Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Lime Twig

This was another of the postmodern reads and as a fan of the Sport of Kings, it pains me how horse racing is portrayed in film and literature. I recently re-watched Lucky Number Sleven, where the premise of the movie is based on a similar situation as that in Lime Twig. In the movie, a guy hears about a fix on a horse and wagers a ton of money on said horse. The local mob connections don't like someone horning in on their action and they off the guy, his family, and even the horse.

In Lime Twig, a character named Hencher rents a place from a married couple and attempts to repay them for their kindness by setting up a horse race fix with a bunch of ne'er do wells he knew. Hencher gets his skull kicked in by the horse and another set of ne'er do wells decide to get in on the action by kidnapping Banks' wife and seducing Banks while killing the trainer and jockey the original crime group were planning on using. Good times. It is this sort of image that made my brother-in-law all irate when I sat my niece down a couple weeks ago to watch horse racing on TV. She rides horses and enjoyed watching the races with her uncle. But nooooooo, horse racing is for degenerates and criminals. Grrrrr.....

Getting back to the book, I didn't like it. It sort of reads like a mystery in that things are unclear but it is unclear because of the style of writing, not because pieces of the story are being hidden. The writing is confusing and I felt the plot was really thin. I never understood the motivation for any of the character's actions. They just did things.

It wasn't quite horrible. The author, John Hawkes, was friends with Flannery O'Connor, another post-modern writer who I do think is horrible, so I'm thinking that that era of postmodern writing is just not my cup of tea. What eras or authors are? Well, here's the books on the essential postmodern list I've read from favorite to least:

Everything is Illuminated
The Universal Baseball Association, Henry J. Waugh, Proprietor
House of Leaves
City of Glass
The Hundred Brothers
The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
If On A Winter's Night a Traveler
The Scarlet Letter
The Lime Twig
At Swim-Two-Birds

I'm definitely a modern post-modernist. Remainder and Everything is Illuminated were published within the last few years. House of Leaves is recent, too. As a matter of fact, I have not been as excited about a book release as I am Tom McCarthy's C. Remainder was an unbelievable story and is in my top two dozen novels of all-time. C is to be released September 7 and I cannot wait.

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