Friday, January 7, 2011

Lord of Misrule

Written by: Jaimy Gordon

First line: Inside the back gate of Indian Mound Downs, a hot-walking machine creaked round and round.

Why you should read this book: The winner of the 2010 National Book Award reveals the seedy world of broken-down horse racing at a track where the horses, the trainers, the owners, and the gamblers are all on their last legs. Enter young fool, Tommy Hansel, and his slightly less foolish girlfriend, Maggie Koderer, with four horses and plan to make a fast buck and a fast getaway. Trouble is, everyone, from the old groom, Medicine Ed, to the old mobster Two-Tie can see they're up to something, and at Indian Mound Downs, everyone's looking for an angle, a score, or a way out.

Why you shouldn't read this book: Like all of Gordon's work, there is a huge burden on the reader to figure out what's going on. Shifting points of view, lack of quotation marks, dialog and exposition written in dialect and jargon (which shifts with the point of view) are only some of the literary devices that make this book somewhat difficult to follow.

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