The Red Pony

The Red Pony

Book - 1986
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Tells a story of a young boy and life on his father's California ranch, raising a sorrel colt. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.
Publisher: New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Viking, 1986
ISBN: 9780670812851
Branch Call Number: PS3537.T3234 R4 1986
Characteristics: 100 p. ; 22 cm


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Oct 22, 2019

Each of the 4 chapters in this novella are a bit disconnected from eachother, and the whole could have used another 3 chapters to develop the work. Each chapter is self-contained, one can (almost) read them in any order. There is no strong plot connection between them. Mostly, they are about coming to grips with loss and death.

Oct 25, 2018

I read this in 7th grade and hated it. Thanks to the Read Harder Challenge, I read it again years later and it was worse! All I remember from 7th grade was that the pony dies in the 2nd chapter, but IMHO it gets worse from there. I really hope they're not teaching this in schools anymore, unless you're studying California history.

matthewparlier Mar 15, 2018

One of the first books in a long time to make me cry.

Aug 12, 2016

Have read two other of Steinbeck's books and can say this is different from the others in that it's more a coming of age book and deals with the harsh realities of life. Didn't much care for the ending...felt it just ended almost like he wasn't quite sure how to end it.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 03, 2016

It's easy to misunderstand Steinbeck's The Red Pony. I can think of a couple reasons why this is so. First, the title. Steinbeck was known as having a problem with titles. Naming this one The Red Pony was probably his first idea—much like Something That Happened was his original idea for Of Mice and Men and The Salinas Valley his title for East of Eden. Fortunately, Steinbeck's friends, editors, and publishers were not afraid to offer criticism of his titles. Perhaps they should have had something to say about this one. Secondly, this is not a novel. And no, it's not a novella either. It was not originally meant as a stand alone piece. It was part of a collection and the stories within are stories meant to essentially stand individually. Trying to connect all the loose ends can be quite frustrating. Finally, this isn't a children's book. Not sure how it ever came to this classification, but it is misleading. Granted this is one of Steinbeck's most child-friendly works, but only for the parent who doesn't mind subjecting their child to the image of a vulture vomiting up the eye of a boy's beloved pony.

Misunderstandings aside, The Red Pony was a wonderful 100-page read. Steinbeck's strong language and characters are throughout. As are his stories of hope, saturated with fear and sadness, misunderstandings and missed opportunities. It's a fabulous introduction to the power of Steinbeck when viewed as a collection of four short stories. Four short stories about a boy—and not so much his pony.

Jul 14, 2015

A quick, easy read. Well written and Steinbeck easily paints a vivid picture of life on a ranch and the people who live there with few words. But little stands out and grabs the reader. Doubtful I will remember much of this book in a few months time.

Dec 16, 2014

Written back in 1933 - John Steinbeck was just 31 when "The Red Pony" was first published in America.

Though this is clearly not one of Steinbeck's great novels (they would, of course, come in due time), it is still a fairly well-written story and a quick-read at only 100 pages.

In the years that followed "The Red Pony", Steinbeck wrote such unforgettable classics as "Of Mice And Men" and "The Grapes Of Wrath" (which were both adapted into movies).

In 1962 John Steinbeck was awarded the Noble Prize for Literature. He died in 1968 at the age of sixty-six.

Jan 20, 2014

I didn't realise when I took this book out, that it wasn't a complete story, but two of a set of short stories. This confusion didn't help, and probably contributed to a slight feeling of disappointment when I finished it.

Jan 14, 2014

A linked set of stories set on a ranch. It's both an animal story and a coming of age story. Steinbeck had a tendency to sentimentalize or beat you over the head with a message, but that's largely absent here, which makes it one of his most simple and straightforward books. Made into a film with Robert Mitchum.

Dec 21, 2013

Thankfully, one doesn't have to spend money buying a poorly fragmented series of four chapters. Hopefully, this book isn't one's first venture into any attempt at enjoying fiction. For a much better experience, try reading Robert Louis Stephenson's "Travels with a Donkey" who did a much better job than Steinbeck a full generation before Steinbeck was born. Also, Steinbeck reveals where he derived his inspiration in Chapter 12 of Cannery Row --> Robert Louis Stephenson is mentioned in full... Ho hum: Steinbeck not so exciting after all.

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Aug 12, 2016

The Red Pony is a rather short classic by John Steinbeck that is about a boy, Jody and his first horse, a red pony named Gabilan. But the story is so much more than deals with loss, old men (someone who use to live where the house stands and the grandfather), his parents, how the boy grows up...a good turning of age story.

Jul 14, 2015

Jody is a young boy growing up with his parents and the hired hand on a ranch in California. While caring for horses, he learns about life and death, nature, and loss.

Dec 21, 2013

Hopefully, the DVD is better than the book. The book is not that good. Thankfully, it ended as abruptly as it began.


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Jul 11, 2015

"Every place is taken. But that's not the worst–no, not the worst. Westering has died out of the people. Westering isn't a hunger any more. It's all done."


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