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

Rupert Isaacson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 Jan 2010

Rupert Isaacson's The Horse Boy is one family's epic journey to rescue their son.

Rupert and Kirstin Isaacson were heartbroken when they learned that their two-year-old son Rowan was autistic. And with each passing day, Rowan's growing isolation, his uncontrollable fits, each failed treatment, filled them with despair.

Then one day Rowan escaped and ran into a field of horses. Rupert watched in horror - but saw a miracle occur. The horses responded lovingly to Rowan - and he to them. Could Rowan's affinity with these animals save their son from his condition?

The Isaacsons left their home in Texas and travelled to the plains and mountains of Mongolia - the spiritual home of the horse - risking everything - their happiness, future and sanity - on an arduous epic horseback journey in search of a cure for Rowan . . .

'An elegant, affecting narrative...a triumph of the human spirit' Daily Telegraph

'Captivating, incredible, a magical journey, an impossible dream'Telegraph Weekend

'It is probably only once in a critical lifetime that one will be moved almost to tears by [such] an account ... the excellence of his writing [creates an] elegant, affecting narrative ... a triumph of the human spirit'Telegraph

'Magical, miraculous, uplifting'Daily Mail

Rupert Isaacson is British but lives with his family in Texas, USA. He is an ex-professional horse trainer and founding director of the Indigenous Land Rights Fund. He is the author of The Healing Land: A Kalahari Journey and his journalism and travel writing has appeared in the Daily Telegraph, Esquire, National Geographic, Independent on Sunday, Conde Nast Traveller, Daily Mail and The Field.


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Frequently Bought Together

The Horse Boy: A Father's Miraculous Journey to Heal His Son + The Long Ride Home: The Extraordinary Journey of Healing that Changed a Child's Life + Horse Boy [DVD] [2009] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Price For All Three: £23.15

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (7 Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141033630
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141033631
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rupert Isaacson is British but lives with his family in Texas, USA. He is an ex-professional horse trainer and founding director of the Indigenous Land Rights Fund, a non-profit organization that helps threatened and displaced indigenous tribes obtain tenure of their ancestral land . He is the author of The Healing Land: A Kalahari Journey and his journalism and travel writing has appeared in the Daily Telegraph, Esquire, National Geographic, Independent on Sunday, Conde Nast Traveller, Daily Mail and The Field.

Product Description

Review

"Isaacson charts his son's progress and regressions with an endearing tenderness.... Readers also follow the rare moments when Rowan expresses affection for his father, who is honest and humble throughout. And the author's chatty and self-deprecating storytelling adds a welcome buoyancy to a weighty experience. Meanwhile, Mongolia makes a fetching backdrop for this father/son love story.... Rooting for Rowan through all this... makes "The Horse Boy" an unexpected page turner." -- The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review

Isaacson's journey to heal his son is just that, a healing, not a cure. But he wouldn't want it any other way. While the author's purpose was to draw Rowan out of his autism, he came to realize the overlooked gifts it entails. The Horse Boy will leave readers with a new appreciation for autism and the healing techniques of other cultures; like Rowan, they, too, will be changed forever --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Horse Boy 6 April 2009
Format:Hardcover
Having a grandchild myself who is somewhere on the autism spectrum is one of the things that attracted me to the book when I read part of a serialisation in a daily newspaper. Having then purchased the book I made it my bedtime reading and found it to be enjoyable and thought provoking. Who would want this life? It is well written and flows well,testimony to it coming straight from the heart. I can only praise the strength of both parents but particularly the father's in wanting the best for his son who I hope continues to make progress in an often less than understanding world. It shows us too that we shouldn't be so judgemental on how children behave, we never know why they might be tantruming and so should be more understanding. To give this insight into both Rowans world and the difficulties of their own is a brave thing to do but shows us too how to follow our own convictions and listen to what our heart and mind is saying. The book also paints a very vivid picture of Mongolia, more beautiful than I would have thought but also in parts as sad as many other parts of our world but tells of great people who didn't judge but were prepared to help. Well worth the read, highly recommendable and purchasing a copy also helps fund a place where other 'special' children may be with animals to help them.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Window into a different world 24 April 2009
Format:Hardcover
This book takes the reader into the world of loving parents living a nightmare. A beautiful child caught in the world of autism, a father who is able to act on his intuitions, with the sometimes reluctant support of the child's mother, together take us on a miraculous journey. it is the father who is the ruthlessly honest narrator of his quest for an entrance into the mind of the child. Personally, i would have liked to have heard the mother's voice as well. But the book is powerful, unputdownable, and probably one of a kind. I found myself caught up in the journey into healing through the power of animal-meeting-human spirituality. Disarming honesty, humour and above all love and tolerance, makes this an unforgettable read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Horse Boy 27 July 2009
By Claudia
Format:Hardcover
The Horse Boy is the best book I've read in years. I am retired and read even more now than I did. It's funny, sad and truly amazing. The ending is very unexpected.
I've lent the book to 6 people and they have all bought a copy.
Try it.
Jayne
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Horse Boy 11 Mar 2009
Format:Hardcover
The Horse Boy by Rupert Isaacson.

LOVED this book! I was profoundly moved and inspired by the bravery of this child and his parents to endure the inner torture his autism seemed to bring him, at times and the incredable resilience and love they have and had to just keep going.

I am ashamed to say I was scarred of autism and how hard it must be for all involved, that i just would turn away, I understand so much more now and instead of scarred, I am inspired, it opened my eyes and gave me a large dose of hope.

The length parents go for the love of thier child is incredable, this moved me deeply.

Ofcourse, I cried, you can't not, however, Rupert is very funny and it was a great balance of reality to hillarity, if I was crying one minute, he'd have me laughing the next. His candid portrayal of their strengths and weakness's and the sheer wildness of the adventure ( I could NEVER be that brave!) were refreshing and had me reading almost continuiously until I finished it.

I've never read every single word from start to finish; the prologue, publishers just everything, I didn't want it to end.

Kate Turner Mays
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 14 July 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Whilst, this book came highly recommended to me, by someone who also lives closely with a child on the autistic spectrum, I think it is also a good read for anyone who likes heartwarming, personal stories, as well as anyone interested in shamanism. Written by Rupert Issacson, himself a travel writer, about his and his wife's healing journey into the furthest reaches of Mongolia, with their young autistic son, Rowan - on horseback (well mostly - although do read the Chapter 'Vanboy', where Rupert despairs that he will ever get Rowan out of the (leopard print) van and back onto a horse.) As a parent of a child with autism, I found many parallels with my own existence, it makes you feel that you are not alone (parents of autistic children can end up feeling very isolated), and take my hat off to such a brave undertaking! It has given me renewed hope about going camping again - even though last year was such a nightmare. Sad in places and tongue in cheek in others about the everyday traumas that parents of children with autism can experience, i.e the desparate attempt to find coveted plastic animals in a soggy quagmire, with your feet, because you know your life might not be worth living without the aforementioned - plastic animals. This is also an amazing document of the Mongolian Shamans' innerworkings in recent times. Mr Issacson documents the biggest gathering of shamans in Mongolia, in recent history, since the time of persecutions. An amazing description of a healing ceremony. He also raises discussion about what it is to be a parent and what do we mean by healing? Also it is a story about acceptance and comparitive culture, in its widest possible sense. The Horse Boy foundation is bringing horse riding tochildren with autism through a number of locations and encouraging engagement with the beauty of nature through their centres in the UK and Texas.
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