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The Rocking Horse Winner (Travelman Classics)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  4,478 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
The Rocking-Horse Winner" is a short story by D. H. Lawrence. The story describes a young middle-class Englishwoman who "had no luck." Though outwardly successful, she is haunted by a sense of failure; her husband is a ne'er-do-well and her work as a commercial artist doesn't earn as much as she'd like. The family's lifestyle exceeds its income and unspoken anxiety about m ...more
Unknown Binding, 22 pages
Published July 1st 1998 (first published July 1926)
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Ariana I interpret it as the children's knowing of family money issues even though the parents don't explicitly talk about it. Children are incredibly…moreI interpret it as the children's knowing of family money issues even though the parents don't explicitly talk about it. Children are incredibly intuitive, and they often know things about family dynamics without being told. The children have inherited the nagging sense that there's never enough money, but with a child's limited understanding. This is represented by the whispering they hear. Hope that helps :)(less)
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Apr 28, 2016 Cecily rated it it was amazing

The opening words sound like a fairy story, “There was a woman who was beautiful, who started with all the advantages, yet she had no luck.” But it is immediately clear that this is more Grimm than Disney: “She married for love, and the love turned to dust. She had bonny children, yet she felt they had been thrust upon her, and she could not love them.”

It was intended to be a ghost story, but there are no ghosts - just supernatural voices and premonitions, and the metaphorical ghost of an off-st
A haunting story that sent a shudder through me at the end. This would have made a perfect episode of the old TV series "The Twilight Zone". Nevertheless, it was a first class fun read.
Oct 17, 2015 Dustin rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone

D.H. Lawrence's 1926 classic short story, The Rocking Horse Winner pulls at your heartstrings from the get-go and refuses to let go until its tragic culmination. As seen below, the opening paragraph does more than make for an emotional first impression, Lawrence's impressive and somehow beautiful prose sucks you in immediately, making it impossible to put down.

"There was a woman who was beautiful, who started with all the advantages, yet she had no luck. She married for love, and the love turn
Petra X
May 05, 2015 Petra X rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I 'read' this on audio. I'm getting used to the medium and can see that the acting ability of the narrator is what makes all the difference. More difference that the actual text written by the author. This narrator, a woman, chose to give the little boy a thin, reedy voice, almost laughable, but written, I could see that this had considerably greater depth.

No matter what I read and hear, I have to say that still to me listening to an audio book is entirely synonymous to listening to a radio play
aljouharah altheeyb
May 07, 2015 aljouharah altheeyb rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
أحياناً أتمنى أشغل الكاميرا وأصور تعابير وجهي عند آخر سطر وأنشرها كريفيو.
لأنها أنسب طريقة لمعرفة مشاعري تماماً عن القصة، الشخصيات، والنهاية.
لم أكن أنوي "كالكثير من الكتب التي قرأتها" أن أقرأ قصص لورانس القصيرة خلال هذه الأيام، لقد قرأت عنه وعن اسلوبه وسرديته السلسلة جداً في كتاب how to read and why لكن لم أكن أشعر أبداَ برغبة في القراءة له لا لسبب سوى ان اسمه لم يعجبني xD ..
اليوم، عندما كُنت أتنقل من موقع لآخر، وجدت نفسي أمام عنوان القصة هذه، وفي لحظة ملل ورتابة شديدين ضغطت على search on goog
Shayantani Das
Jan 18, 2012 Shayantani Das rated it really liked it
A short story rendered to perfection. It’s about how a parent’s greed and dissatisfaction can affect their children and rob them of their innocence. Lots of symbolism in the story and I really liked it.
Oct 11, 2011 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 17, 2015 Evelina rated it it was amazing
Υπάρχουν άνθρωποι άπληστοι κι αχόρταγοι,μοιρολάτρες και απαισιόδοξοι. Δεν χρειάζεται να εξαπλώσουν τη δική τους σαπίλα στην αθωότητά των παιδιών τους.
Αυτό πήρα από την υπέροχη ιστοριούλα του Lawrence με την εκπληκτική γραφή του, που σίγουρα θα πρότεινα σε κάθε ενήλικα και σε κάθε παιδί να διαβάσει.
Jul 18, 2009 Rhonda rated it it was amazing
This remains my favorite short story of all time. In that I will follow my dictum of when I was 15 and suggest that writing about it would damage the beauty of it. My English teachers were not impressed by my appeal to aesthetics.
This story is about how greed overwhelms and isolates and alienates us from what is truly valuable in life, a constant theme within Lawrence. The topic is treated masterfully and the end is tragic. To me this wonderful story will always be hauntingly beautiful with a mo
Nov 25, 2012 Perla rated it it was amazing
"A short story about a boy and his quest to be "lucky". The boy knows that his family is struggling with money and he asks his mother how other people have more than they do. She says that some people are simply more "lucky" than others, and that their father was in fact, very unlucky. The boy begins searching for luck, and finds it while he's riding his rocking horse. Through some unknown force, the boy is able to predict the winner of the next horse race, after riding his rocking horse. The st ...more
Aug 17, 2012 Kayla rated it really liked it
I studied D.H. Lawrence's The Rocking Horse Winner in my creative writing class some time ago and it has always been a piece of his work that I greatly admire. The story appears to be very average on a surface level, but upon analyzing the many different possible interpretations that can be drawn from it, one begins to respect the amount of thought that was put into its conception. Needless to say to those who have read The Rocking Horse Winner, Freud would have a field day with this. Symbolism ...more
Apr 22, 2008 Laurajean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story continues to haunt me. Sometimes when I'm paying bills, I can hear myself chanting "There must be more money. There must be more money."
Jul 16, 2011 Capsguy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: british-irish
Prime example of how a short story can be done to perfection. Not a single word wasted.
Ken Moten
Nov 14, 2012 Ken Moten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who bet on Malabar for the Derby
You know I don't regularly recommend music with my book reviews but Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven seems almost scarily appropriate here and I will offer it in place of my usual opening quote.

This story highlights the sometimes sad circumstance that can happen when a child feels (or is forced to feel/be) obligated for the well-being of his/her family. In this case the child without the knowledge of his mom feels called to this to relieve the hard circumstance of his family and it ends in the
Brennan Wieland
Apr 18, 2011 Brennan Wieland rated it liked it
A short story about a boy and his quest to be "lucky". The boy knows that his family is struggling with money and he asks his mother how other people have more than they do. She says that some people are simply more "lucky" than others, and that their father was in fact, very unlucky. The boy begins searching for luck, and finds it while he's riding his rocking horse. Through some unknown force, the boy is able to predict the winner of the next horse race, after riding his rocking horse. The sto ...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
A young boy (dead by the end of the story), in a family with a tragic pretentions on wealth, discovered that by riding his rocking-horse toy he could sometimes predict the winner of horse races.

I read it several times, what the boy's uncle (his mother's brother) told his mother after he (the boy) had died yet I could not get its meaning. The uncle told the boy's mother: "My God, Hester, you're eighty-odd thousand to the good, and a poor devil of a son to the bad. But, poor devil, poor devil, he'
Sandra Hamlin
Sep 18, 2016 Sandra Hamlin rated it it was amazing
A banned author is good company to keep. Banning rebels of Modern realism is as bad as stifling the freedom to speak or the right to criticise a movie or actor-And how many critics would be unemployed if such nonsense was acceptable. As for D.H. Lawrence his critical examination of families who live beyond their means touches a nerve. I work in a State dependent upon a casino's revenue and never take the Casino's generosity for granted. Juxtaposing New England now against England's Upper Middle ...more
May 24, 2016 ELIZABETH-ANNE rated it it was amazing
I must have been around 12 when I read this story and I remember it blowing my mind. I have not read it since, and while knowing practically nothing about psychology then, even though as an adult I went into social work, it is a great story with some psy elements and a certain 'creepiness ' about it. Time to re-discover it after over 40 years.

Menna Kh.
Dec 24, 2012 Menna Kh. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, short-strories
One of the best short stories ever. Very beautifully written.
This is a comfortably uncomfortable story about how a deadly sin could drive a boy mad.


I'm not going to say more, you have to read it!
Matthew Ledrew
Apr 20, 2015 Matthew Ledrew rated it it was amazing
D.H. Lawrence’s “The Rocking Horse Winner” is a story about family dynamics that poses a tough critique of several relevant social ills. Paul’s growing addiction to gambling is fuelled by his uncle’s excitement and a desire for his mother’s love. Paul’s family experience, one drenched in neglect, addictive personalities and despair, directly results in his death. Paul’s oedipal complex with his emotionally closed off mother, the absence of his father as a strong figure in his life, and his uncle ...more
Tiny Mendoza
May 04, 2013 Tiny Mendoza rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Fucking browser suddenly refreshed sending my almost-finished review to fucking nowhere.

Is it the instinct of an offspring to help his/her parents in any way that he/she can?
The story is about a boy named Paul, who has a mother that claimed herself to be "unlucky" (because her husband is one) explaining that that is the reason why they are poor. The boy noticed that his family needed more money and it seemed to him that the house whispers it all the time. He owns a rocking horse, and when he rod
Justin Varikooty
This D. H. Lawrence tale is about a clairvoyant and loving young boy who can predict the outcome of horse races. His motivation to bet successfully is impelled by his mother's materialistic nature . However, his luck and his endless love to satisfy his mother lead to his tragic demise. This compelling novel is unequivocally one of D. H. Lawrence's best story and will leave the reader in shock.
Aug 29, 2012 Katy rated it it was amazing
This story is so sad. It's so heavily laden with greed that it makes me sick. The mother and father destroy their marriage, their home and their children with their greed. The oldest, a boy, sets out to prove to his mother that he is lucky because, to her, luck means you can always get more money. As the house whispers, "There must be more money!" the boy named Paul continues to do what he can to become lucky never telling his mother his secret: Sometimes he is sure about the winning horse in th ...more
Apr 16, 2016 Laura marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Catching up on Classics
You may read online here.
Alexis Russell
Jan 15, 2015 Alexis Russell rated it really liked it
This was a brilliant short story. It blew my mind. I enjoyed it a lot!
Jul 06, 2016 toreadanovel rated it liked it
This short story, revolves around a young boy named Paul who after having a conversation with his mother about luck wants to try and prove to her that he is lucky. His luck seems to be proved after he realises he can predict racehorse winners by riding on his rocking horse. He begins to use his powers to place bets on the horse races, which of course he then wins. As he begins to feel the pressure to win more money, his luck takes a sudden change.

Like all fables, this short story has a moral – w
Jun 28, 2015 Ronald rated it really liked it
I recently saw the movie The Rocking Horse Winner (1949) via Amazon Instant video. The credits of the movie said that it was adapted from a short story by D.H. Lawrence. The movie is pretty much faithful to the original story.

In the story, a married couple with kids is living beyond their means. The father doesn't have a job. The mother overspends.

Their son receives as a present a rocking horse. It turns out that when he rides this horse hard, he enters a clairvoyant state and foresees the winne
Jan 02, 2015 Brittany rated it really liked it
The Rocking Horse Winner is a great story about a boy who wants to get more money for his family and change his family's luck. The story also contains a theme of greed because of what the house whispers. "There must be more money! There must be more money!" So to get money, he bets on which horse will win the Derby, and he ends up lucky because he wins and continues to be correct. Paul thinks about which horse he thinks will win the derby by rocking on a wooden horse. Furthermore, Paul gets into ...more
L Brauer
Feb 16, 2013 L Brauer rated it really liked it
Read this in grammar school which was Catholic private shcool which considering that most books by DH Lawrence were "banned in Boston" was very surprising when I think back now. But, the story has a classic theme and moral to it, so that is why it passed the "nun" test I guess. When I was very young I found and still find the story fascinating. I love D.H. Lawrence's poetry and well Lady Chatterly...was one of the first "dirty books" I ever read ....LOL!
Mar 17, 2012 Asmita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Three words - simple, touching, heart-breaking. It's a story dealing with the short-comings of a family due to lack of money and a young boy's hope to win back peace to his mother's life by giving her what she wants. The plot is simple and well concocted. The written style is beautiful and done with a lot of finesse. Even though it is a short story, it helps the reader traverse various emotions and ends with a pinch of tragedy in the end.
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Goodreads Librari...: The Rocking-Horse Winner 3 19 Dec 31, 2015 10:31AM  
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David Herbert Richards Lawrence was an English writer of the 20th century, whose prolific and diverse output included novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays, travel books, paintings, translations, literary criticism and personal letters. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialisation. In them, Lawrence confronts issues rel ...more
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“And so the house came to be haunted by the unspoken phrase: There must be more money! There must be more money! The children could hear it all the time though nobody said it aloud. They heard it at Christmas, when the expensive and splendid toys filled the nursery. Behind the shining modern rocking-horse, behind the smart doll's house, a voice would start whispering: "There must be more money! There must be more money!" And the children would stop playing, to listen for a moment. They would look into each other's eyes, to see if they had all heard. And each one saw in the eyes of the other two that they too had heard. "There must be more money! There must be more money!” 7 likes
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