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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lord of Misery

Teresa has a nice piece on Brooklyn Backstretch about an appearance earlier this week in that borough by Jaimy Gordon, the author of the acclaimed and award-winning novel Lord of Misrule.

I wasn't at all surprised to hear Ms. Gordon quoted as saying: “Racing is tragic and painful...and I love it.” Because while her devotion to, and knowledge of the inner workings of the game, is quite evident, her book is totally devoid of humor. Yes, like most everything else, horse racing surely has its fair share of heartbreak, and its sleazy side. However, Lord of Misrule, after coming out of the gate merely grim, descends into madness, mayhem, and murder more appropriate for a daytime soap opera than for a work about what is, after all, just a game. And one that this blogger has always tried to take none too seriously.

So, while I did derive a certain amount of pleasure and satisfaction from reading the book (though I did not at all like the way that certain passages were written in the perceived dialect of the characters, an approach I found to be stereotyped, condescending, and, worst of all, distracting from the storytelling), when I got home from the vacation I read it on, I found I had no real desire to get through the closing pages; didn't really care enough about the characters to reach the finish line. So I don't know how it ended, though from the way things were going, I wouldn't be surprised if Tommy Hansel strapped a thermonuclear device underneath his coat and put himself and the whole stinking place out of its misery.


jk said...

"The Boston Herald noted that the Rangers looked like a team neither the Bruins nor any other team wants to meet in the playoffs."

Is this the same group who picked the Red Sox to win it all??

Anonymous said...

I liked Lord of Misrule, but it was dark and I agree about the point about not caring about any of the characters. I liked two ties or whatever that dude's name was. -jp

JW said...

Off topic but how can anyone expect the sport of horse racing to appeal to the public and get new people interested when NOT ONE Derby prep race is nationally televised??

Instead of, for example, ESPN 2 airing the FLA Derby this Sunday, they're airing Women's College Gymnastics followed by NHRA Drag Racing. Give me a break.