The Pass

Format: Papberback
ISBN: 1606390015
Author: Thomas Savage
Pages: 336

The Pass

by Thomas Savage

“The Pass” was Thomas Savage’s first novel, written by the iconic Western novelist in the 1930s and originally published by Doubleday in 1944. The book, set near Savage’s hometown of Dillon, Montana, takes place around 1910 when the area is newly settled.

The railroad is on its way, bringing all that civilization has to offer to a remote valley, changing it forever. New rancher Jess Bentley struggles against the elements, against fate, and against all odds to run a successful outfit that will be suitable for his beloved new bride, Beth, and the baby the doctor warned them they would never see.

Read about the life and times of author Thomas Savage in the Winter 2008 edition of “Montana: The Magazine of Western History”.

$19.95

Press Release

Drumlummon Institute and Riverbend Publishing have reissued The Pass, the first novel by renowned Montana author Thomas Savage. The new edition of The Pass features an introduction by O. Alan Weltzien, whose biographical essay on Savage appeared in the Winter 2008 edition of Montana The Magazine of Western History.

Best known for his acclaimed novels The Power of the Dog and The Sheep Queen, Savage (1915-2003) was an extraordinary chronicler of the American West. The Pass, published by Doubleday in 1944, tells the compelling, often tragic story of the founding of a family ranch in the high country along the Montana-Idaho border, where Savage spent his youth. The book, set near Savage’s hometown of Dillon, Montana, takes place around 1910.

In the novel, the railroad is on its way, bringing all that civilization has to offer to a remote valley, changing it forever. New rancher Jess Bentley struggles against the elements, against fate, and against all odds to run a successful outfit that will be suitable for his beloved new bride, Beth.

A reviewer for Library Journal wrote, “I consider Thomas Savage's [The Pass] a minor classic.” Annie Proulx, in her afterword to The Power of the Dog, said of The Pass, “The novel is studded with brilliant portraits that already display Savage's masterly ability to show the inner lives of characters, especially women. . . . The language and thinking of the ranch people in The Pass [are] strikingly vivid. . . . A sense of great longing and sympathy for the western landscape colors this novel.


The Pass, Thomas Savage’s first novel, reissued

The western novels of Thomas Savage have been highly praised but little noticed by modern readers. Fortunately, that oversight may be ending with the republication of “The Pass,” Savage’s first novel.

Best known for “The Power of the Dog” and “The Sheep Queen,” Savage (1915-2003) was an extraordinary chronicler of the American West. “The Pass” tells the compelling, heart-rending story of a pioneering ranch family in the high country along the Idaho-Montana border. New rancher Jess Bentley struggles against the elements, against fate, and against all odds to run a successful outfit that will be suitable for his beloved new bride, Beth. All the while the railroad is on its way, bringing all that civilization has to offer to their remote valley, changing it forever.

When “The Pass” was first published in 1944, it garnered praise from many reviewers. The “Library Journal” called the book “a minor classic.” More recently, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Proulx said the novel “is studded with brilliant portraits that already display Savage’s masterly ability to show the inner lives of characters, especially women. The language and thinking of the ranch people in “The Pass” (are) strikingly vivid.”

The new edition features an excellent introduction by O. Alan Weltzien, editor of “The Norman Maclean Reader” and an English professor at the University of Montana-Western in Dillon, where Savage grew up. Weltzien said Savage was “ahead of his time” but now his fiction “is finding a wider, more appreciative audience.”



Reviews

New West Magazine The Pass review

Missoula.com Magazine - page 66

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