Books · Reading Diary

Re-reading Childhood Favourites: The Black Stallion (Walter Farley)


Title: The Black Stallion
Author: Walter Farley
First published: 1941

Alec Ramsay is the sole human survivor of a devastating shipwreck. Trapped on a deserted island, Alec finds his only companion is a horse, beautiful, unbroken, and savage . . . a horse whose beauty matches his wild spirit.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

I have been meaning to re-read Walter Farley’s The Black Stallion for a while. I would like to read the whole series in the months to come, but I am about to start the first book. I have several copies that I have collected over the years, as it is my favourite book from childhood. I shall try and gather my copies together and take a pic.

I have such fond memories of both the book and the Francis Ford Coppola movie. I lived for them as a child. They made me fall in love with horses. I loved these books because they were not about some girls at a riding school with their pretty ponies. No, this boy and his big black stallion actually had proper adventures! This was about the fastest horse in the world! When I learned to ride I always dreamed of a horse like The Black. I never got him, but I am now the loving owner of a Irish cob mare and a shetland pony, so my dreams of owning a horse have come true in the end.

It has been a good decade or two since I last read these books, so it is about time. I am not too apprehensive.

So, what do I expect?

I am pretty sure I will still love it, but I am also sure there will be some flaws. This books was first published in 1941, so there will probably be some outdated horsemanship and some casual racism, but I am hoping it will still hold up. I am not going to be too critical. I simply want to enjoy the ride.

Friday, 31 May

10.53 – I have read the first 25 pages. Being middle grade the story moves quite fast. Alec has shipwrecked and the wild Arabian stallion has pulled him to the shore of an uninhabited island, where they are surviving. So far, so good. I still love it. The writing is simple, but not childish, and the imagery is beautiful. If I read this for the first time now, I would still fall in love with this horse

22.56 – I had planned to get this wonderful childhood book read today, but I have hardly had any chance to read and I have only managed to get to page 46 at the moment.   Alec and The Black have been rescued and are on their way home to New York. This is such a nostalgia trip for me! I really ought to go to bed soon, so there is no way I will finish it tonight. I will try and get halfway (to around 80 pages) and read the other half tomorrow. 

Saturday, 1 June

TBS page15.08 – There is definitely still magic in these pages. The story still grabs me and is full of nostalgia for me. This book was the epitome of the horsegirl inside me. I was never the ponyclub girl, I was that girl racing my pony against any who dared and I always won because I had no fear. There was nothing I enjoyed more than galloping my pony as fast as it could go. I wanted to be a jockey, but I soon realised I would be too tall.

How times have changed. I now have my own ponies, but I am no longer that reckless rider I once was. Having a child changes so much. However, reading this book reminds of being that wild girl so much! Part of me misses that complete lack of fear.

So yes, this is a complete nostalgia trip and I enjoying every page.

I thought I would find all my copies of this book and discovered  I have five, two in Dutch and three in English.

TBS versions

18.40 – Only 20 pages left in the book. Just the big race to go. It’s a fact now, this little middle grade horsey book makes me happy!

I am not going to give it a rating, as I feel way too nostalgic about it. It is a really good read though for any youngster out there who are into horses, but not necessarily into the ponyclub type books. It’s not at all girly and I love that about this novel.

23.33 – I finally finished this wonderful story and I loved it so so much. I will be continuing the series in the near future.