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Download Lord of Misrule Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Lord of Misrule (Unabridged), by Jaimy Gordon
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,596 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jaimy Gordon Narrator: Myra Lucretia Taylor Publisher: Recorded Books Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Zach | 2/17/2014

    " I have to be honest, the only reason I picked this book up was because the author, Jaimy Gordon, was going to be giving a lecture in town. I didn't care about small-stakes horse racing, and I'm always wary of award winners. As soon as I finished the second chapter, though, I was hooked, and the novel kept getting better from there. Gordon crafts a collection of excellent characters, from the young and naive Maggie, to the veteran Medicine Ed (whose dialect is pitch perfect and never difficult to read). The world of this particular horse track is well crafted, and the reader understands the poor racers and petty mobsters who run the place, almost like they'd always known them. The prose is beautiful and natural. Even descriptions of the most mundane actions read like poetry. Most importantly, though, by the end of the book I cared about the people, about the horses, and about an old dog named Elizabeth. While it's not uncommon for me to like people, and while I have a weak spot for dogs, I don't have any special affinity for horses, except the one created here in Gordon's novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Linda Lackey | 2/16/2014

    " Luckily, a Christmas break lunch visit with Salvatore Scibona reminded me that I had purchased Lord of Misrule the day after it won the National Book Award. On a strong recommendation from Salvatore, I started the book on December 27 and read it as much as I could over the remainder of the Christmas break week - stealing time from family visits and getting out of bed to read after everyone else was asleep. Although I didn't think that a book about horse racing would appeal to me at all, the beauty of Jaimy Gordon's prose made the subject matter secondary. Her vernacular was a quirky as the names of her minor characters - Deucey Gifford, Medicine Ed, Kiddstuff, Suitcase Smithers, Two-Tie, and Joe Dale Bigge. I had to read slowly to isolate plot details from West Virginia dialect of stall conversations and metaphoric descriptions. I would describe it as something like the Cannery Row of horse racing. A lovely Christmas present to myself was carving out the time to read this beautiful book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Maureen | 2/15/2014

    " National Book Award winner? Didn't ring my chimes. I did get a peek into the world of small racetracks with hard-luck characters. But the ever-changing narrators, most presented in dialect that is a chore to follow? Not so much. A couple of characters made a grab for my sympathy- the old black groom, the owner desperate to recapture even a tiny piece of an old relationship, and of course the protagonist Maggie who can care for horses but not for herself. It's a dark, gritty story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Renu | 2/14/2014

    " Couldn't finish it....just didn't get into it at all. "

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