The Sport of Kings: A Novel

The Sport of Kings A Novel Hellsmouth a willful thoroughbred filly with the blood of Triple Crown winners flowing through her veins has the legacy of the Forges riding on her One of the oldest and proudest families in Kentuck

  • Title: The Sport of Kings: A Novel
  • Author: C.E. Morgan
  • ISBN: 9781427272669
  • Page: 452
  • Format: Audio CD
  • Hellsmouth, a willful thoroughbred filly with the blood of Triple Crown winners flowing through her veins, has the legacy of the Forges riding on her One of the oldest and proudest families in Kentucky, the Forge family is as mythic as the history of the South itself Descended from one of the first settlers to brave the Gap, Henry Forge, through an act of naked ambition,Hellsmouth, a willful thoroughbred filly with the blood of Triple Crown winners flowing through her veins, has the legacy of the Forges riding on her One of the oldest and proudest families in Kentucky, the Forge family is as mythic as the history of the South itself Descended from one of the first settlers to brave the Gap, Henry Forge, through an act of naked ambition, is attempting to blaze a new path, breeding horses on the family s crop farm His daughter, Henrietta, becomes his partner in the endeavor, although she has desires of her own Their conflict escalates when Allmon Shaughnessy, a black man fresh from prison, comes to work in the stables, and the ugliness of the farm s past and the exigencies of appetite become evident Together, the three stubbornly try to create a new future through sheer will one that isn t written in their very fabric while they mold Hellsmouth into a champion.The Sport of Kings has the grace of a parable and the force of an epic A majestic story of speed and hunger, racism and justice, this novel is an astonishment from start to finish A vital new voice, C E Morgan has crafted an American myth, a contemporary portrait of the scars of the past that run through a family, and of our desperate need to escape our history, to subsume it with pleasure or to rise above it with glory.

    • The Sport of Kings: A Novel ¦ C.E. Morgan
      452 C.E. Morgan
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      Published :2019-04-08T21:29:11+00:00

    About "C.E. Morgan"

    1. C.E. Morgan

      C.E Morgan b 1976 is an American author She won the 2016 Windham Campbell Literature Prize, among other honors.As an undergraduate, Morgan studied voice at Berea College, a tuition free labor college for students from poor and working class backgrounds in Appalachia In exchange for a free education, all students work for the college while enrolled Morgan also attended Harvard Divinity School, where she studied literature and religion She wrote All the Living while at Harvard She lives in Kentucky.

    544 thoughts on “The Sport of Kings: A Novel”

    1. Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.Henry Forge - proud, racist, and uncompromising - nurtures a lifelong obsession to breed the next Thoroughbred superhorse, a desire that his only child, Henrietta, adopts with the same degree of all-consuming fervor. Allmon Shaughnessy, a young black man adept at working with horses, arrives at the Forge farm. His appetite for success aligns with that of the Forge family, and the three are inextricably drawn [...]


    2. First off, I need to say that this is possibly THE most beautifully written book that I've had the pleasure to read. Powerful - Inspiring - and Moving words, and yet, these words also create vivid images of rape, slavery, and cruelty, that I found particularly hard to stomach. Of course these scenes and words were crucial to the overall picture, but you know what they say ' once read they cannot be unread' The wealthy Forge family are one of the oldest families in Kentucky, descended from the fi [...]


    3. No-one and nothing emerges unscathed in this book. Regardless of race or region, whether plant, animal, mineral – even the earth itself – all are capable of, and do enact cruelty upon other members of their species or other species or those in contact with other species. In that sense, this book was almost nihilistic in tone. Just when redemption appeared to be at hand, it was ripped away with the force of a wild wind.It begins as a family saga in Kentucky when Kentucky was still Virginia th [...]


    4. In the opening scene, we meet young Henry on the run from his father for the crime of killing the neighbour’s bull. His strident denials, churlishness to a black servant, and childish whining did not initially endear me to him, or the book. Then we meet his father, an overbearing man whose impossibly high expectations of his son were unlikely to be met, for he seemed like the sort who would never be satisfied. Suddenly, the boy’s behaviour became a little more understandable, though never li [...]


    5. 3ish stars. Allow me to compare this novel to a horse. It's large, majestic, impressive, stately. Many times, however, it more closely resembles a Clydesdale than the Forge's racing thoroughbreds- powerful but less sleek than clunky and plodding. I had this rated as high as a 4 at some points and as low as a 2 at others, which speaks to its inconsistency, mostly in pace. There were times I was so engaged and impressed with Morgan's writing skill, while other times I felt like I was slogging thro [...]


    6. This is an impressively wide-ranging novel that is almost a social history of Kentucky, as well as an examination of the racing industry and the science behind the evolution and breeding of thoroughbred horses. It centres on two families, one white and one black, and builds to a conclusion that has elements of Greek tragedy. I have no interest in horses, but never found that a problem.At its heart is Henry Forge, whose family farm was founded by an ancestor who was one of the state's original se [...]


    7. So, my thoughts. Firstly I was, because of the horses and the racing, pretty sure I would hate this book. So imagine my surprise when within 50 pages I was sold, gripped in the dynastic tale of the Forge family who are all frankly horrid and bonkers but oh so read able. The book then takes a huge twist into the life of Allmon and soon starts to look at class and race in America from the 1960's onwards. This book is jam packed. There is a but coming. I can't decide if Morgan does something clever [...]


    8. Rumors of Great American Novel status abounded, but I found this Kentucky-based horse racing novel to be florid and overlong. The novel doesn’t really achieve takeoff until Allmon comes on the scene at about page 180. Although there are good descriptions of horses, the main plot – training Hellsmouth to compete in the 2006 Kentucky Derby – mostly passed me by. Meanwhile, the interpersonal relationships become surprisingly melodramatic, more fit for a late Victorian novel or maybe something [...]



    9. Finally, coming up for air after 2 weeks with this novel, an ambitious multigenerational epic, hampered by indulgent digressions. Lets deal with the horses, yep, there are large chunks of writing about matters equine - breeding, racing, frolicking, and evolution but this is not a horse racing novel like, say Seabiscuit: An American Legend, but rather a confronting story of race and certainly privilege. Hellsmouth, the key horse character of the book, really doesn't feature heavily until the last [...]


    10. **I would give this book 10 stars if I could. **[UPDATE (7/10): While prepping discussion questions for book club, I realized that I missed something KEY in this book -- a "holy cow, my mind is blown" kind of discovery that makes me feel this book is even MORE brilliant than my initial thoughts below. But you have to read closely, with focus, to catch it. Amazing, amazing, amazing!!]ORIGINAL REVIEW:What I’ve come to learn about myself as a reader is that I am patient enough (who knew?) to enjo [...]


    11. Although I enjoyed the writing style, the subject and characters were tedious and difficult to engage. A family saga concerned with a family that has few redeeming qualities. Every time I picked up this book, I wished for it to end, certainly not a glowing recommendation.


    12. A bloated, pseudo-literary slog that desperately wants to be grand, but falls flat through clumsy, convoluted writing. Video review coming soon. Brace yourselves.


    13. 4.5 stars. The best book I've read this month. This was so close to 5 stars but that epilogue hmmm. This is thankfully not a book about horse racing despite the title. It is a sweeping epic family story and a reckoning with the history of slavery in US. The horses are beautiful but they are just the backdrop. I will be carrying these characters around with me for a long time.


    14. this book is supposedly only 500 something pages, but it took me more than three weeks to get through the audiobook. phew. i am so very happy i did, except for (view spoiler)[what i found a disappointing and sadly predictable finale (hide spoiler)]'s not many women writers who take it upon themselves to write such sprawling, male histories of the country, or, as they are called if men write them, Great American Novels, so major props to morgan for courage and vision. also, it's not many white pe [...]


    15. My feelings are complicated and I have to gather them but GOOD LORD C.E. Morgan is a beast of a writer. There are so many things I wish she had done just a tiny bit different because this book had so much potential to be simply mindblowing, it just didn't quite get there. Still, it's incredibly ambitious and leaps and bounds better than most.


    16. Bloodstock: Overbred, OverwrittenC. E. Morgan can do some things supremely well. There is a scene about a quarter of the way through her new novel, set mainly on a Kentucky horse farm, where a stud stallion is brought in to cover a brood mare. The bringing together of two highly-strung animals, attracted by scent, and as likely to attack their handlers as each other, is a scene of gross violence made almost magnificent by the wildness of the writing in which Morgan describes it:The enormous bay [...]


    17. This book was an overwritten mess, which is a shame, because there were flashes of brilliance and some heartpoundingly page-turning passages. I get that this is Southern Gothic, and that the footsteps being followed are Faulkner's, but I was frustrated by the excess long before I reached the turgid melodramatic ending. An early warning sign was the recurrence of esoteric vocabulary words. The first time I saw "karsty" (which may be an adjective that Morgan coined, I'm not sure), I had to read up [...]


    18. This book is offensive. I can only hope the reader will read past his or her objections. It is offensive to blacks, to monied whites, to animal rights activists, to horse-racing enthusiasts, to atheists, to Christians, to hillbillies and a combination of any or all of the above. I loved every minute of it. This book gets in your face and into your brain. Morgan takes Homeric and idyllic pastoral scenes to an entirely new level in the modern novel. The writing is lush, but accurate to every detai [...]


    19. All roads have led to you, Henry, and I won't have you throw everything away for a heap of rhinestones. I'm a planter's son, and you're a planter's son. There is no need for improvement, Henry, only adherence to a line that has never altered, because it's never proven unsound.The Sport of Kings is a tough book to get my mind around: It is big and weighty, so interesting at the sentence level and ambitious in scope – Is there ever anything more topical in America than class and race and the cul [...]



    20. This book has split me in two. I love it: Its is a 4.5 star. Look there is some beautiful writing here. For example there is a stunning scene where one of the female protagonists has sex with a stranger in the back seat of a car during a rain storm. The two family sagas are intriguing too with an interesting twist or two at the end. I hate it. It should be a DNF and does not even deserve a single star. Unfortunately, at there is at least two hundred pages of complete self- indulgent, convoluted, [...]


    21. Got about a hundred pages into this and just couldn't take any more of the grim, dour characters. Even the livelier ones are soured somehow. The writing is good, though perhaps there's just too much of a good thing with it at times, as though the author finds a wondrous turn of phrase and can't bear not to add it to the other similar phrases, and the characters are well drawn enough. But everyone's so gloomy. Just not interested in spending any more of my precious reading time with them all.


    22. Morgan's novel is set in the Ohio-Kentucky borderland bisected by the Ohio River. To the north lies Cincinnati, a free-state beacon in antebellum times. To the south lies the rich farmland of Kentucky, a de facto slave state. Metaphor has glossed over so much of this area's complicated history. Cincinnati was the Queen City, surrounded like Rome, by seven hills. Kentucky is the blue grass state, an appellation that distances it from reminders of slave labor's importance in its history. As for th [...]


    23. In the novel’s opening scene, a young Henry Forge, guilty of killing a neighbor’s bull, breathlessly sprints through a cornfield in an attempt to hide from his father and avoid the coming reckoning. I couldn’t help but think of Genesis and Adam, the first to try the same for having committed the original sin. In some sense, the scene is a microcosm of the novel; the book portending a reckoning for America’s original sin of slavery.Henry Forge has a name. His father, the latest in a long [...]


    24. If you are white, and male, the Sport of Kings makes for uncomfortable reading at times. C.E Morgan has written a novel in which women and black people are subject to the worst humiliations and injustices. Of men: ”The truth is that men aren't interested in your happiness; they'll make you think that's the case, they'll treat you really great for a while and make all sorts of promises and give you all their attention, but they reach a point where they can't pretend anymore. They're just selfis [...]


    25. Read because: 2017 finalist for Bailey’s Women’s Prize for FictionThis story is…erfully writtengoing to piss a lot of people off.….a book that white people go nuts over, hailing it as literary genius as it deftly and sometimes graphically shows all the horrible things white privilege does to both white people and black. Feel sorry for us white folk, trying so hard to get woke with little to no success.…t going to escape the criticisms heaped upon The Help and The Secret Life of Bees. [...]


    26. This powerful, epic work of macro fiction has all the makings of a classic novel. I’ll be honest: at first I could barely muster the interest to start reading it. A 550-page book about horse racing? Nah, not for me. But The Sport of Kings is so much more than it appears to be: beneath the surface, it’s a sweeping examination of racism and classism in America.At the center of this ambitious novel is the Forge family, one of Kentucky’s oldest and most powerful dynasties. As a young boy in th [...]


    27. Henry Forge is heir to a Kentucky farm, descended from the first settlers in the area, and son of a beautiful but mute mother and a fiercely proud, patrician and fundamentally racist and sexist father who disinherits him (unsuccessfully) when Henry declares his intention to convert the farm from crops to racehorses. Most of the book of the book is set years later as Henry and his unmarried daughter Henrietta pursue Henry’s dream of breeding a triple-crown winning racehorse from the bloodline o [...]


    28. Some parts of this book were superb and nearly all of those most poetic/ lyrical were in regards to the animal, the thoroughbred horse. It follows a specific section of the country in Kentucky settled by the Forge family and the century plus that follows. Hard people who with Henry's dictation change the corn and other crop onus of the Forge land to that of raising/ developing genetic horse lines used in the sport of thoroughbred racing. The Sport of Kings. Obsessed to obtain and all sacrifices [...]


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