The Champion

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Reading like a good magazine article padded out to make an undistinguished book, this is the story of Owen Smith, a horse raised by the author and destined for the racetrack. In 1970, Gene Smith had written a children's book, The Winner, about an injured horse who cured himself; life imitated art when Owen was hurt so seriously in a stall accident that he could never race. But Owen, a kind and patient animal, withstood punishing medical treatment and was later able to provide riding therapy for handicapped children. The tale of Owen comprises less than half the book, however; the rest is a pedestrian account of the author's career as a newsman and a horse-player, as well as his family's experience as breeders and owners before Owen was born. Owen's triumph, though, will appeal strongly to horse lovers and devotees of heroic tales. (March)
Library Journal
With an introduction billing this as a heart-touching memoir of a man and his horse, it is disappointing to read the first third of the book and progress only as far in the man's life as his decision to breed racehorses. One passes the book's halfway point before encountering the foaling of ``Owen Smith,'' the horse who becomes not the racing champion his owners hoped for, but a horse who overcomes severe handicaps to become a horse for handicapped children to ride. The story is about the author himself, and after the slow start with tales of his army life and his brilliant newspaper career (complete with rehashes of the news stories he broke), the story of the horse he loved is well written in a touching, sentimental way. An optional purchase. Joanne K. Hammond, formerly with Pennsylvania State Univ. Lib., Mont Alto
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689118791
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publication date: 4/28/1987
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 160

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