Item description for The Black Stallion (Black Stallion) by Walter Farley...
Overview When a shipwreck leaves Alec Ramsey stranded on an island with only a wild stallion for a companion, the boy and the horse establish a warm and trusting friendship that continues after they are rescued
Publishers Description First published in 1941, Walter Farley's best-selling novel for young readers is the triumphant tale of a boy and a wild horse. From Alec Ramsay and the Black's first meeting on an ill-fated ship to their adventures on a desert island and their eventual rescue, this beloved story will hold the rapt attention of readers new and old.
"The Black Stallion is about the most famous fictional horse of the century." --The New York Times
From the Paperback edition.
Walter Farley's first book, The Black Stallion, was an instant hit when it appeared in 1941. Mr. Farley went on to write thirty-three other enormously popular books about the Black Stallion and other horses which were published in more than twenty countries. He died in 1989, shortly before the publication of his last novel, The Young Black Stallion, written with his son Steven.
From the Paperback edition.
The tramp steamer Drake plowed away from the coast of India and pushed its blunt prow into the Arabian Sea, homeward bound. Slowly it made its way west toward the Gulf of Aden. Its hold was loaded with coffee, rice, tea, oil seeds and jute. Black smoke poured from its one stack, darkening the hot cloudless sky.
Alexander Ramsay, known to his friends back home in New York City as Alec, leaned over the rail and watched the water slide away from the sides of the boat. His red hair blazed redder than ever in the hot sun; his tanned elbows rested heavily on the rail as he turned his freckled face back toward the fast-disappearing shore.
It had been fun--those two months in India. He would miss Uncle Ralph, miss the days they had spent together in the jungle, even the screams of the panthers and the many eerie sounds of the jungle night. Never again would he think of a missionary's work as easy work. No, sir, you had to be big and strong, able to ride horseback for long hours through the tangled jungle paths. Alec glanced down proudly at the hard muscles in his arms. Uncle Ralph had taught him how to ride--the one thing in the world he had always wanted to do.
But it was all over now. Rides back home would be few.
His fist opened. Lovingly he surveyed the pearl pocketknife he held there. The inscription on it was in gold: To Alec on his birthday, Bombay, India. He remembered, too, his uncle's words: "A knife, Alec, comes in handy sometimes."
Suddenly a large hand descended on his shoulder. "Well, m'boy, you're on your way home," a gruff voice said, with a decidedly English accent.
Alec looked up into the captain's wrinkled, wind-tanned face. "Hello, Captain Watson," he answered. "It's rather a long way home, though, sir. To England with you and then to New York on the Majestic."
"About four weeks' sailing all in all, lad, but you look like a pretty good sailor."
"I am, sir. I wasn't sick once all the way over and we had a rough crossing, too," Alec said proudly.
"When'd you come over, lad?"
"In June, sir, with some friends of my father's. They left me with my uncle in Bombay. You know my Uncle Ralph, don't you? He came aboard with me and spoke to you."
"Yes, I know your Uncle Ralph. A fine man, too. . . . And now you're going home alone?"
"Yes, sir! School opens next month and I have to be there."
The captain smiled and took Alec by the arm. "Come along," he said. "I'll show you how we steer this ship and what makes it go."
The captain and crew were kind to Alec, but the days passed monotonously for the homeward-bound boy as the Drake steamed its way through the Gulf of Aden and into the Red Sea. The tropic sun beat down mercilessly on the heads of the few passengers aboard.
The Drake kept near the coast of Arabia--endless miles of barren desert shore. But Alec's thoughts were not on the scorching sand. Arabia--where the greatest horses in the world were bred! Did other fellows dream of horses the way he did? To him, a horse was the greatest animal in the world.
Then one day the Drake headed for a small Arabian port. As they approached the small landing, Alec saw a crowd of Arabs milling about in great excitement. Obviously it was not often that a boat stopped there.
But, as the gangplank went down with a bang, Alec could see that it wasn't the ship itself that was attracting all the attention. The Arabs were crowding toward the center of the landing. Alec heard a whistle--shrill, loud, clear, unlike anything he had ever heard before. He saw a mighty black horse rear on its hind legs, its forelegs striking out into the air. A white scarf was tied across its eyes. The crowd broke and ran.
White lather ran from the horse's body; his mouth was open, his teeth bared. He was a giant of a horse, glistening black--too big to be pure Arabian. His mane was like a crest, mounting, then falling low. His neck was long and slender, and arched to the small, savagely beautiful head. The head was that of the wildest of all wild creatures--a stallion born wild--and it was beautiful, savage, splendid. A stallion with a wonderful physical perfection that matched his savage, ruthless spirit.
Once again the Black screamed and rose on his hind legs. Alec could hardly believe his eyes and ears--a stallion, a wild stallion--unbroken, such as he had read and dreamed about!
Citations And Professional Reviews The Black Stallion (Black Stallion) by Walter Farley has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2006 page 668
Wilson Children's Catalog 96 - 01/01/1996 page 532
Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2001 page 453
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.63" Width: 5.25" Height: 0.63" Weight: 0.35 lbs.
Release Date Aug 20, 1991
Series Black Stallion
ISBN 0679813438 ISBN13 9780679813439
Availability 0 units.
More About Walter Farley
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. He is the author of more than twenty books in the Black Stallion series. He also cowrote The Young Black Stallion with his son, Steven.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Black Stallion (Black Stallion)?
The Life Saving Horse Apr 20, 2007
What would you do if your horse saved you from the frightening death of drowning? Then what would you do if that horse was taken away from you? That is exactly what Alec thought of in the fictional book The Black Stallion written by Walter Farley.
Alec was on a ship back to his homeland, when the ship got in contact with a glacier. No one even thought of about saving that horrible, kicking, horse in the stables. Though Alec knew it was the right thing so he went into the stables and saved the horse. As they jumped off the ship, Alec was too weak to swim. So the stallion swam miles with Alec at the end of the stallions lead rope, until they saw land. They were stuck on that island fighting to survive as their friendship grew between them. One day a ship came and saved them. In a couple of days they would be at home. The stallion was named The Black and was kept in an older barn behind Alec's house.
I couldn't put this book down. This whole series was amazing. Anyone who loves horses would love these books. This book made me happy, nervous, and sad. It also made me cry. I think everyone should experience these feelings when you read a book.
Classic Book & the movie was a masterpiece Dec 17, 2006
This book is a must-read for any child. When I was young I read lots of Jack London books and I also read the entire Walter Farley Black Stallion series. Walter Farley's books are written in a very simple style, easy for young readers to understand. The movie is a timeless classic & was so well done. Some children will find the movie slow (no talking during the whole island sequence) but if your child appreciates beautiful images, and is horse-crazy, they'll love the film. I now own a black Arabian stallion of my own...so be careful, Black Stallion books can cause a lifelong horse addiction!
A Book That Has Been Special To Generations Of Children Jul 8, 2006
Strange in a way that I loved this book so much when I read it in fourth grade, because, ironically, in real life, horses kind of scare me. I think Walter Farley's book is magical and I hope others who read it find as much meaning as I did in the story of a boy named Alec Ramsey, who survives a shipwreck and befriends a magnificent black Arabian stallion. Yes, this enduring classic is basically a fantasy, but sometimes it takes fantasy to create a book that is capable of touching the human soul in the exact way this one does.
Quality of the Black Stallion Apr 15, 2006
I greatly enjoyed this book when I was younger, and I still like it. However, in recent years I have come to realize how prejudicially obsessed Walter Farley was about Arabians. Even in his book The Great Dane Thor, the horses only briefly mentioned in the book were Arabians. He didn't seem to realize that there were other breeds in the world. For instance, he had the Black's daughter, Black Minx run in the Kentucky Derby--a race exclusively limited to Thoroughbreds.
In recent years, I have also realized Farley's poor writing stile. Not only did he not do research, but he presented his views as FACT, not opinions. For instance, ALL horses are intelligent, but especially ARABIANs; ALL horses are more sensitive than people and can find water by smell in a desert...or land in an ocean. Among horses, Farley stated on no uncertain terms that Arabians are by far the most superior, and that among Arabians, The Black was king.
I don't know about you, but I'm kind of tired of that. I'd like to see the Black lose a race or two, or sire a dud colt. The Island Stallion was the same--in fact, when the Black met Flame, the fight between them was a draw because they were both FLAWLESS Arabians, so perfect that neither could beat the other. It was a satisfying end when I was little, but now it annoys the fire out of me. I have read most of the series, and it is always the same: The Almighty Arabian wins out over man, nature, or other horses...and here is one once-avid reader who is sick of it.
The Black Stallion Jan 25, 2006
The Black Stallion Random House, 1941, 196 pp., $17.00 Walter Farley ISBN: 0-679-81349-7
How would you feel if you were the only one to survive a boat wreck? What if you had to live on a stranded island with no vegetation or wild life; just a small pond and an untamed horse. Thirteen-year-old Alec Ramsey is on boat back to his home-land, New York City, to see his parents. But his plan changes when his boat wrecks. He is forced to live on a deserted island with a wild Arabian stallion. He comes to love and gain the horse's trust and they become friends. He comes to call the horse The Black. As their trust blooms, he gets to ride The Black. When he does he is nearly thrown off due to how fast The Black can run. Will they be saved? And if they are will he get to race The Black. The Black Stallion is exciting, and thrilling. It was hard for me to even put the book down. I believe if you love horses that you will not be able to put the book down either. I would suggest the book to ages 8 to 12. Remember if you like this book a lot there are plenty of books that Walter Farley has written.