Amos: To Ride a Dead Horse

Amos: To Ride a Dead Horse

by Stanley Gordon West


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A sports legend resides in a nursing home who encounters and unexpected life journey.

West’s AMOS is an imposing landscape of human drama and emotion – hear-rendering, timeless, hilarious, stunning, joyful, - an incredible story, a book that rips readers early and late, a novel they don’t want to end… a page turner with heart, a joy to read, a treasure to cherish.

Ever so often, indifference and neglect mutate into unmitigated evil and then humanity goes on trial. Rarely, someone stands in the breach and shouts “No” with only courage and dignity as weapons. Amos was a man who thought he’s experienced all that life had to offer, when with a capricious turn of fate, he fell through the cracks of society’s institutions, in to the merciless cogwheels of human apathy and carelessness. His struggle not only to survive, but, to overcome is a compelling testimony to the inner strength and irrepressible spirit of man. Against devastating odds and arrogant brutality, Amos finds a triumph he never expected.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780965624701
Publisher: Lexington Marshall Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 09/28/2000
Pages: 234
Sales rank: 312,247
Product dimensions: 5.54(w) x 8.94(h) x 0.48(d)

About the Author

Stanley Gordon West was born in St. Paul, MN and grew up during the Great Depression and the World War II years.  He graduated from Central High School in 1950 and attended Macalester College and the University of Minnesota, earning a degree in history and geology in 1955.  He moved from the midwest to Montana in 1964 where he raised a large family.  Stanley wrote several novels, including AMOS: To Ride a Dead Horse, which was produced as a CBS Movie of the Week starring Kirk Douglas, Elizabeth Montgomery and Dorothy McGuire and was nominated for four Emmys.  You Are My Sunshine was his last work before his passing in 2015.

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Amos: To Ride a Dead Horse 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
TimBazzett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I ended up buying this book along with a later West book, BLIND YOUR PONIES, which has gotten a lot of favorable buzz in the past several months. AMOS, it turns out, was West's first (self-)published book, back in the early 80s. And the premise is an interesting enough one, a group of elders in a rural Montana nursing home in the early 60s - it was actually more of a 'poorhouse' or county farm sort of place back then. And these old folks are being victimized and terrorized by the home's director, Daisy Daws, who is a 'Big Nurse' kind of character, a la Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. West's hero is one Amos Lasher, a widower in his late 70s when he arrives at the Sunset home. It doesn't take Amos long to figure out something is rotten in Denmark, beginning with the sudden demise of his roommate, a busted-up old cowboy with no family. Yes, Daisy Daws is an evil life-insurance-collecting ball-buster indeed, as is her shin-kicking abusive henchman, Roland. Yes, people are abused and neglected, evil runs rampant at Sunset - just what the book promises. It is a classic 'good' (Amos et al) vs 'evil' (Daisy et Roland). The problem is these roles are just too too completely black and white. There are no shades of grey. But there is plenty of overwrought absolutely purple prose strewn throughout the book, which plods along at an annoying 'old folks' sort of pace. And what is most painful for the discerning reader is an annoying surplus of simply horrible and inept metaphors and similes, to be found on nearly every page. Here are a just a few examples -"Depression covered him like an afghan." (p 124) "He looked at Amos through heavy glass lenses, his eyes magnified goldfish swimming in symphony." (also p 124) "Amos thought they were like fish in a aquarium ... nowhere to go, nothing to do with themselves, simming round and round all day over the same marbles and colored rocks ..." (p 44) "When his heart felt like wax, his plans like dust in the hurricane, Carlos, in his weathered adobe skin ..." (p 141) "... knocked over the urinal full of phlegm and urine. Like a flow of lava the nauseous mess moved slowly across the green and black linoleum ..." (p 35) ...Aahh, what the hell, they're everywhere, and worse ones than that. Just open the book anywhere and you'll find 'em.I will admit that the resolution to this good vs evil conflict was somewhat unique and even unexpected - and if you're gonna read it, I won't spoil the ending - but even that was ruined for me by the aforementioned purple prose and overdone adjectives. I would have liked to give the book at least 3 stars, but just couldn't. I hate to beat a dead horse, but the writing is simply too awful. I can only hope that West's writing has gotten better in the past 25 years, because I've got BLIND YOUR PONIES here to try soon. My wife is reading it now and tells me it's good. I sincerely hope I agree.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had just finished, Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen. That was a good read and a colleague said if I liked, Water for Elephants, then I must read, Amos. At first I had trouble getting into the book because of having had family members in nursing homes. However, what an amazing novel and what an admirable character Amos is. Very moving and at times depressing read, but so worth the emotional ride.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first read Mr. West's books about Minnesota, because I grew up in some of the same neighborhoods. I liked them immensely. Then I read 'Amos.' It was one of the most touching & illuminating books I've ever read. Anyone who dismisses the elderly should read this book. It was on one hand depressing, and on the other encouraging. West is a great writer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Amos is a wonderful book that I had to put down a number of times because it brought back memories of my grandma who was in a nursing home. The book takes place in a nursing home and the events that take place also happened to my grandma. I cried for the elderly and what some of the staff did to them and then I cheered at how Amos got back at them. It really was a very good book that I highly recommend but please note that it is also depressing especially for those of us who had relatives in a similar situation.