Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Red Pony; John Steinbeck

Author:  John Steinbeck
Publication Year: 2011 (audio) (1933-novel)
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Edition: audiobook
Reader: Frank Muller (okay)   
Source: Library
Date Completed: September/2012
Rating: 4/5 
Recommend: yes

Most of you have probably read this classic in school at some point, but for me it's been decades, so i thought it was time for a refresher. Honestly, all I remembered was - a little boy, a "red pony" and a sad story.

Jody Tiflin is only 10 year's old when his father surprises him with a pony which he names Giliban.  Jody develops a bond and a sense of responsibility with Giliban and then something happens to the pony, which leaves Jody with feelings of sadness, anger and even rage.  Jody's trust in Billy Buck, the horse trainer is tested as Billy lead the boy to believe the horse would be okay.  Jody takes his anger out by injuring small animals -- this was very hard to read.

Believing another colt for Jody might be the answer that will help heal, Jody gets to witness the birthing process, but yet another tragedy occurs, and although the colt survives, Jody seems to have no interest in it.

It's a story that reflects life's early heartaches that are experienced by many young, vulnerable children. 
John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony is an incredibly sad coming of age story.  It's the kind of story that will leave readers who are looking for a happy ending disappointed, but in classic Steinbeck style it's though provoking and easy to understand why it is a staple in many school curriculums.  The audio book reader was Frank Muller, his affect was a bit dry but yet somehow still appropriate for this story.


  1. I really much prefer a happy ending.

  2. I haven't read this, at least I don't think so. I'm not sure I've read any Steinbeck, for some reason I know we didn't in high school. I may have to check this one out.

  3. I keep hearing how good this is, but also how sad. The problem of "sad story involving an animal" means that I probably will not ever read this one, as much as I appreciate the artistry of Steinbeck!

  4. I don't think I ever read this one but I do remember reading The Grapes of Wrath and what an impact it had on me.

  5. I somewhat sadly came to the conclusion that Steinbeck was the writer for my early years but not now. I was so sure I'd read him again but after years of looking at the books, I donated them to the library. It's a relief in a way. I just don't like his subject matter anymore.

  6. I actually haven't read this Steinbeck one, but I know it is a classic. Perhaps, when I am up for a sad read.

  7. I've never read this one - in fact, until the past few years, I'd never read any Steinbeck. Liked Of Mice and Men a lot, did not like The Pearl at all so I'm on the fence about Steinbeck. This one might swing me to read more.

  8. Loved this story and it is screaming to me for a re-read!

  9. Good for you for choosing books that force you to feel the good and the bad. I love a happy ending, but I need to be willing to take some risks.

  10. I don't remember having to read this one. Thank goodness.


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