Reviews - What do customers think about Wink: The Incredible Life And Epic Journey Of Jimmy Winkfield?
Rosemary Taggart - author of "Josie and Her Iron Horses" Aug 13, 2005
What a breathtaking book for any reader that loves thoroughbred horses! Jimmie Winkfield stands before a great curtain of racism, assassinations, prejudice, and person danger. But through it all it was the horses that he understood and loved. This gifted rider a mere, 4'11" lived his life with great persistance and bravery. If anyone loves stories of thoroughbred racing they will find "Wink" a true revelation. Hotaling not only told the story of a black jockey but he wove the story in and around events in history. If you are looking for this book to be of the same flavor as "Seabiscuit" you will be grossly disappointed. Hotaling is a writer that does not rely on the "Hollywood" view of how to write a book, rather he writes an intellectual adventure of a great person in historical thoroughbred racing.
Stranger than Fiction . . . Jul 19, 2005
I learned of the book when I heard its author being interviewed on NPR. I have no interest in horse racing, but bought the book on the theory that a life this compelling must result in a book equally so. I was, in large part, correct. The writing style leaves a little to be desired, but this is a fast, and gripping, read. In the end, one is left with a real sense for what Winkfield's life must have been like.
A Sparkling Biography Jul 10, 2005
You don't even have to like horseracing to love Ed Hotaling's brilliantly researched and engaging histories with a racetrack theme.
As he did in his other two memorable and important books on the subject, Hotaling's WINK unearths the forgotten magic of the past and brings it to life, vivid, and sparkling.
WINK is a major contender to win a National Book Award or Pulitzer for biography. It is just terrific.
An incredible book May 5, 2005
Like a couple of the other reviewers here already said, this is a great book. I really don't care much for racing but Ed Hotaling really brought the story of Jimmy Winkfield to life for me. What an amazing life and what a fine book.
Still, like the reviewer below noted, Hotaling glosses over the less-than-wonderful aspects of our hero's behavior, particularly towards his family. And given that this is probably the only book we're going to see on him for a while, it is a bit frustrating about all the information he leaves out. He never tells us where Winkfield is buried, nor does he go into any particular detail about what happened with his children or grandchildren. It's a somewhat slim book - 300 pages without the end notes - and I get the feeling that it was violently trimmed down in the editing.
In any event, though, these are just minor gripes. Even if you aren't a big sports fan, this is a gripping read for anyone who loves books.
Incredible Story of the Life of Jimmy Winkfield Apr 30, 2005
Thank you Mr. Hotaling for sharing Jimmy's story. His biography takes us to an important time in American history and takes us to far off places in the early 20th Century. Jimmy's passion for the sport and his circumstances brought him to Warsaw, controlled by the Russians in 1904. I can't imagine taking this risk, it tells us so much about Jimmy's confidence, his sense of self worth and passion for racing. He watched other jockeys leave America and found a way to participate in racing overseas. His story takes him through difficult times in Europe where he died at the age of 94.
What I liked most about the book is that it is a human interest story that shows Jimmy Winkfield's courage, gives us insight into early 20th century horse racing in America and what circumstances moved American jockeys overseas to ride. The story is told in the context of 20th Century history, which increases our understanding of the times in which Jimmy lived and the career decisions he made.
A must read for those who love horse racing, history and a good human-interest story.