The Sport of Kings

Thoughts  by C.E. Morgan, Macmillan Audio, ~23 hours

Narrated by George Newbern.

(After listening for about 10% progress and realizing that I had accidentally skipped a few chapters, I stopped into my local indie bookstore and asked to see a copy of the print version so I could look up how to spell a character’s name (and check if I really did skip a few chapters!) I ended up buying it: Picador 2016, 545 pages.)

Challenge: Tournament of Books 2017 (yes, I am late; last one)
Genre: Epic Family Drama, Literary Fiction°
Type/Source: Audiobook / Audible (later Tradeback/Indie bookstore)
 Why I read listened this now: Ready for a sprawling drama delivered over many hours.

MOTIVATION for READING: After skipping this during TOB, I realized during the discussion that it might be just my kind of book. I have a fondness for long audiobooks and now that it is lawn mowing season, I have more time and chores to listen through. Also, I admit that finding out that C.E. Morgan is a woman piques my interest.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  This book is about a family who claimed property in Kentucky by way of Virginia and established their dynasty. Family name and heritage was everything. Until the father and son dispute just how to carry on.

Father says “Stay the course. Grow corn. Drink bourbon.” Son says, “Kentucky means Thoroughbreds. We need to breed horses.”

Father dies, son carries on as he sees fit and the family dynasty only grows in wealth and prestige. To be great, is the goal.

And then a daughter is born and she has her own ideas. We meet a few other characters, of course – this is a beast of a book.

WHAT’s GOOD: Drama!

What’s NOT so good: Near the end of the book, when the intensity was getting too intense, I tweeted for help. I was scared to read further, to find out what the characters were going to do.

I steeled myself and continued. It was as bad as I feared.

Then the Epilogue really screwed with my head, but after reading it again and listening to those 10+ minutes, I’m ok now. All O.K.

Reeling, but I’m a gonna be fine.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Racism, classism, plant and animal classification systems, genealogy, the color green, the word ‘karst’.

I had to know how it ended. I was bothered, at times, with tedious use of words-a-plenty and the over descriptions and the heavy import weightiness of many paragraphs. But the action and the drama were on a high level so I kept at it.

RATING: Four slices of Derby Pie.

“There was some poison in the pie; she wanted the treacly sweet of determinism with its aftertaste of martyrdom, but that came at too high a cost.”

“Hush, my sweet little horseypie,”

 

 

pierating

 °  “The main reason for a person to read Genre Fiction is for entertainment, for a riveting story, an escape from reality. Literary Fiction separates itself from Genre because it is not about escaping from reality, instead, it provides a means to better understand the world and delivers real emotional responses.”

Copyright © 2007-2017. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.
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11 thoughts on “The Sport of Kings

  1. “… tedious use of words-a-plenty and the over descriptions and the heavy import weightiness of many paragraphs” Oh, I had such a hard time wading through all that. Maybe it would have been better on audio but it wasn’t an option (for a cheapskate).

    I am glad you enjoyed it however! I think this book would definitely appeal to people who like lush descriptions and appreciate the attention the author gave to the language.

    1. I either waded through, found it amusing or scanned it. ;P

      I really was nervous what Allmon was going to do and fretted!! OH – I really was hoping for some kind of HEA.

      What a FUN book discussion this would have. I need to go reread the TOB discussion.

  2. I am so glad you finished it in spite of your fears. Honestly, it sounds like the perfect book for me. You know I love long, drawn-out descriptions and weightier novels. Plus, family epics are fascinating. I somehow ignored this one during TOB, but I definitely want to go back now and look at finding a copy.

  3. I love your inclusion of the definition of literary fiction – I read all kinds of fiction myself, but I do love literary fiction for just that reason, that it helps me learn about and connect with people and situations, process emotionally what I’m reading, gain empathy, etc. This particular book, I”m not sold on, but I enjoyed reading about it!

      1. I asked Walker what he thinks, and he says the best one is Searching for Bobby Fischer, although it’s not fiction but very readable autobiography, written by a chess parent. There’s a kind of terrible but powerful novella by Stefan Zweig called “The Royal Game” (or sometimes Chess Story in English) published in 1941. Nabokov’s story “The Luzhin Defense” is a good one, too.

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