Lord of Misrule
Indian Mound Downs, West Virginia: a downtrodden racetrack as dusty and dilapidated as the characters tied to it – characters who think they've seen everything the cheap sport of claim racing has to offer. Until August 1970, that is, when Tommy Hansel comes to town. Hansel – handsome, hypnotic and hot under the collar – has a scheme in his head and a scam up his sleeve. Get in, get rich, get out. It's a sure thing. But Hansel soon learns what the old-timers already know – there is no such thing as a sure thing, let alone a quick out. Especially since his girlfriend, Maggie, has piqued the interest of two local gangsters. Lord of Misrule is a tale of heart, pluck and risk, told with mesmerizing assurance and ambition. Jaimy Gordon's matchless characterisation and setting means, once you've put it down, you half expect to find your hands covered in the dry, red dust of the Indian Mound Downs racetrack.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
What an unusual novel! I found Lord of Misrule a difficult read. It is not a "page turner that you can not wait to get back to". Ms. Gordon uses a staccato cadence and pacing which never settles into a comfortable flow. There are several deep dialects that never become familiar. You are not always sure who is speaking to whom, even occasionally whether human is speaking to human or to an animal. This is not a book about horse racing. It is a book about hardscrabble people in a hardscrabble place trying to get from one day to the next. Yes, the race track is the setting and framework, but the story is one of survival, hope and despair. Luck is always around the next corner, but never really at hand. I never felt that the characters were vivid, they were always a bit hazy and distant. I felt that I was looking into a shadow or a through a layer of film. The narrative is also sketchy and jumpy throughout, almost more lyrical poetry than prose at times. This is all certainly intentional and not necessarily a bad thing, just disconcerting at times. Lord of Misrule simply requires a good deal from the reader and will not resonate with everyone. Finally, there are several passages where the imagery suddenly devolves into vulgarity which many readers may find extreme.
Review: Lord of MisruleUser Review - Sierra - Goodreads
I liked this book but it wasn't very absorbing until about three-fourths of the way through. I found the narrative style to be very prose-y and lyrical which was nice but the language obscured the ... Read full review