Author of The Stud Horse Boy: Memoirs of a Horse Breeder’s Son, Darryll Taylor will be at McConnell Library on the evening of May 7, for the launch party and reading of a book that has already won friends across Canada.
Utterly entertaining, The Stud Horse Boy is a day in the life of a father and son and a magnificent stallion named Jigs, traveling the back roads of Nova Scotia — a day full of beautiful countryside, dangerous horse handling, and an extraordinary mix of rural people who want to have their mares bred or who just want to watch.
From the honk of the truck horn and the stallion’s whinny, the Stud Horse Boy is called from school for these adventures. A skilled, rough taskmaster, the alcoholic, one-eyed father trucks son and stallion — all three of them the last of a breed — through Eastern Nova Scotia, breeding the horses that were once essential to rural life.
But The Stud Horse Boy is more than the story of breeding horses. Told with all the passion and confusion and courage of youth, it is the coming of age of a young boy living in the shadow of his powerful and unusual father. With a rare combination of skill and determination and a certain roughness, the father has kept his business alive with the people skills required to deal farm-by-farm with his wildly diverse customers. Both comic and deeply touching, this is a bold and often intimate collection of encounters with horses and with men.
Prize-winning author Frank Macdonald hits the nail on the head when he writes that Darryll Taylor’s book “is told with a command of language both beautiful as the landscape and coarse as the wit of the men who gathered for the breeding.”
In story after story, Taylor’s love of the changing and disappearing landscape of farmland in Nova Scotia is preserved in this book. A breed of people who are also disappearing is heartily remembered here.
Everyone is invited to meet Darryll Taylor at the McConnell Library, Tuesday, May 7, from 7 to 9 pm. He will read from his book and answer questions about his life on the road with Jigs and his Dad. There will be refreshments, and of course the event will be free of charge. The Stud Horse Boy is published by Breton Books.