Ten Thousand Heavens by Chuck Rosenthal

Playwright Octavio Solis:

“What can I say? This is a small masterpiece. A superbly written novel of a horse’s life. It’s more than just a horse story, though. It’s a treatise on how to live, how to listen to the world and know its needs. It’s about learning to find heaven in difficult hearts, and hope in horrendous circumstances. There are passages in this book that I want framed over my desk. I’ve read nothing like this before and am changed by it.”

(from Goodreads)

From The Los Angeles Review:

“The book is at its best when it shows us animals, humans included, trying and usually failing to make sense of new sensations and situations.  The chapter titled ‘Think’ is reminiscent of Gertrude Stein’s language games that use repetition to emphasize that understanding something requires one to first figure out the limits of one’s prior knowledge…”

–Daniel Pecchenino

Amazon Reviews:

“What a risky book. Imagine horses as characters, not anthropomorphized, but with plausibly compelling cognitive processes. You won’t be surprised that they’re pragmatic creatures, but also consider the potential of a horse named Rumi whose ditherings and yearnings in a comic-poignant way echo his namesake’s. It’s an instructive, tender, comic, and humane book. I cried at the end.”


“[Chuck Rosenthal] has a knack for writing thoroughly engaging and entertaining books that carry the deep undercurrents of his philosophical, spiritual and even scientific speculations with such a deft touch that they may not even surface in your consciousness during the actual reading. It took me a moment to get past the ‘talking’ horses before I could give myself over to the subtle and rapturous beauty of the writing and the story, but I’m very happy I did. Rich, insightful, moving.”

Goodreads & LibraryThing Reviews:

“WOW!!! My tongue is tied as to what to say about this book. I was only slightly looking forward to reading it since I had won it from Goodreads and was blessed beyond my wildest imagination.

“The first couple of pages are deceiving and boring, after that relax and enjoy. This book takes you into the mind and heart of a horse. A horse that has been abused and thrown aside until Bird comes along and loves her with his whole heart.

“The ending was everything you would hope for and more. I cried more than I ever have before while reading a book and those tears were gladly given. One of the best books EVER!”


“A must read for horse lovers. The book is written from personal experience, care, love and emotion toward the author’s horse.  I love the book because of its personification of the animals and specially the quotes from great religious [philosophical] books and authors, it tells us what’s in the chapter.  Personally, I love horses and loved how the whole thing is written.”


“Ten Thousand Heavens is written mostly from the perspective of an intelligent horse named Annie. It is the heartwarming story of the unbreakable bond that she develops with her owner Bird. More than anything else, it is about Annie learning to trust once again. Bird’s journey with her is full of moments of joy and pain. He teaches how patience,trust and love can dissolve the years of abuse suffered by Annie. There is a magical connection between Annie and Bird, and anyone who has experienced the unspoken bond between animal and human will appreciate the beauty that this story exemplifies and the perfect moments that we share. Give this book a chance. It is well worth it.”


“It does take time to adjust to the writing style, but by the middle of the book I was flying through it! AND, at the heart-wrenching end I had tears in my eyes. You FELT the author’s/ Bird’s sadness and agony. This book is written in ‘horse’….yep, I said horse.  A language unto itself, highly intelligent and intuitive. Defintely do NOT judge the book by its cover here…but instead expect writing that takes time and thought and then devour it.”


“Ten Thousand Heavens, Chuck Rosenthal’s ninth novel, is a love story. It’s about the lifelong bond that is forged between a man who initially knows nothing about horses and a mare named Annie … In spare, matter-of-fact prose Rosenthal takes us bit by bit through the evolution of the relationship until there can be no doubt, first that Bird loves Annie and—eventually— that Annie loves Bird. It’s not love at first sight, not by a long shot. … Anyone who approaches this book with an open mind—and an open heart—will come away with a better appreciation of, and (hopefully) an increased respect for, the much-abused creatures who share this much-abused planet with us.”


“As soon as I started reading Ten Thousand Heavens I discovered it’s told from the horse’s perspective. Uh-oh. My last foray with a book told from an animal’s perspective was irritating.

“However, as I continued to read on, I discovered that the author utilizes his background in philosophy to deliver some thoughtful gems via horse speak. It’s clear that Mr. Rosenthal has spent a fair amount of time around horses and has given some thought to the why behind their instinctive nature. It was entertaining for me to read his take on equine behavior after spending so much time thinking about it myself. Philosophy and behavior aside, it’s a touching story of a man whose mission is to rehabilitate a Thoroughbred Arabian mare named Annie using time and love instead of whips and spurs. My feeling is that this is the true story of the author’s relationship with his mare, Jackie O, but it’s called fiction because of the point of view it’s told from.

“One of my favorite quotes made me think of the Morgan mare I used to ride. That horse had spunk! ‘A horse that wouldn’t try to buck you off once in a while was no companion at all.’

“If you like horse stories you will gallop through this little book of friendship and compassion.”