Books »The Sporting Club and The Cadence of Grass

The Sporting Club by Thomas McGuaneI recently read two novels by the revered author Thomas McGuane and am compelled to highly recommend them both–but with reservations. At times his prose is flawless; insightful and vivid, there are parts in both novels that make me agree with his greatest supporters and claim him a genius. Other times he takes me so outside of the story and the characters that I feel confused and frustrated. Sometimes he even bores me with way too much detail about manly adventures like fly fishing and horse wrangling that I feel I as well have bought one of his non fiction books. But it's the genius part that keeps me reading.

The Sporting Club was written in 1969 and focuses on two young and very wealthy men, unstable to different degrees, who wallow in their privilege and wealth at an ancestral summer sporting club. As the characters gradually develop and their hijinx become more dangerous, the book itself nearly goes insane.The Cadence of Grasswas written thirty three years later and it also focuses on unstable people, this time the Whitelaw family who must work together to inherit the money according to the will of their fallen patriarch. I'm recommending these books whole heartedly even though McGuane may not be the prefect writer for me, but his talent is so significant that I hope more people rediscover this no longer talked about author just in case he's a perfect fit. If you like tales of dysfunction, the outdoors and don't mind being emotionally abandoned and disoriented by your authors, read on.

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Posted on September 3, 2007

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