• Out of the Wilderness

  • A Western Story
  • By: Max Brand
  • Narrated by: Barry Press
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (411 ratings)

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Out of the Wilderness

By: Max Brand
Narrated by: Barry Press
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Publisher's Summary

Peter Dunstan is a big rancher who wants to become bigger, to control more land. So when he buys Dr. Henry Morgan's ranchland that has been unsuccessfully converted to farming, it is his intention to return it to open range. The only stipulation the doctor makes is that Dunstan must retain Sandy Sweyn, who has more or less been Dr. Morgan's ward. Though the man is of age, he is generally considered a half-wit, even by the doctor. Still, Sandy has a fabulous gift: He can communicate with animals. The most refractory and savage bronco will yield to his subtly persuasive methods even when expert horse breakers have failed.

After Sandy gentles the totally recalcitrant gelding that Dunstan has been trying to break to the reins, he claims that his mare, Cleo, though used only for drudgery, could easily outrun the gelding in a race. Dunstan is so contemptuous of this boast that he bets $5,000 and ownership of the gelding if he loses the race. As it turns out, Cleo readily wins.

Rather than indulging his anger, Dunstan decides to use Sandy's gifts to his advantage by getting him seemingly impossible tasks. The problem is that after each of these incredible tasks is accomplished, some personal misfortune befalls Dunstan. Finally Dunstan drives Sandy into the mountain wilderness, where his prowess eventually becomes legendary. But banishment is no solution for Dunstan when he comes to need Sandy more than ever, and his only way of getting him back is to resort to trickery.

©2014 Max Brand (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Out of the Wilderness

Average Customer Ratings
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One of Max Brand's Finest

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would. I feel like this wasn't your atypical western novels. But then again I say that about most of Max Brand's novels.
It was a fresh and thorough story that had humor without being cheesy.

What did you like best about this story?

The character development of Peter and Sandy

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to the entire thing in a day and a half, so yes.

6 people found this helpful

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Underdog story

An enjoyable tale of an underdog who is able to communicate with animals much to the disbelief of his fellow humans. The story is well narrated much to the relief of my sensitive ears. So many of the narrators are just readers and not story tellers. This narrator did a very good job.

2 people found this helpful

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Wet worth your time!

If you want to listen to a book in which a good but simple young man wins this is the book for you. I enjoyed this book.

2 people found this helpful

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If you’re a max brand fan you’ll feel right at home

Though this was in line with a lot of the same themes of max brand books I just didn’t get sucked in like I usually do. I can’t give a definitive answer as to why, but it’s a good listen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • RJ
  • 11-26-21

Simple is as simple does!

Sandy Swain, regarded as a half-wit, was a simple man, a gentle man who had a way with animals. His boss and caretaker Dr. Henry Morgan was heading back east and sold the ranch to Peter Dunston, the biggest rancher in the territory. Dr. Morgan made one caveat to the sale that Dunston retains Swain and takes care of him. Dunston was a hard man, a harsh, overbearing, and egotistical man. He didn’t want to be saddled with a half-wit like Swain but he gave Dr. Morgan his word. Swain did indeed have a way with animals as he easily managed animals that no cowboy could handle or get close to. Slowly Dunston changed his mind and realized the valuable skills Swain possessed. The tale takes an abrupt turn introducing Elana Blanca, a small white mare ridden by Catalina Murandos, the cruel, spoiled brat of a wealthy landowner. Elana escapes from her owner and Catalina promises to marry whoever returns Elana Blanca. Dunston of course puts Swain on the job. The story continues on this new plotline. It’s an interesting and somewhat heart-warming tale. The effect Sandy Swain has on people, as well as animals, shows that he is not the half-wit most people take him for. I like the story although the ending seems a bit rushed.

1 person found this helpful

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Out of the wilderness

This was a very unusual story. I listened to the audio book version. I enjoyed the way Sandy was able to communicate with the animals.

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Very fun!

I have listened to dozens of Louis L'Amore books and will admit that I am biased. This was an unexpected delight. It had lots of surprises that distinguished it from the L'More's formula but was traditional and noble enough to put it right up there with his stuff.

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Gr8 Story

The narration was fabulous and made a good story, great! His low, slow reading created an easily imaginable setting.

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Unusual western

Just a great book with an unexpected story. It breaks the traditional mold of the classic western plot. Highly recommend and excellent narrator.

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Out of the Wilderness

I was absolutely entertained by this book. If I had been reading the story it would have been hard to put down.

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  • Iain M. Campbell
  • 07-19-22

Endearing story

Beautifully read
The only jarring moment was when the sheriff telephoned - at that point I realised my head was in one century and the character's of this book set in another - if you get my drift!!