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The Sport of Kings
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2017 TOB -The Books > The Sport of Kings

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message 1: by Amy (new) - added it

Amy (asawatzky) | 1590 comments space to discuss The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan


message 2: by jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

jo | 429 comments listening to the audiobook i and getting into this. yay!!!!!!!!!


message 3: by Amy (new) - added it

Amy (asawatzky) | 1590 comments I need to pick the audiobook back up... I stopped about 100pages in because while I thought it was beautiful, I was tired of a thousand and one ways to describe the verdant green hills.
Also, the interesting characters kept getting killed or scared off.
Sounds like I needed to wait until Henry is an adult and the story really starts.


Sarah Tittle | 49 comments This book was my favorite read of last year. I'm always looking for books that capture a point of view, and that feel wise without being didactic. And with flawed characters and lots of meaty story. This filled the bill. I agree that there are some descriptive passages that are a little flabby, but I think the author is really trying to say something about how this part of America has changed over generations, how that land was "discovered," then tamed by farming then tamed even more by breeding thoroughbreds. And parallel to all this was slavery, and how the line between Lexington and Cincinatti divided north from south and so was Kentucky a southern state or a northern one, and what did that conundrum mean for black people. It felt researched and raw and I loved that.


Drew (drewlynn) | 416 comments Amy wrote: "I need to pick the audiobook back up... I stopped about 100pages in because while I thought it was beautiful, I was tired of a thousand and one ways to describe the verdant green hills.
Also, the ..."


Try again. The beginning was hard to get through but then the story picks up.

Does anyone have any thoughts about why the short chapters that had little or nothing to do with the story were inserted? I found them annoying.


message 6: by jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

jo | 429 comments Drew wrote: "Does anyone have any thoughts about why the short chapters that had little or nothing to do with the story were inserted? I found them annoying."

it's a little pomo literary device. you see it a little in Sweet Lamb of Heaven. i like it a lot. it's fun and clever and if you are interested in the information it's cool.


Trudie (trudieb) | 27 comments Reading this currently and I mostly love it. There is maybe an argument to be mounted about it needing a better editorial hand. She does go off on long-winded landscape descriptions and odd interior monologues but the story itself is great, I think.
It tackles race and class and privilege with more of a focus on the modern day than say Homegoing and The Underground Railroad and I hope it makes it further to be discussed with those novels.
The horses on both versions of this cover are certainly misleading - although you do need to get through a fair bit of horsey description - I actually loved these parts the most.


message 8: by jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

jo | 429 comments i find it amazing. i can't think of another novel that does race from the side of whiteness instead of blackness as well and deeply as this one.


Trudie (trudieb) | 27 comments jo wrote: "i find it amazing. i can't think of another novel that does race from the side of whiteness instead of blackness as well and deeply as this one."

I liked the family structure of this novel - One of extreme wealth and privilege and with a heritage that could be traced far back in time. And Allamon's story which is a study in contrasts and an entirely lost heritage. So in that sense I do think we get both sides of the race story.

The author then dovetails all this in cleverly with the almost allegorical horse breeding as a connection between them. It is saying so much about race without being didactic about it.


message 10: by jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

jo | 429 comments Trudie wrote: "jo wrote: "i find it amazing. i can't think of another novel that does race from the side of whiteness instead of blackness as well and deeply as this one."

I liked the family structure of this no..."


i'm not there yet but i see how this would happen (the dovetailing). sometimes, while listening to this audiobook, i space out, but don't worry too much about it.

i don't begrudge authors the need to use lots of words, if they write beautifully. this goes for c. e. morgan and nathan hill both. long wordy books don't have to be everyone's cup of tea, but me, i sort of relish the language.


message 11: by jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

jo | 429 comments this book is plain exhausting me. in the "short list" thread people say they listened to it at 1.5 speed (1.25?). wow. it takes ALL MY ENERGY to stay focused on the detours and the complex descriptions, and still i miss a lot. i wonder whether this is one of those books you need to read on the page, slowly, and savoring every word. this writer is fantastic.


Nicola (bookworminct) | 7 comments I have just finished Sport of Kings. Although it had moments of brilliance, it is not one of my favorites in TOB. I half read it half listened to it, I had to re-read some parts of it,I found the audio-book jumped between viewpoints without warning. Too much descriptive waffling on in parts that really slowed down my ability to fully engage with the story. My favorites so far are The Nix and Version Control.


message 13: by jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

jo | 429 comments you've got to hand it to the writer tho, hey? such scope of vision, such consistency in quality, and such amazing courage. a book like this would fell a less strong writer.


Rachel | 120 comments So glad I kept with the audiobook. The story is getting so engaging (about 60% through it now).

So, the little side stories I like and would make good separate books / short story collection. It just pulls me out of the main story. And then when I start to get into the short story, I'm pulled back into the main story.


message 15: by jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

jo | 429 comments i'm sure this has been discussed somewhere, but let me put it here. there has been much discussion, lately, about white authors' appropriation of african american stories, so i wonder what you guys think about allman's section.


message 16: by Drew (new) - rated it 4 stars

Drew (drewlynn) | 416 comments Jo, I was very disturbed by that. There was no author photograph on the book jacket and I made myself wait until I finished reading the book to look for her photograph on GR. Being an older white woman, I was reluctant to bring this up but yes - it seemed borderline offensive. Although who's to say this author isn't of mixed race heritage? How does this change my feelings about this section of the book? I'm anxious to see what others think of this.


Katie | 127 comments I wondered all through listening to this what black readers think/feel about Allman and his life/history/family. I know it gets to be a heated debate on who can/should write what stories but for me I know I have blind spots (white, middle class woman that I am) so I'm always interested in the reviews of a diverse reader base when a book goes this deeply into the life/history/story of a character like Allman and that is regardless of the race of the author but certainly more so if the author is writing outside their race.


Ruthiella | 329 comments Oof, I found this book exhausting but not in a good way. Were it not for the TOB I would have DNF-ed it. The highly descriptive language and melodramatic plot are just not to my reading taste. I might have had a more positive experience had I listened to it on audio.


message 19: by jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

jo | 429 comments Ruthiella wrote: "Oof, I found this book exhausting but not in a good way. Were it not for the TOB I would have DNF-ed it. The highly descriptive language and melodramatic plot are just not to my reading taste. I mi..."

i'm listening to it on audio, about 10 mins every night before i go to sleep. it'll take me the rest of my life (omg i hope my life is longer than that i take it baaaaack!) but it's good company as one drifts into sleep. i love the language. plot keeps me up but language-dense books lull me into lovely sleep.


Ruthiella | 329 comments jo wrote: "Ruthiella wrote: "Oof, I found this book exhausting but not in a good way. Were it not for the TOB I would have DNF-ed it. The highly descriptive language and melodramatic plot are just not to my r..."

Yes, plot heavy books keep me up at night too!

Did you read Pond (it was on the long list) by Claire Louise Bennett? I did not like it in print form (DNF-ed it too) but have heard the author read from parts of the book on you tube and really enjoyed that experience.


message 21: by jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

jo | 429 comments Ruthiella wrote: "jo wrote: "Ruthiella wrote: "Oof, I found this book exhausting but not in a good way. Were it not for the TOB I would have DNF-ed it. The highly descriptive language and melodramatic plot are just ..."

i read it and found it okay. at the end of the day it didn't seem to say much, to me at least.


Katie | 127 comments Exhausting is a good word for this one and I tend to like melodrama! I think the fact every single character had so much of it just felt overwrought for me. I listened to it and wondered the same, would I have liked it better on the page bc sometimes I just wanted the narrator to skip onward! I'm thinking there will be good discussion though because a lot of folks seem to love it.


message 23: by jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

jo | 429 comments okay am i like the only person who realizes (view spoiler) OMG OMG OMG WTF


message 24: by Drew (new) - rated it 4 stars

Drew (drewlynn) | 416 comments jo wrote: "okay am i like the only person who realizes [spoilers removed] OMG OMG OMG WTF"

I suspected as much.


message 25: by jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

jo | 429 comments i suspected something, but not that!


Amanda | 117 comments jo wrote: "okay am i like the only person who realizes [spoilers removed] OMG OMG OMG WTF"

I realized that immediately it was telegraphed pretty early on. I was disappointed that the author went there and did not delve into the ramifications.


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

I was suspicious, but I wasn't certain about it until the reveal.


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The Sport of Kings (other topics)

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C.E. Morgan (other topics)