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June 13, 2024 June 2024, Regular Features No Comments

By Brenda Channer

– Martinborough BookShop

“Why Do Horses Run?”

There is a maxim among journalists and writers (so I am told) which goes, “Show, don’t tell.”  

The book for review this month is a good example of this.  “Why Do Horses Run” is Cameron Stewart’s debut novel although his previous writing of short fiction and a screen play has been recognised with multiple awards.  

Set in Australia in the present, the novel is told from multiple points of view, but it is primarily from Ingvar’s mind that the story is told.  It is a dark, tormented, traumatised mind that propels him to move, to walk and to deny himself any semblance of comfort.  In the way that spending a lot of time in solitude increases the awareness of small things, small sounds, small events, so too does the story focus of that which looms large in Ingvar’s world but which a person such as you or I would barely notice.

When Ingvar does eventually stop walking, the kindness of strangers, which he doesn’t want and can barely accept, and the sudden lack of momentum allows his back story to slowly unfold.

I thought it was beautiful, thoughtful writing that in spite of the palpable grief expressed within its pages was like reading a calming balm.  There is something about the pacing of the story that is just right.  I never wanted to hurry the story up and at its brutal ending I didn’t need to know anymore.

If you would like something a little out of the ordinary but incredibly good, take a look at this book.  Available at your local bookshop.

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