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Jack Schaefer Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Stubby Pringle's Christmas (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

The Big Range (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
First Blood and Other Stories (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Kean Land (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tales from the West (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Plainsmen (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Collected Stories of Jack Schaefer (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Great Endurance Horse Race (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Heroes Without Glory (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jack Schaefer And The American West (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Conversations with a Pocket Gopher (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon

Jack Schaefer was an American writer born in 1907 best known for his work in the genre of Westerns. Readers will most likely associate Jack Schaefer with his book ‘Shane’.


Jack Schaefer was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Jack’s father was a German Attorney. The author attended Oberlin College where he studied English. Eventually graduating from Columbia University, Jack had a thirst for scholarly achievements. And it looked like he would go so far as to acquire a Masters of Arts Degree.

However, circumstances forced him to leave before completing his studies. Life after school found the author at the United Press Agency where he found work and began his career as a journalist.

Jack enjoyed a success as a journalist. He was availed the opportunity to play editorial roles at a number of notable media houses, this including the Baltimore Sun and The New Haven Journal-Courier.

Jack’s journey into the publishing field began when he was 42. The author wrote ‘Shane’, his first and most popular piece of fiction. The book hit the bookstores in 1949. The book followed the exploits of a drifter whose attempts at putting his violent past to rest are shattered when he is forced to take up his gun in defense of a poor homestead.

Jack Schaefer’s first Western was an impressive feat because, by the time the author wrote ‘Shane’, he hadn’t been to the Western United States. In fact, the author hadn’t gone further west than Cleveland. Jack loved his home and he had little reason to venture out further.

The book was an immense success. Its popularity was compounded by the film adaptation of the same name which was released in 1953 and made Jack Schaefer realize the opportunities that were waiting to be mined from the publishing arena.

The author quickly put all other pursuits to rest and decided to become a full-time writer, particularly encouraged by the critical and audience reception coming his way.

He continued churning out Westerns. By 1955, the author had made enough money to trade Connecticut for a home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Many professionals in the entertainment industry believe that Jack Schaefer’s books defined the modern cowboy, painting the picture of a noble all-natural gentleman traversing the West on horseback.

According to Jack, he built Shane, his most popular character, by looking at European Knights and the Valor of their deeds as they went about roaming the lawless lands and bringing justice whenever the need arose.

Naturally, Jack endeavored to add an American bent to Shane, making him an honorable and just warrior for the old and the young to aspire to. Jack was clever in choosing to make Shane so mysterious, refusing to explore his violent past because it made him all the more mysterious.

Critics believe that Jack based the book ‘Shane’ on the turmoil of the 19th Century in Wyoming that saw cattle barons engage in conflict with homesteaders.

Jack Schaefer died in 1991. He was 83 at the time. His passing was imputed to congestive heart failure. The author, who received a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western Literature Association, was married twice.

By the time he died, Jack had seen his novel ‘Monte Walsh’ receive a motion picture adaptation in 1970. The novel also received a Television Movie adaptation in 2003.


1889 was a bad year for the Starrett Family. Homesteaders and Cattle Barons were at each other’s throats, and it didn’t look like the situation could end without some shedding of blood.

The Starrett Family did not expect their salvation to come out of the heart of the West. But that is exactly what they got when Shane came riding into their Wyoming Valley and became the guardian they needed to survive the coming turmoil.

Jack Schaefer’s first novel tends to transcend the Western genre. Rather than telling another story about sleek gunslingers murdering each other with little regard, Jack writes a book that looks at the history of the United States through a mythical lens.

The book basically introduced the lone hero that traveled the Frontier righting wrongs. Shane is the picture of a true hero. He understands the value of civilization and the need to maintain its tenets and laws.

But he has the power of an outlaw and the willingness to destroy with unrivaled skill when the need arises. Like every lone hero on the Frontier, Shane comes riding out of the wilderness just in time to save a desperate group from the machinations of a violent gang.

And he doesn’t stop there. Cattle barons are looking to grab land from the poor and the desperate, and Shane won’t have any of it. The concept of this book might sound cliché, but that is only because it has been utilized by hundreds and thousands of books over the decades.

When it was first published, this was edgy literature. Shane was a different kind of hero; just and noble like many of his counterparts but somewhat grander.

What sets ‘Shane’ apart is that it is a Western that can be enjoyed by readers who do not like Western. The book is simply a well-written piece of literature, entertaining and engaging from start to finish.

+Monte Walsh

Chet Rollins and Monte Walsh are quite the pair. Monte loves horses and there isn’t a breed he has met that he couldn’t ride. And there is no one quite as effective at roping horses as Chet.

Chet and Monte spent ten years conquering the West as unbeatable trail hands and inseparable friends. With their cowboy ethics, the friends survived everything from pretty women to outlaws and blizzards.

As much trouble as Monte kept getting into, Chet was always there to save him. Then the horse was cast aside in favor of the automobile, and Chet and Monte parted ways. Chet saw the West change and he changed with it. Monte wasn’t so willing to give up on life as a cowboy.

‘Monte Walsh’ is marketed as a Western but it isn’t really a Western. The story Jack Schaefer tells is that of a man who happens to live in the West. Monte loves the West but he doesn’t know if there is a place for him in the land he has come to adore.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Jack Schaefer

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