interested in making any concessions toward the kinds of fiction that usually win the big awards.
Those of us who had relished her earlier books were not disappointed by the wonderfully quirky Lord of Misrule. In this novel, Gordon has created a down-at-the-heels backwater racetrack in West Virginia called Indian Mound Downs. She has populated it with an often bizarre assortment of characters—a pretty-boy wannabe horseman with a fragile psyche; his girl of the moment who clearly understands horses a lot better than he does; an old black groomer who knows the old secrets for preparing horses; slightly crooked or deeply criminal businessmen who circle the edges of the horse racing world, looking to make a few bucks in ways that most of us could never imagine. Each of these characters speaks the rich, unique slang of the track—a language I knew nothing of before I read Lord of Misrule. Without making any effort to stop and define unfamiliar things, Gordon finds a way to bring us all into the swirl of these words.