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Publisher's Summary

Author Robert Olmstead's work has been called "brilliant and compelling" by the Chicago Tribune. Here, he takes us back to the Civil War. Robey Child, only 14, must go to the battlefield to bring his injured father home. Clad in a homemade uniform, gray on one side, blue on the other, and riding a powerful coal black horse, Robey sets out on a journey that will make him a man.
©2007 Robert Olmstead; (P)2007 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"A powerful, redemptive narrative." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Larry
  • SPOKANE, WA, USA
  • 09-08-07

Coal Black Horse

Truly a Southern Gentleman's prose, bring your dictionary and thesaurus. Wordy, erudite and graphic text describing the mayhem of the Civil War battlefields and man's inhumanity to man. Not a pleasant or comfortable read but a good storyline. Not for children less than 16 or the faint of heart, or those with sensitive stomachs.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • "unknown"
  • Olympia, WA, United States
  • 06-11-12

Intriguing Literature!

What made the experience of listening to Coal Black Horse the most enjoyable?

The narrator's skill is wonderful; he captures the story in its' true form

What did you like best about this story?

The motif of the black horse was the best part

Which scene was your favorite?

The scene where the old guy whose face and hands come alive with crawly things-- OOOOOOOH! that was wonderfully described!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

All the scenes that encompass the boy growing to manhood gripped me

Any additional comments?

This story is one of the most well written stories I have read in a long time--- well deserved any awards it received. I learned new words-- and how to use them. That is amazing as I am quite well-read across various genres.<br/><br/>I highly recommend this book and look forward to the continuation of the series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Gary
  • West Columbia, SC, United States
  • 12-17-09

Catcher on the Rye for grown ups

Had he continued writing after 1965, J. D. Salinger should have written this book to get more coverage. Wonderfully written and narrated. I enjoyed it more that the original Catcher. Not for young children, but for those who are passing from children to adults. A coming of age story that thinking adults would surely enjoy. I stayed up all night to hear the last word.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Rob
  • Durham, CA, USA
  • 11-25-08

Grim

Gory and dark. Highly rated not because it is enjoyable, but rather for the storyline and strong feelings it invokes.

This is a true "coming of age" book, with the Civil War and all its brutality as a backdrop.

The narrator does an above average job.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • kathyp
  • eden, UT, US
  • 09-07-15

Gripping and painful

The writing was beautiful in its brutality and gore. The descriptions of the war were horrific. Roby's transformation from an innocent to one who learned to be a survivalist was painful to read about. The boy grew into a man who understood that he had protect those he loved through violence again and again. By the end, one could only hope the rest of his life could be peaceful.