Going To The Last: Short Stories About Horse Racing by K D Knight
|Going To The Last: Short Stories About Horse Racing by K D Knight|
|Category: Short Stories|
|Reviewer: Peter Magee|
|Summary: Twenty five well-written stories about the glorious sport from an author who knows what he's talking about.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 266||Date: May 2018|
|External links: Author's website|
In the opening story a man whose wife has deserted him visits Sandown with little money, but comes away with cash in his pocket - and his wife. In A Grey Day an owner struggles with the problem of whether or not to run his horse in the Gold Cup when the ground is against him. My favourite was The Story of H, the story of Foinavon. H is depicted as a kind horse who only wanted to please people. After changing hands on various occasions he came to the yard of John Kempton. H (or Foinavon) was entered in the Grand National and considered a no-hoper. In one of the most dramatic runnings of the race, a pile up occured at the 23rd fence. Foinavon, who had been many lengths adrift, cleared the fence and galloped to the line, winning the race at odds of 100/1.
Choosing a favourite story wasn't easy. K D Knight gives us twenty five short stories all about the glorious sport of horse racing, but unusually, they'll appeal to a wider readership than just the aficionados of the sport, much as Dick Francis's thrillers reached a wide audience. Unlike Francis though, Knight doesn't need to use sex to titillate his readers and he's no fan of bad language, which I found refreshing.
Francis isn't the only jockey to have turned his hand to writing fiction. John Francome (with the 'help' of Peter Burden) and A P McCoy have also ventured into the genre, with limited success. They might have the in-depth knowledge of the sport, but lacked the imagination and had only limited ability to write a good story. On the other hand, Knight has the depth of knowledge which only comes from wide experience over many years rather than just research. He has a real talent for writing a top-class story. It's relatively easy to create a character or a location in the reader's mind in a full-length novel: in a short story both have to be created in relatively few words and any lack of ability is soon found out. Knight does this with ease.
Knight lifts the sport above the common perception, and turns the spotlight on the full range of characters who are involved, from the brave horses, through to the owners, trainers, stable staff and race goers who make horseracing what it is. I've followed horseracing for most of my life and it was a real pleasure to read stories which reflect the sport which I love.
If I have one quibble it is that I wish Knight had more belief in his own abilities. The cover refers to a foolhardy attempt to reflect the beautiful truth of a remarkable sport. This book is anything but foolhardy and I look forward to reading more from Knight.
I'd like to thank the publisher for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
You can read more about K D Knight here.
You can read more book reviews or buy Going To The Last: Short Stories About Horse Racing by K D Knight at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Going To The Last: Short Stories About Horse Racing by K D Knight at Amazon.com.
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