Walter Farley William Clifford - Essay

William Clifford

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

["The Black Stallion and Satan" is a] nicker-a-page thriller, and all Black Stallion fans had best start looking for a quiet afternoon when they can let their favorite horse breathe fire down their necks….

The crescendo of final action, as well as the chain of physical and emotional twists throughout, make the implausibilities of the story fade magically away and help the lessons in responsibility to be painlessly taught.

William Clifford, "Hoof Beats," in The New York Times Book Review (© 1949 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), November 20, 1949, p. 58.

Farley fans will not be disappointed [in The Blood Bay Colt] although this is almost too concentrated in technical details about the mysteries of harness racing for the general market. This story of a trotter and the boy who handled him has the sense of reality, mature development and communicative love of horses which has gained this author his large, articulate following.

"Fiction: 'The Blood Bay Colt'," in Virginia Kirkus' Bookshop Service, Vol. XVIII, No. 11, June 1, 1950, p. 304.

One cannot deny the appeal [The Island Stallion's Fury] will have among the devotees of flying manes, but we deplore some of the violent elements here which have not appreared in Mr. Farley's earlier books. Beating a horse with a bull whip, and the brutal activities of a demented sadist on the loose, are undoubtedly arresting episodes, but hardly necessary in juvenile fiction, we feel.

"Fiction: 'The Island Stallion's Fury'," in Virginia Kirkus' Bookshop Service, Vol. XIX, No. 12, June 15, 1951, p. 297.