The Big Read

No.58 – Black Beauty, Anna Sewell Read ??/08/13

Another free Kindle book. Another classic I hadn’t read mostly because I hate horses. No I seriously hate horses, they creep me out and I think they look like hairy dinosaurs. But it was on the list so I thought I had better get it out of the way.

Now I must admit I had no idea how a book from the perspective of a horse was going to work but it was surprisingly interesting. It was quite a good tool to use as a social commentary as the horse can not understand the ridiculous ways of the humans when really the author is making a point about important issues. It also makes you think about animal welfare in a way I am sure was quite radical at the time. Horses were tools, they were forced to work and I am sure they got very little thought outside of “go faster!” so it was a new idea to me to think about horses rights, if you will, especially seeing as horses today are mostly pets.

However, there was an awful lot I didn’t like about this book. PACE PACE PACE. There was none of it. Ever new chapter was a new moral and don’t get me started on the most unsubtle religious messages ever. The horse can hardly understand humans but he can recall entire conversation, several pages long about how drinking is bad and people should go to church more. It is not just that the drunk gets his comeuppance, which would’ve been message enough, no they have to talk about it for an entire chapter.

The story does have a happy ending and Black Beauty escapes all the hardship he goes through and although I was glad I really didn’t care either. I didn’t want him to be mistreated as he was but I finished the book went “ahh that’s nice” and promptly forgot everything that happened, except the enormous religious rant in the middle. In conclusion, I don’t feel I gained anything from reading this book, not even just the pleasure of reading, except maybe be nice to animals which is something I am pretty sure I knew anyway.

Rating: 2/5

Would recommend to: I wouldn’t you can skip this one.

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