The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans Reviewed by Steve Rudd
It was in America that horses first roamed.
A million years before the birth of man, they grazed the vast plains of wiry grass
and crossed to other continents over bridges of rock soon severed by retreating ice.
They first knew man as the hunted knows the hunter, for long before he saw them as a
means to killing other beasts, man killed them for their meat.
This is a truly astounding piece of work, and all the more so when you bear in mind
the fact that this is Nicholas' first novel, that was first published less than a decade ago.
Almost immediately, The Horse Whisperer seemed to become a cult book and a
worldwide best-seller, helped along considerably by the movie adaptation of the
story that starred - and was directed by - Robert Redford.
Following the story of a teen-aged girl who is involved in an accident with her
horse Pilgrim, in which the girl loses one of her legs and vows never to ride another
horse ever again, the girl's mother Annie hears of a Horse Whisperer who can
cure horses of their fears... for, as things stand, Pilgrim comes out of the
accident both an emotional and physical wreck too, needing to be healed.
Where there's pain, there's still feeling, and where's there's feeling, there's hope.
Setting off from New York to the mountain-ridged wilds of Montana, the mother and
daughter end up pursuing the talents of a man called Tom Booker - a horse whisperer
that has come strongly recommended.
There, in Montana, as both the girl and the
horse slowly reconcile their differences, fragile relationships naturally grow
in intimacy, and before long Annie and Tom Booker realise that they are actually
in love with each other, but both realise that their love could destroy everything
they have both ever worked for...
The Horse Whisperer really is marvelous for being so beautifully written, with
Nicholas Evans' startling style of prose somewhat reminiscent of
Robert James Waller's
writing in his similarly romantic Bridges of Madison County.
Both novels chart perfectly the progression of a relationship from its early
lust-fuelled stages right over the threshold of realisation that true love is in the air.
Still, nothing is over-sentimentalised and Nicholas Evans' way with words here
does ensure that the reader can't help but be moved by the story and the individual
plights of all the well-created characters involved.
Evans' writing also manages to capture the physical and spiritual beauty of
Montana's wide-open spaces, with such beauty majestically mirroring the budding
romance between Annie and Tom.
But, as with most classic love stories, tragedy is just around the corner and
hearts will be broken...
Still, it does - to a certain extent - prove what Annie believed... that it
was a simple and unassailable fact of life that if a woman went to epic
lengths to throw herself on the mercy of a man, the man would not, could not, refuse.
What say you? I say that The Horse Whisperer is masterpiece of contemporary
literature that every single person who can read should, for it essentially delivers
some breathtaking lessons in what it means to be humane and kind - and to be both
truly in love, and on the receiving end of such a mighty force.
First published in 1995 by BCA
Reviews, Books - Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland Reviewed by Steve Rudd
I realise that by deciding not to do things, I've lost millions of threads of chance
and opportunity to have new experiences, to meet new people - to be alive, really.
So now I'm going to start doing things I'm bad at again. Heck, I'm going to do things
Reviews, Books - The Cossacks by Leo Tolstoy Reviewed By Steve Rudd
The one way to be happy is to love, to love self-denyingly, to love everybody and everything.
If you fancy a nice little slab of classic literature, then this beauty of a story might be for you.
Set on the harsh Russian Steppes back in the nineteenth century, this simple-living
Reviews, Books - Pink by Gus Van Sant Reviewed By Steve Rudd
Famed Hollywood-based director Gus, like actor Ethan Hawke, is now making his name as an author too.
This is his debut novel, and a bizarrely tripped-out one at that, putting the reader in the mind of
Douglas CouplandRead more...
Reviews, Books - God's Debris by Scott Adams Reviewed by Katherine Horrex
God's Debris explores the philosophy of physical science within a fictional story.
It was written by Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert and is the number one best-selling
E-book on the planet.
Adams himself describes it as a
Reviews, Books - Ice Run by Steve Hamilton Reviewed by Steve Rudd
This is Steve's sixth action-thriller novel, and it is arguably his most exciting and accomplished so far.
Michigan-born Steve sets all his work in such a perpetually snowbound state
(or so it would seem from reading his work),
Reviews, Books - The Shark Net by Robert Drewe Reviewed By Steve Rudd
Ok. So most movies, books or long-running TV-orientated soaps tend to
dwell on the sunnier side of living in Austrailia. Am I right?
Sure, there are instances of scandal now and again amidst the emotionally
challenged sprawl of Ramsey Street, but nothing too shocking or
Reviews, Books - Lost Horizon by James Hilton Reviewed by Steve Rudd
This awesome tale of adventure and intrigue was first published in 1933 and still makes for a
remarkable read, as four people are kidnapped in the Far-East and then somewhat inexplicably
left stranded in a secluded Tibetan valley, an area that they soon come to know as
Reviews, Books - To the Poles Without a Beard by Catherine Hartley Reviewed by Steve Rudd
This extraordinary woman was the first British woman to reach first the South Pole and then the
North Pole (along with another lady called Fiona), and this is her story...
Essentially an exquisite autobiography, this book starts out by chronicling Catherine's life -
in brief -
Reviews, Films - Ae Fond Kiss by Ken Loach Reviewed By Jane Foster
I've been a Ken Loach fan ever since I saw Kes. I tend to think of that film now as the
million-times-better precursor to Billy Elliott ( I couldn't be doing with that schmaltzy
effort). Loach is the king of social realism that hits you where it hurts, and yet
leaves you with a lingering sense of having
Reviews, Books - Touching the Void by Joe Simpson Reviewed By Steve Rudd
Autobiographical tales don't come much more nail-biting than this living nightmare, recalled
by mountaineer Joe who was left for dead on a snow-riddled peak in Peru back in 1985.
After getting into trouble on the 21,000 ft Siula Grande with friend Simon YatesRead more...
Reviews, Books - One Man and his Bog - 20 Years of The Adelphi Reviewed By Michelle Dee
I have just returned home from a Monday night at the Adelphi club on De Grey Street clutching
a prized copy of the unique One Man and his Bog. (The History of the Adelphi)
I had new dark Kit Kats to eat but I didn't spare them a thought, until I had read