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The Red Pony

3.42  ·  Rating Details ·  40,021 Ratings  ·  1,481 Reviews
Raised on a ranch in northern California, Jody is well-schooled in the hard work and demands of a rancher's life. He is used to the way of horses, too; but nothing has prepared him for the special connection he will forge with Gabilan, a hot-tempered pony his father gives him. With Billy Buck, the hired hand, Jody tends and trains his horse, restlessly anticipating the mom ...more
Paperback, 120 pages
Published 1963 by Bantam Doubleday Dell (NY) (first published 1933)
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Jason Koivu
Oct 03, 2013 Jason Koivu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A story about a pretty, pretty precious pony? Hurray! This is going to be giggly-joyous, laughy-good pony times!...What? It's written by John Steinbeck? Fuck. Sorry pony, you or everyone you love is going to die.

Yes, these are tales of living on a ranch in the early days (well, early-ish) of California, but underneath they are more of the same Steinbeck: the vignettes of the hardscrabble life of immigrant farmers.

Specifically, it's second and third generation immigrants, such as seen in Tortil
...more
Henry Avila
Sometime in the early 1930's, on an isolated small ranch, in northern California's long, rugged, Salinas Valley, a boy of ten, mischievous Jody Tiflin, lives with his parents, stern father Carl, and the equally tough, but loving mother Ruth, they are poor like everyone else, in the area, yet manage to eke out a living, their only hired hand the very capable Billy Buck, an expert in taking care of horses...Two dogs, four cats, six horses and the same amount of cows, many pigs, and more chickens, ...more
Michael Finocchiaro
My 7yo daughter hung in there for Ch 1, but with the unexpected sad ending, she didn't wish to continue. I went on to finish the last 3 chapters which were nearly as depressing as the first one. It is beautifully written as Steinbeck usually is, but also incredibly devoid of hope. The message seems to be, outside of your family, don't get attached to anything because it will betray you or die. I felt the father character Carl Tiflin was particularly heartless and Billy Buck, the hired hand, a bi ...more
Michael
Next time you decide to make a printing of The Red Pony, feel free to borrow one of these free blurbs.

"Do you like people hanging around on a farm? Do you like horses and animals and stuff? Then you'll think this book is okay! It has horses, and grass, and farms and stuff, and is an easy read."

Or:

"John Steinbeck is a writer of amazing stature in American literature. He stands head and shoulders above just about anyone, wiping his feet on Faulkner, flicking Mark Twain out of his way like a littl
...more
Stephanie
The Red Pony by John Steinbeck is a great coming of age story set in the Depression era on a California ranch. The book consists of four separate short stories, focusing on the life of Jody, a ten year old boy. His mother, father, and Billy Buck (the experienced ranch hand) are also key characters. Life on the farm is tough and the family and how they live is quite structured and disciplined. Discipline over emotion.

 photo DOC152_zps2sgi779d.jpg

In these four stories, Jody learns hope, joy, disappointment, and sadness th
...more
Duane
I don't think I could read a Steinbeck novel by the fire with a glass of wine. No, more like on the back porch wearing old jeans and a work shirt, because you feel like you may get your jeans dirty and your boots dusty, and maybe even a little blood on your shirt. That's the power of his writing, his characters and settings; he will draw you in, even if you don't want to be. Not much fun inside a Steinbeck novel, at least the ones I've read. That kind of power is on display here in The Red Pony. ...more
Jenny
Sep 22, 2016 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Να το αλογάκι σου.Στο υποσχέθηκα.Να'το, λοιπόν.Έπρεπε να το κάνω,έπρεπε."

Μέχρι τώρα δεν έχω καταφέρω να γυρίσω την τελευταία σελίδα βιβλίου του Steinbeck με στεγνά μάτια.

Ήθελα να διαβάσω το "Κόκκινο Αλογάκι" από τότε που διάβασα για πρώτη φορά τη Ματίλντα ,όπου υπάρχει μια σκηνή με τον πατέρα της να σκίζει το βιβλίο και να το αποκαλεί "σκουπίδι".Διαβάζοντάς το λοιπόν,τόσα χρόνια μετά,αισθάνομαι ότι ξεπληρώνω κάποιο παιδικό μου χρέος(όσο κουτό κι αν ακούγεται)!

4 ιστορίες με πρωταγωνιστή το
...more
k.wing
Aug 09, 2007 k.wing rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Steinbeck fans
WARNING! HORSE-LOVERS: DON'T READ THIS BECAUSE YOU THINK IT WILL BE ABOUT HORSES AND DON'T REVIEW IT SAYING THAT THAT'S WHAT YOU EXPECTED BECAUSE I JUST WARNED YOU. I am sorry if you were forced to read this book for school - it would really take the beauty out of it if someone forced you to read The Red Pony. I feel that way about all Steinbeck books actually.

It is a little difficult to get into in the beginning, but overall, this book shows the raw and unpredicible way people deal with their e
...more
Jessika
Sep 25, 2012 Jessika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was completely blown away by this short novel. Completely. Blown. Away. I'm not going into a lengthy review here, but let me talk about some points.

Okay, so this novel isn't really about horses. I'm thinking there are a lot of people out there missing the point. The Red Pony isn't what I would call one cohesive novel, but rather a collection of several glimpses into the farm/ranch life of Jody. The whole point of the pony is that Jody is learning to grow up, and he's learning that life isn't
...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I hated this book when I was required to read it, and as it was I remember reading it alone in the library in 7th grade and writing a paper because the class was reading a book I had already read. Suffice to say I'm enjoying Steinbeck more now.
Lisa Bodin
Sep 11, 2007 Lisa Bodin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booksread
I love this book. It's short, succinct, and encapsulates the dramatic, but realistic suffering side of life in three ways: the red pony, the black colt, and Jody's relationship with adults.

The Red Pony's also peppered with moments of human courage, brilliance and love. Jody's devotion to the red pony is sweet, and his idolization of Billy Buck is, I think, a realistic representation of how boys look up to men.
Alayna
Dec 09, 2008 Alayna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I struggled to finish this book. And it has about 100 tiny little pages. I can read that in an hour or so. And yet, I struggled for at least 5 days to finish this book. In fact, the ONLY reason I forced myself to finish was so I could read the online cliff notes and try and figure out what I missed. What meaning or significance could make it worth my reading. This was not an enjoyable reading experience, to say the least - except for that baffling "you must be kidding" sentiment at the end of ea ...more
Apokripos
Steinbeck’s Got a Hold in Me
(A Book Review of John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony)


It all started on a lazy Sunday afternoon, a day I presume to be just like any other. However, what made it a little bit interesting and special, at best unforgettable, can be attributed to one simple man who goes by the name of John Steinbeck, whose unassuming, not over a hundred pages, little book tilted The Red Pony is the ticket all I ever need to beckon me back to that country called the classics, to which I, as of
...more
Elina
Apr 27, 2017 Elina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Καλό βρε παιδί μου.....αλλά δεν με άγγιξε....
Andy
Jan 21, 2008 Andy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My reintroduction to Steinbeck began with The Red Pony.

Sure I had read Of Mice and Men and Grapes Of Wrath in High School, but that was a number of years ago, and I can hardly remember either.

I found The Red Pony (a mass market paperback edition) all worn and hidden on one of the bookshelves in the classroom I work in. Apparently before it was my room, the teacher used to use it as a classroom text for 4th graders. The cover was striking and I'd been meaning to start reading some Steinbeck ever
...more
brian
halfway into my morning hike there's a small trailer off the side of the trail and the guy who lives there leaves out a bucket of fresh water for passing dogs. it's my favorite part of the walk because jack doesn't lap at the water but dunks his entire snout in there and kinda gulps it down. he then pulls his face from the bucket and for the next thirty yards or so leaves two thin trails of water dripping down from either jowl.

from the red pony:

"At last he walked snorting to the water-trough an
...more
Carol
Well.....this Steinbeck classic was not at all what I was expecting. It depicts the dark side of ranch life and the dreadful way animals are treated, sometimes out of necessity (but still hard to stomach) and other times out of down right meanness and cruelty.

I did not care for father Carl or his young son Jody (at times) and felt sorry for horses, dogs, cats, birds, the old lonely wandering man Gitano coming home to die, and the treatment of Jody's aging grandfather.

Of course, the purpose behin

...more
Reza Mardani
توصیفات اشتاین بک تو داستانهاش هرچند قشنگ ولی بعضی وقت ها خیلی خسته کننده است. کتاب اسب سرخ یه محموعه داستانه که به نظرم نصفه نیمه اومد، یعنی محور داستان حول و حوش جودی پسر بچه خانواده ، شکل زندگیش، خانواده اش و از همه مهم تر اسبیه که قراره داشته باشه ولی عملا این داستان نصفه میمونه ، بیشتر شبیه یه اتود بود که نصفه کاره مونده و رمان نشده
Rowena
I've learned not to feel guilty about not liking books by great authors. With that being said, I give this book a 2-star rating with no feelings of remorse. It's not a terrible book, I just never really connected with the story. In all honesty I was quite underwhelmed, considering how much I enjoyed Of Mice and Men. I will definitely be reading more of Steinbeck, I'm sure I'll enjoy his others a lot more than this one.
Trevor Frazier
May 21, 2017 Trevor Frazier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was feeling really conflicted about this novel until the last quarter, when I started to understood the scope of what Steinbeck was trying to say.

On the surface, the story is simply a look into the life of a young boy growing up on a farm. Underneath however is the angst of an entire generation; a generation that felt they could never live up to the legendary exploits of their elders - who ultimately fulfilled manifest destiny.

And then comes another disquiet - what else was left for them to ex
...more
Cristina
Apr 01, 2017 Cristina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: TODOS
Shelves: estadounidense
4 relatos.

La mirada de un niño de 10 años transitando hacia el mundo adulto. El universo rural de los años 30 en la zona de Salinas y Monterrey (California). La especial relación afectuosa con los caballos. La naturaleza siempre presente y cambiante por el paso cíclico del tiempo. El contacto consciente con la vejez y la muerte.


Una reseña que merece la pena: http://www.literaturas.com/v010/sec09...
Nikki
Mar 21, 2013 Nikki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Steinbeck writes beautifully. It doesn't matter what he's writing about, I think I'd read it anyway for the measured, deliberate, crystal-clear prose.

The Red Pony is not really about the pony. I'm sure as a lit student I could find a lot to say about it, but I'm happier sitting back and letting it happen. It's about growing up and coming to understand life, in stages, and as such it has no end: Jody's a little older and wiser at the end than the beginning, but he has a long way to go still too.
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
Steinbeck is wonderful in these 4 loose vignettes that make THE RED PONY a small, but powerful novel. He brings his succinct crisp prose to create life lessons Jody Tiflin must learn without supercilious detail. Readers know Jody is a shy, quiet boy whose sensitivity brings tears to our eyes. He just wants his father’s love; barring that, someone or something that will give him affection. He learns that no man is infallible in life, in remembrance, in death, and there is quiet dignity in everyth ...more
Melissa
Aug 25, 2008 Melissa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Steinbeck or short stories about ranch life.
Shelves: 2008
I sometimes don’t enjoy Steinbeck because his storylines can make me mad at the world. He’s not really known for happy stories, is he? Having known Steinbeck usually goes from bad situation to worse, I was not expecting a heartwarming horse story a la Misty of Chincoteague when I picked up The Red Pony. I daresay I was right. Staying true to form, it is free and clear of clichés, sentiment, and last minute miracles. If you hated the movie Spirit, you'll be pleased.

The Red Pony is a collection of
...more
Kate
Oct 07, 2007 Kate rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
If I could give this less stars I would. It's not about a Red Pony...it doesn't even SYMBOLIZE a red pony, nor does the actual red pony, who turns out to be insignificant, symbolize anything. It's just loooong Seven Years in Tibet-length descriptions of the clouds and landscape. I swear he spent five frikkin' pages on the rancher's moustache. Just awful.
Emily
Apr 20, 2008 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most vivid books my mom ever read-aloud to me when I was a girl. I still distinctly remember the images that were painted in my mind with this vivid portrait of the rough life of a ranching family.

Jody's need to love and be loved by his brusque father, and the sudden understanding of death and its contrast to life are so stark; it made my sisters and me weep hot tears as my mom read. I still remember the way my heart heaved and ached as I heard the climax of this story.
Kira
Jan 09, 2009 Kira rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
aPriL does feral sometimes
I read this short novel of linked events when I was in the fifth grade. At the time, I didn't like it much. I can see why I disliked it more clearly in reading it now as an adult, even though I think the stories are a good introduction to literary writing for older elementary children. However, I can't imagine a child understanding the book's depths unless given age-appropriate guidance from an adult. Even with that guidance, the book could seem dated or too distant from their present lives with ...more
Sara
Nov 03, 2015 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who captures the disappoint and tragedy of everyday life like Steinbeck? The Red Pony takes place on a farm (and for those of you who have never spent time on a real farm, I can tell you that life is hard and nature is cruel). The boy, Jody, is coming of age and being faced with what it is to be human, to cope with loss, to watch the death of dreams, and to do this in the shadow of a father who tolerates no sentimentality. The last section in this series of tales in Jody's life is the most poign ...more
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John Steinbeck III was an American writer. He wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath, published in 1939 and the novella Of Mice and Men, published in 1937. In all, he wrote twenty-five books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books and several collections of short stories.

In 1962 Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Steinbeck grew up in the Salinas Valley
...more
More about John Steinbeck...

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“No matter how good a man is, there's always some horse can pitch him.” 8 likes
“It became his habit to creep out of bed even before his mother was awake, to slip into his clothes and to go quietly down to the barn to see Gabilan. In the grey quiet mornings when the land and the brush and the houses and the trees were silver-grey and black like a photograph negative, he stole toward the barn, past the sleeping stones and the sleeping cypress tree. The turkeys, roosting in the tree out of coyotes' reach, clicked drowsily. The fields glowed with a grey frost-like light and in the dew the tracks of rabbits and of field mice stood out sharply. The good dogs came stiffly out of their little houses, hackles up and deep growls in their throats. Then they caught Jody's scent, and their stiff tails rose up and waved a greeting Doubletree Mutt with the big thick tail, and Smasher, the incipient shepherd-then went lazily back to their warm beds. It was a strange time and a mysterious journey, to Jody -an extension of a dream. When he first had the pony he liked to torture himself during the trip by thinking Gabilan would not be in his stall, and worse, would never have been there. And he had other delicious little self-induced pains. ” 5 likes
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