Tag Archives: the horse whisperer

more horse talk

The second half of The Horse Whisperer certainly lost its momentum. It’s one of those books that’s easy to read (I got through it in just under a week), but I’ve been putting off this review because I didn’t like it. So, not sure if I was really aching to write this post. The prose of the book isn’t even bad! Aside from some awkward sex scenes, but then, I don’t even read romance novels so I may not be an authority on what makes a GOOD sex scene.

I will say this, I enjoyed the movie far more. This was one of those rare instances where the movie was definitely better than the book. Fight me, this film came out in 1998. Where the movie succeeded and the book didn’t, to me, was making the focus not Annie, but Annie and Grace’s relationship. There’s an equal weight to both of their arc’s. Come to think of it, I don’t even think Annie has an arc in the book. She starts out a selfish, controlling woman who continues to be selfish and controlling up until the end, cheats on her husband and gets pregnant by the man she “truly loves.”

Everything is all well and good in her world when all you want is for her to nose-dive off a cliff.

The only sad part is when Tom is trampled by a herd of wild mustang (actually super random and kinda funny) and dies. Really, he should be thankful, he would have had to spend the rest of his life with one helluva woman.

The film keeps Tom alive at the end and has Annie “doing the right thing” and going back to her family. Sure, the story doesn’t have to end on a moral high note, but I think it felt like a more natural ending to this saga, otherwise, what was that all for? Going back to my Gone With the Wind analogy, it’s not like at the conclusion of that story where Rhett’s walking away, and you get it, but there’s a small part of you thinking: “But they should be together! I don’t know why because she’s terrible, but they should! ”

Nicholas Evans, I am way late to this gravy train, but this book was not the business.

horse update

For a book I bought on a whim and have had sitting around my apartment/in boxes for the better part of two years. I’m actually surprised at how much I am enjoying The Horse Whisperer. I’m not always too keen on titles that make the bestseller list (either because I’m too hipster, out of the loop, or buried in old books). This does go down pretty easily – as popular fiction tends to do.

For anyone who doesn’t know what this book is about – After her daughter (Grace) is left disabled and traumatized in a riding accident, a workaholic mother (Annie) whisks her daughter and her hopelessly shaken horse to Montana, enlisting the help of a quiet rancher who’s known to work miracles with horses.

I will say, this book does seem pretty of its time. Annie’s one of those career women of the 90’s that I see emulated in my own mother. Grace is of the headphones and MTV generation. I have no love loss with Annie – I don’t like her – which makes me wonder if she’s supposed to be one of those Scarlet O’Hara type figures that you love to hate. The thing is, I like Scarlet as a character, I can’t stand Annie. I probably identify all to well with Grace. Maybe that’s the rub. And the fact that Annie’s behavior will somehow be rewarded with Hot Cowboy Guy (Tom Booker) somehow being all into her and her strong lady routine while her Good Man husband (Robert) sits forlorn in their New York apartment… MAN, is this book ever British!

The author, Nicholas Evans, was a screenwriter/producer up until he published this book. Although today. I was thinking about Nice Work by David Lodge, which I had to read in my undergrad, and then it hit me, “Ah yes, the typical representation of unhappy marriages where there is 0 communication as to what is causing the actual unhappiness.” The foothold the British Literature/Drama. I’ll probably have this finished within the week and have watched the 3 HOUR film adaptation starring and directed by Robert Redford. Hopefully then, I’ll also be able to tell you why in God’s blue Montana sky they felt the need to make a film that long with a such a bare bones premise.


Years ago, a friend of mine and I had the idea to start a list of New York Times Bestsellers Through the Decades and read down the list. The list was meant to start from a decade back and move up to the present… 2016. Needless to say, we didn’t get very far, at all. The only one we did manage to read was The Martian by Andy Weir which, if I remember correctly, I did review on this blog when it was published. Not a huge fan, but it was popular enough to be made into a film so that made me think about bestsellers and how reflective they are of the time in which they are published. We’ve had Mars fever for a while, but only in recent years does it seem as though we’re getting close and closer to actually touching its surface with human beings. Mars is in the public conscious.

Also, think about it, Gone With the Wind was a hugely successful bestseller in 1936 followed by the equal success of its 1939 film, but would that get made today? Maybe, but the direction would certainly be different.

Here was our list:

2015 THE MARTIAN – Any Weir (READ)

2005 THE DA VINCI CODE – Dan Brown

1995 THE HORSE WHISPERER – Nicholas Evans

1985 LAKE WOBEGON DAYS – Garrison Keillor

1975 RAGTIME – E. L. Doctorow

1965 THE SOURCE – James Michener

1955 BONJOUR TRISTESSE – Francoise Sagan

1945 THE BLACK ROSE – Thomas B. Costain

1935 VEIN OF IRON – Ellen Glasgow

2016 (Let’s Bring it Home) THE BURIED GIANT – Kazuo Ishiguro

^ This list is the only reason I own a copy of The Da Vinci Code and The Horse Whisperer. Do people even talk about these books anymore? Remember what an absolute stir Dan Brown caused? Meanwhile, Gone With the Wind is still talked about in all its controversy. So, why do some of these books have staying power and some don’t? Surely, they were culturally relevant at some point. If you look at the list, some still ring a bell, others are almost completely forgotten to the modern reader.

I think I’d like to get back to the list and ask myself the same questions as I read. Honestly, though, I hate holding myself to a strict regiment – so I might just hop around. I’ll start with the books I already own, at least! Maybe I’ll add the decades missing. I think I’ll start with The Horse Whisperer. I’m dying to know what all the whispering is about, 1995 here I come!