JC / Railbird


More Misrule

John Williams reviews Jaimy Gordon’s racetrack novel:

Lord of Misrule isn’t a chore. It’s more accurate to say that it alternately charms and befuddles. It’s possible to move from deep admiration to deep suspicion of it in the space between paragraphs. It’s wise and flaky. It’s funny intentionally and unintentionally. It begins with a bit of overworked imagery and ends with a great plainspoken sentence.

Odds on the NBA winner collects the Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award?

“Lord of Misrule” is also among the 16 works competing for the Rooster in the Morning News’ annual Tournament of Books, which begins March 7. Tough competition there; “Super Sad True Love Story” is a solid favorite for the title.

Eastern Gallop

Nearly 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Guardian begins running a series of short stories by East European writers. The first involves a trip to a racetrack, neatly tying together two of my great interests …

He had no idea about horse races and betting, but an old friend of his had spent a lot of time at the racetrack in the old East German days and up to the middle of the 90s, and told him a lot about it. And he thought he remembered that this old friend, who he hadn’t seen for almost ten years, had won a stack of money. And as he walked home now, past the bars and kebab places and the snack bar where he’d drunk two beers and a shot last night, he knew this was his last chance. Piet and Rolf and the horses.

Read the whole story here.