2.5 stars. While I think the subject matter is important, and it's many first experience dealing with the idea of Hillbilly life, this book has left m2.5 stars. While I think the subject matter is important, and it's many first experience dealing with the idea of Hillbilly life, this book has left me wanting more. I picked it up and dropped it at various points over the last few months, mostly after the election in hopes to gain a better understanding of the election results, but it frequently left me wanting more of the social analysis that he claimed he was going to offer....more
I really wanted to enjoy this book. However, I feel like it's a really poorly edited book, which is really stupid saying Crothers is a former editor.I really wanted to enjoy this book. However, I feel like it's a really poorly edited book, which is really stupid saying Crothers is a former editor. It read more as collection of random stories of people that may or many not have impacted her story to the international competitions. ...more
I wanted to like this book. Due o to the nature of the time-frame that it was written, I think it was for the most part accurate. Much like the Good EI wanted to like this book. Due o to the nature of the time-frame that it was written, I think it was for the most part accurate. Much like the Good Earth, I think it provides valid insight, but to a degree dated. That being said, however, I seemed to have more interest in the glossary and notes at the end of the book than the actual story. I think this is partially due to the fact that it was a westerner who wrote the book that gives it's the minor holes that just seem to get under my skin. Having been a westerner that lived in China, myself, I know that there are ample things I can not fully comment on, as I did not properly experience it or have the cultural significance to understand. This I feel makes it extremely difficult, no matter the time-frame spent there, to fully understand the historical development of certain things, or to write something from the perspective of someone culturally different from you. This won't be specific to just this book, but to many.
The setting for the book, I think the town is now Chongqing. Even if it isn't I think it would've been worth her while to mention how many of the town or city names of many of the Chinese cities of change over time. Much of the dialogue language that she choose to use included words such as thou and thy. These words would have no part in any sort of translation of Chinese words even the older dialects or traditional language rather it is the western concept of wanting to include these words because of usage in the English language. Nor were these words really being used in English in the pre-cultural revolution (1920's-1930's). Well I think she was able to Sure the time-frame and set up of the daily life of this I think it would've been more beneficial had many of the information in and notes had been incorporated somewhere either into a foreword or into the story to be more effective. For being a children's book I think it to a certain extent is not really suitable for many younger readers and is more of a young adult book rather than a children's book to do context and language used in the book...more
I think this would be enjoyable for most children who have an interest in survival stories or horse books. While I think much of the second half of thI think this would be enjoyable for most children who have an interest in survival stories or horse books. While I think much of the second half of this book was loosely based on the concept of Sea Biscuit (it was originally written in the 1940's) it is also somewhat dated. While I think the aspects and themes of the Sea Biscuit were good lessons for children's books.
While I think the book really is two books put together as one, I think it would have helped for children who read this book if there really was more of a link between the two, or if this one book was two separate books. I think Farley sets up this book for the possibility of continuing on the thread. it up for the possibility of writing multiple books on this thread of a young boy and his horse.
If writing multiple books on this thread he wanted to purse as be began writing this book, this one would have been better divided in two separate books. The first half of the book focuses on a steamship crash where Alec, and the Black surviving and their time marooning and surviving on an island. The bond between horse and boy and survival would have been interesting to see pursued further.
The second half of the book focuses on breaking the Black. While I think Farley made what could pass as a mundane subject for children interesting, I just felt that there wasn't much tying this half of the book to the first half aside from some of the behaviors seen in the Black. While I think it's a good opening to the themes presented in Sea Biscuit, I think for an older/dated children's book, this one is still enjoyable. ...more
**spoiler alert** I enjoyed this book, in the sense that it was a good "light summery read". It was one that goodreads had suggested on my list, and I**spoiler alert** I enjoyed this book, in the sense that it was a good "light summery read". It was one that goodreads had suggested on my list, and I saw it at the library after I finished my first semester of grad school and thought I'd give it a try. Not really what I expected and not really mysteryesque. I had gotten this book not realizing that it was a sequel in a series, but I felt that you didn't really need to read the first book in order to grasp the back story. However, I felt that the back story portions of the book at times weren't as really pertinent to driving the plot line of this book. While I enjoyed her story, it was evident that the author was previously a journalist (but not a photographer, as you can't directly upload photos from your camera into photoshop as she so claims). However, at times, despite her being a journalist, I felt that it just became to evident in the book, and some details were unnecessary as well as the whole lead up to the end, was just weird. She waited until the last 40 pages to tie up most of the loose ends, and think some of them where just plain odd. I didn't like how at the last minute she involved Tobin knocking up a high school girl, the truck, or the coffee pot that was stolen and the role of drugs. Way too much going on in the last 40 pages. Some of that could have been dealt with earlier, I felt. The book had potential, and a good fluff read to kick of the summer. May consider another one of the authors books....more