cover shows a jockey riding a horse "There are tales that are remembered and tales that are forgotten, but all tales are born to be told. They demand it; the dead become tales in order to live. Their eternal life is in your mouth."

Tales and eternal life are somewhere near the core of C. E. Morgan's epic The Sport of Kings. The novel is about horses and race and gender and land and family and desire and evolution, but all those concepts circle around the idea of survival: what remains, and where do we--with our lives, so short and yet the longest thing we will ever experience--fit in with the hope of something bigger than ourselves. Or something big enough to make ourselves feel whole.

The first interesting thing about this book is the dedication: "This book is dedicated to the reader." I liked the framework and the relationship this establishes. This book is for me, and it's also for you, whoever you are, whoever you are who picks it up, opens it, reads it. It's not for someone else. Despite this book's intelligence and erudition, it's not dedicated to someone more intelligent or more erudite than you. It's dedicated to you, and if you dedicate yourself back to it, this book will meet you where are you are. Morgan has finished her work, and now the reading of it, the challenge of it, the analysis of it, the moral urges it provokes, those all belong to the reader and no longer to her.

Read more... )

May 2017

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