Friday, December 31, 2010

Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon


Luckily, a Christmas break lunch visit with Salvatore Scibona reminded me that I had purchased Lord of Misrule the day after it won the National Book Award. On a strong recommendation from Salvatore, I started the book on December 27 and read it as much as I could over the remainder of the Christmas break week - stealing time from family visits and getting out of bed to read after everyone else was asleep. Although I didn't think that a book about horse racing would appeal to me at all, the beauty of Jaimy Gordon's prose made the subject matter secondary. Her vernacular was a quirky as the names of her minor characters - Deucey Gifford, Medicine Ed, Kiddstuff, Suitcase Smithers, Two-Tie, and Joe Dale Bigge. I had to read slowly to isolate plot details from West Virginia dialect of stall conversations and metaphoric descriptions. I would describe it as something like the Cannery Row of horse racing. A lovely Christmas present to myself was carving out the time to read this beautiful book.

1 comment:

Neil Jakson said...

thanks for sharing it because The Church held a similar festival involving a boy bishop.[1] This custom was abolished by Henry VIII in 1541, restored by the Catholic Queen Mary I and again abolished by Protestant Elizabeth I, though here and there it lingered on for some time longer.[2] On the Continent it was suppressed by the Council of Basle in 1431, but was revived in some places from time to time, even as late as the eighteenth century. In the Tudor period, the Lord of Misrule (sometimes called the Abbot of Misrule or the King of Misrule)[1] is mentioned a number of times by contemporary documents referring to revels both at court and among the ordinary people
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