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Amos: To Ride a Dead Horse

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  257 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
A sports legend resides in a nursing home who encounters and unexpected life journey.

West s AMOS is an imposing landscape of human drama and emotion hear-rendering, timeless, hilarious, stunning, joyful, - an incredible story, a book that rips readers early and late, a novel they don t want to end a page turner with heart, a joy to read, a treasure to cherish.

Ever so often
Paperback, 234 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by Lexington Marshall Publishing, LLC
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 257)
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May 05, 2011 Betty rated it it was amazing
This is the second book that I have read by the author Stanley Gordon West and he is becoming one of my favorite authors.....I plan to read his other books without a doubt.
West has a way of blending great characters with great writing to keep you thoroughly entertained.
While this book was about a depressing subject,old people in a county nursing home....being abused by nurse Daisy the administrator and her assistant is full of wonderful characters,emotion,frustration,and a surprise/
Jul 30, 2009 Andy rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This was sort of like "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" in a sadistic senior home. The uplifting moments didn't work well enough for me to keep this from being generally too dreary.
Dec 22, 2013 Jill rated it it was amazing
What a good story! As disturbing as the circumstances are, the story is well written and I really enjoyed it. No spoilers here, though. Read it.
Miranda Noble
Mar 10, 2014 Miranda Noble rated it really liked it
Amos: To Ride a Dead Horse, by Stanley Gordon West is a fiction book. To ride a dead horse has a symbolic meaning and the main character is trying to do that.
Amos is the main character who just got in an accident that got him into a corrupt retirement home. He sees the workers at the home do terrible things to the people living there. He tries to stop it a couple times unsuccessfully, and finally has to do something terrible to himself in order to help all the others in the home.
A literary devic
Jul 18, 2007 Jenny rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
This is a fabulous book--great premise, great characters, great plot, great theme, great writing. The author tends to get his ideas from real life and go from there, and he does a good job with this situation.

This story is about an elderly man who loses his wife in a car crash in rural Montana that leaves him injured and placed in a nursing home (he's estranged from his son). The situation there is dire; abuse by the head nurse running the place leaves the patients fearful and cowed. The new ar
Sep 10, 2012 MissSusie rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This is a hard book to review I think because it was hard book to read. This is my first Stanley Gordon West and I have heard great things about him as a writer and maybe this isn't where I should have started, but even though I didn’t love this book it is well written.

This was an interesting look at the abhorrent conditions that some nursing homes were in and the people working in them were sadists and thieves who prey on the weak. It was tough reading at times especially if you have a loved on
Apr 30, 2015 Vicky rated it really liked it
Stanley Gordon West died in January 2015. It is really too bad that he did not achieve the fame of Ivan Doig, because his books are beautifully written and he is a masterful storyteller. I am not sure most people think of him as a Montana author since he was born and died in Minnesota, and three of his books compose "the St. PAul trilogy", but he lived in Montana for several years. Blind Your Ponies, the book most readers are familiar with is set in Willow Creek Montana and Amos, his first publi ...more
Sep 28, 2013 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club
The subject of this book is very difficult. The maltreatment of these aged people living out their final years in a county home is not an easy read by any means. That being said there is a feeling of hopefulness as well. Amos comes to the home determined not to be involved with anyone and gradually becomes attached to his fellow residents. The love that blossoms between Amos and Fern is very sweet. As things progress Amos finds a new strength within himself and a way to bring hope to his fellow ...more
Feb 05, 2011 Linda rated it it was amazing
Read this in book club a few years ago, and wish I had read it sooner. Just before we chose it, West had appeared at our local library, and I had not taken the opportunity to say hello to him. It was a grand opening and there was so much going on. I just thought he was a nice old man who was writing in his retirement. Then I read Amos. Oh. my. Years later, this story has stayed with me, from its wonderful main character to its shocking ending. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
Aug 23, 2010 Kate rated it really liked it
I had previously read and enjoyed "When they bring the Street Cars back" so thought I would try another one of his books. Equally well written with a quirky cast of characters locked and abandoned in a nursing home in Montana. Not easy reading but moments of tenderness and joy kept it from being a complete downer and a twist or two kept me turning pages. I would call it a definite "to read" but not if you're depressed or struggling with how life could turn out!
Sep 12, 2009 Alline rated it really liked it
Amos ends up in a nursing home, much to his surprise. Which leads readers to contemplate - does anyone really intend to end up in a nursing home? What must it be like to feel dumped, alone, helpless? When confronted with an abusive administrator Amos does what he can, using the skills and mobility left among his fellow residents to take action. Incredibly touching, well written, suspenseful, never maudlin or sappy. Highly recommended.
Pat Johnson
Nov 12, 2008 Pat Johnson rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Niki
Recommended to Pat by: Lora
This a powerful story by one of my favorite authors. It deals with an elderly man put into an institution becaue there is no one left in his family to take care of him. Some of you may not have any idea what "old folks homes" were like. This is an emotional story where you find yourself rooting for the old timers. A great read.
Jun 02, 2008 Daphne rated it it was ok
I didn't like this book and I'm disappointed that I had to buy it. The only good message that I could find was the story it kept repeating about the girl looking over the edge of the building to see if her dad was going to catch her when she jumped. That was a really great story...among the rest of the stories of the book which were all very depressing and disgusting.
Oct 25, 2009 Barb rated it it was amazing
West has taken a tragic situation and breathed life into it with the character of Amos. I love Stanley Gordon West because he can use language in a powerful way and bring characters to life. I have read every novel he has written and would recommend any of his books, especially anyone with a Minnesota and/or Montana connection.
Dec 13, 2007 Janna rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2007
I enjoyed Finding Laura Buggs more than this book, but it is a good read. Even though the story is short, you are really able to get involved in the characters and care what happens to them. There are some uncomfortable scenes of abuse but they are not extensive or too graphic.
Sep 27, 2008 Amy rated it liked it
Not normally a book I would have read. Challenging to read if you have loved ones in the same situation or around the age of nursing homes. Definitely a triumph over bad situations, yet disturbing that it is based on real events!
Oct 30, 2013 Michael rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I love stories about aged people. When the main character is being abused in the nursing home, he's trying to find someone, anyone, to believe it. He begins a revolt led by the discarded people of society. Wonderful and heartbreaking.
May 30, 2011 Emily rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Our parents duty is to protect us as we grow and share their knowledge as they age. Our duty is to protect them when they're old and to use their knowledge they shared to get on that dead horse and ride, ride to the end.
Mar 04, 2012 Carol rated it it was ok
I found this a depressing book that included every negative experience possible in retirement nursing care. I'm sure all of those things have happened, but hopefully not at all at one place.
Jan 08, 2012 Natalie rated it it was amazing
Tough subject matter! I really liked the writing and the portrayal of Amos, an elderly man in a county old folks home. Difficult to read, but insightful. Be warned some rough language.
Renee Vogel Maxson
Nov 23, 2008 Renee Vogel Maxson rated it really liked it
This was a suspenseful and disturbing book by a former Minnesota author. I really liked it - took place in a nursing home. very thought provoking....
Jul 17, 2012 Liz rated it liked it
Blind Your Ponies is one of my very favorites...this one is good, but hoping for better. It is on the depressing side, but very well written and a fast read.
Feb 03, 2015 Archerjoe rated it liked it
I was put off by the anti-climatic ending after such a build-up through the middle section of the book. Hard book to put down, it carries a desire to know what happens next all the way to the end.
Susan Acton
Jan 18, 2011 Susan Acton rated it really liked it
This story about a man placed in a nursing home after the death of his wife was ery depressing at times but as with all of West's books humorous too. One of my favorite authors.
Aug 07, 2011 Cheryl rated it liked it
I was half way through this book and then remembered seeing the movie on TV several years back. Not a happily ever after story- but the bad guys get it in the end.
Jun 12, 2008 Diane rated it liked it
I would have enjoyed this book more under other circumstances. I was homebound after surgery, and the book concerned elderly characters trapped in a nursing home. Not the best timing!
Mar 27, 2012 Slyv rated it it was amazing
I think Bill would agree with my rating, too. We both didn't want it to end; enjoyed the plot and the narrative. I'll look for another by this author.
Sep 09, 2013 Carroll rated it it was amazing
Loved this novel set in a Montana nursing home. Movie starred Kurt Douglas. Book was better, of course.
Rebecca Miller
Rebecca Miller rated it it was amazing
Oct 08, 2013
John White
John White rated it liked it
Mar 07, 2014
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Stanley Gordon West was born in 1932 and attended St. Paul Central High School in Minnesota. He lived in Bozeman, Montana for several years, and now resides in Shakopee, MN. All of his novels are popular book club selections: Blind Your Ponies, two other novels set in the same time and place as Until They Bring the Streetcars Back - Finding Laura Buggs and Growing an Inch - and his most recent, Sw ...more
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