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read online pdf Horse HeavenAuthor Jane Smiley –

It S Not True, Says A Character In Jane Smiley S Funny, Passionate, And Brilliant New Novel Of Horse Racing, That Anything Can Happen At The Racetrack, But Many Astonishing And Affecting Things Do And In Horse Heaven, We Find Them Woven Into A Marvelous Tapestry Of Joy And Love, Chicanery, Folly, Greed, And Derring Do Haunting, Exquisite Rosalind Maybrick, Wife Of A Billionaire Owner, One Day Can T Quite Decide What It Is She Wants, And Discovers Too Late That Her Whole Life Is Transformed Twenty Year Old Tiffany Morse, Stuck In Her Job At Wal Mart, Prays, Please Make Something Happen Here This Time, I Mean It, And Something Does Farley, A Good Trainer In A Bad Slump Buddy, A Ruthless Trainer Who Can T Seem To Lose Even Though He Knows That His Personal Salvation Depends Upon It Roberto, An Apprentice Jockey Who Has The Hands But Is Growing Too Big For His Dream Career With Every Passing Day Leo The Gambler And His Earnest Son, Jesse, Who Understands Everything About His Father S System Except Why It Doesn T Work Elizabeth, The Year Old Theorist Of Sex And Animal Communication, And Her Best Friend, Joy, The Mare Manager At The Ranch At The Center Of The Universe All Are Woven Together By The Horses That Pass Among Them Two Colts And Two Fillies Who Begin With The Promise Of Talent And Breeding, And Now Might Or Might Not Achieve Stardom There Are The Geldings Justa Bob, The Plain Brown Horse Who Always Wins By A Nose, A Lovable Claimer Who Passes From Owner To Owner On A Heart Wrenching Journey Down From The Winner S Circle And The Beautiful Mr T Raced In France And Rescued In Texas, Who Is Discovered To Have Some Unusual And Amazing Talents And Then There Is The Jack Russell Terrier, Eileen, A Dog With Real Convictions And The Will To Implement ThemThe Strange, Compelling, Sparkling, And Mysterious Universe Of Horse Racing That Has Fascinated Generations Of Punters And Robber Barons, Horse Lovers And Wits, Has Never Before Been Depicted With Such Verve And Originality, Such Tenderness, Such Clarity, And, Above All, Such Sheer Exuberance

10 thoughts on “Horse Heaven

  1. says:

    I m not really sure how I feel about the book overall It was excellent in many ways, but sort of pointless overall It s a soap opera about horses the people working with them on the track with a sort of beginning a kind of end, but there was a lot of history certainly life goes on after the book ends The writing was good, engaging yet there wasn t a single defined plot, so I got a bit lost at times Toward the middle of the book, I almost gave it up due to characters musing then it suddenly picked up again I guess that was the biggest flaw, there was a very realistic unevenness to the story Tons of crazy things happen, then life sort of drifts along the cycle repeats.There are a lot of characters, both horse human, but there is a pretty good list in the front It might be worthwhile to make some extra notes Some of the characters were tough for me to keep separated For instance, two trainers, Farley Dick were similar enough that I confused them on than one occasion, although that didn t really hurt the story at all Most stood out wonderfully like Justa Bob Mr T, super horse characters.I have enough experience to know that Smiley REALLY knows the business her take on it, the way she describes the horses the people, is fantastic If you like watching any of the big flat races e.g the Kentucky Derby wonder what sort of life led up to goes on after, I can t think of a better way to do it.

  2. says:

    March 15 Review coming tomorrow.March 16 I gave this book four stars yesterday but while thinking over my reading experience before sitting to write this review I ve dropped it down to three The basic idea of the whole thing is compelling follow the stories of certain Thoroughbred horses during their first three years of life Will they turn out to be the horses they were expected to be What kind of drama will surround them and their people Because there is always drama around a horse, even a backyard horse Of course I loved the descriptions of the horses, the sense of being at the racetrack, the feel this book gave me of being around the animals again, and I enjoy any book that does that But As other reviewers have mentioned, there is just too much here Too many characters, too many shifts from one to the other, and along about page 400 or so I really just wanted the whole thing to be over This was my second reading, but the first time through had been so long ago I could only really remember the horse Justa Bob, who was the most memorable this time through also.Will I ever read it again Honestly, if I do, I will skim past big chunks and sprint to the finish line instead of plodding or less patiently for the whole distance.

  3. says:

    Just loved how Smiley contrasted thoroughbred racing horses who are born to know what they love and what they are meant to do with a whole gaggle of self doubting, identity conflicted humans Funny, sprawling but controlled, lotsa anthropomorphism but no saccharine sentimentality Smiley has an insider s knowledge of her milieu, but also respects and trusts her reader enough not to bog the story down in definition or description Even though they are frequent, her race scenes are never boring And the 1 reason I loved this book she portrays the deep love between humans and animals with respect, knowledge, understanding A lovely summer read, for those days you re not at the track.

  4. says:

    Fascinating portrayal of the thoroughbred horseracing world.How does Jane Smiley do it Her books are all completely unique There is no formula no predictability you could say she is an anti Ian McEwan The story is set in the thoroughbred racing world of Southern California The story, and the human beings involved are involving But what set this book apart for me Two of the main characters are animals One of the racehorses, and, a dog A Jack Russell Terrier to be precise And let me tell you these characters are as interesting, and convincing as the humans Maybe even .Note to reader I grew up surrounded by thoroughbreds and horse people, and have lived with Jack Russell s for 20 years.

  5. says:

    Let s get it out in the open I love Horse Racing I have been to many of the tracks where Smiley sets her book, as well as many smaller locations where I swear the horses plow the north 40 in the day and race by night But horse racing still remains the domaine of the rick, populated by horse people who train, groom and care for the horses I think this is anther top flight effort by Smiley as she takes us month by month through the racing year She is at her best when her months around 30 pages in length with chapters in the 8 10 page range, this forces Smiley to be concise in her writing and focus on certain horses and people We see the highs which are limited to only a few and the lows which is the common occurrence We fall in love with horses and characters, my favorite being the claimer, Justa Bob, along with Limitless Good stories revolve around both those horses.Why only a 4 Well, Smiley gives us too many characters, too many horse and a lot of extraneous chapters that deal with personal issues that do nothing to move along the story In the end, the horses are at the level they are supposed to be at, even though their owners never thought that their horses were of those levels Some horses rise, others fall, others slip away Trainers come and go and so do owners It is a good look at this highly competitive and closely knit community and if you have any love of horses or racing that you should give this book a chance.

  6. says:

    Jane Smiley s novel about horse racing is one of the best books I have read this summer It was loaned to me by my sister in law, a horse woman herself and daughter of a horse woman Jane Smiley owns a race horse or two and clearly knows plenty about the subject A big part of the book s success is the way she makes the horses characters in the story as much as she does the humans.I knew nothing about the world of horse racing, except that people like to go to the races and bet money I learned than I knew there was to know about the individuals who own race horses usually wealthy , the ones who train them often fanatical , the jockeys, and the major races of each year along with their locations and prizes Smiley provides a list of characters and horses but not a glossary, so I kept my iPhone handy and the terminology is easy to find on the web.For the most part, reading the book was a perfectly painless way to learn because the facts are couched in the stories of individuals, including their dreams, their interpersonal troubles, the highs and lows of the racing life, and the many, various ways that these persons relate to horses.Smiley takes on the big issues and questions of live, love, business, ethics, etc Her novel is sprawling and long and rich with emotion I always enjoy her fiction because of the non judgmental approach she takes to human foibles the heady brew of dry humor plus pathos by which she makes us know that often the bad guy wins and the nice people lose In this one, almost every character, human or horse, gets what he or she wants in one way or another, deserved or not.It is a long book, cleverly plotted with intertwining destinies, and I never wanted it to be over I will probably not ride a horse again in my life and, unless someone invited me along, I would not attend a race, even though the Santa Anita track is just down the freeway But I don t think I will ever forget the animals or the humans, so well did she bring them to life Now I understand completely how people can love horses so much.

  7. says:

    Horse Heaven by Jane Smiley is a novel about horses and their breeders, owners, trainers, grooms, jockeys, traders, bettors and other turf obsessed humans It takes place over two years and chronicles the lives of various horses and their people.I know a little about horses that is to say I ve ridden horses, been to riding competitions, and been to the race track but I still found this book particularly hard to get into You see nothing ever happens, there is no real plot The entire novel is much a character epic, and the only redeemable characters are the horses The horses are quirky and sensitive, and you become attached to them all and feel their ups and downs, their victories and defeats The book bounces from character to character, in a way that makes you assume that the stories will converge at some point, but they never really do They are all loosely related by being in the racing world, but that s it Every time I felt I had a handle on everyone in the book, Smiley added another set of characters I couldn t keep up In conclusion, let me say this to you if you enjoy plot driven novels, this book it not for you if you enjoy slow moving character studies, you ll enjoy Horse Heaven My advice is to read this book for the horses, because the humans will disappoint you every time.

  8. says:

    I love the Dicken esque structure of this novel This is the first novel I have read by Smiley I read her small bio of Dickens and thought it was a wonderful distillation of the man and his work she had the fine sense to recognize Our Mutual Friend as perhaps his best work With Horse Heaven she goes back her forebearers, Dickens, Fielding and Thackery and creates a novel that is worthy homage.One of the things I loved best about her book is the sly humor There is one episode of quiet sly humor which involves Pete Rose and an airline attendant and a woman who believes she can grant wishes I won t attempt re tell it Its a small bit, but so perfect Now all that said, it took me about 100 pages to really get thoroughly hooked But once it did hook me, it had me fast Even now I find myself thinking about things in it or laughing over bits You don t have to love horses to love this book but you may afterwards.

  9. says:

    I fell in love with a race horse named Justa Bob

  10. says:

    an epic poem in prose about horse racing.