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The Black Stallion Series Relaxed Shared Read Part 2 (2018)

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Jan 1, 2018, 9:46pm Top

Last year some of us decided to revisit/reread this series, while some joined in, reading the books for the first time.

There are more books in the series than there are months in a year, so here we are again

The series, in order, can be found here:

Here is the list of reads for 2018:

The Island Stallion Races

The Black Stallion's Courage

The Black Stallion Mystery

The Horse-Tamer

The Black Stallion and Flame

The Black Stallion Challenged
(aka The Black Stallion's Challenge)

The Black Stallion's Ghost

The Black Stallion and the Girl

The Black Stallion Legend

We've not yet decided what to do when we run out of the original series, but we'll figure that out by then.

Feel free to jump in, anytime, and post reviews or thoughts.

We do discourage revealing too much of the plot for others, so don't forget those spoilers!

Oh, and last year's thread is here:

Jan 2, 2018, 3:31am Top

Thanks Fuzzi, I will read along this month. Next one for me is April.

Jan 2, 2018, 12:42pm Top

>2 FAMeulstee: great, glad you're here!

I will probably read January's book fairly soon, to get it done, as I have a couple "chunkster" books I also plan to read.

Jan 16, 2018, 2:38pm Top

De rode hengst op de renbaan by Walter Farley, original title (The Island Stallion Races)

Steve is alone on the island Azul, he dreams about racing with Flame.
Then aliens land near the island and they can make his dream come true.

I still prefer the Black Stallion books over the Island Stallion books.
This is probably the worst of the series, really horse loving ALIENS..?..

Edited: Feb 19, 2018, 7:40pm Top

>4 FAMeulstee: I decided to skip the January book, since I have read it before and didn't care for it much.

However, the February book The Black Stallion's Courage is much better. I've almost finished reading it, and will post my review once it is completed.

Anyone else reading it yet?

And here's my review:

The Black Stallion's Courage by Walter Farley

Hopeful Farm is in need of a new barn, and the only way to raise the needed funds is by racing Black Minx, and The Black! Can Alec and Henry keep The Black's daughter in top racing condition after the Kentucky Derby, and also transition The Black from his life at stud to a successful new career as an older handicap racer?

Another good, solid entry in The Black Stallion series.

Edited: Feb 19, 2018, 7:50pm Top

One of the things I really enjoyed about this entry into The Black Stallion series is that Walter Farley immerses you into the racing world, from the jockey's locker room to the handicapper assigning weights, and even gives you a glimpse of racing on the track itself.

Oh, and the back cover is a hoot!!

Edited: Apr 3, 2018, 8:59am Top

Oops! Forgot to post this one:

The Black Stallion Mystery by Walter Farley

Alec and Henry see some yearlings for sale that look as if The Black was their sire, so they jump on a plane to Europe to investigate, and take their prize stud and main money-making racing stallion along? Really?

Much of this entry in The Black Stallion series requires the reader to suspend common sense. I have no plans to ever read it again.

Apr 3, 2018, 8:58am Top

The Horse-Tamer by Walter Farley

Forget the last two books in the series, this one reads more like the Walter Farley we've come to appreciate!

The Horse-Tamer begins with Henry and Alec waiting for their plane to depart, and Henry starts talking about his brother, a horse "tamer", not trainer. The remainder of the book is the story of Bill Dailey, and how he managed to retrain vicious or severely unruly equines.

Sounds hokey, but the narrative works, has the elements that usually make Walter Farley a good read. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Apr 3, 2018, 9:01am Top

Note: I did not read The Island Stallion Races, so I did not post a review. That one and The Black Stallion Mystery are inferior entries in the series, in my opinion.

Apr 3, 2018, 9:51am Top

I think The Island Stallion Races was even worse than The Black Stallion Mystery ;-)

I will start reading The Horse-Tamer later this week.

Apr 3, 2018, 10:46am Top

>10 FAMeulstee: Agreed.

The Horse-Tamer is actually a short book, about 100 pages. I picked it up last night and read straight through.

Apr 6, 2018, 6:15am Top

De paardentemmer by Walter Farley, original title The Horse-Tamer
While Alex and Henry are waiting for the plane to leave, traveling back to the USA with Black, Henry tells about his oldest brother Bill. Bill Dailey was a horse tamer, back in the day when horses were the main way for transportation. Bill tried to educate people about horses, using more gentle methods than most did. Henry worked some time together with his brother and learned a lot.
I enjoyed this one, despite the absence of the Black ;-)

May 29, 2018, 12:42pm Top

Anyone read the book for May, yet?

The Black Stallion and Flame

I'm going to start it tonight. It's a reread, but it's also been a long time.

May 29, 2018, 1:39pm Top

>13 fuzzi: No, I skipped this one, as I read it a few years back.
I plan to read De Zwarte Hengst getergd (=The Black Stallion Challenged) in June.

May 29, 2018, 2:00pm Top

>14 FAMeulstee: me too!

I've not read any of the later books since I was a juvenile, so I don't remember much.

May 31, 2018, 8:48pm Top

The Black Stallion and Flame by Walter Farley

Fairly standard fare about Alec and The Black, caught in a situation similar to the one that brought them together. I do enjoy how the author writes about their relationship, the rest of the story is okay.

Edited: Jun 14, 2018, 4:16am Top

Our June read: De Zwarte Hengst getergd (The Black Stallion Challenged)

The Black and Flame finally meet at the racetrack in Florida.

Jun 14, 2018, 9:42pm Top

>17 FAMeulstee: it's on my list, but I got a notice that the newest Russell/Holmes book by Laurie R. King was available for me to borrow from the library...The Black will have to wait a couple days!

Jul 6, 2018, 4:29pm Top

And I have read our July book early in the month: De geest van de Zwarte Hengst (The Black Stallion's ghost)

Alec and the Black are having a deserved rest near the Everglades. But a French dressage trainer (from the French Cadre Noir) has his mind set on the Black for a mating with his dressage mare. Beautiful descriptions of the mare performing classical "haute ecole" dressage.
The rest of the story is a bit thin, concerning superstition.

Jul 29, 2018, 9:38pm Top

You were kinder than I:

The Black Stallion's Ghost by Walter Farley

Another weird/strange entry into an otherwise enjoyable series: Alec and the Black encounter a haute ecole horse trainer and his grey mare deep in the Everglades, resulting in a supernatural experience. No, just no.

It does have a lovely cover...

Edited: Jul 30, 2018, 4:31am Top

>20 fuzzi: Mostly because of the dressage descriptions, I was a big fan of the Lipizzan horses from the Spanish Riding School in Vienna and of the Selle Fran├žais horses from the Cadre Noir. I still knew the names of all movements :-)

Two more to go, I will read The Black Stallion and the Girl in August.

Edited: Jul 30, 2018, 7:05am Top

>21 FAMeulstee: I've got that one on my radar, and then there's one more for September: The Black Stallion Legend.

Aug 16, 2018, 5:57am Top

Our August book: De Zwarte Hengst en het meisje (The Black Stallion and the Girl)

The race track is no place for women, according to Henry Dailey. But when a girl wants to work on the farm, and a farmhand is needed, Alec hires her. Pam is good with the horses, but it takes a lot before Alec can convince Henry.

Next month the last book!

Edited: Aug 16, 2018, 6:33pm Top

>23 FAMeulstee: I borrowed that one from the library, hope to start reading it in a couple days.

Speaking of women and race tracks, the regular exercise rider of Sham was a woman. She currently writes blog posts about her experiences with that racehorse, who was probably known best for challenging Secretariat in the Triple Crown races, back in 1973. So there were women working at the tracks at the time of this month's book.

Aug 16, 2018, 7:19pm Top

>24 fuzzi: When I was a regular at the racetrack (1979-1982) most excercise riders were women. There were two female trainers, two female (professional) jockeys and a lot of female amateur jockeys. But racing is a very small branch here, the majority of racing is with trotters. These days there are many trotter race tracks and only one racetrack for thoroughbreds is left.

Aug 19, 2018, 12:11pm Top

#83 The Black Stallion and the Girl by Walter Farley

I changed my mind...

Sometimes when I've read a childhood favorite, it remains a favorite, but more often it loses something in revisiting. Frequently I regret rereading a story, once so beloved, but now become tarnished. I never considered The Black Stallion and the Girl as a favorite, so I approached my reread with less than high hopes for a change in feelings.

And yet, they were there.

With the addition of a new trainer to Hopeful Farm we are once again treated to not only schooling methods and daily care of thoroughbred horses, but also shown the racing world struggling with changes to its long held domination by men. The author explores the inroads women were making into the sport at the time this book was written, some fifty years ago, done with a fairly deft hand, much more realistic than agenda-driven. And through it all Walter Farley shines in his details of the jockey rooms, the paddocks, the announcer's booth, even the starting gates so central to it all.

While I would not place this with the best of the series, it's close. Don't judge this book by its cover, or title.

Sep 7, 2018, 4:51pm Top

And the last book of the series: De legende van de Zwarte Hengst (The Black Stallion legend)

One of the worst entries in The Black Stallion series.
It felt like I was in the middle of a writers bad trip. I understand Farley wrote this after his daughter died, the grief in the book feels real, the apocaliptic part of the story isn't worth the read.

Sep 7, 2018, 8:25pm Top

>27 FAMeulstee: I tried to read this one, got a couple chapters in, put it down, picked it back up this afternoon. I kept reading, hoping it might get better. It got worse. I finally put it down without finishing it. Too bad.

I'd recommend people stick with the first seven or eight in the series, and skip most of the rest.

Sep 8, 2018, 1:38am Top

>28 fuzzi: Too bad indeed.
As a completist I am glad to have finished the project. As a reader I am going to read the first book again, to finish with a good one.

Sep 8, 2018, 7:10pm Top

So, which books were your favorites, and why?

Sep 9, 2018, 3:44am Top

My top 3:
1 - The Black Stallion
2 - The Black Stallion's filly
3 - The Black Stallion's blood bay colt

The first because it is the first book of the series, where the bond between Alex and The Black is starting.
After The Black, Black Minx was always my favorite horse in the series.
The last one because Bonfire takes us to the very different world of the trotters.

I didn't care much for the Flame books and the later Black books. The two worst books were The Island Stallion races and The Black Stallion Legend

Sep 9, 2018, 12:38pm Top

>31 FAMeulstee: I feel the same way as you, in the order as well!

1. The Black Stallion
2. The Black Stallion's Filly
3. The Blood Bay Colt

I did like The Black Stallion's Sulky Colt and The Black Stallion's Courage quite a bit. I also enjoyed The Horse Tamer. I was disappointed in my reread of The Island Stallion, don't think I'll read it again.

Ever read Walter Farley's bio of Man O' War? I liked it as a youth.

Sep 10, 2018, 7:28am Top

>33 FAMeulstee: Apparently our tatste is the same :-)

Yes, I have read and liked his Man O'War, I had a copy of the Dutch translation, culled it in 2005.

Oct 10, 2018, 4:26am Top

I just finished my re-read of The Black Stallion, to end my re-reading in a positive way. I loved it again :-)

Oct 12, 2018, 12:38pm Top

>34 FAMeulstee: I think that would be one book I'd take with me if I had to live all alone on an island or something.

Oct 12, 2018, 1:51pm Top

Yes :-)
And a few others like Lord of the Rings.

Jan 1, 10:04pm Top

It took eight months, but I figured out how to do personal pictures on LT without the little red X of doom! Here are a couple of pictures from The Black Stallion exhibit at the International Museum of the Horse in Kentucky. I couldn't get good pictures of most of the exhibit, but I enjoyed it.

Jan 2, 8:47am Top

>37 alsvidur: Cool! Do you know whether it is a permanent part of the museum, or just a temporary exhibit?

Jan 3, 1:57am Top

I'm pretty sure that it's a permanent part of the museum, but I could be wrong.

Mar 25, 8:47pm Top

>37 alsvidur: I just saw this, will see if I can add it to our next trip.

Mar 27, 9:12am Top

>37 alsvidur: That does look like fun. I might need to visit the museum the next time I'm up that way.

Mar 27, 9:32am Top

Besides Funny Cide and Go For Gin are in residence there...oh and Point Given. Would love to go see AP Indy, too. He'll be 30 this week!

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