Wednesday, February 15, 2012

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (Serpent's Tail Classics)They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? by Horace McCoy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Robert and Gloria enter a marathon dance contest with $1000 as the top prize. Too bad Gloria thinks about death more than winning...

Horace McCoy is bleak enough to be one of Jim Thompson's drinking buddies. This tale is really slim but also kind of exhausting. McCoy's depiction of a dance contest that lasts over a month is hellish and he paints a depressing picture of life during the Great Depression. See what I did there?

It's a pretty powerful story. You know how it ends in the first few pages but getting there is still an ordeal. I felt for Gloria at times but others times I was waiting for her to get to it. She wasn't a likeable character but I did feel sorry for her when she wasn't being a bitch.

That's pretty much all I have to say. If Jim Thompson wrote a book about a marathon dance contest with a suicidal contestant, it would look a lot like this.

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