©1995 Nicholas Evans; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
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"A qualified review..."
I barely give this book four stars. When it is good, it is very, very good--and it is mostly that. But it has some really glaring flaws.
1) It often lapses into schmaltz and there is almost never a moment that isn't charged with emotion--this often rings false.
2) Plenty of reader-baiting (knowing references to the election of Nixon, an elbow thrown at Reagan, subtle smug shots at anything from Arkansas rednecks to Montana preachers).
3) Obvious symbols worthy of Hawthorne--the severed wing, the twin rivers...oh, just too many to name.
4) A case or two of gross and unnecessary vulgarity (the talk show host...and "liposuction")
5) And the biggest flaw of all--that Evans caves in (as though already envisioning the chick flick movie) and writes a romance instead of a more interesting mother/daughter story. And the fact that Robert is a loving father and devoted husband makes Annie and Tom just flat horrible in their relationship with each other. (No. 5 just nearly drops this down to three stars.)
In short, a book that COULD have been great, say, in the hands of Steinbeck.
Always thought the movie was great but suspected the ending had been altered. Now I know.
Now I know these characters even more.
Love it even more now!
"Sophomoric story line, poor narration"
The come-on of the mysterious title, "Horse Whisperer" failed to deliver the satisfaction of a solid story. The story needed to develop its characters so the listener could understand why certain critical decisions were made. Too little was said about the "Horse Whisperer's" equestrian nuances and background regarding the command of his uncommon craft. The occasional insertions of romantic/sexual interludes were mostly gratuitous "Harlequin Romance Novel" style descriptions, hacked out to provide some perfunctory explanations of more important clues, to be revealed later in the story. Melodramatic ending, again diminished by the character underdevelopment of the "Horse Whisperer." I kept waiting for the story to redeem itself or pull itself out of the miasma, only to be sorely disappointed by the resolution in the end.
It has turned me off from any other future novels by this author. The genre shall stand for itself untainted, as there are both good and bad renditions by other authors and narrators.
The narration was grating and disingenuous; the characters became a mix of overdone vaudevillian caricatures. I could hardly stand to hear the story unfold because of his over-exaggerated, irritating characterizations.
"The book is worth reading, but avoid this narrator"
The book itself is enjoyable if a little cheesy, but listening to William Dufris narrate it almost ruins it. Every voice is a caricature of what it should be, especially Annie and Grace. It made me cringe. I had always trusted the narrations before, but this will teach me to listen to a sample.
The story is a bit slow, but the reader does a great job with the material he has. The story is ultimately a good one. Enjoy!
"Perhaps a little drawn out in places."
No, because it takes a long time.
That girl & horse could survive & ever get well.
Haven't finished , yet.
Sorry, haven't had much time over Christmas to read the book.
"A poignant tale"
The Horse Whisperer is a beautiful descriptive story that is very well worked and gently woven together. In the manner of true penmanship the author encourages the reader to form emotional ties and develop familiar relationships with the story’s characters, which are excellently created and brilliantly portrayed.
It is a tale that expresses the human condition and our basic need for love, healing and acceptance and how that which is thought to be damaged and broken beyond repair can be the catalyst in completing the circle of life as we know it to be.
Never a dull moment to be had as this book sweeps the reader away upon a tumultuous, emotional and entertaining journey that any one can identify with
"One Of The Best I've Read."
The author's descriptions are so vivid, so absolutely beautiful, from the breath taking views of Montana to the characters, their feelings and situations!
His portrayal of the romantic scenes left me feeling I'd witnessed it all and longing for those same situations and surroundings.
One RealHeartstring grabber of a book!
"Wonderful, engaging, brilliant story"
There was nothing I disliked. Really good story, wonderfully told by the narrator, spellbinding, mesmerising!
This is a great story and well told
Much better than the film, although the film is good.
"Taut atmospheric tale"
Horse gets better.
Combination of human/animal narrative and atmospheric Wild West setting.
I loved the description of the night out under the stars on the cattle drive.
I have not quite finished listening to it yet, but the scene in which Grace has her first ride on horseback was touching, however, I think there may be a weepy scene ahead!
Beautifully read, and I now have a small crush on Tom Booker as a result of the lovely characterisation by the narrator, William Dufris.
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