For many people, one of the most addictive and interesting gambling options is horse racing! It might not appear to be so at first, but the adrenaline rush one feels as they watch their favorite horse and the jockey race through the finish line cannot be compared with many different excitements. Imagine all of this packed in an interesting novel about a legendary horse… Well, I am here to tell you there is such a book – it is called The Horse God Built, and it is written by a Canadian author and journalist who has won three National Magazine Awards, Lawrence Scanlan.
As I mentioned, horse racing is a sport that usually takes a lot of bets simple because of its dynamic nature, quaint charm and the fact it is so difficult to predict a winner. Exactly because it is such an unpredictable sport the story of Secretariat stands out among many others. It was one of the few racing horses who succeeded in getting the Triple Crown, and to make it even more amazing – the first one to do it after a quarter of a century without anyone achieving such a glamorous title. His story was retold among people countless times, but Lawrence Scanlan’s version is just amazing for the reasons I’m about to go through.
Firstly, Scanlan has a unique perspective of horse racing, as he moves away from the purely “sporting event” narrative and turns it into an emotional story. Even though this novel is about great successes of an even great horse, much attention was paid to the special bond between Secretariat and Eddie Sweat, his groom. The people who already love animals will no doubt understand the kinship that is depicted in the book, but even those who are not keen on animals will have their hearts melted by this amazing novel. The story is told though Eddie Sweat’s perspective – and it’s an extraordinary way to see what things looked like in an African-American man’s shoes in the 1980s who was doing the job he was not supposed to do, but was definitely born to do. It’s a thrilling narrative of loyalty and generosity, but filled with difficult moments, especially for the man who had to spend a lot of times on the sidelines.
Another thing that makes this book amazing is the fact that the author researched everything very thoroughly, so that not only the information that appears is factual, but it is also backed up by interesting details and references that cannot be found in other novels. You will actually feel compelled to look up videos about Secretariat or find some old newspaper cutouts just to find more about it. The narrative Scanlan presents to the reader is so intriguing and inspiring, it will leave you craving for more books about horse racing!
There are definitely some downsides to this book if you are not a fan of horse racing, but that shouldn’t stop you, since it is truly a universal story about things greater than one man, or one horse. Read it, you won’t be disappointed!