The Horse Boy

The Horse Boy : A Father's Miraculous Journey to Heal His Son

3.98 (3,320 ratings by Goodreads)
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At the age of three, Rowan was diagnosed with autism. Alongside many difficulties, it meant that he was virtually unable to speak. One day, his father Rupert introduced him to Betsy, the neighbour's old brown horse - and was astonished at what happened. This powerful mare suddenly dropped her head and stood stock still. No matter what Rowan did - shrieking, babbling, rolling on the ground - she remained still, quiet, submissive. 'Shall I put you up?' he asked. 'Up!' Rowan said. It was the first meaningful word he had ever spoken. So began an epic journey on horseback from their home in Texas to the wilds of Mongolia. Rupert Isaacson takes us on a magical adventure, describing how these mysterious and sensitive creatures provided the key to unlocking his son's hidden personality.
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Product details

  • CD-Audio
  • 126 x 138 x 24mm | 199.58g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Abridged
  • Abridged edition
  • 0141040718
  • 9780141040714
  • 1,067,545

Review quote

The Horse Boy is saved from a terminal case of blockbusteritis by two things. The first is Isaacson's brutal emotional honesty. At moments he finds his son's existence, and its effect on the life he had envisaged for himself, simply intolerable, and he doesn't flinch from telling us so. The second is the excellence of his writing. Executed with a trace more sentiment, a fraction less ironic intelligence, a degree less fine observation, this book would be unbearable. But somewhere within himself Isaacson has found the rigour to keep in balance his mysticism, his hope and love for his son, and his sheer infuriation at the outrageous misfortune of Rowan's condition. The result is an elegant, affecting narrative that contrives to transform a riverside poo - Rowan's first controlled bowel movement - into a triumph of the human spirit. -- Jane Shilling * Telegraph *
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About Rupert Isaacson

Rupert Isaacson is the author of The Healing Land, a 2004 New York Times Notable Paperback, The Wild Host: History and Meaning of the Hunt, a history of man's relationship with hunting, five guidebooks to Africa and India and the Action Guide to Britain, a guide to adventure sports. His journalism and travel writing have appeared in the Daily Telegraph, Esquire, National Geographic, Independent on Sunday, Conde Nast Traveller, Daily Mail and The Field. He is an ex-professional horse trainer and founding director of the Indigenous Land Rights Fund (
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Rating details

3,320 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
5 34% (1,133)
4 37% (1,240)
3 22% (742)
2 5% (162)
1 1% (43)
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