Thursday, March 26, 2009

Something a Little Different: A Book Review

All Hat: A Novel Part of writing is reading - scouting out the competition, so to speak. I read a lot of horse-themed books: the good, the bad and the ugly! Just finished this one. I'd heard about it as it was set between Woodbine and Fort Erie, and finally ordered it. Following is my very brief Goodreads review!

All Hat: A Novel by Brad Smith

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I'm surprised I gave this as high a rating as I did, given that the horse and racing related details are so completely WRONG in this book I wanted to throw it in the woodstove. They became so frequent I gave up and convinced myself to enjoy the book in spite of this very consistent inaccuracy. The characters won me over, and were a major redeeming feature. Fantastic dialogue. Too bad this guy didn't get the horse part right, it would have been a really great book if he had.

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Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

It sounds like it might have been a good book for someone who isn't as knowledgeable about horses as you are. Sometimes I have to look past my knowledge of things to see the characters and story for what it is. I guess no amount of research will make us an expert, although that doesn't justify NOT researching to the best of our ability. Thanks for the review.

Linda Shantz said...

Thanks for the comment! I know I'm hard on books that are in my area of experience. And I do think it would be enjoyed by readers who don't know anything about horse racing. Part of my problem is that it paints the sport in a pretty bad light, if people think what happens in the story is actually plausible.

And I do agree sometimes our knowledge can get in the way of telling the story! We're always working to find a balance.