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The Red Pony Mass Market Paperback – Sep 17 1993


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (Sept. 17 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140177361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140177367
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.4 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 45 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #56,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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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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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. Breacain on 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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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Koval on May 7 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have never read the book and never wrote the above review.
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Format: Paperback
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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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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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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By Stephanie Chen on 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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