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A Horse Named Sorrow Hardcover – October 23, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 284 pages
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press; 1 edition (October 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0299289702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0299289706
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,399,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A Horse Named Sorrow is simply, inexorably beautiful. It is sexy, cinematic, the prose itself an absolute joy to read, and often funny as holy hell. It is, at the same time, one of the saddest works I have ever read: piercing, poignant, and memorable." —Maureen Seaton, author of Sex Talks to Girls: A Memoir



A Horse Named Sorrow is a great love story, one with political vibrations, the tragic tenderness of Leonard Cohen's early LPs andnovels, and the manic queer energy of William Burroughs’ The Wild Boys --”—Kevin Killian, author of Impossible Princess

About the Author

Trebor Healey is author of the novel Through It Came Bright Colors, a selection of the InsightOut Book Club and the winner of both the Violet Quill Award and the Publishing Triangle's Ferro-Grumley Award for Fiction. His other books include the novel Faun, the short-story collection A Perfect Scar, and a volume of poetry, Sweet Son of Pan.

More About the Author

Trebor Healey is an American poet and novelist. He was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and studied English Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He spent his twenties in San Francisco, where he was active in the spoken word scene of the late 80s and early 90s, publishing 5 chapbooks of poetry as well as numerous poems and short stories in various reviews, journals, anthologies and zines. He received both the 2004 Ferro-Grumley Fiction Award and the Violet Quill Award for his first novel, Through It Came Bright Colors, and his story "Mercy Seat" was named one of the top ten online stories of 2004 by StorySouth. He received the Ferro-Grumley Ficiton Award a second time in 2014 for his novel, A Horse Named Sorrow, and received the Lambda Literary Foundation MidCareer Novelist Award the same year. He lives in Los Angeles, Buenos Aires and around. www.treborhealey.com

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I'd highly recommend that you read it and experience it for yourself.
PTR
Reconsidered giving up several times throughout, but ultimately I liked the characters and plot, and was glad I stuck with it to the end.
JAO
The story, so beautifully written by Trebor Healey (as ALL of his books are!!)
Chuckles

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It's hard to imagine I could like this book any more than I already do. At it's simplest, it's a lyrical road trip journey, the fulfillment of a deathbed promise everyman Seamus makes to his lover, the charismatic Jimmy - that he will take his ashes back home to Buffalo, NY, from San Francisco the way Jimmy came - which, in this case, means on a bicycle named Chief Joseph.

But it's so much more - rife with themes which include young male queer love (it's sometimes hard to remember in your 50s how horny you were, 24/7, in your 20s!), growing up in the 60s in a one-parent household, the horrors of AIDS in places like San Francisco, and the resulting movements like ACT UP; the long and bloody history of the US and Native Americans, as well as spirituality and an overwhelming sensuality that colors the entire work.

It made me laugh, it made me cry (a lot - as much as for those who died of AIDS as my own lost youth). It reminded me of the wonder and the loneliness of being on the road. I saw my own years in SF in the characters. I challenge any reader to feel the same way about riding BART again after reading this book!

A Horse Named Sorrow is also very much about the American West and the paradoxes to be found there, the fear and beauty, the loneliness and solace, the unforgiving nature of the land but also the redemption in confronting it. Healey does call his character Seamus a "lost soul," and indeed, at times he reminded me of the character of Ennis Del Mar of "Brokeback Mountain," a man on a search for that one crucial piece of his heart that's gone missing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TeeJay on May 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Easy to feel for Seamus and his mourning Jimmy, but the road trip became tedious and repetitive. Too convenient an ending for a story that eventually goes nowhere.

I did love the main characters, but their interactions were the only gripping aspects of the novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PTR on March 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a remarkable story! I felt like I was experiencing the journey with Seamus. This can rarely be accomplished, except by a gifted author. I read Mr. Healey's novel Through It Came Bright Colors many years ago and was equally impressed. When I began reading this one I thought I would highlight or underline some of the soulful sayings and expressive comments, but I soon discovered I'd have most of the book marked. I'll opt for reading it again. Overall it was a great book about a young man learning about life, death, love and all the experiences each of us has in our lifetime to make us who we are. I'd highly recommend that you read it and experience it for yourself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Larry White on January 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Beautifully written story of love and loss. Impossible not to be moved by this first person story of a young man going through a terrible and essential grief.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chuckles on November 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is one of the best love stories I've EVER read! The story of two young men, Jimmy, a vegabond who left Buffalo, N.Y., in search of his "tribe" in San Francisco to die (after learning he was HIV-positive), meets another roaming soul, Seamus. The two fall madly in love, becoming soulmates as well as lovers. But Jimmy dies (early in the book, so I'm not giving away any big plot secret away here). His last request is to have his cremated ashes returned "home"--back to Buffalo.
The story, so beautifully written by Trebor Healey (as ALL of his books are!!) is about Seamus's adventure(s) enroute; keeping the promise to the love of his life. He is riding the same bicycle Jimmy rode across country, and Seamus meets several characters along the way, most of whom have an enormous impact on him, especially one young man who ends up changing Seamus's life in surprising ways.
With crisp, sharp prose, Healey plants the reader smack dab in the center of it all. And as you turn the pages, you can't help learning something about yourself. This is a remarkable, original tale of love, lust, loyalty, respect, grief, sadness, joy, and beauty all rolled up like a magic carpet ride that you hope will never end.
When I reached the end I actually thought my Kindle had 'jammed' or something had happened. I shut it off to 'reboot' it, thinking--HOPING!--there was more. But that's one of the "lessons" of the story, too: there is always a beginning, a middle, and an end, like it or not.
This book changed me in ways I never thought a book could--for the better.
You WILL NOT be sorry ordering this story, no matter the format. It's just one hell of a ride!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mar Preston on November 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've tried to find just one quote to convey the richness of this book. And I can't. I don't want to tell you the story. I want you to read this book. This is the finest literary fiction, frisky and playful besides.

It's about the circus of San Francisco and its holocaust aftermath, a bicycle trip across the country, talking too much and being mute, about Indians and rednecks. And so much more. You can delight in the lyrical writing, the eroticism, the adventure, the wisdom of loss. And still there's more. I want you to find it for yourself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. F. Corbin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Trebor Healey's new novel is in many ways a beautiful long prose poem-- with colorful strings attached. (Surely the British novelist John Banville would approve since he in on the record as saying that he attempts to combine prose and poetry in his fiction.) The narrator is twenty-one-year old Seamus Blake. The novel is set in San Francisco and the road to Buffalo, New York in 1990 and 1991. The plot is simple and familiar, what you might expect: Boy meets boy; one boy has AIDS-- one of the beauties of this narrative is that Seamus only calls this horrendous disease the "acronym"-- the other does not. One boy dies. The other attempts to fulfill his love's (twenty-eight-year old Jimmy`s) last request: "Take me back the way I came." Much of this sad novel then has to do with Seamus' road trip. He is riding Jimmy's bicycle and wearing his clothes including a black long-sleeved T-shirt with a symbol of the Red Hot Chili Peppers on it.

The narrator is wise beyond his years. But then why would he not be? His father came home from Viet Nam in a body bag. His mother has all the loneliness of Eleanor Rigby-- Mr. Healey drops snatches of popular songs throughout his narrative along with beautiful horse imagery-- but unfortunately she doesn't "do sorrow" and refused to meet his Jimmy, the love of his young life whom he of course loses to the acronym. "He wasn't a war hero--- he was a nobody like me." (Hey, Seamus, don't forget that Emily Dickinson thought it was perfectly okay to be a nobody.) Much of this novel hits you right where you are living even if it is sometimes with "buffalo clouds" and the constellations. In short, it is a sad reminder that the biggest event in many of our lives was the scourge of AIDS and the loss of so many we held to our hearts in a futile effort to save them.
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