TDN Weekend

April 2018

TDN Weekend December 2016 Issue 9

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don't have a great reputation. People who love the sport can devour them vora- ciously, but rarely do they become best- sellers or find their way onto university literature programmes. Similarly, racing movies are few and far between, with pop- ular culture seemingly having little room for tales of equine excellence alongside the bombastic blockbusters of 21st-century cin- ema. So American writer and musician Willy Vlautin really is an outlier, having written an award-winning racing-related novel Lean On Pete (2010), which has since been made into a big-budget movie of the same name (U.S. release April 6, 2018) starring Steve Bus- cemi, Chloe Sevigny and Charlie Plummer. Vlautin has pulled this off not by focus- ing on the rich, the famous, or the wildly successful, but by being true to many peo- ple's often-difficult experience of life and connecting with his readers on an emo- tional level. Lean On Pete tells the story of 15-year-old Charley, who is left to fend for himself after moving to Portland, Oregon, with his wayward father. Lost and lonely, he ends up working as a groom for a low-lev- el trainer at Portland Meadows and bonds with a horse named Lean On Pete. When Pete is going to be sold, Charley decides to take matters into his own hands and the pair embark on a cross-country journey in search of Charley's long-lost aunt. Horse racing novels

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