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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Rough Magic, written by Lara Prior-Palmer, read by Tamaryn Payne.

The Mongol Derby is the world’s toughest horse race. A feat of endurance across the vast Mongolian plains once traversed by the people of Genghis Khan, competitors ride 25 horses across a distance of 1,000km. Many riders don’t make it to the finish line.

In 2013 Lara Prior-Palmer - 19, underprepared but seeking the great unknown - decided to enter the race. Driven by her own restlessness and stubbornness and a lifelong love of horses, she raced for seven days through extreme heat and terrifying storms, catching a few hours of sleep where she could at the homes of nomadic families. Battling bouts of illness and dehydration, exhaustion and bruising falls, she found she had nothing to lose and tore through the field with her motley crew of horses. In one of the Derby’s most unexpected results, she became the youngest-ever champion and the first woman to win the race.

A tale of adventure, fortitude and poetry, Rough Magic is the extraordinary story of one young woman’s encounter with oblivion - and herself.

©2019 Lara Prior-Palmer (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"[Prior-Palmer's] gorgeous, sensual depiction of this race is a literary marvel; it feels like you are riding alongside her across the desolate steppes; her verbal acuity makes vivid the most elusive of landscapes; her triumph becomes ours." (Nylon) 

What listeners say about Rough Magic

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Lovely insight

It’s a beautiful insight into the mind of the adventurer and explorer, it’s not always with planned determination but an unspoken desire. Really loved the way she writes and words her sentences, yes it is poetic but that doesn’t take away from the thrill of living the race through Lara’s point of view.

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Not about the race

What a dreadful disappointment. All about Lara and her thoughts. She’d probably be better writing poetry

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Engaging!

An interesting journey to learn about, beautifully written and soothingly narrated. I chose it as 'something different' and I'm glad I did.

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  • Sunflower
  • 21-07-2020

Captivating

Thankyou Lara for documenting your story Beautifully narrated too , it felt like I was there with you on the Steppe enduring every obstacle in your way , love your sense of humour and pure honesty Your racehorse guts are formidable and as the course gates open so does your mind Looking forward to reading more of your work oneday !!

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  • Sally B
  • 17-04-2020

Great story, well read.

Interesting storyline about the Mongol Derby horse race. Enjoyed the detail and the humour. Would recommend.

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  • Rachelascairns
  • 13-02-2020

Meh

Read as part of our book club. Not my usual reading fodder. Found it quite the slog albeit quite rushed near the end! Didn’t find her all that likeable or relatable. As much as she wins (not so spoiler alert) nothing much happens! I expect if you are into horses then it’s the book for you.

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  • Clare
  • 21-08-2019

What a ride!!

Wow... what an adventure!! Definitely inspiring and one for my kids when they are older! Lara’s writing style does jump around a bit, weaving in her back-story and revealing glimpses of the future, but it works well. I would have liked more detail on the riding/Mongolia/people and more observations/commentary by other people about her, but the story skips along at a good pace and keeps you wanting more. My only criticism is that family & friends needed more rounding out. Recollections came over a bit one sided, which left me hoping no bridges were burned in an effort to tell her story. Overall, a fascinating and remarkable effort by someone so young!! Well ridden & well written, Lara... keep adventuring and writing. I look forward to more!!

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