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Horse's Neck

3.27  ·  Rating Details ·  214 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Townshend explores life's razor-edged pathways in this bold, impressionistic work of autobiographical fiction, with intriguing experimental writing packed with vivid imagery (Library Journal) that strikingly mirrors the musical compositions Tommy and Quadrophenia. As he recalls his childhood, the decadent indulgences of success, and a new discovery of life itself, ...more
Paperback, 134 pages
Published May 21st 1998 by Mariner Books (first published August 1st 1985)
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Phil Syphe
May 22, 2016 Phil Syphe rated it really liked it
Having wanted to read this short book for about 25 years I finally tracked down a copy and am impressed with the results.

Even though Pete Townshend is my favourite song writer I wasn’t sure I’d take to him stepping out of his usual line of work to write fiction. That said, he injects some of his own experiences into these short stories, which isn’t moving too far away from the creative genius that drove my favourite rock band The Who to success.

In fact, certain lyrics from Who & Townshend so
Printable Tire
Holy Mackerel I've had this book lying around for a while. I'm pretty sure it was a discard from my high school library, which means it could have hypothetically been haunting my persona for some 15 odd years!

Pete Townshend's actually not a bad writer- when his stories are good, they have a Denis-Johnson-bleakness-like quality, with a spare and morose and empty style. And I also liked how meta/post-modern all his autobiographical writing can be, in scenarios where "Pete" is a character and the
There are certain books that are forever a comfort to us; certain books whose beauty touches us, and demands a reread or two - if not just to capture the feeling of the first read, than perhaps to discover a deeper truth within it. To me, Horse's Neck is that book.

Horse's Neck is, as Townshend states in the forward, a search for beauty. In truth, it is more a search for a kiss. Throughout the stories within it, one sees the different forms that beauty and love can take - not all of them beautif
Sep 13, 2016 Sherry rated it it was ok
Maybe I should have read this book in the 70's instead of now. It seemed dated and somewhat stilted.
Jul 24, 2008 Rachel rated it did not like it
SO I bought this at this music store called Strange Maine in Portland, because it was like fifty cents and I had to eat lunch by myself and wanted something short to read. Plus I was curious about what Pete Townshend of The Who had to say for himself. Turns out what he has to say is WEIRD AS HELL and not really in a good way. He is obsessed with his mother, and horses. And having sex with horses that remind him of his mom. This is just what I remember, since I've mostly tried to avoid thinking ...more
Oct 04, 2011 Carol rated it liked it
Much as I love PT and his music and lyrics, I have to say that this book probably would not have been published unless his name was attached to it. I had the impression that he has a talent with words, but that he needed some editting----that he is self-taught and could have really benefitted from the kind of critiques that college students routinely receive when their literary reach exceeds their grasp. While he is daring and self-revelatory, I kept wishing he wouldn't toss in random SAT-type ...more
Sep 02, 2016 Andy rated it liked it
I became interested in this book after reading Pete Townshend's biograpy, "Who I Am." Townshend wrote the short stories featured in Horse's Neck between 1979-1984, a transitional time in his life when he was living apart from his family while struggling with substance abuse. Clearly autobiographical, these stories are very well written and reflect, not surprisingly, a tortured soul. If you admire Townshend's songwriting and are interested in seeing another side of his work, I would highly ...more
Jan 18, 2016 Ashley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I am a major fan of The Who, and of Pete Townshend's masterful lyrics. My Dad had this book, and informed me that Mr. Townshend is actually a very talented writer as well. I picked up this book through his suggestion, and I was not disappointed.

Townshend is a masterful writer; his descriptions of dreams, short stories, tied in with life events were both colorful and poetic. This book is very unique, which is one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much.

This book is one of my favorites, I highly rec
Aug 11, 2011 Antoine rated it it was ok
I read this so long ago that it is hard to recall with any clarity, but the impression I have is one of disappointment. Knowing now (which I didn't then—nobody did) that this was a very dark period for Pete, with not only the usual drinking, but a foray into hard drugs, it seems like an odd time for him to have ventured into prose. But there you have it. This is the book that makes me a little worried about what Pete's impending autobiography will be like.
Feb 01, 2015 JT rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, fiction, own
If you can get past the "weirdness", this is a great read. I have read this twice, and loved it each time. I bought this for 2 bucks at a used book store, and needless to say, I never looked back. I bought this because I love Townshend and The Who. After reading it, I couldn't stop laughing. Needless to say, if you aren't offended by a man having sex with a horse, allusions to gayness, and other strange tales, read it.
Jul 04, 2012 Jason rated it liked it
I am a huge fan of Pete Townshend's span of work and as a author I was intrigued that some of these stories were written in the middle of the night and in some cases, Pete had no recollection of writting some of these stories. These collection of short stories show Pete's budding ability to cross over as a author and publisher.
Feb 11, 2016 Jen rated it really liked it
As an admitted huge fan of the Who and Pete Townshend, I quite enjoyed this. The subtle references to songs sprinkled in. The stories are definitely on the outer fringes, but intelligent. Just like the author himself.
Aug 27, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing
Love Pete Townsend's poetry/lyrics/music, what a happy surprise to find that he is also a superior and haunting short story writer. Have read this collection many times and this book has survived many culls to my collection as well as many moves.
Dec 09, 2007 jacky marked it as to-read
I remember taking this out of the library as an 8th or 9th grader and trying to read the beginning of this. I didn't understand it and even my love for The Who didn't make me push on more than a few pages. Since then, my father found it somewhere and gave it to me knowing I like the Who.
Tom Morgan
Dec 17, 2012 Tom Morgan rated it liked it
Wanted to like this so much more than I did. Not without merits, but seems to be trying too hard. It's side 2 of All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes all over again. Like it, but minor changes would have had me loving it.
Surreal. Weird. Perverse. Not great. Personal.

Some of the stories did nothing for me. Those were the ones where he tried to get all literary. When he kept it simple, he was quite good.

I picked the book up at random. In that sense, it was worthwhile.
Oct 08, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it
Interesting...this is a group of short stories, most of which are fascinating, but there were one or two that left me scratching my head.
Mar 13, 2011 Slaa!!! rated it it was amazing
I think I have been somewhat traumatized by this book. But it would go against my religion to give Pete anything less than a perfect score.
Su Irwin
Feb 10, 2013 Su Irwin rated it really liked it
One of the most influential musicians of all time as well as a tremendous songwriter and poet, it may surprise even some Who fans just how much Townshend can tear your heart out.
Rena Sherwood
Like reading about someone's dreams. These are deeply weird tales. My edition had a painting of a grey horse's neck on it. The book has since disappeared.
Jason rated it liked it
Feb 09, 2014
Trevor Jones
Trevor Jones rated it did not like it
Jun 12, 2008
Nicole La Rose
Nicole La Rose rated it it was ok
Sep 21, 2008
Charlie rated it it was ok
Dec 15, 2012
Michael Thompson
Michael Thompson rated it liked it
May 03, 2013
Rand rated it really liked it
May 18, 2012
Mike rated it it was amazing
Mar 15, 2015
Deadbeatgrandpajoe rated it liked it
Jan 25, 2011
Anna rated it liked it
Mar 29, 2013
Angelina rated it it was ok
Oct 21, 2012
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Pete Townshend (born Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend), is an award-winning English rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, composer, and writer.

Townshend made his name as the guitarist and principal songwriter for rock band The Who. His career with them spans more than 40 years, during which time the band grew to be considered one of the greatest and most influential rock bands of all time, in additi
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“Nothing else in nature behaves so consistently and rigidly as a human being in pursuit of hell.” 3 likes
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