Walter Farley Allie Beth Martin - Essay

Allie Beth Martin

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Walter Farley has varied his plot in ["The Horse Tamer"]…. The Black Stallion's trainer tells a story about the experiences of his older brother as a horse-tamer before the days of horseless carriages. Negligible story; stereotyped characters; poor format. Practical psychology involved in taming and training difficult horses and a plea for kindness comprise a major portion of the book.

Allie Beth Martin, "Junior High: 'The House Tamer'," in Junior Libraries, an appendix to Library Journal (reprinted from the January, 1959 issue of Junior Libraries, published by R. R. Bowker Co./A Xerox Corporation; copyright © 1959), Vol. 5, No. 5, January, 1959, p. 40.

Walter Farley's first dog story [The Great Dane Thor] is formula fiction that fizzles out at the end. It's the eternal triangle: boy who loves woods and wild animals, dog who kills deer, father who excuses dog…. The symbolic resolution comes on Christmas morning when boy gives father sleeping bag and father gives boy puppy of his own. This is a curious conclusion, because the boy was completely happy alone in the woods…. The author seems to be saying that Man's Best Friend must be Everybody's Pal. For the reader, a rubber bone. (pp. 1102-03)

"Eight to Eleven: 'The Great Dane Thor'," in Virginia Kirkus' Service (copyright © 1966 Virginia Kirkus' Service, Inc.), Vol. XXXIV, No. 21, October 15, 1966, pp. 1102-03.