Mr Darley's Arabian: High Life, Low Life, Sporting Life: A History of Racing in 25 Horses: Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award Hardcover – 16 Jun 2016
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An excellent history . . . McGrath is one of the finest sportswriters of this generation . . . Brilliant (David Walsh SUNDAY TIMES)
A racing book like no other - a book of remarkable scope (Robin Oakley THE SPECTATOR)
Erudite, wry and astute . . . extraordinary horses and a rich seam of cultural history woven into a fascinating book (Melanie Reid THE TIMES, Book of the Week)
A vivid, sweeping history of impressive scope. McGrath's eye for a story and eloquent turns of phrase will delight (Nick Pulford RACING POST)
The introduction made my arms tingle as McGrath recalls Frankels's win at the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in 2011... Racing life, social life and equine life are all neatly pulled together and expertly rendered into a compelling story. each chapter is a satisfying vignette of a Darley descendent, the jockeys, trainers, rakes and rank who were involved. Chance and Fortune, deals and dodging -- it's like Derby Day on the page (Alexandra Henton THE FIELD)
A racy gallop . . . a teeming, colourful survey [with] a great deal to inform and entertain (Nicholas Clee OBSERVER)
A dark horse contender (EVENING STANDARD)
Did I think I'd end up missing the whole of the Euro 2016 final in order to finish Chris McGrath's Mr Darley's Arabian? By no means, but I guess it's just that kind of book... Packed with the result of thousands of hours of painstaking research (the bibliography, in itself, is worth a read), the book never gets bogged down in any one horse or race and travels along at a pace that almost forces the turn of the next page. It also includes a quite ridiculous amount of sex, disgrace and utter debauchery. And unlike so many of the great betting coups related throughout, many of which quite spectacularly fail to deliver, it's an investment well worth making (Will Hayler SPORTING LIFE)
Meticulous research and engaging writing... a book to be savoured, Mr Darley's Arabian is a triumph (Richard Fahey RACING POST)
A good story . . . from an award-winning journalist . . . [McGrath is] at his best when he is conveying his love of racing (Patrick Scrivenor LITERARY REVIEW)
The story of racing told through the bloodline of twenty-five exceptional horses.See all Product description
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Well he did and well done. I am not familiar with McGrath's journalistic writings but I am wondering how much the old fashioned script of his research material has infected his writing style as it sounds rather victorian. But I am not complaining. I do however find it difficult to remember whose name is which person, or horse, or whether it is a horse or a person, there are such a lot, I have to keep re-reading.
I have read countless (so called) autobiographies of jockeys and trainers and gratefully sup up interesting nuggets of information - in books that are otherwise a bit samey, but Mr Darley's Arabian is a veritable cornucopia, a delicious feast of information and pictures of other times. In fact it has greatly enhanced my limited knowledge of British history. Apart from the fascinating history of the Thoroughbred this book covers the political and social mores of the time and is invaluable at putting nearly three centuries into perspective and giving them context.
I really enjoyed reading this book and would go as far as to say it is an important book, a forever book, on this particular subject.
All members appreciated the detail,, history and up to date last chapter. Only comment was perhaps too much infomation in one book !
It was voted a very good read.