They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

The marathon dance craze flourished during the 1930s, but the underside was a competition and violence unknown to most ballrooms a dark side that Horace McCoy s classic American novel powerfully captures Were it not in its physical details so carefully documented, it would be lurid beyond itself Nation
They Shoot Horses Don t They The marathon dance craze flourished during the s but the underside was a competition and violence unknown to most ballrooms a dark side that Horace McCoy s classic American novel powerfully captu

  • Title: They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
  • Author: Horace McCoy
  • ISBN: 9781852424015
  • Page: 420
  • Format: Paperback
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      Published :2018-05-14T04:33:34+00:00

    About the Author

    Horace McCoy

    Horace Stanley McCoy 1897 1955 was an American novelist whose gritty, hardboiled novels documented the hardships Americans faced during the Depression and post war periods McCoy grew up in Tennessee and Texas after serving in the air force during World War I, he worked as a journalist, film actor, and screenplay writer, and is author of five novels including They Shoot Horses, Don t They 1935 and the noir classic Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye 1948 Though underappreciated in his own time, McCoy is now recognized as a peer of Dashiell Hammett and James Cain He died in Beverly Hills, California, in 1955.

    894 Comment

    • Glenn Russell said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      Horace McCoy’s 1935 novel They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? contains one of the bleakest lines in all of literature. It’s where Gloria, who dances in the marathon dance, asks without a trace of irony or black humor, ”Why are these high-powered scientists always screwing around trying to prolong life instead of finding pleasant ways to end it?” Can there ever be a more negative, more downbeat, pessimistic view of life?Turns out, Gloria was raised in the most dreadful way, by abusive, cruel [...]

    • Paul Bryant said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      HOURS ELAPSED 879COUPLES REMAINING 20Short and very brutal, this is a matter-of-fact account of the bleakest despair. The marathon dance contests of the 20s and 30s were like something dreamed up by Caligula but they really happened and the powers that be never saw fit to close them down, even as the young couples sagged to the floor from physical and mental exhaustion after only being allowed 10 minutes rest every two hours for three solid weeks. It was all “don’t worry folks, they’ll be [...]

    • Dan Schwent said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      Robert and Gloria enter a marathon dance contest with $1000 as the top prize. Too bad Gloria thinks about death more than winningHorace McCoy is bleak enough to be one of Jim Thompson's drinking buddies. This tale is really slim but also kind of exhausting. McCoy's depiction of a dance contest that lasts over a month is hellish and he paints a depressing picture of life during the Great Depression. See what I did there?It's a pretty powerful story. You know how it ends in the first few pages but [...]

    • Brian said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      If the Great Depression wasn't soul-suckingly terrible enough, there were cruel men willing to take it down another few notches by creating Dance Marathons to give gutter-poor people a shot at winning just enough money to keep them alive for a few more months by dancing for days (weeks?!?) on-end. Selling tickets to watch their misery. Oh, the humanity.McCoy uses this minor-but-dark chapter from the '30s as his vehicle for telling the even more depressing story of Gloria, a lady sick of the worl [...]

    • Emily May said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      This book is essentially about existentialism and nihilism. However, the plot of this small novel features little more than a dance marathon competition and the petty arguments that happen behind the scenes. I suppose this is meant to form a platform on which Gloria can whine about life but it's just insanely boring. I obviously made a mistake choosing to get some of the shorter novels on the 1001 list out of the way, so far they've all been really disappointing.

    • Franky said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      They Shoot Horses, Don’t They is a novel that speaks to our times: we are inundated with reality shows, where fame and fortune, tragedy and despair are brought to us on a whim and often in the public eye. The public’s livelihoods and fates are broadcast for the world to see, and this sells. The basis for this story is concerning the promotion of a dance marathon during the Great Depression. The winner is promised cash and free food. And, unlike the many reality shows we see today, there is a [...]

    • Mohamed Al Marzooqi said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      بدأت الرواية بأظرف دعوة لموعدٍ غرامي:"تعال نجلس في الحديقة لنمارس الكراهية تجاه بعض الناس"وانتهت بأقسى تبرير لإنهاء هذا الموعد:"إنهم يقتلون الجياد [المريضة]، أليس كذلك؟"وبين البداية والنهاية، يتسلل الكاتب الأمريكي "هوراس ماكوي" إلى واحدة من أكثر حقبات التاريخ مأساوية حقبة " [...]

    • Ahmed Oraby said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      لم أقصد أن أضجرك، لكن من النادر أن أعثر على شخص يحتمل أن يستمع إلي وأنا أحكي عن حلميستكون أكثر سعادة وهي ميتةلماذا قتلتها؟أنهم يقتلون الجياد، أليس كذلك؟

    • Rebecca McNutt said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      This classic noir story is one that a lot of people have vaguely heard of because of the film, but I found the book is much better. It captures the era and the thoughts and emotions of the characters more than the film does, although the film is still really great, too. Both are very sad true classics and the story shouts out the dark question, "why does misery love company?"

    • FotisK said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      Αν δεν υπήρχε ο όρος "Υπαρξιστικό νουάρ", θα έπρεπε να εφευρεθεί για να περιγράψει αυτό το μοναδικό στο είδος του μυθιστόρημα. Χρησιμοποιώντας ως κεντρικό θέμα μια κανιβαλιστική πρακτική της σκοτεινότερης για τους Αμερικανούς εποχής του Great Depression, ο Horace McCoy χτίζει μια εξαιρ [...]

    • Andy said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      In the 1930's Hollywood wannabees were humiliated by making them dance for endless hours in public, reminding me of American Idol's more sadistic moments.Still fresh today as the day it was written, "They Shoot Horses" is a bizarre existential horror story about people who have shit canned their pride thinking there's a pot of gold at the end of their self-inflicted degradation.(The only person to attain stardom from the marathons was June Havoc, who was Gypsy Rose Lee's sister, so she would hav [...]

    • Mark Desrosiers said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      Wow, talk about your serial misapprehensions. First dismissed by American critics as grim dime-novel trash, then adopted by the French as a founding example of their cross-eyed tedious existentialism, this novel begs to be read -- especially in 2012 -- for what it is: a story about the exploitation by racketeers of a collapsing, desperate society, and how nihilism is the only logical response to it. The marathon dance here is an attempt at money-making voyeurism, complete with corporate sponsors [...]

    • Doug H said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      This is definitely a dark little gem, but I really don’t see it as belonging to the Noir literary genre. To me, its violence and darkness seemed very peripheral to its more meditative existential content and I believe it shares more of an affinity with The Catcher in the Rye than The Big Sleep or Double Indemnity. Anyway, labels are always misleading. What really matters is that I thoroughly enjoyed it. And, in the process of enjoying it, I learned more than a few new things about the good bad [...]

    • Cynthia said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      “…she died in agony, friendless, alone…”Thus the book begins…It’s the 1930’s right outside Hollywood in Santa Monica California and yet another version of the marathon dance craze is being enacted. Two Hollywood hopefuls, Gloria and Robert, happen upon one another and decide to team up, after all there’s a $1,000 prize to the last couple standing. So begins this tortured story. It’s one of struggle reflective of the depression. The couples are required to stay in motion with a [...]

    • Bettie☯ said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      (view spoiler)[Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)]

    • Lisa said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      Finding out the meaning of the title broke my heart!

    • Trudi said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      I know I must be missing something here, but I just don't get why this has endured as a profound piece of classic American literature. Apparently 1930s French Existentialists went gaga over it and Simone de Beauvoir named it as "the first existentialist novel to have appeared in America". So if you are a literary theorist, and get off on those labels and how they come to mean something to a certain group of people during a certain period of time, then you probably want to read this book and are [...]

    • Tristan said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      * Read from LOA's exquisite Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1930s & 40s edition*Horace McCoy's "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" is a bleak, tautly written existential noir text which wouldn't look out of place in Arthur Schopenhauer's personal library. I imagine the old fellow perusing it with a satisfied grin on his face. It's his philosophy's perfect expression in many ways. The novel takes place during the dance marathon craze of the 1930's. Impoverished, often mentally broken proletar [...]

    • Lark Benobi said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      A one-day bleak read. Relentless and great.Noir's relationship with muckraking/social justice journalism is very much evident in this novel. The story's grim linear martch is fueled by the desperation of poverty.Not as brilliant, as noir goes, as The Postman Always Rings Twicebut it's so confidently written that its flaws become moving. It captures a moment and an age.

    • Cphe said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      Novella length, but it packs an emotional wallop. Bleak, grim, seedy, gritty, the story of a dance marathon in the 1930's and how far people will go to survive, how much a soul can take.Another of those novels where I couldn't see how the title could fit in with the synopsis on offer but "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" fit perfectly. Well worth a look at.

    • Reem♥ said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      لقد كان قتل الجواد الذي كسرت ساقه هو الشيء الرحيم الوحيد الذي يمكن أن تقدمه له هذا ما أخبره به جده فما كان منه الا ان قتلها وبناء على رغبتها لأنها كانت الطريقة الوحيدة لإنقاذها من بؤسها !!!

    • Nancy Oakes said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      Most definitely a no-miss book, despite the fact that it was written in the 1930s.They Shoot Horses, Don't They is short (only 127 pages) but incredibly powerful, examining not only how much pain or humiliation a person can withstand in his or her own fight for survival or that of others, but it also looks at the utter hopelessness for some in life's unending dance toward the American dream. Stay here for the shorter review, or clickhere for a longer one.Robert and Gloria, two young people who h [...]

    • Shaun said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      This is the second novella that appears in a Library of America collection called Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1930s & 40s. Similar to the first novella in the anthology titled The Postman Always Rings Twice, They Shoot Horses, Don't They? also struck me as odd and unexpected(perhaps because of my unfamiliarity with Noir fiction). Still, like the first, I enjoyed it.For those of you who are also unfamiliar with Noir fiction, a little blurb from can be found in the spoiler. (view spoil [...]

    • Atilio Frasson said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      "Me choca que a tanta gente le preocupe tanto vivir y tan poco morir. ¿Por qué estos eminentes científicos se devanan los sesos intentando prolongar la vida, en lugar de buscar una manera agradable de acabar con ella? Debe de haber multitud de personas en el mundo como yo que desean morir pero carecen del valor necesario para matarse."Gloria Beatty a Robert SyvertenUna novela corta y cruda.El argumento es sencillo. Durante la Gran Depresión, Robert Syverten y Gloria Beatty entran a un concur [...]

    • Batool said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      بدأت هالرواية في وسط زحمة وما قدرت أنام إلا لمّا خلصتها! مدهشة مدهشة بكل ما تقتضيه الكلمة، ليست الدهشة في البلاغة الأدبية أو القصة ككل، لكن في العدمية التي وصلا إليها بطلا الرواية. أتوقع إنها تحتوي على أكثر اقتباس حزين قرأته في حياتي، ليس الحزن العادي المتداول، بل الحزن البا [...]

    • Michael said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      I don't think I could spoil this book, because it spells it out from the very start; and I've heard it was made into a spectacular movie. This is an existential noir (I know, weird combination?) novella about two people looking for stardom in the great depression. In the hope of being discovered and the need for money they join a dance marathon. While Robert remains hopefully, Gloria sinks into a depression and loses all hope and eventually asked Robert to kill her. Because They Shoot Horses, Do [...]

    • Nada EL Shabrawi said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      من أجمل روايات السنة, لازم لها حلقة مخصوص.

    • Adrienne said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      This book may make you want to shoot YOURSELF after you're done reading it, but it will definitely stick with you.I read it in 2003 for an English class and I still think about it. Very good, very short, very powerful. and interesting.And the "protaganist" is such a sucker you want to smack him.But you will definitely have an opinion about this book, and the characters. It's not something that you will just read and forget about. You will either love it or hate it. Or both. Probably a little bit [...]

    • Jigar Brahmbhatt said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      I loved this book. Terse. Morally complex. Hard-boiled is the word. There is no other manner in which this story could be narrated. The title becomes clear, illuminates almost in the last sentence, shining on the face of the reader, and then it makes you think. You want to read more but there is nothing more left to read. Because the style of writing permits that you don't engage in unnecessary explanations or long, winding monologues to explain the character's psyche the writer has to rely on c [...]

    • Lynn said:
      Aug 22, 2018 - 04:33 AM

      I liked this little book quite a lot. I love noir stories that tell you upfront that somebody is dead and then let the killer (who in this case was mostly a victim) reminisce. A dance marathon isn't what pops to mind as the perfect setting for seamy noir, but this interesting venue was wonderfully described.Read in Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1930s & 40s collection from the library.

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