22 October 2013

Today's Read: Boleto by Alyson Hagy

Boleto by Aylson HagyWhat if you were the youngest of three sons looking for a way to escape your family's small ranch in central Wyoming? Although there's work for him at home, Will Testerman has a restless, independent spirit; besides, he's just about to fall in love with a two-year-old:

She was a gift, though he did not think of her that way for a long time. He paid twelve hundred dollars for her, money that came straight from his single account at Cabin Valley Bank. She was halter broke, and trailer broke, and she had been wormed for the spring. Someone had taken a rasp to her feet. He had seen her dam, Sally's Quick Ticket, win more than one prize in cutting horse competitions. He had no knowledge of her sire. The man who bred her kept good horses at his ranch outside of Cody, on the South Fork of the Shoshone River. The man did not use his horses much, but he had an experienced manager, someone who knew how to care for foals and weanlings. When the man chose to sell some of his animals, the manager, a careful fellow by the name of Campion, asked around. Campion did not go in for the commotion of stock sales. He had four horses he needed to sell, and the prettiest one was a quarter horse filly that was barley two years old. She was nicely balanced. There was a decent chance she had inherited her mother's speed.
Boleto by Alyson Hagy (Graywolf Pess, 2012, p. 5 [opening paragraph])

Quick Facts
  • Setting: rural western ranches; southern California polo clubs
  • Circumstances: Will Testerman, an ex-rodeo competitor, is determined to make his name as a horse trainer; he's been told that trained polo horses can command a good price
  • Characters: Will, twenty-three years old; Boleto, two years old; Will's family, friends, and enemies; other trainers and buyers
  • Genre: contemporary western; character study; literary fiction
  • Major themes: the new West; strong bond between cowboy and horse; social divides (wealth, class, region); changing way of life; hard dose of reality; non-romantic view of today's cowboy
  • Writing style: beautiful, poetic, descriptive, unforgettable; many reviewers compare Hagy to Kent Haruf, Cormac McCarthy, and Annie Proulx
  • Miscellaneous: Indie Next pick for May 2012; finalist for the Reading West Book Award; now out in paperback
  • Novel's origins: story inspired by a chance meeting with a horse trainer
ISBN-13: 9781555976637
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 10/22/13, 7:19 AM  

I love the sound of this one, and hadn't heard of it previously. I'd keep reading.

Dana Tanaro Britt 10/22/13, 7:59 AM  

Hmm, as a Kentucky girl who grew up loving horse racing, I might have to check this one out. Thanks :)

Mystica 10/22/13, 8:38 AM  

Knowledge of horses is very limited! but I like the sound of this one.

JoAnn 10/22/13, 8:48 AM  

This one is new to me... it sounds good!

grammajudyb 10/22/13, 9:17 AM  

I am not usually drawn to horse stories, but since Wyoming is mentioned I will give it try. Boys and their animals almost always make good stories.

Laurel-Rain Snow 10/22/13, 10:02 AM  

I haven't read books about western ranches in awhile...sounds tempting. Thanks for sharing, and here's MY TUESDAY MEMES POST

Beth Hoffman 10/22/13, 10:26 AM  

I have the feeling that I'd like this one!

Literary Feline 10/22/13, 10:44 AM  

I think I'd keep reading. I don't often read books with this setting, but the introduction has intrigued me.

bermudaonion 10/22/13, 10:51 AM  

I don't know if I've ever read a Western but I'm intrigued by this one.

gautami tripathy 10/22/13, 11:02 AM  

It sure sounds good to me! I would go on....

Here is my post

Nise' 10/22/13, 12:07 PM  

I have not read a western book in ages. It is about high time I did again!

kayerj 10/22/13, 12:22 PM  

I think this one sounds very good. Enjoy your book. Kelley at the road goes ever ever on

Heather 10/22/13, 1:29 PM  

Beautiful opening paragraph--sounds like a good one! I have a gothic classic this week: Frankenstein

Sandra Nachlinger 10/22/13, 2:07 PM  

This sounds like an excellent book. I loved the way the paragraph in your post was written -- enough detail to let the reader know that the point-of-view character knows a lot about horses but not overwhelming with jargon.
My Teaser is from PEACE BY PIECE.

Greg 10/22/13, 2:13 PM  

Sounds great, it would be interesting to read about that lifestyle and sounds like it may be a moving book as well.

Shelley Munro 10/22/13, 5:48 PM  

Trained polo horses do indeed go for serious money. Sounds interesting.

Margot 10/22/13, 11:27 PM  

I like the first paragraph. I keep reading for that and the setting. It would be nice to let my mind spend some time in Wyoming.

Anonymous,  10/23/13, 12:03 AM  

Keep reading. Although the horse on the cover does nothing for me, last year I read a book about show-jumping that had horses on the cover (Foal's Bread by Gillian Mears) - it turned out to be one of the best books I've ever read. Goes to show that sometimes I shouldn't judge a book by its cover!

Daryl 10/23/13, 3:42 PM  

doesnt sound like my cuppa, but it does sound like a good read

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