Wednesday 6 January 2010

Talking of Horses - Monica Dickens

Talking of Horses is an interesting little book. Monica Dickens has clearly been around horses all of her life, and here she reminisces about certain horses she has owned down the years. The book is a memoir of sorts but deals only with her animals.

The writing is almost dreamlike and definitely a stream of consciousness rather than done with any true structure in mind. I'm uncertain why there were even chapters included, since there seems no logical reason why Dickens breaks off at the end of a chapter.

Her writing is competent - some of the descriptions of her horses (especially Ben) are almost poetic.

There is no easy reason to say why I love this book so, and come back to it on a regular basis. I think possibly because Dickens conveys the enormous delight in owning and being around horses?

In between anecdotal stories about past rides (my favourite being her ride with John along the beach at Cape Cod), Dickens offers little tidbits of advice about how to deal with ponies in the stable, while at riding, how to train, what equipment to use. Everything she says carries a certain gravity since it has all been learned through extensive experience.

This book is definitely only for the horse-lover! It is written for children in the main, but no reason why adults won't enjoy the simplicity and enthusiasm of the writing. I enjoyed it, but it is definitely not for everyone.

1 comment:

  1. Hello

    When I was about 9 I had a book out twice from the school library which I remembered as being called 'Talking to horses'. I would love to find that book again, do you think this could be it? Does the age group sound about right?

    Thank for any help. This was in England by the way, so I guess it had to have been published in the UK and bought by the school.