The Horse Whisperer  (Penguin Readers, Level 3)

Author: Nicholas Evans
Type: eBook
Date Released: 2000
Format: pdf
Language: English
Page Count: 86
Isbn10 Code: 058241637X
Isbn13 Code: 9780582416376 Review The Horse Whisperer is a story made in Hollywood heaven. The novel was written by a first-time author, and the film option was snapped up by aging heartthrob Robert Redford for 3 million smackers. Why take such risks on a brand-spanking-new author? The answer becomes clear upon reading the touching tale. One morning while teenage Grace Maclean is riding Pilgrim, her goofy, loveable pony, she has a horrendous glass-shattering, bone-splintering, ligament-lynching meeting with a megaton truck that leaves her and her four-legged friend damaged in mind, body, and spirit. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, her jaded, brilliant, bitchy mom, Annie Graves (Kristin Scott Thomas in the 1998 film) is working out a wrinkle in her self-absorbed existence when she gets a call at her plush, Manhattan office about Grace's accident. Racked with guilt, Graves makes it her calling to find the mythical horse whisperer, an equine Zen master who has the ability to heal horses (and broken souls) with soothing words and a gentle touch. Just when it seems he can't be found, what do you know, she finds him. He arrives in the form of Tom Booker-- a rugged, sensitive, dreamy cowboy who helps Pilgrim and Grace repair their fractured selves. To add more mesquite to fire, Booker has a way with not-so-injured, attractive, married women--like Annie. As the plot thickens, so does the familial strife, which threatens to undo Booker's healing work. Like an expert cinematographer, Evans deftly crafts each scene with precision and clarity, sprinkling in ominous signs and foreboding images. For example, in the opening paragraphs, as Annie starts out on the tragic ride, she comes across a bloody bird wing that seems to have fallen out of nowhere. The weight of impending doom is further strengthened by the truck driver's bad luck--he has a run-in with the highway patrol just moments before his meeting with Grace and Pilgrim. These not-so-subtle subliminal messages are masterfully stitched in throughout the story and may compel readers to act as if they were watching a B-grade horror movie, shouting aloud, "Don't go there!" However sentimental, The Horse Whisperer is an engaging read, sort of like a finely tuned, well-edited film. --Rebekah Warren --This text refers to the edition. From Publishers Weekly After all the fuss about the multimillion-dollar book and movie deals for this first novel from a British screenwriter and producer, the book itself is a mild anticlimax. It will undoubtedly be a major seller, however, for it touches a number of hot-wire themes: worldly success versus the simple life, the redeeming power of love, the mystique of animals?all set against a wide-screen background of Montana. But the screenwriter's hand has not been displaced by the novelist's creative imagination, and at too many points the book feels manipulative and schematic, the characters under-realized, just waiting to be filled out by star performers. The narrative begins with a frightful accident: teenage Grace Maclean, daughter of nice-guy lawyer Robert and tough, English-born magazine editor Annie, is out riding near their country home in upstate New York on a snowy day, and she and her beautiful horse Pilgrim are hit by a skidding tractor-trailer. Grace is crippled, Pilgrim desperately injured and mentally shattered. Annie takes things firmly in hand, finds a cowboy, Tom Booker, who is a wizard with horses and, with Grace and Pilgrim in tow, heads out to Montana in search of healing for the horse and ultimate recovery for Grace. Not surprisingly, she and the firm but gentle Booker fall in love?and this is where the frequent comparisons by early readers to The Bridges of Madison County were made. This is a much more sophisticated book, however, even if it draws some of the same morals about big-city angst and rustic simplicity. By far the best things are the scenes of horse-healing, which are genuinely fresh, surprising and seemingly authoritative. It is perhaps a reflection on the rest that Pilgrim's recovery is more affecting than the conventionally melodramatic resolutions for the human principals. But it will sell and sell. 600,000 first printing; Literary Guild main selection; Reader's Digest Condensed Books selection; movie rights to Robert Redford; simultaneous BDD audio; author tour. Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the edition.

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