Jody and his family live on a farm where Jody helps take care of the chickens, cows and other things. His father decides that he is old enough to take care of his own horse, and gets him a red pony named Gabilan. After months of taking care of the pony and becoming attached to it, Gabilan becomes ill, and the emotional impact of that effects everything about Jody's view of life and how he deals with loss.
I decided to read this because this book, like many of Steinbeck's other books, was mention in the young adult book Steinbeck's Ghost by Lewis Buzbee. I had never read anything by him before, but knew the basics about some of his big ones (East of Eden, Of Mice and Men, and Grapes of Wrath).
The Red Pony was very different from any book I have read. A little less than half way through, the pony is no longer in the story and basically we see how Jody deals with his emotions after losing the pony. Then some random life events come into the story, and I am not sure what their point was, except maybe that life goes on.
I did enjoy this book because it was different and I didn't know what to expect. I would be interested in reading more Steinbeck because I still don't understand his greatness or what makes his books classics.
The Red Pony is the story of a boy who dreamed great dreams, of the sorrel colt that was the focus of those dreams, of the land that nourished them, of the mountains that hid their fulfillment. Steinbeck's early masterpiece reveals his profound love of many things -children and their wondrous imaginings, mountains, animals, people - and the land. The Red Pony is one of Steinbeck's most beloved books. It will be treasured for generation. (Taken from back cover of book)
A classic, that I was surprised to find I quite enjoyed. Typical Steibeck-esque ending however.
From the Publisher
Raised on a ranch in northern California, Jody is well-schooled in the hard work and demands of a rancher's life. He is used to the way of horses, too; but nothing has prepared him for the special connection he will forge with Gabilan, a hot-tempered pony his father gives him. With Billy Buck, the hired hand, Jody tends and trains his horse, restlessly anticipating the moment he will sit high upon Gabilan's saddle. But when Gabilan falls ill, Jody discovers there are still lessons he must learn about the ways of nature and, particularly, the ways of man.
I recently re read this book and loved it even more than the first time. Age adds insight to one's reading! A surprise ending causes one to start the book over.
Good book. Steinbeck is awesome. f
Reviewed by Taylor Rector for TeensReadToo.com
Jody is a young boy whose father buys him a horse. He instantly falls in love with the horse and vows to take good care of it. He names the horse Galiban and the ranch hand, Billy Buck, helps Jody train him.
Then one night there is a cold rain storm and Billy forgets to go out and put a blanket over his horse. When Billy and Jody go to see him the next morning he has a bad cold. And over the next few days he only gets sicker and sicker. On about the fourth day, Jody wakes in the middle of the night and knows something is horribly wrong.
He runs out to the barn and Galiban is gone.
This is a good story and has a lot of meaning. Jody goes through a right of passage in this book and the reader can slowly watch him progress from a boy to a man. Easy, insightful read.
Great story of the beautiful spirited red pony
This story is wonderful. I highly recommend it!