"In the Sargasso Sea there is no wind. Many, many years ago, when ships travel by sail, they would sometimes get stuck here. For weeks and weeks they would sometimes drift, waiting for the wind to come. The sailors called this 'The Horse Latitudes'."
Chester Sprockett receives this definition of the Horse Latitudes from the owner of a little coffee shop after he explains he has writers' block. In fact most of Chester's life has become stuck, he feels he is always waiting for something... Once a high school football star, now he is unemployed, has split up with his girlfriend and his dream of writing a bestselling novel seems unreachable as he is suffering from writers' block.
'Horse Latitudes' is almost like a book of short stories; each chapter describes a significant event in Chester Sprockett's life. The stories are like different parts of a jigsaw puzzle that make up the whole book.
Chester is in his mid-thirties living alone in the house he was born in. He lives with regrets of what could have been - holding on to the past - wishing he had been braver and told Beth how he felt about her way back then in high school; wishing he had not let the chance of a football scholarship slip through his hands...
Chester's father had run up debts on credit cards and after he died there is a threat that Chester could be forced to sell the house the pay off the debts. He tries to find work and is disillusioned when he joins a firm of salesmen, knowing that his real dream is to write the bestseller.
His late father visits him one day when Chester is suffering from fever; his visit helps Chester realise that he needs to be liberated from everything that is holding him back from following his dream...liberated from the Horse Latitudes.
This book is full of hilarious and insightful observations. It was a joy to read and I would recommend it to everyone!! As I was reading it, I thought it would be excellent if this book was made into a film, it definitely has a 'Hollywood' feeling about it. It will make you laugh out loud. One example is when Chester is looking at Beth: "She was just standing there in her bikini holding the ice cream... In fifty years she'd be old and wrinkled. In a hundred fertilizer. It didn't matter." There's plenty more laughs where that came from. Do yourself a favour and buy 'Horse Latitudes'. It's a tonic we all need in the credit crunch era!!