Something for the Pain: A Memoir of the Turf PDF/EPUB

  • Paperback
  • 288 pages
  • Something for the Pain: A Memoir of the Turf
  • Gerald Murnane
  • English
  • 08 December 2016
  • 9781925240375

10 thoughts on “Something for the Pain: A Memoir of the Turf

  1. Trevor Trevor says:

    A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine read an article in the New York something or other that said Murnane is probably the best writer you’ve never heard of and might one day win the Nobel Prize for literature My friend knew that Murnane taught me in my undergraduate degree and that I’m very fond of his writing He said that he was going to have to read at least one book by him now to see what all the excitement is about and would I recommend him something The two books I invariably recommend when this happens are ‘A Lifetime on Clouds’ and ‘Invisible Yet Enduring Lilacs’ But I’d bought this one a while ago and others too which I haven’t gotten around to reading yet either and so I thought I should move this to the top of the list read this now Murnane is obsessed with horse racing – in fact if you need to know just one thing about him that is the thing you need to know And he says repeatedly that this is a book about horse racing And the one thing you should always ALWAYS know about writers is that you should never NEVER believe what they say to you when they tell you what their book is about When they do their book is NEVER about what they say it is about Never This book is called ‘Something for the Pain’ He explains how this is related to horse racing fairly early in the book Even so this book is about pain much much than it is about horse racing It might even become the book I recommend people read when they ask me for one of Murnane’s to start with from now onI think in ‘Invisible Yet Enduring Lilacs’ he says that he regrets that he ever told people that some of his works were fiction and some were essays or non fiction That the world isn’t as easy to divide into those two opposites and that anyway he is able to be much honest in some fictionalised works than in any non fiction I think the process of producing fiction – and I think all stories we tell are ultimately ‘fiction’ even when they are as true as we can make them – is deeply interesting and reading everything as if it were fiction what some people might call ‘critically’ is a skill that reading fiction trains us into If I was to say what I take this book to really be about I would undoubtedly say it is an extended love letter to his dead wife As such it is stunningly beautiful and its beauty lies mostly in its understatement in fact in his near inability to write about her although she is there throughout I have no doubt many people could read this book and not even see his relationship with his wife as much of a theme to the book at all But I can’t begin to tell you how moving I found it It is stunningly beautiful painfully soNow this is a book about horse racing and I’m not going to totally ignore that in this review The first thing I need to mention is that I rarely if ever go to a race track despite driving passed Caulfield virtually every day of the work week for the past five years Caulfield race course has a number of other associations for me – given I grew up relatively close to it and my father was for most of my life a keen backer of horses Nevertheless despite these associations which you might think should dominate my relationship with the course a couple of years ago I had to go there to wait for my daughter to finish an exam I stood waiting for her at the entrance and found myself thinking of how many times Murnane must have walked here even though I haven’t seen him since 1990 when he was sitting on the stage as I graduated He was the only person on the stage I knew and he looked over as I walked across the stage and we smiled at each other and nodded There is a statue at the entrance of the Caulfield race course and I think now that it is to Bert Bryant – but now that I’ve written that I think it might actually be to Bert Cummings oh shit I’m utterly confirming my complete ignorance and that really wasn’t my intent Anywaythe point I was trying to make was that even I have heard of Bert Bryant before he’s a famous race caller and so I was surprised at how much Murnane disliked him Murnane has spent a remarkable amount of time creating imaginary worlds in which ideal horse races occur It is he says his religion Like him I do not watch television I’m not as obsessive in not watching TV but close as I also see it as a huge waste of time nor do I see many films for a different reason to him I find them far too immediate – however while I sometimes think my obsessions with education and sociology are a bit like his obsessions with horse racing and racing colours and so on and despite the fact I worked for a number of years as an archivist I think he would have made a much better archivist than I ever did In many ways I think he has been the archivist of his own life He isn’t only the person I immediately think of when I am at a race course I also invariably say to people that he taught me to write He is also the person I think of when I think of Socrates saying ‘an unexamined life is not worth living’I think this might be a much accessible book than some of his others and so a good place to start if you do wish to start reading him – but like I said there is a sublime subtext to this one sublime in the sense of being overwhelming in its power in a way that is inversely proportional to how it is also understated

  2. Lisa Lisa says:

    If it ever transpires that Gerald Murnane wins the Nobel Prize for Literature and there is the usual stampede to read the winner’s books I think that newbies to Murnane’s writing might be somewhat disconcerted were they to come across this book first Something for the Pain is interesting to say the least but it is not a bit like his other writing The new reader of Murnane might well congratulate the Nobel judges on choosing an ‘accessible’ author or they might ask ‘so what’s all the fuss about why is this author getting a Nobel?’I’ve never really known how to categorise or tag Murnane’s fictions but have used the term conceptual literature because other people do to describe the strange haunting image worlds he creates but this memoir is grounded in reality Unlike The Plains 1982; Inland 1988; A History of Books 2012 and A Million Windows 2014 and see a Sensational Snippet Something for the Pain is deceptively easy reading Although the reader spends a lot of time in the arcane world of horse racing it’s not like wandering through image houses with image persons in dream landscapes as one does when reading Murnane’s fictions and although he takes the reader through selective aspects of his own personal history as he did in A History of Books Murnane seems not to demand as much of his readers in this memoirTo read the rest of my review please visit

  3. Blair Blair says:

    It's Murnane so it's good He's probably Australia's greatest and most interesting writer But this memoir is uite different from his other work especially the recent fictions It's uite prosaic and plain in style It doesn't give off that off kilter otherness that his other books do And it's all about his lifelong love of horse racing He tells us very little about the other people in his life we find out absolutely nothing about his siblings or his mother or his children We get on his father because of his strong connection with horse racing and betting and a late chapter talks about his wife's illness and death in a way that is simultaneously moving and profoundly dispassionate Instead it gives us uite about about Murnane's inner world in a way that's consistent with the kind of accounts we see of images in his fiction This is an account of a man who has barely left the state of Victoria and who spends most of his spare time thinking about horse races and even spending thousands of hours making up imaginary horse races in imaginary countries so it's not filled with lots of exciting events that he's experienced It is nevertheless uite fascinating His reflections are full of interest and for the Murnane fan there are some mentions that shed light on his novels including Tamarisk Row The Plains and Barley Patch If you haven't read Murnane's work before then this is not the place to start read The Plains but it's not to be ignored

  4. Justin Evans Justin Evans says:

    I thought A Memoir of the Turf was something the publisher had thrown on the cover since almost all of Murnane work can be considered memoir in some way even though nobody anywhere ever means his kind of fiction when they say memoir But why not ride the gravy train eh? See if you can suck in a few unwary punters who think they're getting a book about a guy's life long love affair with the track but are really getting a late work of a modernist genius? Except no this is a book about a guy's life long love affair with the track and involves roughly nothing that would not fit in any standard memoir Since I've read much of Murnane's other work I was interested to learn some facts about him to hear about his relationship with his wife and to get some good anecdotes about pissing in sinks Of course the prose is wonderful but it's wonderful in an uninteresting way it's just perfectly easy to read Well it seem strange to say you're disappointed with an amusing eccentric nostalgic book about horse racing written by one of the strangest men writing in the English language It's nice to know the next time I want to read some Ackerley I can re read this instead And there are just enough reminders of the astonishing Murnane that I can kid myself into thinking I'm using my brain Paul Eluard There is another world but it is in this one

  5. Text Publishing Text Publishing says:

    ‘Murnane’s books are strange and wonderful and nearly impossible to describe in a sentence or twoHis later works are essayistic meditations on his own past a personal mythology as attuned to the epic ordinariness of lost time as Proust except with Murnane it’s horse races a boyhood marble collection Catholic sexual hang ups and life as a househusband in the suburban Melbourne of the 1970s’New York Times ‘Murnane is a careful stylist and a slyly comic writer with large ideas’Robyn Cresswell Paris Review ‘Murnane is uite simply one of the finest writers we have produced’Peter Craven ‘Unuestionably one of the most original writers working in Australia today’Australian ‘Something for the Pain is Gerald Murnane at his best His meticulous exploration of his lifelong obsession with horse racing is by turns hilarious moving and profound If Australian writing were a horse race Murnane would be the winner by three and a half lengths’Andy Griffiths ‘A marvellous book about horse racing one of the best this country has produced It is full of fast and loose stories and colourful charactersand lots of laughs’Weekend Australian ‘FascinatingTotally intriguing utterly hilarious’Gideon Haigh ‘A memoir of horse racing that speaks of triumphs and tragedies of the infinite shades of friendship and romance of the precision and persistence of memory and—in its characteristically calm direct prose as much as its contents—of virtue’Times Literary Supplement Best Books of 2015 ‘A perennial stayer in the Nobel Stakes’Australian Financial Review Best Books of 2015 ‘A treat—a rare glimpse into the mythology of a grand sport’Gerard Whateley ‘Murnane’s fastidious compositional style is matched perfectly with his comic genius’Gregory Day Sydney Morning Herald Best Books of 2015 ‘This book this little volume is an absolute gem It’s literary lucid full of love for horses and racing and full of the strange highly ordered madness of Murnane full of a selfless disclosure It’s marvellous Funny moving beautiful A brilliant book’Jonathan Green Radio National Books and Arts Best Books of 2015 ‘Murnane recounts his life through his abiding obsession with horse racing But you don’t have to care about horse racing—it’s the uality of the obsessed mind that matters’Ben Lerner New Yorker Books We Loved in 2015 ‘Yes this is about Murnane’s lifelong obsession with horse racing but it’s so much than that It’s a memoir that illuminates his deliberately unusual life and his exuisite fiction’Australian Best Books of 2015 ‘This book is that rare thing as evidently is its author a true originalHilarious moving uniue a step inside one man’s passion a key to his rich imaginative life If you read nothing else this summer read Something for the Pain’Saturday Paper Best Books of 2015

  6. Ros Ros says:

    Knowing nothing about horse racing and not being interested in betting on the results I saw this as an opportunity to gain some insight What a surprise awaited me It was not what I expected at all but it managed to sneak up on me with its honesty its layout and the author's understanding of the characters who inhabit this environment It totally charmed me so that I was reluctant to lay the book aside after I had read the final word Highly recommended for those who love horse racing and those who have a curiosity about the many and varied people who inhabit our world

  7. Bill Nickeas Bill Nickeas says:

    As a horse racing lover and someone who grew up near Warrnambool this book ticks many boxes for me But the great tales of his love of horse racing set alongside his life really make this a book for punters and nostalgia buffs to treasure

  8. Chris Johnston Chris Johnston says:


  9. Simon Kearney Simon Kearney says:

    About two thirds the way through Gerald Murnane's book Something for the Pain I find myself listening to Beethoven's Fantasia for Piano Chorus and Orchestra on YouTube Murnane describes the last few minutes as an exact evocation of the last furlongs of a gruelling race I wonder if it is the mixture of voices piano and orchestra in battle and harmony that evoke such a response I also wonder what Murnane would make of me reading his book on a kindle uickly whipping out my phone and looking for the music as I grab my iPad to write this in Singapore He'd certainly approve of the critical examination of his musical suggestion to see if it works for me The other stuff I'm not sure aboutWe haven't got to technology in the book yet but I doubt he's got a smart phone let alone a kindle or an iPad He doesn't travel ever away from his favoured part of regional Victoria While I'm looking up to see if there's a word to describe someone who doesn't travel I find plenty of advice to women not to date guys who don't travel God I hate how judgemental the world has becomeThe word is Hestian after Hestia the Greek goddess of hearth and home But it doesn't really describe Murnane whose racing life is anything but home bound If anything the track is his home Something for the Pain is Murnane's memoir of his racing life If my old man were a writer he'd write like Murnane

  10. David David says:

    I enjoy all aspects of the horse racing industry sixty years ago my uncle owned a reasonably successful horse called Bengal Bay green and purple suares Murnane seems a singular man but his musings make for a most interesting read from colours to betting systems trainers jockeys meticulously planned plunges press coverage and his extensive archives Very readable for those of us who are attracted to the sport of kings

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Something for the Pain: A Memoir of the Turf❮PDF / Epub❯ ✅ Something for the Pain: A Memoir of the Turf Author Gerald Murnane – I never met anyone whose interest in racing matched my own Both on and off the course so to speak I’ve enjoyed the company of many a racing acuaintanceI’ve read books or parts of books by persons I never met anyone whose interest the Pain: PDF ✓ in racing matched my own Both on and off the course so to speak I’ve enjoyed the company of many a racing acuaintanceI’ve read books or parts of books by persons who might have come close Something for eBook Í to being true racing friends of mine if ever we had met For most of my long life however my enjoyment of racing has been a solitary thing something I could never wholly explain to anyone elseAs a boy Gerald Murnane became obsessed for the Pain: ePUB ´ with horse racing He had never ridden a horse nor seen a race Yet he was fascinated by photos of horse races in the Sporting Globe and by the incantation of horses’ names in radio broadcasts of races Murnane discovered in these races for the Pain: A Memoir eBook Í than he could find in religion or philosophy they were the gateway to a world of imaginationGerald Murnane is like no other writer and Something for the Pain is like no other Murnane book In this uniue and spellbinding memoir he tells the story of his life through the lens of horse racing It is candid droll and moving—a treat for lovers of literature and of the turf.

About the Author: Gerald Murnane

Murnane's first two books Tamarisk Row the Pain: PDF ✓ and A Lifetime on Clouds seem to be semi autobiographical accounts of his childhood and adolescence Both are composed largely of very long but grammatical sentencesIn he attained his mature style with The Something for eBook Í Plains a short novel about a young filmmaker who travels to a fictive country far within Australia where his failure to make a fil.