Black Beauty by Anna Sewell | Audiobook Review

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell | Audiobook ReviewBlack Beauty by Anna Sewell
Length: 5 Hours 21 Minutes
Published by Penguin Books Limited on May 14th 2008
Genres: Young Adult, Classics
Pages: 288
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780141321035

Black Beauty is a handsome, sweet-tempered colt with a strong spirit. As a young colt he is free to gallop in the fresh green meadows with his beloved mother, Duchess, and their kind master. But when his owners are forced to sell him, Black Beauty goes from a life of comfort and kindness to one of hard labour and cruelty. Bravely he works as hard as he can, suffering at the hands of men who treat animals badly. But Black Beauty has an unbreakable spirit and will, and is determined to survive . . . With a wonderful introduction by award-winning author Meg Rosoff, Black Beauty is one of the twelve best-loved classic stories being launched in the newly branded Puffin Classics series in March 2008.

Why Did I Listen To Black Beauty by Anna Sewell?

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell is THE classic horse book. While I am not entirely a horse book person, I do like to be well versed in classics. Also, when I was a kid, I had the illustrated classics version of Black Beauty and well, let’s just say that somehow, I remember a lot more violence and fires and animal abuse than this book really actually had. ALSO! I listened because one of my resolutions is to read one classic book per month – so yay for being on track with resolutions. One down, eleven to go!

What’s The Story Here?

Black Beauty is about a horse with the same name – who is born to this horse named Duchess and lives an idyllic life with these older people and is raised by some pretty decent stable hands. All is well, until one of the old people takes ill and they have to sell off the horses. OH and there is a mean horse named Ginger, but Black Beauty finds out why she’s not all that nice. And so, Black Beauty changes hands a couple of times – ending up neglected at one point — and then working the best cab driver ever — and then in the hands of a cab driver who does not rest his horses, and then finally a good home which circles back around. I think that Sewell’s point in this book was to examine animal welfare and how we treat working beasts — and to influence children to treat animals well, especially horses.

How Did I Like Black Beauty?

If I am being real with you, I will say that I thought this book was alright. I mean, I did not have my mind blown by it or anything. Maybe Black Beauty is one of those books that you have to read when you are a little kid and horse mad. I was not at all one of those kinds of kids. I thought that this book was a bit on the preachy side. Also, while I did feel for the horses and their plight, I just never gelled or was 100% drawn into the plot and the action. A lot of it — to me was all, first I went here, then I lived here, and this master was essentially THE WORST. Eh.

How’s The Narration?

Nathaniel Parker does a tidy job narrating Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. He infuses the story with a proper sounding accent and voice, but it also sounds youthful. It is probably how a horse would sound if it could speak English. I thought his tonality was very soothing. This was a super fast audiobook, I got through it in two days if that tells you anything.

Sum It Up With A GIF:

Black Beauty GIF

Here is a horse being majestic and running fast, kind of like Black Beauty.

Other Reviews of Black Beauty by Anna Sewell:

Not a review because google is failing me, but this article on NPR about the book is absolutely worth a read.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. This is one of my favorite movies, but I haven’t read it yet. I may try the physical copy instead of the audio, but I can’t wait to read it. Great review!
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  2. Oh, wow, it’s been YEARS since I first read Black Beauty! I did have a horse books phase after reading it (and loved the Saddle Club books for this exact reason). Your review is actually making me curious about it, as I really don’t remember what happens for the most part!

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