Townhouse Books

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Horse Heaven: Jane Smiley

This was identifiably Jane Smiley. Sprawling story, intertwining characters, an honest look at saddness and tragedy, classy writing, excellent research, and a whole lot of humor and wit. There are almost too many people and horses to keep track of, and though initially put off, I was grateful for the cast of characters (including horses) at the beginning. I found myself getting emotionally involved in the characters, especially the story of one horse. Around the last 3/4 of the book, I actually got so anxious about him that I had to skip ahead and follow his storyline to the end.

Despite getting stepped on by that horse in Micanopy, I am fond of and somewhat fascinated with horses and this look into their heads and thoughts (just a few of them) only added to that. I do think however, that even if you're not already a horse fan, you will still enjoy this book.


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  • I find it very interesting that Smiley has actual horse characters. Seems like it could be very corny, but I've read almost everything she's written and it's all great. Guess I'll give this a shot!

    By Anna, at 7:28 AM  

  • Em, are you going through a racehorse reading phase? i read about a thousand Dick Francis mysteries, less for the mysteries and more for the British racing descriptions...

    By Anna, at 6:41 AM  

  • I've listened to most of the Dick Francis books on tape (though I did read a few). I adored them. Actually there was a line in the Smiley book when a jockey was reading a Dick Francis book that was more about landscape painting than about horseracing, but he liked it any. I totally know which book he was talking about.

    By evt1618, at 1:36 PM  

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