Jessie's Reviews > Lord of Misrule

Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon
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's review
Feb 08, 2011

it was ok

I can see how this is the kind of thing people like - it's written in poetical dialect, and it focuses on a very oldfashioned, very specific subculture, and racing is the kind of space that brings people together, so you can have the old black groom, and the young jewish woman, and the crazy irishman.... And since it takes place in the fuzzy old 1970s, there were more regionalisms, no cellphones, less stuff.... I don't know. It was enjoyable enough in its own way, and maybe it's partly difficult for me that the 1970s are now in books what the 1930s sort of used to be - an olde time, before today, when everyone was down on their heels and the world seemed smaller and there was lots of violence, but that's ok because you fit in in your place. And that is sort of what this book is about - both living up to your identity and trying to create it, trying to escape it, and this kind of third tier rundown racetrack is a liminal, transgressive space where characters are both aware of their "place", and secure in it, to a certain extent, but also always trying to beat it - not to get the big win, but to get a win.

Story-wise, I am down with this, but style-wise, not my cup of tea. It does remind me a bit of last year's let the great world spin, although I cannot quite see what the connection is besides the 70s thing...
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Tajma (new)

Tajma I just read about ten pages of this book and had to put it down. It is very rare that I dislike a National Book Award winner. The subject matter was already of little interest to me and I know that the heavy dialect will only make the novel harder to push through. What a shame, I was hoping to like it.

message 2: by Yigru (new)

Yigru Zeltil "poetical dialect" ouch, the irony!

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