Nov 21, 2010

shocked speechless

So I was in Detroit this weekend when my aunt asks me if I knew the 2010 National Book Award winner. I did not. She seemed surprised and said that it was about horse racing. My reaction was stunned staring and random muttering along the lines of "Whaa? I didn't.... How did that...? Huh?"

Allow me to introduce you to the 2010 National Book Award winner, Lord of Misrule:

At the rock-bottom end of the sport of kings sits the ruthless and often violent world of cheap horse racing, where trainers and jockeys, grooms and hotwalkers, loan sharks and touts all struggle to take an edge, or prove their luck, or just survive. Lord of Misrule follows five characters—scarred and lonely dreamers in the American grain—through a year and four races at Indian Mound Downs, downriver from Wheeling, West Virginia.

Horseman Tommy Hansel has a scheme to rescue his failing stable: He’ll ship four unknown but ready horses to Indian Mound Downs, run them in cheap claiming races at long odds, and then get out fast before anyone notices. The problem is, at this rundown riverfront half-mile racetrack in the Northern Panhandle, everybody notices—veteran groom Medicine Ed, Kidstuff the blacksmith, old lady “gyp” Deucey Gifford, stall superintendent Suitcase Smithers, eventually even the ruled-off “racetrack financier” Two-Tie and the ominous leading trainer, Joe Dale Bigg. But no one bothers to factor in Tommy Hansel’s go-fer girlfriend, Maggie Koderer. Like the beautiful, used-up, tragic horses she comes to love, Maggie has just enough heart to wire everyone’s flagging hopes back to the source of all luck.

I'm going to have to see about this.

5 comments:

buymeaclue said...

I just started it. Only just, so it's too soon to say for sure, but the writing, at least, does not suck.

Mara said...

Good initial news, at least! Let me know how it works for you.

Dusty said...

Gosh, I must get this book if it's good...

yukitamashii said...

Ah, you already heard of it. I just got back into my email and saw a notification from Borders about it. I was about to tell you but am too late. Well, at least you're more on top of horse-books than I am.

Maggie said...

I'm going to wait on it. I've been sitting on this blog from you for a few weeks thinking about trying the book but I just don't feel it from any of the summations...