A Year at the Races by Jane Smiley; The British Stable by Giles Worsley - review by Peter Oborne

Peter Oborne

Not Lonely Cattle Sheds

A Year at the Races

By

Faber & Faber 289pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

The British Stable

By

Yale University Press 320pp £45 order from our bookshop
 

FOR SOME REASON horse racing has a less distinguished literature than other great sports, for instance cricket or even Association Football. Writers have mainly been attracted to the seedier side of the game, but few - Damon Runyon is the notable exception - have really risen to the occasion. There is nothing in racing literature to match the incomparable R S Surtees, or for that matter Trollope, on the hunting field.

Recent years have seen the beginnings of a renaissance. One sign of this was Laura Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit, which became an international bestseller and was made into a film. In truth the writing was no more than workmanlike, though the story was incomparably vivid.

Now comes Jane Smiley's A Year at the

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