- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
Blood Horses Hardcover – 28 Feb 2013
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"As a memoir, an elegy and a piece of investigative journalism, it dazzles" (The Economist )
"Iridescent" (Sunday Times )
"Amply researched and gracefully told" (New Yorker )
"Sullivan has found the transcendent in the house" (Sports Illustrated )
"The prose is relaxed, the choice of material telling; it is once more a delight to be in his company" (Paul Laity Prospect)
From the critically acclaimed author of Pulphead comes a wise, humorous and often beautiful memoir exploring the relationship between man and horse and the relationship between sons and fathersSee all Product description
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Maybe this is even more interesting: such an intense personal record of American racing, although, heartlessly, I can always give or take the memoir aspect. Your parents, why I should I care?
When he's in Kentucky and going to races the book is at its best, and all he has to say about the horse and its history is a great introduction to the subject, with moving literary touches about its sufferings as a warhorse, and its veneration as a hobbyhorse.
Certainly young writers should emulate great ones, but I'm not sure Sebald has done so many young Americans many favours. We could lose the blotchy photos in all their books, they bring nothing, in Sebald they serve as poetic symbols. But Sullivan has really learnt from Sebald's discursive melancholy, and his writing has its own original beauty and clarity.
However, I can only give 3* after all because as captivating the book was in parts, so though it was to stick with it in other parts. There is a clear lack of focus and direction. This switching back and forth, memoirs, history, quotes... there is too much content cramped into this book unfortunately and there were a point where I was seriously considering to discontinue reading it. There were exciting parts, and there were plain boring, pointless parts. Sometimes less is more.
Led by what seems almost a chance remark his dad made, about seeing the great American racehorse Secretariat, Sullivan embarked on a post-funeral quest to learn all about horse racing. He's no slouch. He manages to provide the reader with lots of factual information about training and racing, at the same time as quoting Proust, Kafka, DH Lawrence, Hitler and Nietzsche, referring in offhand asides to Sappho, Theognis and Jessica Simpson, amongst others. There are lots of intriguing side-meditations and wanders-off-the-beaten-track - including some great bits about cultural attitudes to eating horses, which suddenly illuminated the current UK dramas about horse burgers.
Very enjoyable, sweet and at points moved me to tears. Highly recommended.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?