Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wednesday's Western: BREAKING SMITH'S QUARTER HORSE by Paul St. Pierre

A little known classic, you might say.  The first edition of Paul St. Pierre's Breaking Smith's Quarter Horse , published by the Ryerson Press, printed and bound in Canada, 1966, was written from his play after the Walt Disney movie appeared in 1965.

I have not yet seen the movie, but I can't help thinking that the book has to be far superior due to its gift of understated humor--something that would be hard to duplicate on film, despite the excellent cast of Glenn Ford, Chief Dan George (in his first movie, before Little Big Man and The Outlaw Josey Wales), Carol Olson, and Dean Jagger.

Paul St. Pierre continued the stories of the characters in Smith And Other Events, which deservedly won a Spur Award.  But if you have not yet read Breaking Smith's Quarter Horse, you are missing something extraordinary, not much of a horse story but an adult literary novel somehow lost over in the YA section of the library, an original and humorous humanist story which still rings true.

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