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Horseplay: A Novel Hardcover – September 14, 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When Judy Van Brunt catches her husband, Marshall, in his third infidelity, she decides she has had enough. But she does more than just leave him; she quits her teaching job and heads south to a North Carolina farm owned by a horse trainer named Katarina, for whom Judy hopes to work. Soon she is living in an apartment above the barn with three other women and an unruly teenager, and slaving away as a groom during the daytime. The work is hard, but Judy loves riding (even if she has to try to manage the ornery Ivan) and soon finds herself being courted by Speed Easton, the most eligible bachelor in town. And though she is plagued by both her husband and a snotty socialite who might have designs on Speed, the happiness Judy gets from working with horses and her friends on the farm far outweighs any problems. Some of the secondary characters are cliched to the point of caricature, but readers who love horses and light, funny reads will enjoy this debut. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

“I have not laughed so much at a book since Bridget Jones’ Diary. The writing was sharp and witty, and I loved being plunged into the horsey world, particularly one with such eccentric and loveable characters.” —Jane Green, author of Jemima J and The Other Woman

“A laugh a minute, Horseplay delivers the hierarchy of the riding world from barn shenanigans to the hunky guys to the pompous equestrian elite.”
—Jo-Ann Mapson, author of Hank & Chloe, Bad Girl Creek, and The Owl & Moon Cafe

“A joyful frolic, full of authentic horse detail, wry truths about grown-up romance and genuine affection for a quirky cast of characters.” —Tampa Tribune
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway; 1 edition (September 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767918517
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767918510
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,410,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This novel is smart, funny and a wonderful light read. I think of it as farce because some of the events that happen are somewhat unlikely, but the setting and the horse activities are very realistic. I enjoyed the various relationships between the women and the very sharp dialog. You don't have to be a horse lover to appreciate it, but anyone who likes horses or Jack Russell Terriers absolutely should read this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For anyone who has ever loved horses, or wondered why it is women love horses, HORSEPLAY is a must read. Judy Singer's style is fresh and new, and so funny that at times I had tears running down my face. The characters brought back my own not-so-distant stable days, when horses and trainers and competitive riders (and nasty Jack Russell terriers!) in a dusty barn made up the only world that mattered. Especially enjoyable are the relationships between the women and the closeness they develop over time. A German horsetrainer everyone fears and adores, the three Helgas, the phony tea-leaf-reading countess, and of course, the horses, make this world dimensional and real. And I have to say again--the Jack Russell terriers--she got them so right! There's some romance here, but what I loved the most was the women. Hurry up and write another book, Judy!
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Format: Paperback
This book is a quick and spritely read, and in spite of the implausibiltiy of the plot I enjoyed it a lot because I found the author's descriptions of horse people and riding to be so spot-on. If you have participated in the world of riding (hunter/jumper/dressage) you will recognize the types of people lampooned here. Also, I found the author's descriptions of the physical and emotional 'feel' of riding to be among the most accurate I have encountered. Towards the end of the book, when the main character mounts a horse that she knows that she really has no business getting on, and then proceeds to get run away with, I was right in the saddle with her, vividly reliving similar experiences of my own. I could only laugh (in a pained way) while reading it. I definately recommend this book to any horse person because you will probably like it for the same reasons that I did.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most hysterical books I've ever read. I thought it was so funny I had to e-mail the author to tell her what great laughs she had given me. (She has another book coming out in June.)My husband read it first, on an airplane, and I was reading over his shoulder and we were hooting out loud. We are trail-riding horse people, but not dressage riders. If you know anything about horses at all,whatever your "discipline," and the people who surround them, you will appreciate this book. I have ordered numerous copies for Christmas presents for all my friends for next year.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a fabulous book written by an author that I hope writes many more horsey novels!

If you're a woman who has stood in a barn, just inhaling the smells of horse sweat & manure---and smiled with glee--you will definitely find yourself grinning, cheering, and laughing out loud at the delightful characters & plot twists & turns. It taps into the woman's psyche (& all the cattiness we live in) so beautifully and tells a sweet story of romance & good friendship to boot.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is wonderful. I couldn't put it down. Finished in three days. I loved the detail and care of her writing. So original too! I have never read a book with such unexpected twists and turns in the story. Would recommend for anyone!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought the book based on a review that it was funny. I have a different sense of humor from the reviewers and didn't find it even amusing. But it was well-written and the service from the book store was good. Nothing to complain about, just a difference in taste.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Judy has just broken up with her fiancé and is feeling at loose ends, her weekly riding lesson the most enjoyable part of her life. Her riding instructor suggests she apply to be a working student at a dressage farm in North Carolina owned by a former German Olympian. Though Judy is unsure of her level of riding skills she takes the opportunity, packs up her suitcase, and heads south to live in an apartment with the other grooms at the farm. When she arrives, she finds an unending supply of backbreaking work, miserable boarders to put up with, being thrown from the horses more times than she can count, and some interesting and unusual men that are part of the horse world.

I absolutely loved this book, and laughed out loud several times reading it. The depictions of some of the dressage world are spot on. I loved the German owner, and the Swedish grooms are hilarious too. Two crazy Jack Russell terriers complete the scene. As the author is an accomplished horsewoman, the details are accurate which can be hard to find in horse novels. Highly recommended for horse people, especially dressage riders.
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