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Book Title: The Black Stallion|
The author of the book: Walter Farley
Date of issue: January 28th 1979
ISBN 13: 9780590315647
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 519 KB
Read full description of the books The Black Stallion:Although I enjoyed Walter Farley's Classic when I read the novel as a teenager, I never liked it quite as much as Marguerite Henry's Misty of Chincoteague series (and other horse series that were part of my childhood). And I never did warm up to any of the sequels. Part of the reason The Black Stallion has always been a bit of a miss for me is the fact that some of the scenarios described just sound a bit too good to be true, a bit too convenient and at times, almost unbelievable (and I really despise the fact that Alec keeps feeding the Black sugar, as sugar is basically really unhealthy for horses, especially if it is something they are fed regularly and not as a very occasional treat).
This time around, and basically upon rereading The Black Stallion for the first time in decades, I realise that much of my annoyance is and likely always has been with the whole thoroughbred racing scenario. Thoroughbreds are often ridden (and raced) much too young and much too fast (and the number of broken down thoroughbreds that end up in feedlots or being used as chuckwagon fodder is horrible and staggering). My family used to raise warmbloods, Trakehners, to be exact. And we would not even have considered breaking a horse (getting a horse used to a rider, to a saddle and the like) until around age three or so. However, with thoroughbreds, even one year and two year olds are routinely ridden and even raced (and at breakneck speeds at that). Henry recounts how his best horse, Chang, collapsed and died after a race (and while you can tell that Henry is sad at what happened, he also is proud of the fact that Chang's record still stands). And I, for one, have always wondered whether Chang was being overworked, whether he should not have been raced that day, whether the owners of Chang, and even Henry, might have failed to notice a potential medical issue or even refused to notice it (I might be reading too much into this, but these thoughts did come and always emerge whenever I read this part of the book).
And even the Black's final race, where he beats Cyclone and Sun Raider, tends to leave a bit of a sour taste in my mouth, mostly due to the fact that the Black is injured during the race, and it is an injury that could have proven much worse than it turns out to be (I have actually watched races where horses physically attacked one another, jockeys used their whips on other horses, even competing riders, it is not a pretty sight, and I cannot help but remember these scenarios, these real-life occurrences, when reading about the Black and his races). And I guess it does not help any that the Black's fighting with other horses often seems to be almost feted and cheered by the author; personally, the fights, while they might be exciting to and for some, have always kind of sickened me a bit (because their description is almost like a revelry, a glorification of violence).
I still think The Black Stallion is an entertaining, informative and thrilling horse story, and the fact that Walter Farley started writing this (his first novel) when he was a mere teenager is rather awesome (The Black Stallion was published when Walter Farley was twenty-six, but he started writing the book in high school). That being said, this has never been one of my favourite horse stories; the brutality of the races, the Black's at times violent nature, the fact that the Black was often being fed sugar have always lessened my reading pleasure somewhat.
Read information about the authorWalter Farley's love for horses began when he was a small boy living in Syracuse, New York, and continued as he grew up in New York City, where his family moved. Young Walter never owned a horse. But unlike most city children, he had little trouble gaining firsthand experience with horses-his uncle was a professional horseman, and Walter spent much of his time at the stables with him.
"He wasn't the most successful trainer of race horses," Mr. Farley recalled, "and in a way I profited by it. He switched from runners to jumpers to show horses to trotters and pacers, then back to runners again. Consequently, I received a good background in different kinds of horse training and the people associated with each."
Walter Farley began to write his first book, THE BLACK STALLION, while he was a student at Brooklyn's Erasmus Hall High School and Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania, and
finished it while he was an undergraduate at Columbia University. It was published by Random House when he was 26. He used his first advance to go traveling and after that hardly stopped longer than it took him to write another book. He traveled and lived in Mexico, Hawaii, the South Seas, most of the South American countries, the Caribbean Islands, and Europe.
The appearance of THE BLACK STALLION in 1941 was hailed by enthusiastic boys and girls all over the country. An avalanche of mail urged Mr. Farley to write more about Alec Ramsey and the Black. But World War II intervened. Mr. Farley went into the US Army, where he spent the next five years. Most of the time he was assigned to Yank, the army weekly magazine, and he was also trained in the Fourth Armored Division.
After the war Walter Farley resumed the adventures of Alec and the Black with THE BLACK STALLION RETURNS. This was followed by SON OF THE BLACK STALLION. Then Mr. Farley tried his hand at a story about a new boy, Steve Duncan, and a new horse, Flame, in THE ISLAND STALLION. Mr. Farley's readers were just as delighted with this book as his others.
Mr. Farley went on to write many more stories about the two stallions, and about other horses as well. Children of all ages have found Farley titles to enjoy, since many of the later stories were written for Mr. Farley's own children when they were too young to read his Stallion novels. And older readers and adults have been gripped by his fictionalized biography of America's greatest Thoroughbred, Man O'War. Walter Farley's titles reached a grand total of 34. The 21 Black Stallion and Island Stallion stories are still in print and selling steadily. His readers respond with passion, writing him thousands of letters and emails every year. In May 1949, the first Black Stallion Club was founded, in Kentucky. Mr. Farley designed a membership button for it; the button was in constant demand among his readers for years. The Black Stallion books were so popular in the late 1940s and '50s that they York Times annual list of best-selling children's books. Three nationwide Black Stallion contests were held. Walter Farley's books have been published abroad in more than 20 countries, including Austria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, England, Israel, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaya, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, and Switzerland, as well as in the United States and Canada.
All his life Walter Farley remained a keen spectator of the racing scene, and he enjoyed nothing more than hobnobbing with horse trainers and other professional horsemen. It is thanks to these people that his books are so full of authentic details of raising and training horses. When not busy working or traveling, Mr. Farley liked to ride dressage and high school Lippizaner horses. He also sailed and sometimes raced his 35-foot auxiliary sloop "Circe."
Mr. Farley and his wife Rosemary, had four children: Pam, Alice, Steve, and Tim, whom they raised on a farm in Pennsylvania and in a beach house in Florida. In addit
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