#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK
"A WISE, SPIRITED NOVEL . . . [IN WHICH] SMILEY PLUMBS THE WONDROUSLY
STRANGE WORLD OF HORSE RACING." --People
"ONE OF THE PREMIER NOVELISTS OF HER GENERATION, possessed of a mastery
of craft and an uncompromising vision that grow more powerful…
Why read it?
4 authors picked Horse Heaven as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
The animal is a number of racehorses. The human is a collection of owners, trainers, jockeys, and more, yielding a comprehensive look at human and animal behavior in the horse racing industry. A strong, intimate novel. I used to ride but never very well, and I’ve always wondered what a horse’s “thoughts” involved. Author Smiley gave me a feel for that as she applied her own assumptions to one horse in particular.
Scams. Abuse. Betrayal. Love. Forgiveness. Trust. Smiley is a master of the ways our humanity stumbles and catches hold, again and again. She is also an owner of a race horse or two and knows the inside out of track life. I loved this book from the first few pages for the ease with which the horses have presence, voice, and character. As a lifelong horse keeper myself, it is impossible not to know that horses are deeply intelligent individuals. But as a lifelong reader, it is hard to find books so dedicated to the full representation of horses. In…
Jane Smiley is a true horsewoman who has the credentials to write this sweeping novel that plumbs the murky world of horse racing. With humor and humanity, the story touches on all corners of the racing world from the stratosphere of the super-wealthy owners to the working-class trainers on the brink of financial ruin. But most memorable of all are the horse characters. Smiley lovingly portrays each with a unique personality, hopes, quirks, and yes, opinions. After reading, it is the names and personalities of the larger-than-life horses that linger in my memory: Justa Bob, Residual, Epic Steam…
Horse Heaven brims with engaging characters who inhabit the world of thoroughbred racing, both animal and human, and will break your heart and make you laugh out loud. Jane Smiley folds her humor and astute knowledge of horses into an immensely readable adventure that travels to racetracks around the globe and brings you along for the ride. It was pitch-perfect and delightful, and my only regret was that the story eventually had to end.
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