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Man O'War

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  7,815 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
An exciting, moving piece of fiction based on the facts about one of the
greatest horses of all time. The feeling for horses, horse breeding and
training, and horse racing is masterfully handled. Thrilling, highly
recommended."--(starred) "School Library Journal.
Hardcover, 0 pages
Published October 12th 1962 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published 1962)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lynne Page
Feb 25, 2013 Lynne Page rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading the official biography of the famous racehorse known as Man O’War, I decided it was about time I went back and read the fictional biography of the horse, written by the famous horse writer, Walter Farley.

You see, back when I was a young kid in love with horses, I was an avid reader of Walter Farley. And when I found out he wrote about a real horse, I was excited to read it. And I loved that book. It changed me, in some way. It made my love of horses seem more real, to read about a
...more
Amanda NEVER MANDY
I am now entering the horse section of my favorites shelf reads. It was a lengthy period for me but one filled with many fond memories. I went back and forth on where I should start, Stallions or Beauties, all the while staring at this majestic beast. The others being no less in worth, but this one, this one had a special pull all its own. Shall we?

I had read through the other two standard horse themed books and was searching for more. Up to this point all of my reads were fiction all the way. I
...more
Wendy
Oct 07, 2011 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good fictional account of arguably the best American racehorse ever. I liked Danny and felt his pain at the thought of losing Red, and his joy and wonder at Red's beauty, majesty and ability.

While I much prefer Dorothy Ours' A Legend Like Lightning for the facts of Man o' War's life, this book puts us in emotional touch with Red through the eyes of someone who had actually seen him in person.
Jan "don't blame me, I also voted for Hillary"
I read this as a child and loved it. I picked it up recently but could not finish. It was written at a time when women were not considered as strong as, as smart as men. It bothers me that this image of men as better than women was prevalent in the 50s and 60s and that my love of horses subjected me to this type of sexism.
Suzanne
Jun 09, 2015 Suzanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
I loved this book when I read it as a kid - I was a little horse-crazy and the details of caring and racing really kept me enthralled. That topic isn't as interesting to me as an adult, so I didn't enjoy it as much now, but it was a good nostalgia book.
Feisty Harriet
Dec 13, 2013 Feisty Harriet rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horse-love
I really really wanted to love this book, it’s a (fictional) biography of the legendary racehorse Man o’ War, grand-sire of Seabiscuit and one of the most tremendous thoroughbreds of all time. This book–I didn’t realize is was fiction until after I started it–was written by the author of the Black Stallion series; how could he possibly go wrong!? Um, well, he’s no Laura Hillenbrand, that’s for damn sure. The narrator, a young boy who grooms for Man o’ War during his 3 year racehorse career, is o ...more
Skylar Hughes
Man'O'War, by Walter Farley, is a book following the life of a horse and his stable man. It starts at the beginning of the horses life, his birth, and the way he was raised and trained, all through the eyes of Danny, who took care of him. This book shows the emotional journey of Danny as he follows his horse to auctions, new owners, races, and victories. This story is informative, interesting, but also a story of unconditional love. Being a person who loved horses, I loved this story immediately ...more
Jinn Nelson
Oct 01, 2007 Jinn Nelson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Many of you may not know (and by many I mean probably one) I am a horseracing enthusiast. Man o' War is consequently one of my favorite books, and here's why:

1. It's a book about a horse's life and still manages to be interesting.

Now I'm tired of reviewing, so I'll leave it at that.

I'm a terrible reviewer. Sorry to all of those with expectations of grandeur. Read the book and write me a review. Maybe I'll cut and paste it here.
Cheryl Glover
Nov 19, 2015 Cheryl Glover rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book over and over when I was in school. I found it just as entertaining as I did then. While it is a fictional account as far as the characters, the strength and beauty of this magnificent horse shines through even today. Man 'O War will always be my favorite.
Leaflet
One of my favourite books about horse-racing.
Mary
May 18, 2017 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was okay. Didn't realize it was a young reader series until I got into it. But since I didn't know anything about Man O' War, I learned from it and googled more information.
Halli Villegas
Mar 15, 2017 Halli Villegas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My all time favourite horse book - and my all time favourite race horse.
Sara
May 29, 2013 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Man O' War by Walter Farley is a fictional biography about a racehorse that raced soon after the end of World War 1. I found the book to be great. When you read a book about a racehorse, and you know that they lose at least one race, the first thing you think of is that the horse lost their first race. In this case, I was actually excited. I found myself asking "Well what race did he lose?" Although I find watching movies about racehorses more entertaining because you can see the race and hear t ...more
Karen GoatKeeper
Man o'War is still famous even after being gone since 1947 and out of racing since 1920. He is still the horse racehorses are measured against. Farley's fictionalized biography explains the pull of this spectacular horse.
The facts in the book are true. The events are as they happened. The fiction comes into play because Farley invented a character to accompany Man o'War through his racing career.
Man o'War raced as a two year old beating all comers. He lost one race because his jockey let him get
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Rena Sherwood
First published in 1962, the author of The Black Stallion turns his hand at writing a biography of one of the horses that inspired the creation of the Black. It’s been republished many times since. Farley decided to do a fictional biography in a style borrowed from famous fictional biographer Irving Stone (best known for his Vincent Van Gogh book, Lust for Life (1934)). The story is told from the point of view of Man o’ War’s groom – not infamous stud groom Will Harbut, but a groom who never exi ...more
Bonnie
Jul 26, 2011 Bonnie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really hard to put a fictional person into a real-life story like this. So many great horse stories (real and fictional) are about a horse and his person (Alec/The Black, Secretariat/Penny Tweedy, Seabiscuit/Red Pollard, and even Man o'War and his long-time groom after he went to stud, Will Harbut) but this fictional groom during Man o' War's racing career just didn't cut it for me. The attachment wasn't there and so many times the POV had to be shifted to the owner or trainer to get a clearer i ...more
Ali B
Jan 07, 2013 Ali B rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge secretariat fan but now that I have read this book I can't pick which horse I like better. They are both considered the best of all time in my opinion. Anyway to get to the point this is an inspiring book about a groom and his great red horse that grow up together and make it through the hard struggles of the racing world after world war 1. It keep me on the edge of my seat and brought history to me right before my eyes. This is a book you need to read I'm 13 and I adored this book!
Jill
May 31, 2009 Jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think you might have to be a horse geek to enjoy this book (oh good, I am). Farley goes into great detail about the day-to-day care of race horses, which would probably get a bit tedious to those who aren't in to it.
I especially liked the descriptions of life in the barn back in the early 1900s. That they went to such great lengths to care for these animals amazes me.

Pretty dry read, though. For insight on the race track, I think Laura Hildebrand's Seabiscuit is much better time spent.
Zimt
Oct 21, 2011 Zimt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't help it, I believe Man O'War is one of the greatest Champions to have ever put his hoofs on the race circuit.
All the better to read an almost real-life Biography of his life.
It is clear from the beginning that Walter Farley is a true fan of Man O'War since you can feel his admiration of this special thoroughbred through the whole book.
And I'm totally jealous that Farley was able to see Man O'War in existens. Hopefully, there will be again a racehorse as signular as Man O'War in this cent
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Justwinter
Jun 14, 2008 Justwinter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another book I read as a kid. Walter Farley of course wrote all the Black Stallion books as well as several other fictional horse stories.

This is a turn at non-fiction or maybe 'faction' would be a better term. Farley always brings his horses and the characters that surround them to life in engaging and entertaining ways.

I still think Man O' War appeals to all age levels--horse fanatic or not. I'm not an equestrian by any means, but always did adore Farley's stories.
Quadragon27
I like horse stories and I like historical fiction, so this book was pretty much a no-brainer. It did feel a little dry at times. The author tried to liven things up a bit by introducing the character of Danny - Man 'O War's fictional groom - to tell the story, but it still had the feel of regurgitating facts. But it was still fairly interesting and definitely worth a read for any horse lovers out there.
Melody
Sep 14, 2007 Melody rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hesitate to complain about Farley. It's like complaining because the rain makes you wet while it also makes the crops swell. This one, which I never read as a kid, was interesting but so full of statistics it was dry. I thought it suffered from the lumbering plot device of the slavish groom's POV. I learned a lot about the greatest horse ever, but it hurt to do so.
Lindsay
I had forgotten about this book, but when I read it has a child, it had a HUGE effect on me as a budding racing fan. I think this book, more than any other, taught me about the historical world of horse racing- crazy since it's actually a work of fiction, but interwoven with a lot of fact. A lovely book and wonderful memories.
Esther
I and think most of the book club would probably give it 2.5 stars. It had some interesting facts but the story that was supposed to be the vehicle to tell those facts was not very good.

I'm excited to read a "Kentucky" book since it is about a famous horse. The author also wrote The Black Stallion. This is another new genere or book for our book club.
Sherry Elmer
I read this book when I was young, and I have thought of it many times in the years since. It is not a great literary novel, but it is the story of a great horse. I think it's wonderful that Walter Farley wanted to immortalize Man o' War for the generations who never got to see him. If you know a young person who loves horses, give them this book. They'll thank you.
robert l. murphy
Feb 08, 2016 robert l. murphy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before American Pharoah

Such an enjoyable read. Now I need to go check the record books, keeping in mind that the tracks are faster today. It's like looking at old baseball records from a time when the ball was softer. I wonder how Man O War compared to Secretariat, the Big Red of my era? If you love horses and racing, you will have fun with this book
Damon Henrichs
Apr 06, 2016 Damon Henrichs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So . . . I'm a little conflicted on re-reading Walter Farley books, because for the most part, they are toally geared for YA readers.

BUT . . . knowing next to nothing about Man 'O War, this WAS an enjoyable read even as an adult.
Christina
I'm about halfway through this for book club and it has been an enjoyable read so far. Not gripping enough to make me neglect my kids, but good enough to keep me away from trashy television in the evenings :) Just about perfect. I have issues, but I'll save those for later.
Ann
Feb 22, 2013 Ann rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Good beginning. Lovely to read about raising a colt from birth. The race days were repetitive and boring- astounding when writing about this greatest of great Thoroughbred race horses. A fiction, made up for the most part. Ultimately disappointing.
Kathy
Jul 11, 2015 Kathy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy just about anything involving horses but this was the least enjoyable book I've ever read. Very repetitive in descriptive language. Very little discussion or description of the other individuals responsible for the raising, development and success of this amazing thoroughbred.
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Anti-Women? 2 18 Apr 20, 2012 03:16PM  
  • Black Gold
  • Old Bones the Wonder Horse
  • Thunderhead (Flicka, #2)
  • Billy And Blaze: A Boy And His Pony
  • Man o' War: A Legend Like Lightning
  • Ruffian: Burning From the Start
  • A Horse Called Wonder (Thoroughbred, #1)
  • Smoky the Cow Horse
  • The Black Stallion's Shadow (Black Stallion Returns, #1)
  • Blind Beauty
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Walter Farley's love for horses began when he was a small boy living in Syracuse, New York, and continued as he grew up in New York City, where his family moved. Young Walter never owned a horse. But unlike most city children, he had little trouble gaining firsthand experience with horses-his uncle was a professional horseman, and Walter spent much of his time at the stables with him.

"He wasn't th
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