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Preview — Coal Black Horse by Robert Olmstead
Coal Black Horse
At fourteen, wearing the coat his mother sewed to ensure his safety—blue on one side, gray on the other— Robey thinks he's off on a great adventure. But not far from ...more
Robey Childs’s mother had a dream that Stonewall Jackson had died. In her mind, if Jackson was dead, then the war was ove ...more
“Yes sir,” he said. “I know. Rest now.”
“This was not the raving mad. This was not for love or greed or ignorance. These are the well bred and the highly educated. This is humanity. This is mankind, son.”
Coal Black Horse was a horrific and starkly beautiful civil war novel . Sparse in prose yet deeply expressive, it captures the reality and hopelessness of war and the loss of innocence with a style and imagery reminiscent of ...more
Coal Black Horse is the story of a fourteen year old boy who is sent by his mother to bring home his soldier/father from the battle at Gettysburg. It is the experience of a young boy in a war. I have heard stories about children ...more
This book was a win ...more
In the opening pages, 14-year-old Robey Childs is called into the house by his clairvoyant mother. It's May 1863, and she perceives that the Civil War has reached a ...more
It's easy to look back on a battle and say, That was the Battle of Gettysburg. It was fought in early July 1863 with 50,000 casualties. You had Meade on one side and Lee on the other. You can go back and draw up the battle plans in your head and watch how it was supposed to go and how it really went.
It's another thing to be there. Particularly from the ...more
Robert Olmstead has previously published three novels, a short story collection (River Dogs), and a memoir. Brief and intense, Coal Black Horse has generated high praise and seems destined to become the author's breakout book. Critics inevitably compare the novel to Charles Frazier's masterpiece, Cold Mountain, and other classics of Civil War and postapocalyptic fiction: Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage, E. L. Doctorow's The March, Cormac McCarthy's The Road, and Michael Shaara's Killer...more
The above quote tells quite a bit about Olmstead's Coal Black Horse . It is garnish and flair, it is pretty words and gruesome descriptions of the horrors of war, but it is a story without a point, except to say that life is without value and, eventually, someone will end yours and it will all be over.
Olmstead borrows heavily from the styles of Howard Bahr and Stephen Crane to create this book. From The Red Badge of Cour ...more
The Civil War is the backdrop for this outstanding novel. It is about a boy who is sent on a life changing journey to seek out his father, after his mother has had a premonition about her husband. During his journey, Robey Child, finds every form of the seven deadly sins, but only to survive them and to help save a sexually a ...more
There are a number of well-written scenes and striking images, although there is also a lot of overwriting as wel ...more
I studied under this author in Lisbon, Portugal for the DISQUIET Int'l program (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR WRITERS!). We looked at a story with a similar event to one that happens in the story, and I understand Olmstead's response to the piece we'd looked at much better after re ...more
COLD MOUNTAIN meet ...more
Olmstead was born in 1954 in Westmoreland, New Hampshire. He grew up on a farm. After high school, he enrolled at Davidson College with a football scholarship, but left school after three semesters in which he compiled a poor academic record. He later attended Syracuse University, where he studied with Raymon ...more