The Red Pony (Penguin Modern Classics) –

The writing is lovely and the characterisation great but the story never quite gets there I would suggest that you got this in a collection of short stories rather than the book on it s own Beautiful story of a pony given to a young lad He learns so much with his little pony It is a lovely read. Steinbeck fans coming to The Red Pony after The Grapes of Wrath or Of Mice and Men may be a little perplexed It reads like a connected series of four short stories than a novel and only the first of these features the red pony of the title.The introduction by John Seelye in this Penguin Classic edition is, by turns, enlightening and annoying He argues against other critics readings of Steinbeck as a sentamentalist, examines whether The Red Pony is autobiographical and expresses amazement that Steinbeck managed to write it whilst caring for his elderly parents a task many female authors face without plaudits.I m a fan of short stories generally and enjoyed this book It does lack the strong plot of his famous works but I loved the scenes of a ten year old boy growing up on a farm, particularly the fragile friendship between Jody and his grandfather described in the final pages I also liked the new cover a photo of a group of farm hands A great improvement on the bright red horse s head previously Good book fast shipping Brilliant and stark and sad and vivid. Excellent product, thank you for a speedy delivery A little masterpiece New York TimesJody Tiflin is a ten year old boy, living on his father s ranch One day his father brings home a small pony He s Jody s, if the boy will learn to feed, clean, stable and care for him But Jody learns, through the colt, and through his other adventures on the ranch, that with responsibility can come sacrifice and pain Joy may swiftly turn to tragedy And he also discover that the simplicities of childhood must eventually turn into the complications of adulthood The Red Pony is Steinbeck s brilliant, and sometimes brutal, celebration of adolescence, with a stunning new cover by renowned artist Bijou Karman This story tells the life of a Northern California farm in the early 1900s, and Jody Tiflis, the farmer s son, from roughly age 10 12 It s odd that the story is called The Red Pony, because the episode of the pony only takes about half the book But getting and caring for the pony is a seminal event in Jody s life, and one that changes him from a child into a young adult His unquestioning adulation of Billy, the ranch hand, changes to a mature and forgiving love His fear of his father becomes a mature acceptance of Carl s shortcomings.While I was hoping the story would turn out differently, this is the way things happen on a farm, even today, with or without veterinarians help Events have a true to life feel, as though most of them really happened in the author s life The style is almost poetically beautiful A wonderful read I discovered the works of John Steinbeck back in 1981 ish when I was trying to expand my horizons as a literate person trying to move on from shoddy works of horror, which I still love reading to thought provoking and meaningful works of fiction Of course several books by John Steinbeck were on this list of MUST READS Reading John for the first time was an awaking to me I discovered that a good book was than just being 17 and reading a story and hoping for cuss wordsoh no,as I discovered at 25, there is so much to a good book John became one of my favorites and I ve read his works than once As I am now in a position to do some traveling, I began looking for was to travel and still enjoy a good book Of course, the audiobook is perfect for this Which brings me, finally, to The Red Ponys narrator, Frank Muller I first heard Frank Muller as an audiobook narrator when I bought Stephen Kings Dark Tower II The Drawing of the Three on Cassette for a trip from TX to MI It was a case of, Ill give this a try and see if if sucks or not Let me tell you, it did not suck Frank was the voice of Stephen King He was also the voice for Charles Dickens and Herman Melville and Jack London and Pat Conroy He knew how to tell a story and how to use his voice to take the listener by the hand and show what was happening There are many good audiobook narrators, but none, in my opinion has ever reached the level of greatness that Frank did That Frank is no longer with us makes me miss him There will be no books read the way Frank read them And that is the listeners loss I am on my own quest now And that is to find and purchase as many audiobooks narrated by Frank Muller as I can.This review, I suppose, is about two things The wonderful story of Jody and his initiation into the world of death, birth, and disappointment as told by John Steinbeck, and Frank Mullers interpretation of Johns short novel If you want to read a good story, you won t be disappointed reading John Steinbecks moving tale If you want to hear the story, find this edition read by Frank Muller Together, John and Frank will touch your heart and make you feel joy and loss and love and hurt. I signed on as a volunteer coach at the National Steinbeck Center s Young Authors Day and learned that the 6 8 graders would be writing about the first chapter of The Red Pony Yikes, it was time to re read the short book that I hadn t opened in many years.Here in the Land of Steinbeck Monterey, CA , the man is revered and rightfully so The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden are beautiful novels that still move readers, decades after their publication Cannery Row and Tortilla Flat are whimsical, yet poignant tales from a bygone era of my neighborhood.As I re read The Red Pony and thought about today s middle schoolers, I found the story of Jody, the somewhat mischievous 10 year old farm boy with stern parents, less than riveting Granted, the themes of death and dying, maturing as a result of difficult experiences, of wanting to please parents and earn their love, are timeless and universal Steinbeck wrote about them in a simple, yet profound way that continues to make this little book a classic at the middle school level Nonetheless, I couldn t get past visions of the 31 year old Steinbeck, not yet a fully formed novelist, scribbling away and honing his skills for the great works to come.Do I recommend it for middle schoolers Definitely Just don t expect Jody Tiflin to grab their interest the way Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen do.