Friday, November 27, 2015

Book Review: Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Greetings everyone,

Me and my son joined the library : Just Books few months ago. My son gets bored of his story books after reading them upteen times. At JustBooks you can select a book & keep/read it until you are done reading and not rush to return after its sanctioned limited time. This suited me and my son perfectly.
He is hooked to the "Clifford, the Big Red dog" series. I wanted to read him a few of my childhood favorites.

Image source: http://falconsflyer.org


I stumbled upon Black Beauty, an autobiographical memoir by a horse named Black Beauty. I remember reading it in school when I was in 4th standard. But it remained impression-ed in my mind cause it was in a picture book format. Later I had re-read the full versions of it.

This was my start at reading books. Earlier I hated reading cause you were made to read so that you did good at dictation tests. When you love reading, words automatically imprint in your brain. No learning-by-heart needed :)

So now I thought I will restart my reading of Classics again.
I picked it up more than 4 moths ago and have been reading it on and off.

What I liked:
The narration is so simple yet you can feel the rich English language. Reminds of school and grammar classes :) Distinct from the books we are reading now a days. These classics sort of have the curvy almost lyrical way with words, literally ;)

The story is beautifully narrated. Black beauty as a young colt to an old horse. It will make you an Animal lover if you arent already. It empathizes with how horses or any animal if treated well will love and serve you to the best it can.
I think this is why I read all those cowboy stories and The Phantom Horse series by Christine Pullein-Thompson in my colony library.

The morale's taught in this book still hold true today. How to be helpful, loyal to your master, considerate, listen and learn, the good always wins, ... The 'Sansars' or values taught in childhood shape a human, which we Indians proudly stand by, is shown repeatedly in different ways.

It very accurately describes characters but also the deep human nature.

I love the way in classics how they describe in detail  simple things without sounding boring like the wind blowing through the meadow or a simple meal. The most patience I have shown while reading such long descriptions is for the book Emma by Jane Austin or Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery .

What I wanted more:
More such peaceful, satisfying books
In terms of: You always are calm during and after the completing the book. A peaceful feeling always settles in your heart after reading this book. You feel you have learned some Secret of Living Life or everything is and will be right in Life :)

Some paragraphs I loved from the Book:

About Religion:
“Your master never taught you a truer thing,” said John; “there is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to man and beast it is all a sham--all a sham, James, and it won╩╝t stand when things come to be turned inside out."

John's little quotes:
Do your best,
And leave the rest,
'Twill all come right,
Some day or night'


About having a day-off in a week. People please pay heed to this advice!:

"Yes, sir, that is true, and I am grateful for all favors, I am sure; and anything that I could do to oblige you, or the lady, I should be proud and happy to do; but I can't give up my Sundays, sir, indeed I can't. I read that God made man, and he made horses and all the other beasts, and as soon as He had made them He made a day of rest, and bade that all should rest one day in seven; and I think, sir, He must have known what was good for them, and I am sure it is good for me; I am stronger and healthier altogether, now that I have a day of rest; the horses are fresh too, and do not wear up nearly so fast. The six-day drivers all tell me the same, and I have laid by more money in the savings bank than ever I did before; and as for the wife and children, sir, why, heart alive! they would not go back to the seven days for all they could see."

Why is the World so bad? :
"Do you know why this world is as bad as it is?"
"No," said the other.

"Then I'll tell you. It is because people think only about their own business, and won't trouble themselves to stand up for the oppressed, nor bring the wrongdoer to light. I never see a wicked thing like this without doing what I can, and many a master has thanked me for letting him know how his horses have been used."

Guess for that feeling I need to continue to always read a Classic parallel with our new releases.
On it, Sir/Mam !

Next Classic on my list is going to be Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

Have you read Black Beauty? Please let us know your views as comments on this post :)


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