The Red Pony

The Red Pony

by John Steinbeck

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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A Penguin Classic

Written at a time of profound anxiety caused by the illness of his mother, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck draws on his memories of childhood in these stories about a boy who embodies both the rebellious spirit and the contradictory desire for acceptance of early adolescence. Unlike most coming-of-age stories, the cycle does not end with a hero “matured” by circumstances. As John Seelye writes in his introduction, reversing common interpretations, The Red Pony is imbued with a sense of loss. Jody’s encounters with birth and death express a common theme in Steinbeck’s fiction: They are parts of the ongoing process of life, “resolving” nothing. The Red Pony was central not only to Steinbeck’s emergence as a major American novelist but to the shaping of a distinctly mid twentieth-century genre, opening up a new range of possibilities about the fictional presence of a child’s world. This edition contains an introduction by John Seelye.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140177367
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/28/1993
Series: Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 112
Sales rank: 49,574
Product dimensions: 4.31(w) x 7.56(h) x 0.32(d)
Lexile: 810L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

John Steinbeck, born in Salinas, California, in 1902, grew up in a fertile agricultural valley, about twenty-five miles from the Pacific Coast. Both the valley and the coast would serve as settings for some of his best fiction. In 1919 he went to Stanford University, where he intermittently enrolled in literature and writing courses until he left in 1925 without taking a degree. During the next five years he supported himself as a laborer and journalist in New York City, all the time working on his first novel, Cup of Gold (1929).

After marriage and a move to Pacific Grove, he published two California books, The Pastures of Heaven (1932) and To a God Unknown (1933), and worked on short stories later collected in The Long Valley (1938). Popular success and financial security came only with Tortilla Flat (1935), stories about Monterey’s paisanos. A ceaseless experimenter throughout his career, Steinbeck changed courses regularly. Three powerful novels of the late 1930s focused on the California laboring class: In Dubious Battle (1936), Of Mice and Men (1937), and the book considered by many his finest, The Grapes of Wrath (1939). The Grapes of Wrath won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1939.

Early in the 1940s, Steinbeck became a filmmaker with The Forgotten Village (1941) and a serious student of marine biology with Sea of Cortez (1941). He devoted his services to the war, writing Bombs Away (1942) and the controversial play-novelette The Moon is Down (1942).Cannery Row (1945), The Wayward Bus (1948), another experimental drama, Burning Bright(1950), and The Log from the Sea of Cortez (1951) preceded publication of the monumental East of Eden (1952), an ambitious saga of the Salinas Valley and his own family’s history.

The last decades of his life were spent in New York City and Sag Harbor with his third wife, with whom he traveled widely. Later books include Sweet Thursday (1954), The Short Reign of Pippin IV: A Fabrication (1957), Once There Was a War (1958), The Winter of Our Discontent (1961),Travels with Charley in Search of America (1962), America and Americans (1966), and the posthumously published Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters (1969), Viva Zapata!(1975), The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights (1976), and Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath (1989).

Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962, and, in 1964, he was presented with the United States Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Steinbeck died in New York in 1968. Today, more than thirty years after his death, he remains one of America's greatest writers and cultural figures. 

John Seelye was a graduate research professor of American literature at the University of Florida. He is the author of The True Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain at the Movies, Prophetic Waters: The River in Early American Literature, Beautiful Machine: Rivers and the Early Republic, Memory's Nation: The Place of Plymouth Rock, and War Games: Richard Harding Davis and the New Imperialism. He also served as the consulting editor for Penguin Classics in American literature.

Date of Birth:

February 27, 1902

Date of Death:

December 20, 1968

Place of Birth:

Salinas, California

Place of Death:

New York, New York


Attended Stanford University intermittently between 1919 and 1925

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The Red Pony 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 122 reviews.
BookReviews8 More than 1 year ago
The Red Pony is a dark and intense novel by John Steinbeck. The theme of the book is learning from mistakes and finding that the outcome of an event won't always be what you want. The main protagonist, Jodie must learn from his fault and discover how to cope with the sorrow and pain of a loved one. The author primarily uses foreshadowing to portray events that you know will happen, but don't expect them to occur a certain way. Overall, I would say that The Red Pony was rather a let down. I didn't truly dislike the book; it's more of the fact that I was disappointed. The story starts off fine, but then leisurely loses its pace.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was good at the beginning but then towards the end the book got really bad it went off topic and worst of all there was no conclusion. this was probably the worst book i ever read in my life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Red Pony focuses on a young boy named Jody who is coming of age a lot in the story. Jody is fond of horses, and is happy when greeted with a red pony one morning. He names the pony Gabilan, after the Gabilan mountains, which Jody is also takes interest in. The story as four sections - The Gift, The Great Mountains, The Promise, and The Leader of the People. Honestly, this story was a bit difficult to follow. The plot between sections changes. In one section the focus is on Jody and horses and in another, the plot focuses on Jody and exploration of the mountains.  I was expecting a bit more from Steinbeck as I really did enjoy "Of Mice and Men". The story starts out interesting, but as soon as it hit the second section, it went downhill for me. Perhaps if you enjoy stories with multiple plots you might like this book. For me, it wasn't too favorable. So no, I would not recommend this book, especially if you have trouble following stories with many things going on. However, if you do enjoy Steinbeck's style, you might want to give the book a shot... but even though I do enjoy Steinbeck's style and voice... I wouldn't read it again. Why did I choose two stars? I chose two because although it's not the best book I've ever read, it's not the absolute worst either. It does have Steinbeck's spirit, which I enjoy.
jbarr5 More than 1 year ago
The Red Pony by John Steinbeck A boy is given a pony to take care of. He still continues to do his chores and go to school. One day the ranchhand says it will not rain to leave the pony outside as the boy goes to school. Problem is it does rain and the boy hurries home to cover him up and bring him inside the barn. The horse gets very sick and the ranchhand tries many things to get the horse better to no avail. He has to deal with the death of the pony as time goes on. Ranch life continues as an old man comes to stay as the house he was born is no longer there on the ranch. A new pregnant animal has arrived at the ranch and a very difficult birth. The hardships of ranch life are forefront but there are good times, like when Jody's grandfather comes to stay for a week.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book Review Outline Book title and author: The Red Pony; John Stienbeck Title of review: Could be Better Number of stars (1 to 5): 2 Introduction The Red Pony Is about a boy who wants a pony but the pony is hard to come by. The boys name is Jody. Description and summary of main points Jody wants a pony, but the pony wasn't the easiest thing in the world to possess with the Indians and the money to. Evaluation To my opinion the book was horrible but that's my choice. If you liked the book well I guess you like heart-breakers. I personally do not like how the pony died, that just didn't follow the plot. Well the story didn't have much of a plot but your know what I mean. Conclusion When the pony dies I just didn't get why. I mean the boy wanted the pony so let it live. Now you see why I don't think the story followed a plot. Your final review Overall I think the story jus needs to be better from cover to cover.
bballjosh More than 1 year ago
Book title and author: The Red Pony by John Steinbeck Title of review: A new Genre of Book Well, obviously since the title is The Red Pony you have to get an idea of what it is about. The story is pretty much about the coming age of a boy who has several horses by his side during the process of growing up. This author's purpose was to get the message out that life goes fast. This book is an average book that gives a good message about life. Overall, this book is a young adult book. John Steinbeck is a Nobel Prize winning author. He wrote the great book, The Grapes of Wrath. I would like to let you know before I go into any harsh detail about this book that might enrage you I am basing this book off suspense and energy. This book describes how harsh things were a long time ago. For example the father yells at the kid a lot. One time he said, "Get out Mr. Big Britches, go on, get out," and the boy didn't even do anything. This book is strong on one thing- realism. It vividly describes or gives you a good idea of what life was like back then. It makes it even harder living in the wild west. There are minor of the book where it is suspenseful. If you're looking for an edge of your seat book, this is not it. If you're looking for a book that has hardships and rough times, this book is the one for you. This book lives up to standards in different ways. Books in this genre are pretty much similar to this book. This book is a good book and will not waste your time. Out of all this madness this book is slightly above average. This book will make you happy at some point. In others it will just be a downer. Again this book is realistic just like other books in its genre. I enjoyed reading this book. It was a good expierence. It might've been different but still good. This made me think, what would I have been like if I lived back then. I hope this review was usefl to you and it helped you make your decision.
Lordofthebooks More than 1 year ago
I was really disapointed with this book, considering it was written by IMHO one of the greatest authors of our time. The plot wasn't good, and the ending was very abrupt. It's a short read though so pick it up for yourself, you might like it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Red Pony is one of those book that stands out for me because I know horses. My mom has a horse named Missy that is very much like Galiban and every time I go there I try to break her, but to little avail. This book tells the reader that even though you put much into something, it may later amount to nothing. I think that this concept actually strengthens a person to do even better next time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I personally didnt like The Red Pony that much it was mostley a repeating story and not recomended for children too much gore scenes. The thing I most liked was the the relationship he ended up having in the end and the things he sorta learned, bu other than that it was a pretty boaring story.
prettypinkpony2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I got lost to much. I had no idea what was going on. I read it over again but still didn't know. It definitely a challenge book/
avhacker on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
ah! so sad and depressing! i love stienbeck's writing though!
TakeItOrLeaveIt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
had to read this in 6th grade. despised it. deplorable novel. was never a huge horse fan.
joririchardson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I normally love John Steinbeck, but I didn't enjoy this book at all. What is it even about? I suppose you could say it's about a pony... but only for 1 or 2 chapters. This book is very boring and pointless. The only interesting character, an old indian man who randomly wanders onto the ranch, disappears within a few pages.I didn't like this book... if you want to read Steinbeck read "Of Mice and Men," "The Pearl," or "The Grapes of Wrath."
supermanlver on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book almost made me cry. I highly recommend it. It is very sad though. This child goes through some really hard times throughout this book. THis is a great coming of age story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really really really really like it and u guys who say u dont are wrong .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I looked at the cover of "The Red Pony" I thought that it would be about a red pony. I read this book  because I like horses. After i read this book i felt sad because everything that you get to know dies, the pony dies, an old man comes takes a horse and leaves and they never go after him, they killed a horse so its baby could survive, and his grandfather comes to a disappointing conclusion. there are 4 sections in the book and they're all part of jody's life when he is 10. Billy Buck is a farm hand and he knows a lot about horses and takes interest in jody. they live on a ranch in the californian mountains; Salinas, California in 1902. I think John Steinbeck did a great job creating this book, I liked the book because the boy, jody, experiences death and what life on a ranch can feel like. I also like this book because it has animals and it is like what a life on a ranch is like when you live with all of the excitement. this book is about jody's exciting  life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stop your stupid RP ing. Every one exept you hates it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All its about is some idiot who wants ti be a rancher and keeps whining and making wussy pouts. At th end h is 31 and he is still not a rancher and is now cryimg to his mommy that he wants to be a singer! How STUpID is that!.!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I should say.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sadly pads home
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Among Horseclan teritory there is a large ivy collection on a stone. Push through the ivy at a spot you find yourself in a tunnel leading to an underground cave. The cats who used to live in this area lived in this cave and called it the Cave of Old. There is a small waterfall making a stream of water. Moss grows along the edge making perfect nests for 20 cats. Next to the moss is a diffrant tunnel leading to an herb garden with hunting areas just outside the clan teritory. Next to the herd tunnel there is large crake in tbe wall leading to where a med cat would be. Then in the middle of the cave is a large rock. On the side of it there is a hole big enough for a leader. The is like a stone ramp for a cat to climb up on to the rock. The place is wonderfull for a camp
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She padded out of the warriors den
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(Sorry i haven't been on much recently, guys! I just recently became addicted to Kingdom Hearts (i played it for over 10 hours straight without food, drink, or restroom breaks yesterday) and i lost access to a computer, which means no FanFiction, Minecraft, or the Sims 3, making me kind depressed... so, yeah. I'll try to be on more, though. Btw sorry if i interupted something important when i posted this!) ~Blackfeather