I’ve been meaning to review this book ever since I landed my hands on it, but here we are, almost a year later and nothing. So I’m finally doing it. Here it goes: I first caught sight of Jilly Cooper’s megahit RIDERS in 1985 when it hit the shelves. I was close to my 20s and mostly a horror geek but the sight of that guy’s hand touching the woman’s derrière on that now-infamous cover made me want to flip the pages very quickly. Still it took me almost 25 years to finally do so, but when I did, it was fireworks, let me tell you.
First and foremost, I’ve got to say that the novel looks like a door stopper. It’s over 900 pages, but contrary to other big books, this one goes by real quick. It’s all about horses and sex, rich folks and sex. Did I say sex? The author spends as much time dwelling on this as explaining the ABCs of show jumping, which is fun but less stimulating, if you get my drift. I mean, I was ready to light up a cigarette every time super stud Rupert Campbell-Black’s prowess as a ladies man came to an end. Oh, make no mistake, the guy’s a big douchebag, but what a piece of man candy he is; and he becomes somewhat less arrogant as you go along. All thanks to the author’s keen ability to juggle him and other colorful characters through their wicked ways which lead them to the Los Angeles Olympics for the final showdown.
Truth be told, Rupert Campbell-Black isn’t as much the lead character as he is part of an ensemble team that starts with good guy Jake Lovell who’s on a quest to steal the spotlight from Black. Of course the novel has a few flaws, the biggest it being somewhat predictable, like (BIG SPOILER AHEAD) having their team win the big championship in the end, for instance. I mean, duh. But overall it is a great reading experience that has an impressive enough plot, strong characterization and a cheeky sense of humour only the British can excel at. I’ll definitely move on to Cooper's second novel. Let’s just hope that my review of it will appear sooner this time around.
Until next time—Martin