Book Notification

Thomas Savage Books In Order

Book links take you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Pass (1944)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lona Hanson (1948)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Bargain with God (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
Trust in Chariots (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Power of the Dog (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Liar (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Daddy's Girl (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Strange God (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Midnight Line (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
I Heard My Sister Speak My Name / The Sheep Queen (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Her Side of It (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
For Mary, with Love (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Corner of Rife and Pacific (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon

Thomas Savage was an American literary fiction author active between 1944 and 1988. The author made his name writing western novels that are inspired by his personal experiences living in the American West.

The author was born to Benjamin and Elizabeth Savage in 1915. His parents divorced when he was two and as such he was brought up by his adoptive father Charles Brenner.

While he was homeschooled during the early years, he was later sent to Dillon, where he would attend high school. It is from the experiences of this period that he writes many of his works.

Savage went to Beaverhead County High School and then proceeded to Montana State College. It was at the latter that he met novelist and professor of English literature Brassil Fitzgerald. The professor introduced him to his daughter who he would later marry.

Savage’s first attempt at writing fiction was when his short story “The Bronc Stomper,” was published in 1937 in “Coronet.” He then joined Elizabeth Fitzgerald at Colby and the two graduated in 1940 with bachelor’s degrees.

After Thomas Savage got married, he lived in Chicago for a while before he moved to Montana to work on his stepfather’s ranch.

However, he still never felt a sense of belonging and left the ranch moving to Massachusetts where he changed his name back to Savage. By the time he was nearing thirty, he had worked all manner of jobs including railroad brakeman, wrangler, welder, and ranch hand.

He published “The Pass,” his debut novel in 1944 but still continued teaching at Suffolk University and Waltham’s Brandeis University. His most successful work was “A Bargain with God,” which he published in 1953.

Since he was making a lot more money, he left his teaching position to write full time. His wife Elizabeth also embarked on a writing career and became very successful too. Thomas ultimately built a house on Whidbey Island, where he continued writing his novels.

While he was married to Elizabeth, he used to have several close and long-term relationships with men. In the 1950s, he began coming out of the closet as gay and in private told his daughter that he did not want to be called bisexual.

While Thomas Savage’s first attempt at writing in the short story “The Bronc Stomper” was deemed unremarkable, it paved the way for his writing career. In his first two novels, he introduced the dysfunctional ranch family which is a mainstay in most of his other novels.

Even though he was paid $75 for his short story published in the “Coronet Magazine,” it was the $750 advance payment for “The Pass” that gave him the confidence he needed as a new writer. Savage was also paid $50,000 for the movie rights to his novel “Lona Hanson,” which he published in 1948.

It was this later adoption of his novel into a movie that made him financially secure and free to write whatever he wanted. He published “The Power of the Dog” in 1967 and the work went on to be deemed his most popular among critics.

Savage made a name for himself writing economical and austere prose with classic inevitability to the characters and plots. The novel was adapted into a film in 2021 and was the winner of the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

“The Power of the Dog” by Thomas Savage is a western novel first published in 1967. It tells the story of two brothers George and Phil, who own the largest ranch in a vast valley in Montana.

George is a plodder, a stocky and silent man who learns slowly and is devoted to business. Phil is a bright man who is tall and angular, an eloquent storyteller, a voracious reder, and a brilliant chess player.

Phil is known for his vicious sadism and usually portrays a seething contempt for anyone weak that he usually dominates. George is a loving and gentle soul who treats everyone with love and kindness.

The two men live in the same room they had lived in since they were boys even though they are now grown men in their forties. When George decides to take a young widow as his wife and bring her to the ranch, Phil goes on a quest to destroy her.

But he is coming up against an unlikely protector as George can be vicious when his loved ones are under threat. It is a visceral story that grips one right from the first page to the last.

Thomas Savage’s novel “The Sheep Queen” is an epic family saga with a setting in a beautiful sprawling ranch in the American West. Following on from “The Power of the Dog,” it is a portrayal of a master author at the peak of his powers.

The emotionally charged, intimate, compelling, rich, and epic story tells the story of a family living in the American West.

It is a story that follows the Idaho-based Swengiren family that includes the matriarch Emma who has been nicknamed the Sheep Queen; a granddaughter that has been given up for adoption, an adoring grandson, and a daughter that has so far been a disappointment.

The granddaughter spends much of her life trying to reunite with her real family.

The novel is something of cross-pollination with Savage’s most critically acclaimed work “The Power of The Dog.” It is a convincing story of raw countryside descriptions, aspirations and hopes, and family history.

For anyone interested in getting insights into ranch life in the American West, there is a lot of story on that too.

“The Corner of Rife and Pacific” by Thomas Savage is a story that tells the essence of American life.

The novel like many of his other ones is set in Montana in the small town of Grayling. It is a gentler time for the citizens and great ranches who feel the promise of the future and a tragic time for Indians who could not be more threatened.

There is a character named Zack Metlen whose family has come from prosperity and owning jewels and expensive vehicles and twenty thousand acres of farmland to near indigence.

Another interesting character is a beautiful woman named Anne Chapman. She is so beautiful that almost any man that has seen her is inspired and confounded. She is also a courageous woman who defends her opinions even as she flouts convention when it could land her in a lot of trouble.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Thomas Savage

Leave a Reply