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When a Man's a Man by Harold Bell Wright, Fiction, Classics, Historical, Sagas

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The story, as I have put it down here, begins at Prescott, Arizona, in one of those far-western years that saw the passing of the Indian and the coming of the automobile. . . . Although mostly forgotten or ignored after the middle of the 20th century.


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The story, as I have put it down here, begins at Prescott, Arizona, in one of those far-western years that saw the passing of the Indian and the coming of the automobile. . . . Although mostly forgotten or ignored after the middle of the 20th century.

30 review for When a Man's a Man by Harold Bell Wright, Fiction, Classics, Historical, Sagas

  1. 4 out of 5

    L.

    A stranger has come to Arizona. A stranger who will call himself Honorable Patches. He has come to this frontier land in search of manliness. Helping him to find his manhood is the godlike cowboy, Phil Acton (as portrayed by Gene Autry). Phil is wanting to win the hand of the only eligible bachelorette in the entire state: Kitty. But Kitty wants to leave Arizona behind and live in the Big City. Will Phil be able to talk Miss Kitty into giving up all her hopes and dreams and stay here in Podunk, Ariz A stranger has come to Arizona. A stranger who will call himself Honorable Patches. He has come to this frontier land in search of manliness. Helping him to find his manhood is the godlike cowboy, Phil Acton (as portrayed by Gene Autry). Phil is wanting to win the hand of the only eligible bachelorette in the entire state: Kitty. But Kitty wants to leave Arizona behind and live in the Big City. Will Phil be able to talk Miss Kitty into giving up all her hopes and dreams and stay here in Podunk, Arizona and put him first? Will Honorable Patches become the man he's always wanted to be? Read the book to find out.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lark

    It is similar to The Virginian in many ways, it doesn't have the humor that The Virginian offers but it is a REALLY Good book! Similar and yet so different. It left me pondering, and it could be an interesting one to discuss. Some parts of the book left me a little confused, but it is such a good book. I think some of the things that are written in this small book are so profound. The last paragraph of chapter 13 really stood out to me. I'm going to quote it because I don't feel like it gives an It is similar to The Virginian in many ways, it doesn't have the humor that The Virginian offers but it is a REALLY Good book! Similar and yet so different. It left me pondering, and it could be an interesting one to discuss. Some parts of the book left me a little confused, but it is such a good book. I think some of the things that are written in this small book are so profound. The last paragraph of chapter 13 really stood out to me. I'm going to quote it because I don't feel like it gives anything of the story away. "Gethsemane ain't no place, it's somethin' that happens. When ever a man goes up against himself, right there is where Gethsemane is. And right there, too is sure to be a fight. A man may not always know about it at the time; he may be too busy fightin' to understand just what it all means; but he'll know about it afterwards-- No matter which side of him wins, he'll know afterwards that it was the one big fight of his life."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bette

    This book was published in 1916, so the language is a little different than if it had been written today. This book belonged to my husband's grandmother and he received it when his Mom passed away. The copy that he received was in disrepair, so I ordered on from Amazon to read. The story is set in Arizona. I wanted more when the book was finished. I did have a little bit of a hard time with all the flowery discriptive words in parts of the book. There is a love interest, a mystery element, and s This book was published in 1916, so the language is a little different than if it had been written today. This book belonged to my husband's grandmother and he received it when his Mom passed away. The copy that he received was in disrepair, so I ordered on from Amazon to read. The story is set in Arizona. I wanted more when the book was finished. I did have a little bit of a hard time with all the flowery discriptive words in parts of the book. There is a love interest, a mystery element, and some cow wrestling all wrapped together in the story. All in all, I would recommend this book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Weber

    A quick, fiction read, this story is set in the Old West and extols the virtue of true manhood and womanhood. The context is a mysterious stranger who shows up to work at an Arizona ranch and continually leaves the more experienced hands astounded at his willingness to take on the most difficult exploits for the sake of proving his own character. The truth about his past and his real identity is gradually exposed, but not before he is forced to endure the hardest test of all – sacrificing his ow A quick, fiction read, this story is set in the Old West and extols the virtue of true manhood and womanhood. The context is a mysterious stranger who shows up to work at an Arizona ranch and continually leaves the more experienced hands astounded at his willingness to take on the most difficult exploits for the sake of proving his own character. The truth about his past and his real identity is gradually exposed, but not before he is forced to endure the hardest test of all – sacrificing his own reputation for the sake of those he aims to honor and protect.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ariel C.

    One of my favorite fictional books of all the ones I read growing up. I enjoy Harold Bell Wright's style of writing and that his books are simply written from a Christian world view. Christianity is included in the background of the story, not artificially inserted like a lot of more modern Christian novels. Like most of his books, it challenges one to pursue virtue and making the right decisions wether they are what you want or not. One of my favorite fictional books of all the ones I read growing up. I enjoy Harold Bell Wright's style of writing and that his books are simply written from a Christian world view. Christianity is included in the background of the story, not artificially inserted like a lot of more modern Christian novels. Like most of his books, it challenges one to pursue virtue and making the right decisions wether they are what you want or not.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Camille Messick

    Ranching and cowboying are good lifestyles to create and develop "real men. " I loved this book! A good old western. Ranching and cowboying are good lifestyles to create and develop "real men. " I loved this book! A good old western.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Downing

    A bit old fashioned for me, sort of like watching a film from the 1930s. But despite that, the characters ring true and the 'surprise' ending was worth waiting for. A bit old fashioned for me, sort of like watching a film from the 1930s. But despite that, the characters ring true and the 'surprise' ending was worth waiting for.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marilee

    This is one of my Dad's favorite books and I love it too. An old western story with love, adventure and hard work. This is one of my Dad's favorite books and I love it too. An old western story with love, adventure and hard work.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hope

    I am still trying to decide whether I liked this book or not. A few things bothered me. First, it was too message-driven. From the beginning the reader knows the premise: A man can only be a true man when he struggles against nature and wins. And I don’t mean human nature. In this story a wimpy, wealthy young man is rejected by the woman he loves because he has no character traits she can admire. So he goes out west to Arizona and becomes a cowboy. The great outdoors, the big-hearted ranch owner I am still trying to decide whether I liked this book or not. A few things bothered me. First, it was too message-driven. From the beginning the reader knows the premise: A man can only be a true man when he struggles against nature and wins. And I don’t mean human nature. In this story a wimpy, wealthy young man is rejected by the woman he loves because he has no character traits she can admire. So he goes out west to Arizona and becomes a cowboy. The great outdoors, the big-hearted ranch owner and harsh experiences transform him into a “real” man. I wouldn’t have minded this message if it had been more subtle, but Wright reminded the reader constantly that the cultured intellectuals of the big city were bloodless and soulless and only those in touch with their “earthy” side are in touch with their real selves. It got old after awhile. Its second flaw was its verbosity. Patches (the developing hero) was described more than two dozen times as wearing a “mirthless, self-mocking smile”. I began to grit my teeth every time that worn-out phrase came up. Lastly, although I don’t often read romances, I do like happy endings. This story leaves the hero alone and brooding at the end, and was unsatisfying. A strange coincidence is that at the same time that I was reading this, I was listening to the story, Wanted: A Chaperone, which I believe was written about the same time as Wright’s book. In this story a young woman raised in simple farm-like surroundings is transplanted to the city. A wealthy young bachelor, who has given up hope of ever meeting a “real” woman, can’t believe his good luck in discovering her and marries her. Ironically, a man can only be a man in country, but a woman can be a woman anywhere.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. That's the kind of hero I like: not afraid to try, not afraid of taking risks or looking bad. True to himself. Honourable. One of my friends didn't like that he didn't get married in the end. But I say, how could it have been otherwise? He couldn't have married Kitty, not unless Phil died, and even then, it would have seemed corny and calloused. But I like it much better that Patches in the end is single, but content to see his friends happy, and he's skilled and living the life and making a diff That's the kind of hero I like: not afraid to try, not afraid of taking risks or looking bad. True to himself. Honourable. One of my friends didn't like that he didn't get married in the end. But I say, how could it have been otherwise? He couldn't have married Kitty, not unless Phil died, and even then, it would have seemed corny and calloused. But I like it much better that Patches in the end is single, but content to see his friends happy, and he's skilled and living the life and making a difference.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Hawthorne

    This is a book I have read many times over the years. Harold Bell Wright is a fantastic writer! This book takes place right here in the Prescott, AZ, area on a ranch up in Williamson Valley. It is a story of a man who comes west to find himself, and finally learns what it is that really makes a man a man. One of my favorite books.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kendra

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. When I first finished this book, I hated it. What’s the use of everything if the guy doesn’t get the girl in the end? But it made me think, and the more I thought, the more I loved it. Especially the ending.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I found this antique-looking book at an arts market. It looked like it had a lot of character--worn yellowed pages and such, and so I tried it out. It's a bit quaint, but nonetheless enjoyable story of cowboys and character and rodeos and love. =) I found this antique-looking book at an arts market. It looked like it had a lot of character--worn yellowed pages and such, and so I tried it out. It's a bit quaint, but nonetheless enjoyable story of cowboys and character and rodeos and love. =)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Caleb Ball

    awesome western, i want to be like the this guy.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mikey Will

    Probably the last time I take a book recommendation from an 89 year old patient.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    very good

  17. 4 out of 5

    Liberty

    I love these old books! I have a bunch from my great-grandparents and they are like wise, comfortable, old friends.

  18. 5 out of 5

    John

    I love Harold Bell Wright's books, this is the second or third time I've read this one. It's interesting reading in the era of blue and red politics and the division between rural and urban since Mr. Wright's book is somewhat along the same lines. For him the divide is between the educated urban elite that look down on the rural "bumpkins." In this sense it reads quite contemporarily, although as one reads it, the book does reflect its own times. I don't imagine woman reading it now will find muc I love Harold Bell Wright's books, this is the second or third time I've read this one. It's interesting reading in the era of blue and red politics and the division between rural and urban since Mr. Wright's book is somewhat along the same lines. For him the divide is between the educated urban elite that look down on the rural "bumpkins." In this sense it reads quite contemporarily, although as one reads it, the book does reflect its own times. I don't imagine woman reading it now will find much to like in his portrayal of women. The women in this book either don't matter, or act like the people needing to be rescued in those old black and white silent movies, helpless (but still able to ride a tough range horse) until the hero comes along to save them. It's a rather more interesting book for men, since the book (not to mention the title), is basically answering the question, "what is it that makes a man a man?" According to Mr. Wright, definitely not the sissified, urban, educated elite, although if you are a "woke" elite, then that is okay, at least "woke" in the sense that you are humble enough to see that the rural bumpkin cowboys are tough as nails and can teach you a thing or two. I mean, cowboys are the same guys who looked at a 2000 pound brahma bull and said, "let's try to jump on that thing's back and ride it." Perhaps Mr. Wright is correct after all.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shonda Meyer

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ann S Kaczenski

  21. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Rightmyer

  22. 4 out of 5

    Isannah

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bradly J

  24. 5 out of 5

    C.Willis Creighton

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer E Davidson

  26. 5 out of 5

    Haylee Mayhew

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shawna

  28. 4 out of 5

    Larissa

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kristian Echter

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