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Southbound Kindle Edition

61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jason Beem is the track announcer at Portland Meadows horse racing track in Portland, Oregon. Born on the day Mt. St. Helens erupted, May 18, 1980, Jason grew up in the Seattle suburbs of Renton and Kent. An accomplished baseball player and golfer in school, Jason's other passion was always horse racing. He attended the University of Washington and graduated with a degree in Sociology and English. After graduating Jason has worked as a horse racing announcer at River Downs in Cincinnati and Portland Meadows in Portland, Oregon, where he currently announces. He hosts a weekly radio show about horse racing and is also an avid musician and writer. Southbound is his first novel.

Product Details

  • File Size: 428 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 099121319X
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Pandamoon Publishing; 1 edition (March 24, 2014)
  • Publication Date: March 24, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J876I52
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #331,227 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Jason Beem is the track announcer at Portland Meadows horse racing track in Portland, Oregon. Born on the day Mt. St. Helens erupted, May 18, 1980, Jason grew up in the Seattle suburbs of Renton and Kent. An accomplished baseball player and golfer in school, Jason's other passion was always horse racing. He attended the University of Washington and graduated with a degree in Sociology and English. After graduating Jason has worked as a horse racing announcer at River Downs in Cincinnati and Portland Meadows in Portland, Oregon, where he currently announces. He hosts a weekly radio show about horse racing and is also an avid musician and writer. Southbound is his first novel.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Matthew A. Shifman on March 26, 2014
Format: Paperback
Beem drew upon his experience as a handicapper and bettor. “Basically all of the flashback stories, those are all true. They are all from my point of view, but the actual journey and the main story are just how I pictured it would play out if I would ever go back to doing that again.”
Southbound strikes an excellent balance with a mix of basic information for readers who don’t know much about racing and realistic images for racetrack stalwarts. “Anything that isn’t common knowledge had to be explained a little bit,” explained Beem.
Beem gives his readers, who might be regulars at the racetrack, a feeling of familiarity. Throughout the book I found myself thinking: I've been there, I've done that, I've seen that happen, I've met that person.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Romance Reader on March 25, 2014
Format: Paperback
Southbound is a maddening journey through gambling addiction, at turns exhilarating and deeply sad. I learned so much about horse racing and its complex betting structure. It's a truly amazing system, one that almost begs the compulsive gambler to try and outsmart it. That's exactly what the main character Ryan McGuire spends his considerable bank account trying to do. The ending is like watching a horse run full out toward a cliff. Will he turn and save himself or hit bottom?

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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Elgon B. Williams on March 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Jason Beem’s Southbound is an eye-opening exploration of the darkness of human excess and addiction pertaining not only to gambling but other types of compulsive behavior. Ryan McGuire, has a disease manifest in all types of gambling but his primary focus is on horseracing. It’s what he knows best; he is a racetrack announcer and has been exposed to the temptation to gamble for all his life.

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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie E. Post on April 2, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'll be the first admit that I don't like novels written in first person unless the voice is unique, believable and true. Jason Beem's "Southbound" nailed the desperate voice of an addict and I was greatly impressed by how believable I found the main character Ryan to be. I think it takes guts to write a central character as completely real with awkward, uncomfortable flaws laid out bare for the reader. At times I was rooting for Ryan and at times I thought he was pathetic (the character, not the writing!) and this roller coaster of attitude towards the main character is what really sold me on the novel. I felt like Ryan was in the same room with me, relating this story. I felt that I could truly see him and hear him and that, to me, is the hallmark of good character development.

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!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Messick on April 1, 2014
Format: Paperback
Those of us that wrestle with inner demons on a regular basis, know a simple truth. When you find that method or tool that helps you fight those demons, you unleash your capabilities to put out your most amazing material. Jason Beem's new novel, Southbound is flat, scary good. It is a testament to the demons he fights on a daily basis.

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.
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