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The Rocking Horse Winner (Travelman Classics)
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The Rocking Horse Winner (Travelman Classics)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  3,359 ratings  ·  91 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 by Not Avail (first published July 1926)
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Community Reviews

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Shayantani Das
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.
Bruce
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Petra Xtra Crunchy
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
...more
Rhonda
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
...more
Perla
"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
Capsguy
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 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
...more
Brennan Wieland
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
Kayla
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
Laura Jean
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."
Tiny Mendoza
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
...more
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.
Katy
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
L Brauer
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!
Asmita
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.
Crystal
In this short story, Lawrence examines the impact of greed on a family. Of course, as is usual for Lawrence, there is the underlying sexual overtones with the rocking horse and Paul's desire to keep the horse even though he is well beyond the age where playing with/on such a toy is appropriate.

A very sad little story on a superficial level, and a tale with darker implications at a closer reading.
Danny
Oh, this topic is just me. It touches on the supernatural, but essentially deals with the question of what parental pressure can do, in this case mixed with a good deal of greed. It's perhaps a tad too moralistic to be something that has a huge impact on me, but the execution made it well worth it. Haven't even started going into the story's symbolism.
Ekaterina
"A Bird in the hand is worth two in the bush!"

The story is about where social status was judged with a materialistic measurin stick.
considering the time in which this story is written, I cannot be too harsh,however writer captures this issue marvelously so much so I feel his story transcends time and can teach us something today.
Claudia
This short story is one of those that has enough power to make you breathless. At the beginning, you think it is typical and fantastical in its style, but by the end you're simply dumbfounded. If you have a half hour to spare, I highly recommend it...it makes you think and puts things in perspective!
Menna Kh.
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.

MOOOOORE.... MOOOOORE...

I'm not going to say more, you have to read it!
Jessica Rose
A good read.
Personally, I think this story relates to a lot of issues that are universal and that can be related to a modern audience.
For example, it shows that money can’t buy happiness.
Lmm
This book is fascinating. It may be short but every page is decadent in language and the ever-unfolding plot lines. It is elegant in its simplicity and delicious in its complexity. It's a must read.
Ténzom
Very sad and frustrating story with a sadder and more frustrating ending. But a wonderful short story.
Jessica
I've read this at least 5 times. It is more a short story than a book. Symbolism is amazing.
Juliene
Had to read this for a college English course my last semester. Strange, but interesting.
Sheila
I read this in high school. The tradeoff between family and materialism..A must read.
Eddie
This tale solidifies DH Lawrence as one of the greatest short story writers ever.
Anna
Aug 02, 2008 Anna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Anna by: Mr. Belfield, didn't "recommend" it per se
I read this in 12th grade English and realized that D.H. Lawrence is slightly amazing.
Steve
"We must have more money!" Dark, symbolic, thought provoking short story.
Lynn Harding
See what happens when you try too hard to please your mother! Creepiliscious!
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Notes and thoughts 4 6 Oct 09, 2014 02:43AM  
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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
More about D.H. Lawrence...
Lady Chatterley's Lover Sons and Lovers Women in Love (Brangwen Family, #2) The Rainbow (Brangwen Family, #1) Complete Poems of D. H. Lawrence (Wordsworth Poetry Library)

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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!” 5 likes
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