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  1. #1
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    Mar. 9, 2005
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    Default New novel set in horse racing industry

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...111606968.html

    You may want to check out this new novel, LORD OF MISRULE by author Jaimy Gordon, that got a good review from fellow author, Jane Smiley (who also has set her novels in horse racing scene).



  2. #2
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    Jul. 2, 1999
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    I've seen the book mentioned on a few of the racing news sites. Although Joe "not really a racing fan" Drape (of The New York Times) being a fan of the book makes me apprehensive

    http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/130879997

    The premise of the book seems not unlike the entire storyline of the forthcoming HBO original series "Luck"



  3. #3
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    Apr. 4, 2007
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    Default

    I started a thread about this book a few weeks ago. It is one of the finalists for the National Book Award. It also got a starred review from Kirkus, and they're pretty hard to please.

    The author worked at a racetrack for (I think) 2 or 3 years before she went to college, so hopefully the racing parts will ring true.



  4. #4
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    Ft Worth, TX, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by ravenclaw View Post
    I started a thread about this book a few weeks ago. It is one of the finalists for the National Book Award. It also got a starred review from Kirkus, and they're pretty hard to please.

    The author worked at a racetrack for (I think) 2 or 3 years before she went to college, so hopefully the racing parts will ring true.
    I remember your thread, because I wrote down the name of the book so I could ask for it for Christmas. The note was promptly lost, so glad this came up again.
    "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George

    What's the status on Tuco?



  5. #5
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    Dec. 22, 2000
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  6. #6
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    Aug. 2, 2001
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    Awesome! Not to change the subject, but now I want to read Patti Smith's book also.
    "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George

    What's the status on Tuco?



  7. #7
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    Aug. 19, 2009
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    Default

    WOW! I am so happy for her! My ex-husband studied with her at WMU, and we consumed gallons of slipovitz at her place discussing the world. She is a fantastic professor and writer. I can't wait to read the novel!



  8. #8
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    Oct. 8, 2002
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    Default

    I think this will be a present to myself... wonder if I can talk the book club into reading it?
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.



  9. #9
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    May. 17, 2000
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    Where am I and what am I doing in this handbasket?
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    Default

    OK, the book is on my Christmas list, but I loved this juxtaposition in paragraphs in the artice on winning the NBA:

    ... Tables cost $12,000.

    The winners received a check for $10,000 and a bronze statue...
    Definition of "Horse": a 4 legged mammal looking for an inconvenient place and expensive way to die. Any day they choose not to execute the Master Plan is just more time to perfect it. Be Very Afraid.



  10. #10
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    Jul. 2, 1999
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    Default

    A nod to equidaily.com for spying this:

    Interview with author Jaimy Gordon

    Sounds like he would've enjoyed meeting the late groom Eddie Sweat (Secretariat) or Willis Braxton who did grooming for Exterminator.

    BAJ: In the fiction category this year, each of the novels seems heavily researched. What role does research play in your writing process?

    JG: Doing far more textual research than I need is one of my favorite ways of avoiding writing, and so, for Medicine Ed, I read what I could find on root-working and spells. As for horse racing, I had worked as a groom at half-mile racetracks from 1967 until 1970, but I did do some field research for Lord of Misrule at Pimlico. Robert Meyerhoff, owner of Broad Brush among other fine horses, arranged for me to talk to his trainer, Richard Small.

    I told Dick Small that I would like to talk to elderly black grooms who had been on the racetrack forever, and he sent me to Bubbles Riley, born in 1914, now age 96, one of the people to whom Lord of Misrule is dedicated. Bubbles had done much more than rub horses in his day, at West Virginia tracks as well as Pimlico, and he is far too foxy, worldly, gregarious, savvy in business, and downright postmodern to have been the model for Medicine Ed, but he told me hundreds of things I needed to know in the course of writing Lord of Misrule, and he still does.
    Interesting in regards to the fictional track:

    JG: ... the real setting of Lord of Misrule is the seedy half-mile racetrack itself, Indian Mound Downs. That little track never existed, but its backside probably has more in common with that of the long defunct Green Mountain Park Racetrack in Pownal, Vermont, than any West Virginia track.



  11. #11
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    Thanks, Glimmerglass. I saw The Lord of Misrule won the Natl Book Award, but the excerpt in the Washington Post made it seem like it was going to be one of those really depressing, look-what-awful-lives-these-horses-led books. So I was going to give it a pass.

    But if there's root doctors in it, I'll have to read it.

    I'm in SC (the same state Mr. Sweat grew up in, only he was from Holly Hill, in the Midlands, and I'm on the coast now.) Anyway, root magic is well known here. My brother once worked for a company that (carelessly) fired someone who had connections to a root doctor. They came in the next morning to find a dried turkey foot hanging over the front door.

    Around here, a common expression, when one's day isn't going well, is "I reckon somebody's workin' a root on me."



  12. #12
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    Jul. 2, 1999
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    Quote Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' View Post
    But if there's root doctors in it, I'll have to read it.

    I'm in SC (the same state Mr. Sweat grew up in, only he was from Holly Hill, in the Midlands, and I'm on the coast now.) Anyway, root magic is well known here.
    Ok so I had to look it up: Hoodoo and root magic some rather unique regional stuff to be sure As that site says (and who knows how accurate it is) hoodoo is not voodoo or santeria.



  13. #13
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    Jul. 21, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glimmerglass View Post
    Ok so I had to look it up: Hoodoo and root magic some rather unique regional stuff to be sure As that site says (and who knows how accurate it is) hoodoo is not voodoo or santeria.
    Thanks for the link. I've bookmarked it to go back and read thoroughly when I have more time. But that's how I've always understood root magic - it's not voodoo and certainly not santeria. Much more like folk magic.

    I always wanted to name a horse "Conjure." Instead, I bought one already named Houdini. Maybe I could work conjure into a show name for him. If I showed, that is.



  14. #14
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    So has anyone else read this yet?

    I picked up two copies the other day and consumed this book in an almost manic way. It was delicious.



    It's not for everyone - the style of writing and dialogue could be confusing and for people not familiar with track language, I think it could be super-confusing. But I still loved it, it struck me as very real, and the language is beautiful in a gritty sort of way. It's a very rhythmic book, and while it's sort of depressing in some ways, it's not exactly an "oh! the poor horses!" sort of a book either.

    Was just getting curious if anyone else had picked it up yet?
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.



  15. #15
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    Feb. 19, 2008
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    No. VA
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    Default I read it

    And really liked it, even though I do not know a lot about thoroughbred racing. It may be a bit "raw" for some tastes, and certainly has some dark moments, but the writing is so vivid and the characters (including the horses) so "alive", I too could not put it down. I am giving copies to some horse friends and non-horse friends.



  16. #16
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    Dec. 29, 2003
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    Default

    I loved it! It is not for everyone, as it is not your average feel-good, sob horse story, but what a great writer, and what a great story. Read it slowly and savor every word. There are not too many racing books that get into the souls of the characters, or represent backstretch people, like this writer does. It takes place in a different era, but the people (characters, really) could be transplanted to any racetrack in 2010 and fit right in
    Definitely a keeper, I'll not be giving this one away!
    Turning For Home, Inc.
    Philadelphia Park Racehorse Retirement Program
    www.patha.org
    turningforhome@patha.org



  17. #17
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    May. 30, 2006
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    287

    Unhappy

    Well I thought it was dreadful, just be advised while doing your shopping: this book is not going to please everyone. The language is pretentious, overly artistic and confusing. It was difficult to determine which character's mind we were inside of. I read a lot of novels but can be a cranky critic, and obviously am one here. It is not easy to read. I tossed it.



  18. #18
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    Jan. 3, 2006
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    Default

    I have not yet made it past the first chapter. It is written with a lot of verbal detail and that is not my favorite reading. I am finding it tedious going.



  19. #19
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    Jun. 23, 2009
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    PA
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by 49'er View Post
    I have not yet made it past the first chapter. It is written with a lot of verbal detail and that is not my favorite reading. I am finding it tedious going.
    I'm almost done the book, but I felt the same way when I started reading it. It didn't flow and it was awkward to read. After a few chapters I got more accustomed to the writing, and now I hate to put it down. I'm exhausted from work, but I really want to stay up and finish the book!



  20. #20
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    Jan. 5, 2006
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    I just finished it and loved it. Yes, it can be chewy and dense in places, but I found that that just added to my savoring and enjoyment. And yes, it is a little dark. If you are looking for a conventional happy ending, you will be disappointed, but it resolves in its own, satisfying way.

    There are tragic moments and transcendant moments both. The writer is excellent at putting us into the minds of humans and horses-- in fact, I can't remember the last novel I read that captures horses' characters so well.

    And another interview with the author:
    http://www.onpointradio.org/2010/12/...g-lord-misrule



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