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Dark Horse: Unraveling the Mystery of Nearctic Hardcover – September, 2001

3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Cormorant Books; First Edition edition (September 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0969902522
  • ISBN-13: 978-0969902522
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,739,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is without question the worst book for which I have ever paid money. The subtitle is "Unraveling the Mystery of Nearctic," but there's precious little mystery established, explored, or solved. The closest Lennox comes to even formulating any mystery is when she asks, "what happened to Nearctic?" in the context of wondering why the horse wasn't a candidate for Canada's Queen's Plate race. The answer (eventually) is "not that much." Then Lennox introduces Val d'Argent, her own Thoroughbred and himself a descendant of Nearctic, and wonders if "knowing more about Nearctic might help me with my horse," which was apparently a handful. "While I was at it," she says, "I would also clear up the mystery of Nearctic's disappearance during the first half of his three year-old year." Now, that's the closest that she comes to explaining what the big mystery is. Some 200 pages later, long after the question has been posed and forgotten, buried under mounds of accumulated minutiae that have nothing to do with the actual horse, the answer appears (...) And Val d'Argent? She mentions him again in the acknowledgements at the back of the book. Val d'Argent is just one of the many topics introduced and then abandoned over 261 pages. The book raises far more questions than it answers, questions like, "What does that have to do with anything?"; "Why is she writing eight pages about a character who never appears again and was only tangentially involved with Nearctic's story anyway?"; and "When is she going to talk about the horse?"
A bigger mystery than how Nearctic spent the spring of 1957 is why Lennox lionizes one of his trainers and smears the others as incompetent or worse.
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Format: Hardcover
I was amazed to learn that foals "are born blind, and it generally takes two days for their eyesight to develop fully." (Dark Horse, page 122). I have bred and foaled out both Arabians and Thoroughbreds, and never (ever) had a "blind" foal. Interesting. Maybe I just failed to notice the poor things running into walls and trees. With a serious inaccuracy such as this, one must take this entire book with a grain of salt!

There are numerous editing errors that ultimately detract from the narrative. A disappointment overall.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great book on a horse that helped define the breeding industry of the Thoroughbred racehorse in the USA. Anyone wishing to learn more about it should get a copy of this.
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