Rough Magic: Riding the World's Loneliest Horse Race

Rough Magic: Riding the World's Loneliest Horse Race

For fans of Helen Macdonald’s H Is for Hawk, this is the extraordinary debut memoir of a young woman who traveled to Mongolia to compete in the world’s longest, toughest horse race, and emerged as its youngest and first-ever female winner.At the age of nineteen, Lara Prior-Palmer discovered a website devoted to “the world’s longest, toughest horse race”—an annual competiti...

DownloadRead Online
Title:Rough Magic: Riding the World's Loneliest Horse Race
Author:Lara Prior-Palmer
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Rough Magic: Riding the World's Loneliest Horse Race Reviews

  • TXGAL1

    ROUGH MAGIC is the debut memoir of Lara Prior-Palmer. The story focuses on her last-minute entry and race in The Mongol Derby of 2013.

    With the motion of a carefree spinning of a globe and haphazardly pointing to the next place to find adventure, 19 year-old Lara Prior-Palmer clicked on the “flashing” pick me Google tab and applied to enter the “world’s longest and toughest horse race”.

    The Mongol Derby is a race of endurance run over 1,000 kilometers (621.371 miles) on 25 different semi-wild hors

    ROUGH MAGIC is the debut memoir of Lara Prior-Palmer. The story focuses on her last-minute entry and race in The Mongol Derby of 2013.

    With the motion of a carefree spinning of a globe and haphazardly pointing to the next place to find adventure, 19 year-old Lara Prior-Palmer clicked on the “flashing” pick me Google tab and applied to enter the “world’s longest and toughest horse race”.

    The Mongol Derby is a race of endurance run over 1,000 kilometers (621.371 miles) on 25 different semi-wild horses over a ten-day period. Riders come from all over the world to take on the challenge. They are restricted to the race hours of 7am - 8:30pm and any racers riding outside this time parameter are assessed time penalties on the day following.

    There are many rules of the race pertaining to rider and horse. The author seems fated to compete in this race. Prior-Palmer enters with just a few weeks left in the application period. Warnings of needed experience, vaccinations, training, to run the race all go unnoticed by the author. The exorbitant entry fee is initially an impediment, but with Prior-Palmer’s usual aplomb she is able to easily overcome this potential roadblock and any other restriction to entry.

    Lara Prior-Palmer has no fear and an over abundance of innocence and joie de vivre. These attributes work in her favor as she takes on the Mongolian landscape, its grueling race and her stubborn competitors.

    As Prior-Palmer’s race is recounted, I come to admire the bravery of the writer as it is juxtaposed with the whimsicality of the writing. Much respect is given to one so young on the far side of the world taking on the world’s toughest horse race, alone.

    The author is my new hero and example. From her I will remember to, even at my age, dare to do something different and unexpected—the end result may be very rewarding, but above all life will have been lived!

    I thank Catapult publishers for my ARC in exchange for a review. This is my favorite book of 2019 thus far.

  • Rachel Watkins

    Jump on, hang on, and don't fall off as Lara Prior-Palmer's ROUGH MAGIC recounts her riding and winning the world's longest, hardest horse race in Mongolia at the age of nineteen. This story is outrageous and told with lyrical intelligence. I couldn't put this down and read it in one day!

  • Melissa

    Not only is the subject matter of this book fascinating, but the language is beautiful. There are some really gorgeous moments of prose. At times I wanted to hug Lara and sometimes she needed a good smack but ultimately I was always rooting for her.

  • Kathleen

    My review for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

    The Mongol Derby has only been around since 2009, but it immediately garnered and continues to hold the reputation of being the most grueling long-distance horse race on the planet. Following the route of the postal service that Genghis Khan established in 1224, riders traverse 1,000 kilometers across the sparsely populated Central Asian steppes, swapping their semi-wild horses every 40 kilometers and sleeping at

    My review for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

    The Mongol Derby has only been around since 2009, but it immediately garnered and continues to hold the reputation of being the most grueling long-distance horse race on the planet. Following the route of the postal service that Genghis Khan established in 1224, riders traverse 1,000 kilometers across the sparsely populated Central Asian steppes, swapping their semi-wild horses every 40 kilometers and sleeping at stations staffed by local nomadic herding families.

    Far from favored to win, 19-year-old Lara Prior-Palmer entered the 2013 race on a whim after finishing high school in her home country of England, when she was floating "in a debris of possible dates and implausible plans, with neither the funding nor the fervor to propel me onward."

    "Rough Magic: Riding the World's Loneliest Horse Race" is her gripping, self-searching, triumphant debut memoir about her successful effort to become the youngest rider and the first woman ever to win.

    An almost delusionally underprepared underdog, Prior-Palmer lies about her skills, name-drops her equestrian aunt Lucinda Green, gets the "phenomenal entry fee" reduced by over half, and shortly thereafter is off to Ulaanbaatar. Because any reader is going to know the race's outcome upon picking the book up, the interest lies not in the ending, but in how Prior-Palmer gets there.

    Luckily, she's an adept storyteller and a humble autobiographer, not afraid to let herself look unlikable or even obnoxious if the circumstances merit. "My thighs were strong and my heart was raw, yearning for my own motion," she writes; the winning vulnerability on display there and throughout this exceptional coming-of-age tale keeps the pages turning and the reader rooting for this unlikely heroine.

    A dreamy and peculiar person, Prior-Palmer totes a copy of Shakespeare's "The Tempest" with her because she likes to dive "into the lines for comfort." She observes of herself and her fellow riders: "I believe we sought some kind of oblivion. The characters in 'The Tempest' leap from their sinking ship in a 'fever of mad.' "

    Prior-Palmer's own arguable madness aside, the animals involved are sanely and humanely looked after. She notes that the rules impose a two-hour penalty or race expulsion "if a horse's heart rate remained above 64 beats per minute for a period longer than 45 minutes at the end of each leg," a detail that will become vital later on (but which would be a spoiler to say more about).

    The camaraderie and competition she experiences, particularly with American front-runner Devan Horn, and the dynamic she establishes with the horses who remind her that "animals were our first teachers" make this memoir a breathtaking ride, rich with "meaning beyond victory vs. loss."

  • Jemima Pett

    Magical, brilliant, evocative. I've never highlighted so many wondrous passages before.

    Given Ms Prior-Palmer's self-deprecation of her performance in school, you don't really expect such a wonderfully descriptive, and achingly evocative narrative.  Lara enters the world's toughest horse race on a whim, as she seems to do most things in her short life. Her fellow competitors have been preparing for a year, she barely has a month. She's not even a born horsewoman, although she has ridden a bit, at

    Magical, brilliant, evocative. I've never highlighted so many wondrous passages before.

    Given Ms Prior-Palmer's self-deprecation of her performance in school, you don't really expect such a wonderfully descriptive, and achingly evocative narrative.  Lara enters the world's toughest horse race on a whim, as she seems to do most things in her short life. Her fellow competitors have been preparing for a year, she barely has a month. She's not even a born horsewoman, although she has ridden a bit, at weekends when down at the cottage they have near her famous aunt (who's away half the time). So preparation to ride 8 hours a day for two weeks is not founded on a secure base.

    She combines the unfolding of the race itself with flashbacks of her past, and anecdotes about other people, or writings from Mongolians authors and poets.  It's a charming combination, and it works.

    Oh, how it works! I can't recall any other book where I've highlighted so many gorgeous turns of phrase.

    She has a talent for bringing landscape to life on the page like no other I've read. I think the secret of her success is: she lives in the moment. She goes with the flow.  She understands the flow.  Lara is aware of her surroundings, both in the race and at home, whatever forward or back motion it brings. It seems to suit the half-tamed Mongolian horses (about the size of Shetland ponies), and their owners, who recognise her ability to blend with them.  We are treated to pictures of the rest of the competitors; the most hardened, experienced and focused of them is probably least in tune with either their surroundings or the horses.

    Even the food is interesting. I'm glad I didn't have to eat it.

    Magical, brilliant, evocative. It's compulsive reading for travellers, lovers of wild spaces, and horse-lovers. Maybe not for gourmands.

    And I particularly like the inclusion of some recommended reading by Mongolian authors.

    I wonder if the hardcover edition has photos?

  • karen

    NOW AVAILABLE!!!

    there is a 1,000 kilometer horse race in mongolia called the mongol derby with the reputation of being “the world’s longest, toughest horse race.” human riders mount a series of 25 wild ponies, swapping ‘em out every 40 kilometers “to ensure the endurance [falls] on the humans, not the horses.” participants train rigorously, obtain sponsorships to offset the enormous entrance fees, prepare themselves for the physical and psychological hardships of being on horseback for more than

    NOW AVAILABLE!!!

    there is a 1,000 kilometer horse race in mongolia called the mongol derby with the reputation of being “the world’s longest, toughest horse race.” human riders mount a series of 25 wild ponies, swapping ‘em out every 40 kilometers “to ensure the endurance [falls] on the humans, not the horses.” participants train rigorously, obtain sponsorships to offset the enormous entrance fees, prepare themselves for the physical and psychological hardships of being on horseback for more than a week; through the heat and the rain and the aches and exhaustion of what is a frequently solitary trek over mongolia’s unforgiving terrain. despite all these preparatory measures, many riders do not make it to the finish line due to illness, injury, or fatigue. long story short - attempting this race requires commitment, dedication and sacrifice.

    or, you know, you could just sorta wing it.

    this is a memoir written by the nineteen-year-old woman who entered the derby on a whim, prepared not at all; didn’t train, didn’t get the required vaccinations, didn’t even bring a change of pants and somehow not only won the race, but was both the youngest and also the first female to ever win.

    and this book is how a person like 

     writes a memoir, or an account of this race. it’s not quite either of these approaches; it’s a little flighty, a little flitty — it’s where 

     kind of mind goes when it’s largely unoccupied and let off its tether for long solitary hours. the book is full of sentences like this:

    parts of this book feel like the script for some “girls can be forrest gump, too!” sequel — not because the author is slow, but because of how unlikely her even finishing the race was, considering her level of preparedness —

    not only did she enter on a whim, she entered after the deadline had passed, didn’t read much of the fine print, only half-filled out the medical forms and yet at every turn, logic looked the other way, fortune was feeling generous, and history was made by someone who forgot to take the pills that would stop her period and wound up bleeding all over her pony.

    despite embodying (and playing up a little, i suspect) the whole ‘god watches over drunks and fools’ angle —

    , she’s a little more savvy than some simpleton chasing a balloon; she manages to talk her way into paying less than half of the entrance fee, cadge gear off of fellow riders, and she’s got a deeply-ingrained competitive streak, so despite her somewhat-cultivated veneer of padded innocence:

    there’s a flint of steely stubbornness at her core.

    still, every single thing about her involvement in this race is haphazard - she remembers to bring

    medicine, but removes the pills from their packets "in a fit of boredom," flinging them altogether in one bag so she doesn’t know which are antibiotics and which are water purifying pills and which are ibuprofen, etc, so she just swallows whatever’s on top and hopes for the best.

    it

    slapsticky, but it’s not

    slapsticky. okay,

    it is slapsticky:

    it's a fun rompy read, but if you are looking for a book about the history of the race, or a book of sports writing, or one getting to the core of what makes a champion athlete tick, this might not deliver that for you. it's a hodgepodge rummage sale memoir-daydream that is weird and fun and that was enough for me and maybe it will be enough for you!!

  • Amanda

    This was a really interesting read about the youngest and first female winner of the Mongolian horse derby. I was sent a preview of the book through a marketing email and the preview... was the whole book. I don’t know if that was an error or what, but I really enjoyed it and enjoyed being inside the author’s head as she treks across the open spaces of Mongolia, contemplating her place in the world.

  • T

    2.5 stars rounded up to 3.

    What an odd little book. In a perfect world, this would have been one of my top reads of the year. It has everything I love: travel, horses, and traveling with horses. However, the writing style just didn't click with me and I never truly felt engaged with the narrative. Don't get me wrong, there are some gems of passages in here. They are, however, the exception and not the rule.

    One such example is when Lara starts ruminating on why, historically and evolutionary, th

    2.5 stars rounded up to 3.

    What an odd little book. In a perfect world, this would have been one of my top reads of the year. It has everything I love: travel, horses, and traveling with horses. However, the writing style just didn't click with me and I never truly felt engaged with the narrative. Don't get me wrong, there are some gems of passages in here. They are, however, the exception and not the rule.

    One such example is when Lara starts ruminating on why, historically and evolutionary, there's always been such a special bond between women and horses. She takes the easy way out and parrots Freud in giving an explanation when it is so, so much deeper than that. My theory, and it's just that, a theory born out of being a woman who spent her childhood and teenage years around horses, is that somewhere in the veil of time, women and horses formed a kinship because a) both are social creatures and b) both are forced to deal with the whims of men who dominated over them. Women found freedom on horseback and horses found an ally. They were, in essence, kindred spirits. Dogs may be man's best friend but horses are women's.

    /soapbox

    All in all, I'm scratching my head over what I missed and why everyone is tripping over themselves to praise this book. It left me going "huh" moreso than being heartwarmed.

  • Paris (parisperusing)

    "I could not pull out of the race … so I let the terror energize me instead. Asked afterwards if I would dare attempt the race again, I’d reply that I could never again be scared enough to do so. The supernatural power of fearing the unknown stunned me into a state of readiness." —

    , Lara Prior-Palmer

    What a thrill, what a journey! Prior-Palmer writes with the galloping speed of a restless somebody and the unyielding ambition of a true underdog. By turns a tale of tribulation and trium

    "I could not pull out of the race … so I let the terror energize me instead. Asked afterwards if I would dare attempt the race again, I’d reply that I could never again be scared enough to do so. The supernatural power of fearing the unknown stunned me into a state of readiness." —

    , Lara Prior-Palmer

    What a thrill, what a journey! Prior-Palmer writes with the galloping speed of a restless somebody and the unyielding ambition of a true underdog. By turns a tale of tribulation and triumph, suspense and spirit, the emotional journey of

    ignites an immortal spark of inspiration that refuses to burn out. While I felt this memoir lost its momentum in certain parts — as is often the case with me and many memoirs — the imagery and emotion of Prior-Palmer's writing conveys a velocity of its own that made the story incredibly exciting.

  • Will Byrnes

    RTC - 5/24/19 - hopefully- lost a few days

    RTC - 5/24/19 - hopefully- lost a few days this week- Sorry, could not get it done for the 24th - but making a hard promise it will be ready next week.

Best Books Online is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Books Online - All rights reserved.