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Southbound Kindle Edition
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|Length: 448 pages||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled||
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More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Ryan has a few other problems that are attached to his compulsive personality as well. Some of it he may have inherited from his father who was an alcoholic and also liked to bet on the ponies. So, Ryan knows about his weaknesses but tells himself he has everything under control. Yet he is always aware that in a moment of weakness he could lose control. He fears it is inevitable, that it’s only a matter of time before he breaks down and relapses. And his compulsive need for human attention compels him to seek one-night stands over longer-term relationships. Even when he has longer relationships he seeks attention on the side that threatens any relationship he has.
Compulsive gambling is the biggest threat he has to finding companionship, though. In the past, he has spent time away from others, studying racing forms and picking horses. Attending Gamblers Anonymous meetings Ryan has been able to step away from the pain and destructive behavior. He manages to save money and begin a relationship with a young professional. Even though he hasn’t placed a bet for more than two years, he lives with the knowledge that it only takes the one time of caving in to the weakness for his addiction to return. It only takes a single trigger.Read more ›
Aside from the voice of the main character, I was also impressed by Beem's ability to make someone like me (who knows absolutely nothing about horse racing and very little about gambling) feel like they were experience the rush of the highs and lows of watching and betting on the races. I will admit that at times there were points when I wanted more of Ryan's personal story and less details about the many races in the book, but I also found myself holding my breath near the end of the races and the thrill was appreciated.
Southbound is certainly not a light-hearted read, but if you appreciate raw, realistic characters and true-to-life story lines, then it is definitely for you!
Pick up this excellent debut novel and find out for yourself.
One other thing: take some time to read the acknowledgments. They are the most beautiful I have ever read.
Ryan, the main character, is believable in every aspect. His love of horses and racing is only overshadowed by what those loves wakes in him. His flaws, and there are many, are starkly presented in all their ugliness, but with great understanding gifted to the reader about what he's thinking and how he justifies his actions to himself. This character is presented cleanly and powerfully, with no safety net.
Gambling addiction casts a despairing shadow over Ryan and this is painted for the reader with absolutely no decoration. The darkness is always there, always waiting, and the reader will know that better than Ryan does. You know what's going to happen as its inevitable, but you can't help but root for Ryan on his highway to personal destruction.
Putting your money down on this book is no gamble at all. I make odds at least 100-1 that you'll love it. Jason Beem has demons like we all do, and he's found writing an effective tool to carry on the fight. He's also created a powerful commentary on the dangers of gambling. I look forward to his next novel. I hope that his next main character is as consistent in what he does as Ryan was in this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I liked this book. It tells the story of horse racing and gambling from an insiders view. I found it interesting, thought provoking, and at times, enlightening. Read morePublished 11 months ago by John
A personal story of the underbelly of horse racing. It follows in the footsteps of a Bukowski read minus the brilliance. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Danny Zucker
This is one of the best books I have ever read. Not only is this book extremely realistic, the author does a fantastic job of painting a wonderful picture of the true struggle of... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Kevin Kerstein
A really entertaining read to which any horse player will relate. Highly recommended.Published 13 months ago by Paul I. Weizer
Excellent read and intriguing story! Definitely recommend for anyone who's played the horses!Published 14 months ago by The Dark Horse
The emotions conveyed were very real, I could feel the desperation of chasing bets just to break even. Read morePublished 14 months ago by @trishabob