Customer Reviews


701 Reviews
5 star:
 (314)
4 star:
 (110)
3 star:
 (76)
2 star:
 (80)
1 star:
 (121)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The movie only hinted at doing justice to this story.
Unlike some other reviewers I wasn't expecting this book to be a great work of modern literature but rather a beautiful story that everyman could relate to with a bit of thought. I wasn't disappointed. Maybe the author was a screenwriter and maybe the sentimental story itself is set out to read like a movie plot unfolding, none of that, to my way of thinking, diminished...
Published on November 16, 2000 by LMB

versus
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Characterization weak and inconsistent
I was drawn to the story because the horse and the family needed healing on many levels. I wanted to know more about how the horse and teenager were rehabilitated. Tom Booker, a.k.a. the Horse Whisperer, was an appealing character because he was a very balanced person. It was his role to be the healer. He had his wounds, but used them intuitively to help others. The...
Published on February 19, 2007 by Hannah Fowler


‹ Previous | 1 271 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The movie only hinted at doing justice to this story., November 16, 2000
By 
LMB (Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Horse Whisperer (Hardcover)
Unlike some other reviewers I wasn't expecting this book to be a great work of modern literature but rather a beautiful story that everyman could relate to with a bit of thought. I wasn't disappointed. Maybe the author was a screenwriter and maybe the sentimental story itself is set out to read like a movie plot unfolding, none of that, to my way of thinking, diminished the simple zen beauty of the authors prose which reflected the search for an inner calm in each of the main characters.
Others here have commented on the gore and adrenalin surging accident of Grace and the conveniently named Pilgrim and I from similar experiences found it traumatic - for the horse, but not for Grace herself because her story is really the means by which she and her mother find grace. Her mother Annie is forced to take stock of a life that she fears is not satisfying and which casts an effect on her child and her marriage.
If Tom, in a typical display of the western horseman, seems wooden through a lack of dialogue it is because he relates to the world through the horses he works with, espousing the simple wisdoms of a man who has learned to read what is subtle and unspoken. His loneliness is echoed in the souls of Pilgrim, Grace and Annie.
That Annie and Tom predictably fall in love and betray her marriage vows, in a different rendition of Graces relationship with Pilgrim, is not an issue. It is that only through the catalyst for change in Tom and the nature of his work with Pilgrim we find the key to the characters, that they too must sacrifice the instinct for self preservation to be remade with maturity.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Characterization weak and inconsistent, February 19, 2007
I was drawn to the story because the horse and the family needed healing on many levels. I wanted to know more about how the horse and teenager were rehabilitated. Tom Booker, a.k.a. the Horse Whisperer, was an appealing character because he was a very balanced person. It was his role to be the healer. He had his wounds, but used them intuitively to help others. The author portrayed him as a spiritual sort of guy. Suddenly, we are led to believe that he has an epiphany: He needs Annie! Unfortunately, their mutual desire was portrayed on a superficial level. Tom kept remembering her eyes, her smile, etc. This was teenage crush material; not at all in keeping with his stature or implied integrety. Furthermore, without giving the ending of the book away, Tom's final decision was totally unbelievable to me, considering the fact that he'd earned the teenage girl's trust. Just what she needed, more fodder for Post-Traumatic Stress disorder!

The book begins in a promising way, especially when Tom comes on the scene. However, the ending just didn't live up to my expectations. I skipped the sex scenes and think the main characters would have been a little better off if they had, too!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where's the horse?, May 9, 2001
By 
"cstew" (Seattle, WA United States) - See all my reviews
After all the hype I thought this book would be a profound insight into the relationships between people and animals and other people. How disappointed I was when I got almost all the way through and discovered it was little more than a romance novel! Heaving bosoms and all...
I suppose without any hype I might call it an impressive first novel, but I found most of the relationships stereotypical and the ending totally inconsistent with what little character development there was.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling, engrossing, and utterly brilliant novel..., June 22, 2000
A powerful and wonderfully written book, "The Horse Whisperer" tells the tragic story of a girl who has been physically and emotionally wounded during a violent horseback riding accident. In addition, her horse, Pilgrim, is also hurt very badly. Annie Maclean, the girl's desperate mother, contacts Tom Booker, a horseman who is able to communicate with the animals that he works with. Soon after, Annie and her daughter Grace head out to Tom's ranch, with their mad horse in tow. As the story unfolds, Tom and Annie fall in love. However, will the girl (Grace) and her beloved horse ever recover? Find out for yourself by reading this amazing novel. I recommend "The Horse Whisperer" to anyone looking for a sensational read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars ...one of the single worst books that I've ever read., December 29, 1998
By A Customer
I'm an avid reader and writer, so I know how difficult it is to create a novel. Even more so, I hate to give and receive criticism, but I thought that the Horse Whisperer was just awful. To summarize, the events were predictable and the characters were unoriginal and overdone.
After reading a few pages, I found myself interested in the novel. A young girl and her horse get into a violent accident...I found the writing to be moving. Then we are introduced to Annie, the young girl's tough but sensitive 90's mother, and the Horse Whisperer, and the only thing left whispering was me as I began to snore. The romance between the latter characters was, for Annie, the "I shouldn't, I'm married" and "I should, you magically speak to horses," to the Horse Whisperer's, "Okay, whatever you want, Annie." Yuck, yuck. I may have actually enjoyed the book if it had been more about or completely devoted to the recovery of the young girl and her horse.
One positive aspect of the book is the artwork on the cover, which attracted me to it in the first place. Other than that, I felt like I had wasted my money.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not much to like, June 21, 2002
I started reading this book only knowing that it involved a mystical sort of man who could communicate with horses. This concept sounded intriguing. The novel turns out to be more about the thoroughly unlikable Annie character. She is is a self-centered woman, who makes one grand gesture to help her daughter by visiting the Horse Whisperer. It is obvious from the start that there will be a romance, but I could see no reason why Tom (the title character) should have any interest in Annie. It makes you feel sorry for Annie's husband, who seems like a nice enough guy, but is left behind in New York. The horse is really the most interesting character, but he just falls into the background as the story moves on.
The wild horses in the story could have been an interesting metaphor, but Evans has an annoying habit of using symbolism and then explaining it too. It is as if he thinks his readers are too stupid to figure it out on their own.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "I Hear You've Found Me a Whisperer...", May 14, 2008
By 
R. M. Fisher "Ravenya" (New Zealand = Middle Earth!) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Horse Whisperer (Hardcover)
I can easily see why "The Horse Whisperer" became a bestseller. It is a poignant story of tragedy and healing, one that moves at a quick pace, manages to be both predictable in its overarching story, yet surprising in its details, and is told in clear - though somewhat bland - prose. It is by no means great literature, but as a holiday or `cold winter night' read, it fits the bill.

Thirteen-year old Grace Mclean is the victim of a horrific horse-riding accident (involving ice, a truck and two panicked horses) that claims the life of her friend and leaves her with an amputated leg. Damaged almost beyond repair, her horse Pilgrim is deranged with terror and pain - but Grace's mother Annie refuses to put the animal down, instinctively feeling that her daughter's ability to heal her body and soul is somehow connected to that of her horse.

Finding no support from any of the local vets, Annie tracks down a man named Tom Booker who is renowned throughout Montana for his skills as a "horse whisperer," a man who seems to instinctively understand and heal damaged horses. When Tom initially refuses to help, believing it to be too late for Pilgrim already, Annie (a business woman who is not used to getting no for an answer) packs up the horse and her daughter, and makes the drive to the Booker Ranch to demand the help that her entire family desperately needs.

It's an intriguing premise, and Nicholas Evans expertly creates the loving but tentative bonds between Annie, her husband Robert and their insightful, but rather sullen daughter Grace. Likewise, the disintegrating relationship between mother and daughter (which was never particularly strong to begin with) is poignantly portrayed as both Annie and Grace attempt to define, and then grasp what they each want from one another. Paralleling this internal struggle is Tom's work on Pilgrim, as he gradually leads the creature back to sanity, with Grace looking on in wonder. Added to the mix is the rest of the Booker family: Tom's brother Frank and his wife Diane, and their three children. Of these three, twelve-year old Joe (who would appear to be more Tom's son than Frank's) forms a sweet bond with Grace and coaxes her back into the saddle.

Out of all the characters, it is Grace that comes across the strongest and most sympathetic. Surviving her traumatic ordeal, the young teen struggles with the burden of her new body and the inevitable change in the way other people treat her. Determined never to ride again, she is furious when her mother drags her across the country in the attempt to save Pilgrim, and it is a very rewarding reading experience to find this young woman find herself again. It is surprising that a male writer can capture the nuances of a teenage girl so well, but I'll vouch for the consistency of her character since I was her age when I first read this book!

The book is at its strongest when dealing with this slow emergence of self-worth, love and redemption between mother, daughter and horse, but unfortunately Evans looses control of his own story when he introduces a love affair between Tom and Annie. In short, it just doesn't quite work. There is no sense of a lead-up to their sudden attraction to one another, and when it does come, it feels more like lust than any sort of meaningful romance. Likewise, some of the prose used in their love scenes is downright cringe-worthy: "To have her so close and yet so inaccessible was like some exquisite form of torture." Yeesh.

This also puts an even more traumatic spin on Grace's recovery. For two adults to act so irresponsibility when a child is involved erases all sense of sympathy I might have felt for their attraction, not to mention the fact that Annie is committing adultery. And since Robert is portrayed as nothing but a good, decent man, the whole thing becomes even more incomprehensible. The forced love-affair would have worked better had Annie and Tom reigned in their emotions (which interestingly enough, is what happens in the movie adaptation) - or if the whole relationship had simply been based on a platonic growth of mutual respect between them.

When the truth inevitably comes out, the resulting chaos is too abrupt and then just as quickly brushed under the rug again. It would be wrong to give away the ending, but it takes only a glance at the other reviews to see that it feels like Evans has taken the easy-way out of a difficult situation. It disregards the feelings of several characters (especially Grace's) and an "epilogue" set several months later tries too hard to convince us that everyone is coping just fine with the upheaval in their lives. There is a phrase that Tom uses during his healing sessions with Pilgrim: that the darkness comes right before the dawn. In the telling of this story, Evans seems to leave us in the darkness, before quickly reassuring us that the dawn did indeed come - without precisely *showing* us.

Evans is sincere in the messages of hope, healing and the worthiness of life that he captures throughout the course of the novel, and despite the unsatisfactory conclusion, there is enough here to recommend "The Horse Whisperer." It's certainly not a book that will change your life, but it is memorable and the characters and their situation are compelling enough to hold your interest throughout.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Save Me From Books Like This!, May 29, 2001
By 
J. Eng (Mount Laurel, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Talk about characters that nauseate a person! A married woman, living in trendy NYC, with a high-powered job, an educated and loyal husband, a spirited daughter, and what does she do? She sleeps with a man (who happens to be a rugged BUT gentle cowboy) because the novelty of someone new is enough to convince her that she needs this passionate fling to fulfill some emotional hole in her pity-pooh life. Oh, cry for me...my life is empty and I am blue, blue, blue, boo-hoo! Nay, she even feels somewhat justified in undertaking this betrayal of her promises and her responsibilities to her family and herself. After all, this is the land of get everything and when you've got everything, get some more. This women's needs supersede everyone else's, including her emotionally and physically wounded daughter's. This book is exactly the kind of garbage that convinces people that fantasy is reality and that consequence means nothing if the short-term satisfaction is attained. Should I even use the word, "satisfaction," since this never seems to be gotten? Save me from any more books like this one!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful--did not live up to promise of its title., April 4, 1997
By A Customer
I read this book because I love horses, I enjoy romances, and I was intrigued by the title (the best part of the book) and the beautiful cover. What a HUGE disappointment. Evans starts out with an interesting concept--that of a "horse whisperer" who can communicate with horses, and who can possibly help a young girl and her horse achieve emotional healing following a traumatic accident that has crippled them spiritually as well as physically. The initial scenes building up to the accident are rather well-written and grab your attention...then the book rapidly unravels and falls apart. I find it hard to understand why so many people are so enthralled with this book. The plot and dialogue are unbelievable to the point of being corny and laughable. The characters are also unbelievable and poorly (if at all) developed. Evans is the sort of author who thinks he can simply state that a character is such-and-such, and we will believe it without any illustration: he describes Annie as being absolutely brilliant, breezily skating through Oxford and her amazing career without effort, but nothing she says or does convinces us of her rapier-like intelligence. Apparently, constantly cursing at her employees constitutes brilliance. And the ending is absolute drivel. One of the worst books I have ever read, and I have read a lot
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Why did this drivel become so popular?, September 24, 2006
By 
I don't normally write these reviews, but I feel a responsibility to other readers to warn them away from this book. If you don't want to know any details about the book, you have the option of not reading this review, but, if you want to know what you're letting yourself in for, read on. If you are a horse lover, I srongly advise against reading The Horse Whisperer. If you want a romantic love story, you should also look elsewhere. If you want insight into dealing with a trauma, so sorry, no luck here. The book opens with a graphic description of a violent accident involving a girl and her horse, which results in death. Though I found these scenes truly disturbing, I hoped the trip taken by the girl and her mother to find an expert who could help to heal the girl and her horse would prove redeeming somehow. Instead, the experience was muddled and pointless. The few instances involving the "whisperer" attempting to heal the horse from its trauma struck me as something that would further traumatize the poor animal. Nothing he does ever seems to break through and cause the horse any improvement. Additionally, the mother appears to have no purpose in the story except wandering aimlessly around the farm, occasionally cheating on her husband with this man, and becoming pregnant with his child. The book's focus then turns almost completely to this ill-advised affair which doesn't really have any chemistry to it. The man and the mother don't seem that attracted to each other, and evidently only end up together because the plot required it of them. During all this, the girl's psychological problems resulting from the accident are basically ignored. She pretty much drops out of sight until the very close of the book when she is taken by the horse whisperer to witness another graphically brutal occurrence, which ends in another horrific death. Apparently, what we are to glean from this book is that, if you are a woman who can't have children with your husband, getting knocked up by another man will save your marriage. If you are a young girl who happens to witness a violent death, nothing will cure you except witnessing another violent death. If you're a horse, you can just figure things out for yourself. The fact that everyone seems blissfully happy after all this absurdity, just feels as though the author got bored with what he was writing and figured he had to wrap it up with a Hollywood ending somehow so he could get it off to the publisher quickly. In the end, I see no reason to waste your time with this book. I wish I could get back the hours of my life I spent on it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 271 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

The Horse Whisperer
The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans (Hardcover - September 11, 1995)
$24.95 $18.78
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.