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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: January 2011 ISBN:
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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 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 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 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 Renu | 2/14/2014

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

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maria | 2/6/2014

    " This falls into the stream of American fiction that explores con-men, grifters, and the down-and-out, all looking for a way to make their fortune as quickly and painlessly as possible. At a second-string race track, however, the occasional wins are spaced between long periods of hard work, run-ins with mob bosses and loan sharks, and lots of losses. And everything hinges on the thin ankles and dodgy temperments of aging thoroughbred horses who've seen better days. This book deserved the National Book Award; highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 1/22/2014

    " Life on a down and out racetrack in West Virginia is evocatively portrayed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn | 1/12/2014

    " Well written, needed to be read carefully as it thrusts the reader into a world that is unfamiliar to many (horse racing). A good story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Simon C | 12/9/2013

    " A tough book to get into because the narrative of each of the perspective characters is done in a different way and it took me quite a while to work out what was going on. Not without a bleak, doomy sort of grace but one for fans of experimental form rather than a straight story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurie Lemson | 12/5/2013

    " National Book Award winner this year. I don't know why actually. Provides an interesting view behind the scenes of horse racing. I found it compelling but confusing. Still worth reading. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Merrie | 12/4/2013

    " It isn't very often that I can't finish a book, but I gave up after about 180 pages. Ugh. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie Ann Haas | 12/3/2013

    " One of the most quirky, delightful books I have ever read. Could not put it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matthew | 3/3/2013

    " Could've used a few quotation marks. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edward | 1/14/2013

    " This one took me a while to get used to the writing. Once I was able to get into the rythme of the writing style, dialog without quotation marks, I was able to fall into the storey. The characters were well constructed and I really enjoy a tightly written storey. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa Behrens | 10/26/2012

    " Glad I have kept focused until page 100 so richly detailed with characters I had a hard time keeping them straight. The words are like prose, richly poetic and dripping off the page. She has a knack for gritty, and doesn't hold back- creating an unforgettable moment for the reader! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vicki | 9/19/2012

    " I was somewhat disappointed in this National Book Award Winner. At first it seemed as though it would be a darker, more literary "Water for Elephants," but the characters did not seem to develop as I expected they might and I found the ending to be quite flat. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Liz | 4/18/2012

    " This read like a creative writing class assignment on dialects to me.... but I might be projecting. Anyway, I love the local connection, but it's a total loaner that I don't need back. Who wants it next? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pat | 5/24/2011

    " That is some kind of writin'. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carol | 5/23/2011

    " Read this because because it won the National Book Award but found it hard to follow because of the language and horse rafcing lingo. Maybe if I knew more about the sport. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tania | 5/23/2011

    " First chapter sucked me in but then the story became more convoluted than complex. Found it hard to follow the dialect. Maybe that's just me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Liz | 5/16/2011

    " This read like a creative writing class assignment on dialects to me.... but I might be projecting. Anyway, I love the local connection, but it's a total loaner that I don't need back. Who wants it next? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 5/9/2011

    " Faded a bit in the stretch but still a fine read. Kind of a mix of Cormac McCarthy and Damon Runyan. And I'm probably not the first to say that. Still it's own beast though.
    "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Janet | 5/7/2011

    " This book was to my taste. I know that it has won some awards. Because I didn't like it doesn't mean that others would not enjoy it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Carolyn | 5/6/2011

    " It has probably been 30 years since I just couldn't finish a book. I struggled for 100 pages before giving up. There just wasn't enough payoff for wading through the disjointed storyline and track jargon. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 4/28/2011

    " I'm naming my next dog "Lord of Misrule." An enjoyable read but I needed to be pulled in a little deeper to really enjoy it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Karen | 4/25/2011

    " Did not enjoy this book. The way she writes I found very hard to follow till close to the end and even then... well was just not impressed with the story line. Characters were interesting but you jumped around so much it just never gave you a nice flow to the story. "

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