Biography

Kalashnikoff, Nicholas

Nicholas Kalashnikoff , as far as I am aware, has written just the one horse book translated into English (though I believe he has written some equine short stories I have not been able to track these down.) Jumper is the life story of a Siberian colt who became a Russian Cavalry horse, having been requisitioned for the First World War. He is then mixed up in the Russian Revolution. The book I find most interesting at the beginning, when the contrast in how horses have to be looked after in Siberia and here is very marked. There horses have no choice but to be stabled for weeks if not months on end because of the harshness of the winters. Jumper has an idyllic life on the farm until he is requisitioned. After this, the book is less involving: Jumper’s army career does not have the pathos of Joey’s in Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse, and it is more interesting from an historical point of view than for the power of the story.

Finding the book
The original UK edition was illustrated by Lionel Edwards; the later ones by Victor Ambrus. None of the printings are hard to find: the original Peter Lunn printing is though hard to find with a decent dustjacket.

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