• The Sport of Kings

  • A Novel
  • By: C. E. Morgan
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 23 hrs and 2 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (169 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Hellsmouth, an indomitable thoroughbred with the blood of Triple Crown winners in her veins, runs for the glory of the Forge family, one of Kentucky's oldest and most powerful dynasties. Henry Forge has partnered with his daughter, Henrietta, in an endeavor of raw obsession: to breed the next superhorse, the next Secretariat. But when Allmon Shaughnessy, an ambitious young black man, comes to work on their farm after a stint in prison, the violence of the Forges' history and the exigencies of appetite are brought starkly into view. Entangled by fear, prejudice, and lust, the three tether their personal dreams of glory to the speed and grace of Hellsmouth.

A spiraling tale of wealth and poverty, racism and rage, The Sport of Kings is an unflinching portrait of lives cast in shadow by the enduring legacy of slavery. A vital new voice, C. E. Morgan has given life to a tale as mythic and fraught as the South itself - a moral epic for our time.

©2016 C. E. Morgan (P)2016 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about The Sport of Kings

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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Not a winner

I just could not get into this book. Suggest listening to the preview before ordering.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wish there was a pronunciation coach

The book is an epic. Complex, extravagantly written, brutally honest about how histories undo us as individuals and as a nation.
The narrator has a good voice and does a range of accents very well, but there are many big, esoteric words in this novel and it jars to hear them mispronounced. Undoes the underlying intelligence of the writing. Isn't that a director's job?

5 people found this helpful

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This one is all over the place

Would you listen to The Sport of Kings again? Why?

I will definitely listen to this again in hopes that I'll pick up on more of the nuances.

Any additional comments?

Being a Kentucky girl, I loved the subject matter and setting (primarily the beautiful Horse Country and farms around Paris and Versailles). The story was breathtaking in spurts, but at times it felt like I was trapped in a Terrence Malick movie. I'm still not sure what actually happened to Allmon, but I liked the book enough to listen to again to try and sort it out.

4 people found this helpful

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Fascinating tale & facts

Learned so much about history horses human nature in this exciting tale of unforgettable characters

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Complicated

This is a powerful story, powerfully written. I did not give it the full five stars because of the racism. It is a tale of insanity born of racism and poverty. The characters are haunting. They are beautifully drawn. The story will take you places that are unimaginable.

3 people found this helpful

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life-altering

This book digs deeply into the lines of our Kentuckian family tree in ways that blew me away again and again.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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not what it's cracked up to be

What disappointed you about The Sport of Kings?

over the top florid, self-indulgent, not really about The Sport of Kings at all

Has The Sport of Kings turned you off from other books in this genre?

just future books by this author

What aspect of George Newbern’s performance would you have changed?

accuracy in pronunciation--many errors

What character would you cut from The Sport of Kings?

too many to count

Any additional comments?

I've never commented on a book but this one got such good reviews and as a horse owner and racing fan, I had to try it. I stuck it out, hoping it would improve (and it does, briefly, with the entry of the jockey), but overall it was an amazing disappointment. Rambling and overheated.

3 people found this helpful

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Brutality is the central theme

This is a horrible book full of brutality toward people and horses. If you care about either, don’t waste your time. I gave it a couple of hours hoping that the tone would change and that I would begin to see some redeeming value to the story, but it just got worse and worse. I’m grateful for the return policy so that I can get something that actually uplifts rather than focusing on the worst characteristics of the human race.

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Loves This Book

family, sport, legacy, nature, history, skin and nation and choices put together beautifully to illustrate the way of the world. One of the best books ever!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Too many words.

I think the author wore our her Thesaurus writing this one. Rambling. Pretentious. Story filled with stereotypical characters. I don't understand all the hype.