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The Red Pony [Mass Market Paperback]

John Steinbeck
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 17 1993 Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century
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, the 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.

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About the Author

Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck is remembered as one of the greatest and best-loved American writers of the twentieth century. His complete works will be published in Penguin Modern Classics. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
At daybreak Billy Buck emerged from the bunkhouse and stood for a moment on the porch looking up at the sky. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Apology May 7 2004
By Koval
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have never read the book and never wrote the above review.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too Jan. 3 2008
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.

Reviewed by: Taylor Rector
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quality art. Highly recommended. Nov. 15 2006
By Jose
Format:Mass Market Paperback
the Red Pony review

A quality piece. Truly literary art at its best. Recommended for all readers willing to tackle it.

Though I wouldn't force it upon pre-highschool or highschool readers; as is apparently vogue these days. They're not going to get it.

John Steinbeck's novella, originally copyrighted 1933. This piece now known as The Red Pony has four(4) titled parts: 1) The Gift 2) The Great Mountains 3) The Promise 4) The Leader of the People.

In "The Gift", the book's only 4 characters are introduced. Son, Jody, gets a red pony; and it dies.

In "The Great Mountains", life is sandwiched between opposite mountain ranges and Jody wonders about what's past them. The old worthless gypsy steals off into them with Carl's resource, an old worthless nag awaiting a bullet and its turn to be cashed in at the butcher's glue factory.

In "The Promise", Jody gets his dead red pony replaced with a fine black colt, but at what price? Once again, surrogate father, BillyBuck, flounders in Jody's eyes.

In "The Leader of the People", me becomes We. The process "westering" is hope. Jody forgoes killing fat mice with Mutt&Smasher, the ranchyard dogs, in deference to selfless service unto his ailing Grandfather. Jody to his mom, "Can I have a lemon to make a lemonade for Grandfather? ... No ma'am. I don't want one [a lemonade also; just one; for Grandfather only; to help him feel better.]"

The book only has 4 characters throughout. Jody Tiflin (son), Carl Tiflin(father), Mrs.Tiflin(mother), BillyBuck (ranchhand). Cameo characters are the aging Gitano; a neighbor rancher Jess Taylor, and a maternal side tiflin Grandfather.

Upon beginning this read, you might be fooled thinking its a bit weak on plot.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A SOURCE OF SERIOUS CHILDHOOD TRAUMA July 15 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Seriously, I don't know how this can be considerd an appropriate book for a kid. It was assigned reading when I was 12, and I was utterly traumatized to this day (20 years later) by "The Gift." I remember graphic descriptions of pus and the sadistic delight Steinbeck took in detailed accounts of the home surgeries on the horse, a bloody tracheotomy and especially the image of the buzzard eating the pony's eye, his beak dripping with thick, dark blood. What kind of crazy person gives this to a kid? I cried for hours upon hours and I have never, never forgiven Steinbeck, nor have I been able to make myself read Steinbeck again. Too bad. I hear he's a decent wrier.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Steinbeck is a master American novelist March 4 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I believe you just don't like to read if you don't enjoy Steinbeck's novels. He is the best author I have ever read and this book does nothing to dimish that accolade. Life in those times, on a farm, kid growing up, learning life/death, how to take care of animals is all addressed in this novel as themes. I think this book should be read by all junior high school students. Students in the city will probably have a hard time relating but that is the best thing in a novel where it will take you places and times that you don't normally get an experience in.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Red Pony Feb. 16 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Red Pony is a famous book written by John Steinbeck. It contains four events in a ten-year-old boy¡s childhood. Jody is a child who lives on a farm with his parents and a horse expert, Billy Buck, who was hired by the family. One morning before Jody had to go to school; his father and Billy Buck brought him to a box stall in a barn, and was given the red pony. It would influence his life thereafter.
Steinbeck did a remarkable job catching the readers¡ attention. The Red Pony was written well with clear, lively, and expressive language. Throughout the book, detailed information and expressive descriptions of the environment helped me imagine the setting before my eyes while I was reading it. The vividly described actions of Jody towards the red pony made me feel that the red pony was the most significant thing in his life at the moment. Steinbeck did not need to use hard words to convey what he was trying to say; instead, the easier and more colloquial words portrayed his ideas perfectly.
Although the language of the story was used to make the readers thoroughly understand it, the title and the story itself didn¡t really match. The first chapter talked about the relationship between the red pony and Jody, and the third chapter was about Jody and the mare that was bearing a colt. The colt would later on become Jody¡s colt. However, the second and fourth chapter focused on a stranger that came to the family and Jody¡s grandfather¡s visit, which are unrelated to the title, The Red Pony. Therefore, the theme, the red pony, only relates to the promise of the new colt as the pony had died in the first chapter.
Although The Red Pony is short, it was written concisely and clearly. The author did an excellent job of showing a variety of feelings in each character without the need for them to express it themselves. Steinbeck¡s descriptions really draw the reader inside the story.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars sucks
SUCKS BIG BANANAS.... the book should never be read again, it has no poit to it , the book was poorley writen and everyone should burn the book if thay have a copy.
Published on Feb. 26 2004 by Koval
4.0 out of 5 stars The Red Pony
The Red Pony is a famous book written by John Steinbeck. It contains four events in a ten-year-old boy¡s childhood. Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2004 by Stephanie Chen
2.0 out of 5 stars whatever..
This book leaves much to be desired. It was very dry and I did not into get it. I really expected alot more from this short book but was very dissapointed. Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2004 by yessca
3.0 out of 5 stars This book was good I guess
" The Red Pony" is a book about, A man named Billy Buck, Judy, a ten-year-old boy and his mother and father Carl and Ruth. Read more
Published on Nov. 6 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Published on Oct. 26 2003 by Mo Ron
1.0 out of 5 stars This book is terrible don't buy it.
Please don't buy this book . It is a waste of your life. There is no point to this book. The boy gets a pony the pony dies and then he gets a new one . The End!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read more
Published on Aug. 3 2003 by MMC
4.0 out of 5 stars a short hart breaker
In this short hart breaking story a young boy gets a special gift. This little red pony is all Jody, the main character, cares about. Read more
Published on April 11 2003 by Melissa feld
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