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Lord of Misrule

by

Lord of Misrule Cover

ISBN13: 9780929701837
ISBN10: 0929701836
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Awards

2010 National Book Award for Fiction Winner
The Rooster 2011 Morning News Tournament of Books Nominee

Staff Pick

Jaimy Gordon's National Book Award came as no surprise to those of us who had already fallen in love with the mythic, bewitching voices of Lord of Misrule. The characters — and horses — of Indian Mound Downs dwell on a dangerous fringe, powerfully and sensually evoked in this mesmerizing novel.
Recommended by Virginia, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 are all struggling to take an edge, or prove their luck, or just survive. Equal parts Nathanael West, Damon Runyon and Eudora Welty, 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 gut out fast before anyone notices. The problem is, at this rundown riverfront half-maile 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.

Review:

"2010 National Book Award-finalist Gordon's new novel begins and ends at a backwoods race track in early-1970s West Virginia, where horse trainer Tommy Hansel dreams up a scam. He'll run four horses in claiming races at long odds and get out before anyone realizes how good his horses are. But at a track as small as Indian Mound Downs, where everyone knows everybody's business, Hansel's hopes are quickly dashed. Soon his luminous, tragic girlfriend, Maggie, appears, drawing the eye of everyone, including sadistic gangster Joe Dale Bigg. Though Maggie finds herself with an unexpected protector in family gangster Two-Tie, even he can't protect her from her own fascination with the track and its misfit members. While Gordon's latest reaches for Great American Novel status, and her use of the colloquial voice perfectly evokes the time and place, constant shifts in perspective make the novel feel over-styled and under-plotted. And Maggie's supposed charisma clashes with her behavior, creating a feeling that something is missing, whereas Hansel is more witnessed than examined, his character developing almost entirely through the eyes of others, creating uncertainty that often borders on indifference." Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Review:

"Gordon has completely mastered the language of the racetrack, and formed it into an evocative and idiosyncratic style... [E]ach voice dips into racetrack lingo in a distinctive way. It is an impressive performance." Washington Post

Review:

"A novel of luck, pluck, farce and above all horse racing... Exceptional writing and idiosyncratic characters make this an engaging read." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Synopsis:

Lord of Misrule is a darkly realistic novel about a young woman living through a year of horse racing at a half-mile track in West Virginia, while everyone's best laid schemes keep going brutally wrong. With her first novel since her acclaimed Bogeywoman (1999), Jaimy Gordon bears comparison to other great writers of the American demimonde, such as Nathanael West, Damon Runyon, and Eudora Welty.

About the Author

Jaimy Gordon was born in Baltimore, took degrees from Antioch College and Brown University, and now teaches at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. In addition to two novels, she has published poetry, plays, short stories, and essays. With Peter Blickle, she has translated several works of Maria Beig from the German.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

msine, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by msine)
I must admit, I rather toolishly waited to read this book until it had won a National Book Award. I also should disclose that I am not, nor have I ever been, a "horse person." But this gem of a book really knocked my socks off. Gordon's prose is luscious and quiet, and the characters (horses included) popped off the page. Very highly recommended!
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
cscaseonline, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by cscaseonline)
Great blend of realism and humor-- and a woman who has a great ear for dialogue.
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(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
hffinishing, January 17, 2011 (view all comments by hffinishing)
I received a copy of Lord Of Misrule for Christmas and politely nodded when i open it .
"A book about horse racing ? Great!"
I knew nothing of horse racing ,or claiming races, the type described in the book .
Shruggingly,i started it and was immediately drawn in to the Runyonesque prose and the back stable machinations of life as a horse groomer. It contains a large cast of characters including underdogs, dreamers and low-lifes.
This National Book Award winning novel is divided into 4 section each based on one particular horse ,and Gordon does a wonderful job of weaving the stories together while also changing perspectives between different characters.

This book reminded me of the magic of the novel ,and that it pays to leave your comfort zone of authors and subject matter and try something different.

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(3 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780929701837
Author:
Gordon, Jaimy
Publisher:
McPherson
Subject:
Literature-Contemporary Women
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20101131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
296
Dimensions:
5-1/2 x 8-1/2"

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Award Winners Sale
Featured Titles » Morning News Tournament » Tournament of Books 2011
Featured Titles » National Book Award Winners
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Contemporary Women

Lord of Misrule Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 296 pages McPherson & Company - English 9780929701837 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Jaimy Gordon's National Book Award came as no surprise to those of us who had already fallen in love with the mythic, bewitching voices of Lord of Misrule. The characters — and horses — of Indian Mound Downs dwell on a dangerous fringe, powerfully and sensually evoked in this mesmerizing novel.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "2010 National Book Award-finalist Gordon's new novel begins and ends at a backwoods race track in early-1970s West Virginia, where horse trainer Tommy Hansel dreams up a scam. He'll run four horses in claiming races at long odds and get out before anyone realizes how good his horses are. But at a track as small as Indian Mound Downs, where everyone knows everybody's business, Hansel's hopes are quickly dashed. Soon his luminous, tragic girlfriend, Maggie, appears, drawing the eye of everyone, including sadistic gangster Joe Dale Bigg. Though Maggie finds herself with an unexpected protector in family gangster Two-Tie, even he can't protect her from her own fascination with the track and its misfit members. While Gordon's latest reaches for Great American Novel status, and her use of the colloquial voice perfectly evokes the time and place, constant shifts in perspective make the novel feel over-styled and under-plotted. And Maggie's supposed charisma clashes with her behavior, creating a feeling that something is missing, whereas Hansel is more witnessed than examined, his character developing almost entirely through the eyes of others, creating uncertainty that often borders on indifference." Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Review" by , "Gordon has completely mastered the language of the racetrack, and formed it into an evocative and idiosyncratic style... [E]ach voice dips into racetrack lingo in a distinctive way. It is an impressive performance."
"Review" by , "A novel of luck, pluck, farce and above all horse racing... Exceptional writing and idiosyncratic characters make this an engaging read."
"Synopsis" by , Lord of Misrule is a darkly realistic novel about a young woman living through a year of horse racing at a half-mile track in West Virginia, while everyone's best laid schemes keep going brutally wrong. With her first novel since her acclaimed Bogeywoman (1999), Jaimy Gordon bears comparison to other great writers of the American demimonde, such as Nathanael West, Damon Runyon, and Eudora Welty.
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