Horse Latitudesby Quentin R. Bufogle
Between the end of the Baby Boom and the rise of Gen X, there was another “Lost Generation.” A generation of TV zombies who came to awareness as man walked on the moon, The Beatles disbanded, and the Sixties proved to be the biggest disappointment since Spanish fly. Meet Chester Sprockett, former golden boy high school football star, now facing the prospect of middle-age alone, unemployed and stuck in a quagmire of personal and literary impotence as he pursues his lifelong ambition to write the great American novel. Sex, love, relationships, impending middle-age angst…it’s all here.
Horse Latitudes is a darkly humorous, sex-fueled odyssey—one man’s quest for liberation. It’s a tale you’ll never forget.
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- 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.34(d)
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"In the Sargasso Sea there is no wind. Many, many years ago, when ships travel by sail, they would sometimes get stuck here. For weeks and weeks they would sometimes drift, waiting for the wind to come. The sailors called this 'The Horse Latitudes'."
Chester Sprockett receives this definition of the Horse Latitudes from the owner of a little coffee shop after he explains he has writers' block. In fact most of Chester's life has become stuck, he feels he is always waiting for something... Once a high school football star, now he is unemployed, has split up with his girlfriend and his dream of writing a bestselling novel seems unreachable as he is suffering from writers' block.
'Horse Latitudes' is almost like a book of short stories; each chapter describes a significant event in Chester Sprockett's life. The stories are like different parts of a jigsaw puzzle that make up the whole book.
Chester is in his mid-thirties living alone in the house he was born in. He lives with regrets of what could have been - holding on to the past - wishing he had been braver and told Beth how he felt about her way back then in high school; wishing he had not let the chance of a football scholarship slip through his hands...
Chester's father had run up debts on credit cards and after he died there is a threat that Chester could be forced to sell the house the pay off the debts. He tries to find work and is disillusioned when he joins a firm of salesmen, knowing that his real dream is to write the bestseller.
His late father visits him one day when Chester is suffering from fever; his visit helps Chester realise that he needs to be liberated from everything that is holding him back from following his dream...liberated from the Horse Latitudes.
This book is full of hilarious and insightful observations. It was a joy to read and I would recommend it to everyone!! As I was reading it, I thought it would be excellent if this book was made into a film, it definitely has a 'Hollywood' feeling about it. It will make you laugh out loud. One example is when Chester is looking at Beth: "She was just standing there in her bikini holding the ice cream... In fifty years she'd be old and wrinkled. In a hundred fertilizer. It didn't matter." There's plenty more laughs where that came from. Do yourself a favour and buy 'Horse Latitudes'. It's a tonic we all need in the credit crunch era!!
Henry Chinaski, Hank Moody, Val Miller -- They've got nuthin' on Chester Sprockett -- the protagonist of Quentin R. Bufogle's novel, Horse Latitudes.
Bufogle has forged a new style both in prose and storytelling: a fusion of Quentin Tarantino & Chuck Palahniuk sprinkled generously with Hank Bukowski. Some might argue that H.L. is more a collection of short stories rather than a novel. Not. Foregoing a linear narrative, the vignettes or "stories" that function as chapters (in much the same fashion as Hemingway's "In Our Time") tell the story of Chester Sprockett -- an out of work, recently dumped by his fiancee, ex high school football star and would-be novelist -- floundering in the Doldrums.
Veering wildly from present day to early childhood, Bufogle's scattergun narrative creates a tension and sense of urgency that makes this book impossible to put down. Fueled by a black humor that's part Vonnegut, part Bukowski; H.L. is at times wickedly, savagely funny, as when Bufogle skewers the pretentiousness of the avant-garde & literati: Chester and his fiancee attend a screening of a new wave film where the director's cult-like followers all wear paper bags over their heads; A literary giant's final masterpiece turns out to be a series of recipes retyped from a German cookbook. Add a hilarious bit about oral sex in a public restroom; a dream football game between a team of man-eating zombies and deceased literary icons; a bikini clad femme fatale with an overbite; and an occasional visit from the ghost of Chester's father (who regularly attends the horse races "up there" with George Washington and Julius Caesar) and you've got yourself one incredibly entertaining bit of fiction.
I loved Chester! This is his story and he kept me entertained throughout. In between the humorous quips and anecdotes, this story holds nuggets of insight. Scenes from Chester's past, from childhood to early adulthood, are woven in and around his present day situation. We see the good and the bad of all that shaped him into the man he became. The writing is crisp. The characters a fun, motley assortment. A great book to escape into for any reason.