Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Gordon, Jaimy (Lord of Misrule)

Absolutely, I would title my book after the best horse name in the biz. (Or at least the best horse name in this book.) I think "Lord of Misrule" trumps "Pelter," "Little Spinoza," and "Little Boll Weevil" (although that last one is fairly awesome). Strangely, though, this book isn't really about horses. It's about how we've transformed horses into a substrata of American culture, and all the wonderful and scuzzy things that come from having done that.

I'm sure the book has deeper meanings than that, but the way it reads allows you to simply go with the flow and enjoy the power that Ms. Gordon has -- how she plays with sentence structure, how she develops sympathy for characters lacking in social skills or moral bases, how she can so easily describe various horse personalities... Because it's a strange kind of power, and it makes it a bit of a loopy read. The first 50 pages are going to throw you a bit: who's talking to who? why are people called several different things, meaning I have to conflate those in my head as I'm reading? where in the world is this strange place, anyway?

Don't let it dissuade you from keeping on. That kind of power means that you don't have to pay attention to every little detail on the page. As one of my book club members said in response to books like this: it's like Shakespeare, you just let it wash over you. This book is perhaps not quite that... well... dramatic, but it's definitely emblematic of this type of writing.

I really loved my time at a real horse track.

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