Aug 9, 2009

The Horse's Mouth

by Joyce Cary

Feeling rather glum about my reading lately. The last few books I've picked up just don't suit me. I tried reading The Horse's Mouth, interested because it's about an artist, and hopeful, as I really enjoyed Mister Johnson by the same author, some years ago. I just couldn't get into this one. Maybe it's because I haven't read the two other books Cary wrote as companions to this one. I really don't know. I gave it fifty pages and found I didn't particularly like the characters, and wasn't interested enough in them otherwise to continue. The depressing thing is that other readers say this book is really funny, and one of the best portrayals of an artist's life. What am I missing? Sigh, and reach for the next book.

Abandoned ........ 312 pages, 1944


  1. Ah, it happens to the best of us. Look at the bright least you didn't waste your time reading the entire book and still hate it! I have a bad tendency to do that. I hate to cry uncle.

  2. You know what? I read it years ago and didn't get it, not at all and "faked" reading it (for a class, though I did not make a practice of such things. I take my books seriously.)
    And I remember, too, looking for the much touted humor, and finding none. Alas.
    That's what makes the reading world great, right?

  3. I haven't even tried to read this one - I used to see it in our bookstores where I worked, and read the back,but the first page just didn't do it for me. I hope you have better luck with your next book you pick up!

  4. You'd like "Herself Surprised" better, one of the companion pieces to "The Horse's Mouth".

  5. I looked for some of his other books, particularly Herself Surprised- and in my entire public library system, they only have Mister Johnson. I can't find any of her books on Book Mooch or PB Swap, either, and I don't feel like buying one when I'm not sure I'll like it.... maybe I'll see if the library can do an inter-L-Loan.

  6. I hope you find a winner to read soon. Restless reading seasons are no fun! I know just how you feel.

  7. Anonymous8/10/2009

    Aw that's too bad! I hate it when I get all hyped out about a novel and then it turns out to be really disappointing and unengaging. Good luck on the next book in the pile!


  8. Yeah, that doesn't look too good to me either. It sounds like you need something light and funny!

  9. Sandy Nawrot- Yes. I think if I had forced myself all the way through, I would have hated it. Now I've just left off wondering if there's something especially good near the end that I'm missing.

    Nan- Thank you so much! That cheered me up!

    Oh- I'm glad to know I'm not the only reader who didn't get the humor. Maybe I would have appreciated this book more, if read for a class...

    Susan- I usually give a book four or five pages before having doubts; this time I made it a bit farther, but not much.

    Janet- Thanks. I've got an interesting one in hand now, thought it's kinda sad.

    Xalwaysdreamx- Yeah. Just happens sometimes. Thank goodness there's always more books to reach for!

    Bermudaonion- I do! Well, Maggie-Now is anything but light and funny, but it's working for me.


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