Kick the Latch

Kick the Latch

Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Paperback Published on: 19/01/2023
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Bookseller Reviews

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Kick the Latch
Brazen, brutal, brilliant
On its surface, ‘Kick the Latch’ offers an honest and captivating story of a life spent at the racetrack, but underneath its unique setting, the book revea... READ MORE
Kick the Latch
A stark and unflinching semi-fiction
Scanlan's novel, closely based on the recounting of a family friend of her life as a horse trainer, is far outside my usual interests, but Daunt Books, the... READ MORE
D Franklin (Glasgow Sauchiehall St)
Kick the Latch
Hard life in country..
I loved this slim book of transcribed reminisces and reflections of a woman's life at the racetrack. Hard, harsh and at times, violent, not a word is waste... READ MORE
Paul Thornton


Kathryn Scanlan’s Kick the Latch vividly captures the arc of one woman’s life at the racetrack – the flat land and ramshackle backstretch; the bad feelings and friction; the winner’s circle and the racetrack bar; the fancy suits and fancy boots; and the ‘particular language’ of ‘grooms, jockeys, trainers, racing secretaries, stewards, pony people, hotwalkers, everybody’ – with economy and integrity.

Based on transcribed interviews with Sonia, a horse trainer, the novel investigates form and authenticity in a feat of synthesis reminiscent of Charles Reznikoff’s Testimony. As Scanlan puts it,

‘I wanted to preserve – amplify, exaggerate – Sonia’s idiosyncratic speech, her bluntness, her flair as a storyteller. I arrived at what you could call a composite portrait of a self.’

Whittled down with a fiercely singular artistry, Kick the Latch bangs out of the starting gate and carries the reader on a careening joyride around the inside track.

  • Publisher: Daunt Books
  • ISBN: 9781914198250
  • Number of pages: 96

Customer Reviews

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Kick the Latch
Beautiful, Blunt but Razor Sharp
What's beautiful about this book is its starkness. Sometimes passages are barely more than a couple of sentences yet every word is pin point. I could barel... READ MORE