Extended Audio Sample

Download Coal Black Horse Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Coal Black Horse (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Robert Olmstead
3.52 out of 53.52 out of 53.52 out of 53.52 out of 53.52 out of 5 3.52 (33 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert Olmstead Narrator: Ed Sala Publisher: Recorded Books Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2007 ISBN:
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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. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gena | 2/17/2014

    " I bought this book after listening to a positive review from some guy on NPR. He was so emphatic that everyone listening to the radio program should run right out and buy it that I did just that. I'm about half way through it- I put it down for a few days after realizing that it wasn't the right kind of book to be reading on vacation. I'll go back to it and finish it eventually but I'm not running back. Maybe it's just not my kind of book? I'm having a hard time connecting to the book. Having said that, I can't get the image of the crazy, lice ridden goose man out of my head. Creepy as hell. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mrose | 2/11/2014

    " While the writing was strong, there was much that was off-putting to me, including the premise of a mother willing to risk her son in the way she did, and the graphic violence which seemed never-ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 2/6/2014

    " This Civil War detached-child-narrator story took a while to grab me but the further I get from it the better a book I find it (minus the ending which was masculine fiction overkill for me.) A boy's mother sends him out to find his father who has gone off to war. She gives him a reversible union/confederacy jacket and a horse, but the horse goes lame on the way down from their mountain home and through the kindness of a general store owner he ends up with the coal black war horse of the title. He travels the war-ravaged countryside allowing for some interaction with war-ravaged people, loses and regains his horse, and buries the dead. Slow moving but satisfying and I think good history as well, and short enough to not get bogged down in the modern fiction style. Expect this on syllabi in the near future. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joy Guenther | 1/14/2014

    " This was a great read. Reminded me of the story of "War Horse" but set during the Civil War. Now I'd like to read O'Reiley's "Killing Lincoln". "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 1/13/2014

    " Coal Black Horse is a hard read. Fourteen year old, Robey Childs, is sent by his mother to find his father who is a soldier in the Civil War and bring him home. She made him a coat that was grey on one side and blue on the other. Her only directions were to "travel south". An impossible jouney. He receives a coal black horse as a gift on the way. The horse becomes a source of inspiration for Robey. He finds his father at Gettysburg. This is where the book becomes hard to read. Common sense tells you that the Civil War had to be brutal, the book confirms this and more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carmen | 1/12/2014

    " A coming of age novel set during the American Civil War this is truly a wonderful story. Robey's mother sends him off on a fool's errand. He is to find his father and tell him to come home. During the search he sees more than a boy of 14 should and changes for ever. But he also experiences great joy. A wonderful dichotomy. Excellent book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Henry | 1/1/2014

    " Surpassed Killer Angels as the best fictionalized treatment of Gettysburg. Gory at times but excellent storytelling "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ginny | 12/31/2013

    " This is not my normal genre of books. I thought it was slow, for my taste, but it's good. It's a different way to look at the Civil War. I did like it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 11/20/2013

    " Terrific coming of age story about Gettysburg during the Civil War. Well written and page turning. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annie Koulouras | 11/17/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book and so will you if you can close your eyes and loose yourself in the descriptions and narrative of the author. I highly recommend this for a book club read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shelie | 11/8/2013

    " Gruesome tale from the civil war. Interestingly written but it left me wanting more details. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 11/2/2013

    " A young man comes of age in grueling circumstances during the Civil War - graphic portrayal of the times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 11/1/2013

    " While I did not care for the story, the book was well-written because I could visualize the various scenes and feel the emotions of the main character. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marry Stewart | 9/21/2013

    " Every sentence this author writes drips with description. I learned about the battles of the civil war and became fascinated with that period of time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dsinglet | 7/4/2012

    " Good book with boy to man theme and very realistic background of the Battle of Gettysburg. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carl Demrow | 4/3/2012

    " Cold Mountain meets Blood Meridian. A good tale. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Leah | 3/17/2012

    " It had promise, but I just couldn't get into it. Really heavy handed with adjectives. Sounds silly to critique it like that, but it slowed me down too much. Perhaps my current state of mind? Could work out for other people. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 M— | 12/16/2011

    " Oh, my hippophile's heart. This was probably a fine historical novel, but it was the title and cover art that caused me to pick it up and there was nearly not enough of about the horse in it to suit me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Betty410 | 11/17/2011

    " This story of a 17 year old boy sent by his mother to find his father on the front of the Civil War. There are gruesome descriptions of the results of cannon balls on the human body but appropriate for the times. The weaving of the boy's struggle to keep his horse is a new view of the times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tina | 10/18/2011

    " One of the BEST books I have ever read about the Civil War. A great coming-of-age story. It is unforgettable! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 6/26/2011

    " dark & brutal, another coming of age book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Danfunk | 5/13/2011

    " Well I finally finished this, and only because I don't like NOT finishing books. The constant use of "coal black horse" when talking about the coal black horse annoyed me from the start. The mythical overtones just didn't work in the story. I'm glad it was only $2 at the bookstore. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Burt | 5/12/2011

    " This is a Civil War book and a worthy read for interested parties. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe | 3/15/2011

    " This book was like The Road by Cormac McCarthy, depressing, well written, a different look at the Battle of Gettysburg, but just like the Road, grim. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 3/14/2011

    " Civil War story. Not as complicated as Cold Mountain and told from a boy's perspective. Still, has edge of your seat qualities and tells story of civilian hardships with compassion--and judgement--for both sides. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gary | 2/20/2011

    " Beautifully written book with an interesting story to tell. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nieca | 10/27/2010

    " Read this for book discussion in Port Clinton. Good discussion. People liked the description, even as they agreed it was sometimes too gruesome. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 10/4/2010

    " This painful story of growth of a young man during the Civil War was heart-rending. I'm sure it showed the War and its effects in their reality. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan | 9/13/2010

    " Similar to Cold Mountain in its depiction of how the Civil War affected young people. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill | 8/15/2010

    " Loved it! Olmstead is an immensely talented author. Definitely an adult read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Addie | 8/7/2010

    " I am not enjoying this at all. Trying hard to get through it, but abandoning it weeks at a time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 7/12/2010

    " Thouroughly enjoyed this novel. It took some time to get into it, but the language and imagery were outstanding. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Henry | 6/29/2010

    " Surpassed Killer Angels as the best fictionalized treatment of Gettysburg. Gory at times but excellent storytelling "

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About the Author
Author Robert Olmstead

Robert Olmstead is an award-winning author and educator. His novel Coal Black Horse was the winner of the Heartland Prize for Fiction. His other fiction work includes America By Land, A Trail of Heart’s Blood Wherever We Go, Far Bright Star, and Soft Water. Olmstead is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and an NEA  grant. Along with his fiction work, he has also written a textbook for fiction-writing workshops and a nonfiction memoir, Stay Here With Me. He is currently director of the creative writing program at Ohio Wesleyan University. Previously, he served as Senior Writer in Residence at Dickinson College and as director of the creative writing program at Boise State University.

About the Narrator

Ed Sala has narrated dozens of audio books throughout his career. His readings include Harlan Coben’s Tell No One, Stephen Sears’ Gettysburg, and Cormac MacCarthy’s Outer Dark.