A book & movie review : The Black Stallion

First published in 1941 and ultimately spawning a series still published today, the Black Stallion by Walter Farley is a classic of children’s literature and of the horse genre in the particular. A film adaptation, directed by Carroll Ballard, of the first book in the series came in 1971.

I chose it as my first combined movie / book review for one particular reason. It’s one of the few occasions where a film adaptation of a bestselling book more than matches the book itself. The movie is epic. I’m not the only one who’s been moved to rapture by it – Roger Ebert’s review of it is more than worth a look for example.

So what of the book? It’s a heroic tale told in vivid prose and heart-stopping excitement. Some of the details passed me by when I read it for the first time (there’s really a place called Flushing? Like – like – toilet flushing?) and I admit to being a bit mystified by the whole let’s keep a stallion in the shed thing. These are passing things though because you can’t help but be caught up in this book.

In a way, this book embodies the “all or nothing phase” perfectly. It is horses or nothing. Or, to be more precise, it is this horse or nothing. Alec and the Black click. They’re meant for each other in a way that you just know. And, when the series progresses and the Black’s original owner makes himself known, it’s not just Alec that learns how pain feels.

The film brings all of this and it does it perfectly well. Where the film shines, and it’s a place that a book can never quite get to, is visually. The scenes with Alec and the Black on the island are just poetry. There’s an utterly perfect beauty to every frame that Ballard composes from the Black and Alex galloping through the surf, , or the silhouette of the stallion in the hill.

And the best way to illustrate this is, well, visually. There are some gorgeous fan videos available online and if you’ve not seen the film, these are a good place to start. I watched one which covers Alex learning to ride the Black and just burst into tears. Stuff like this makes me jealous. It makes me want to create to that level of perfection. It makes me want to do better each and every time.

I think this is one of the few stories that can’t really be split into a better or worse version. They are both stunning in their own right and I defy you to be not caught up in the story – whether you read it or see it first time round.

Source: didyoueverstoptothink.wordpress.com

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I have been a blue salmon,
I have been a dog, a stag,
a roebuck on the mountain,
A stock, a spade, an axe in the hand,
A stallion, a bull, a buck,
A grain which grew on a hill,
I was reaped, and placed in an oven,
I fell to the ground when I was being roasted
And a hen swallowed me.
For nine nights was I in her crop

Is funny, but ...

Check this out
Suggestive names are NOT allowed as a registered name with the TB Jockey Club
All names must be approved by the Jockey Club and there are a lot of rules about what you can't use:
No initials such as C.O.D., F.O.B., etc.
No names ending in "filly," "colt," "stud," "mare," "stallion," or any similar horse-related term
No names consisting entirely of numbers, except numbers above thirty may be used if they are spelled out
No names ending with a numerical designation such as "2nd" or "3rd," whether or not such a designation is spelled out
No names of persons unless written permission to use their name is on file with The Jockey Club
No names of race tracks or graded stakes races
No names clearly having...

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  • Avatar wanna_be_ur_naughty_girl I want to read sidney sheldon's books online?
    Jul 14, 2008 by wanna_be_ur_naughty_girl | Posted in Books & Authors

    Is there any site where i can easily read sheldon's buks

    • I agree. BOOKS are free at the library so go there.

  • Avatar Krib I'm interested in reading sidney sheldon books online(free),dont want to buy,what are the sites available...
    Oct 09, 2006 by Krib | Posted in Books & Authors
    • Be careful. I once asked for some "free" teaching material on Yahoo! answers. Then they deleted my question.
      I hope you have more luck than me!