but all on Zoom, of course!

This month's book: "Shane", by Jack Shaefer.

The setting: It’s the American west in the 1880s. The young son of a pair of homesteaders, the narrator throughout, watches a lone horseman approach his home - then swing in and ask for some water. His leathers are good but well worn and his clothes neatly patched. He says his name is Shane...

What's it about: Published in 1949, "Shane" is a western-style novel centring around Shane, a somewhat mysterious man who comes into - and then leaves - the life of a homesteader family who are at odds with a wealthy open range rancher.

Thoughts from our bookclubbers

  • "more interesting than ...expected"
  • "dated, more of a comic book cowboy story"
  • "a bit like the Clint Eastwood 'High Plains Drifter'"
  • "just perfect"
  • "spare, but satisfying, language [similar] to 'Stonor' by John Williams"
  • "sinister moments"
  • "descriptions excellent if simple"

Our bookclubbers' score: 8-10/10

Also discussed: “Sea of Poppies” by Amitav Ghosh.

Our bookclubbers' other reads:

  • “Thursday Murder Club” - Richard Osman
  • “The Improbability of Love” - Hannah Rothschild
  • “The Giver of Stars” - Jojo Moyes
  • “The Dutch House”- Anne Patchett
  • “The Guilty” - David Baldacci
  • “Post Morton” - Kate London
  • “Dumb Witness” - Agatha Christie
  • “La Belle Sauvage” - Philip Pullman
  • “Gluten Free Murder” - P D Workman
  • “Back When We Were Grown Ups - Ann Tyler
  • “Nothing Like the Sun” - Anthony Burgess
  • “The Anarchy” - William Dalrymple 
  • “Ulysses” - James Joyce
  • “Attlee and Churchill” - Leo McKinstry

Please note: all comments and opinions are from our bookclub members and are not the views of the Rotary Club of Canterbury, nor are any of the books mentioned endorsed by the Club. Imagery is used under the terms of fair use for review. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt USA; Updated edition (18 Mar. 2014).

Saturday 13th February 2021

Published by: The Rotary Club of Canterbury

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