Tag: tournament of books


A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall (A Tournament of Books Selection)

Posted 25 February, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall (A Tournament of Books Selection)A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall by Will Chancellor
Published by Harper Collins on July 8th 2014
Genres: Coming of Age, Fiction, Literary, Sagas
Pages: 384
Goodreads
three-stars

A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall is an exuberant literary debut--a novel of real ideas and a playful examination of our in-between world, one that explores the nature of family, identity, art, and belief while also marking the introduction of an original new voice in contemporary fiction.Owen Burr is the six-foot-eight, Olympics-bound senior captain of the Stanford University water polo team. In his final collegiate match, however, he suffers a catastrophic injury that destroys his hopes and dreams, flattening his entire world into two dimensions. His identity as an athlete erased but his ambition indelible, he defies his father, a classics professor who lives in a "cave" of his own making, and moves to Berlin with naive plans to make conceptual art. Then he disappears.Without a single clue as to his son's location, Dr. Burr embarks upon a tour of public lectures from Greece to Germany to Iceland in an attempt to draw out his endangered son. Instead, he foments a violent uprising.

This book was a sleeper for me. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did – but the truth is I found it extremely enjoyable. Honestly, between you and me, I saw ‘athlete’ in the description and stopped reading the description. I’m such an anti-sports snob. I know. Get over myself.

The writing was excellent, the characters were strong and well developed. I found Owen’s living in Berlin without a penny to his name to be a little unbelievable, but this didn’t trouble me enough to ruin the enjoyment of the book. Owen was also a bit of a little shit, but I think he grew throughout the novel. 

As far as Prof. Burr (Owen’s dad) went – his story was quite the wild ride as well, despite the two narratives being vastly different worked well to compliment each other Prof. Burr’s disastrous speech in Athens (all undertaken to help him look for Owen) and Owen’s disastrous ‘debut’ into the art world parallel nicely.   

This book is a commentary on the intersection of art and life, which made it very compelling to me. I also loved the commentary on modern art and what drives the prices of it. I’ve always been a big fan of modern art museums, if for nothing else than finding the absurdity in them. Tate Modern in London is by far my favorite – probably because during one visit there I found a display of a hermetically sealed can in which the artist had preserved his feces. (If anyone knows the artist or the name of the piece, hit me up because I’ve long since forgotten it.) But, I’d also be remiss if I didn’t share my love for The Centre Pompidou in Paris too. 

Owen and Prof. Burr’s journey into Iceland was a bit surreal as well – but again – I felt like it fit with the book and I really enjoyed the atmosphere and descriptions of Iceland. It actually inspired me to finally read Burial Rites. Absolutely a fabulous debut.

Art! What a glorious thing. What about you, Reader? Do you have a penchant for modern art? Or any other visual art styles?

 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Silent Saturday: Silence Once Begun (A Tournament of Books Selection)

Posted 21 February, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Silent Saturday: Silence Once Begun (A Tournament of Books Selection)Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball
Published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group on January 28th 2014
Genres: Crime, Fiction, Historical, Literary
Pages: 224
Goodreads
three-stars

Jesse Ball’s Silence Once Begun is an astonishing novel of unjust conviction, lost love, and a journalist’s obsession. Over the course of several months, eight people vanish from their homes in the same Japanese town, a single playing card found on each door. Known as the “Narito Disappearances,” the crime has authorities baffled—until a confession appears on the police’s doorstep, signed by Oda Sotatsu, a thread salesman. Sotatsu is arrested, jailed, and interrogated—but he refuses to speak. Even as his parents, brother, and sister come to visit him, even as his execution looms, and even as a young woman named Jito Joo enters his cell, he maintains his vow of silence. Our narrator, a journalist named Jesse Ball, is grappling with mysteries of his own when he becomes fascinated by the case. Why did Sotatsu confess? Why won’t he speak? Who is Jito Joo? As Ball interviews Sotatsu’s family, friends, and jailers, he uncovers a complex story of heartbreak, deceit, honor, and chance.

I think I might be an outlier on my feelings about this book. While I appreciate the structure and style of this novel I have a thing about gimmicks. The gimmick here is that journalist “Jesse Ball” is obsessed with the “true story” of Oda Sotatsu. So I’m irritated right off the bat – what’s true? What’s imagined? Is this historical fiction or straight up fiction? 

That being said, the writing is quite lovely in this novel and the structure is unique. Told (mostly) in a series of interviews with people connected with Sotatsu, it felt a little like Solomon the Peacemaker (which you almost definitely have not read, but totally should). Outside the gimmick the story itself is compelling enough until you get to the end. Here I’m going to put a big fat…




Kind of Spoiler Alert
 
I’m sorry kids, but the ending was flat out lifted from that awful Kevin Spacey movie The Life of David Gale, or maybe David Gale‘s ending was lifted from the maybe real-life occurrences outlined in Ball’s novel – either way – all I could think of was that movie. Unfortunately the motivation and execution of the characters in the movie were a lot more plausible than that of those in Ball’s novel. 
 
Done Possibly Ruining Your Reading Experience
 
 
 
 
 
As far as the Tournament goes, this is pitted against Redeployment in the first round – which is interesting because Redeployment reads as stories that should be true (and probably are in spirit) while Silence Once Begun is claimed to be a true story (maybe it somewhat is, I haven’t researched it) as sort of a gimmick, but otherwise fails to really reflect reality. What’s interesting about the two novels is that they are both protest literature of sorts. Obviously I’m rooting for Redeployment and I feel like it will probably win the first round over this – but you never know what those crazy judges are going to do. 
 
Have you read this one, Reader? Do you know what I mean by ‘protest literature’? Do you have any examples? 
 
 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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What Was That? Wednesday: All the Birds, Singing (A Tournament of Books Selection)

Posted 18 February, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

What Was That? Wednesday: All the Birds, Singing (A Tournament of Books Selection)All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld
Published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group on April 15th 2014
Genres: Coming of Age, Family Life, Fiction, Literary
Pages: 240
Goodreads
five-stars

Jake Whyte is living on her own in an old farmhouse on a craggy British island, a place of ceaseless rain and battering wind. Her disobedient collie, Dog, and a flock of sheep are her sole companions, which is how she wants it to be. But every few nights something—or someone—picks off one of the sheep and sounds a new deep pulse of terror. There are foxes in the woods, a strange boy and a strange man, and rumors of an obscure, formidable beast. And there is also Jake’s past, hidden thousands of miles away and years ago, held in the silences about her family and the scars that stripe her back—a past that threatens to break into the present. With exceptional artistry and empathy, All the Birds, Singing reveals an isolated life in all its struggles and stubborn hopes, unexpected beauty, and hard-won redemption.

This was one of the most enjoyable novels that I read for Tournament of Books. The prose is gorgeous and I found the structure to be really unique. Though it only has one narrator (technically) the chapters alternate between telling the story of Jake’s present and telling the story of Jake’s past – backwards. It’s a delightful and surprising structure that made the novel really enjoyable for me. 

This is another one of those books (kind of like Annihilation) that defies hard categorization. Though it is a suspenseful novel I have a hard time calling it a suspense novel. If that makes any sense at all. As I said above – the structure of this book is what makes it so unique – it really gives the reader a sense of push and pull, dread and understanding, of what Jake is going through. 

The ending is a point of contention for many readers (I’m going to just leave it there), but no matter how you feel about it, All the Birds, Singing is one of those novels that sticks with you for a long time after you’ve read it. 

Unique and thoroughly enjoyable, I think that readers of literary fiction (and yes, suspense novels) are likely to really appreciate this book. This would also make an EXCELLENT book club pick because it’s relatively short and there are lots of things to talk about.

As far as the Tournament goes, (brackets came out today!) I have a hard time predicting how it will do up against A Brief History of Seven Killings, I’m only about a quarter of the way through that one and while it feels deep and important – it’s not very readable.

Excellent reviews also from:
Michael at Literary Exploration
Shannon at River City Reading
Katie at Bookish Tendencies

What was the last book that you read that really stuck with you, Reader?

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Tournament of Books Tuesday: Wittgenstein Jr. (A ToB Selection)

Posted 17 February, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Tournament of Books Tuesday: Wittgenstein Jr. (A ToB Selection)Wittgenstein Jr by Lars Iyer
Published by Melville House on September 2nd 2014
Genres: Fiction, General
Pages: 146
Goodreads
three-stars

The unruly undergraduates at Cambridge have a nickname for their new lecturer: Wittgenstein Jr. He’s a melancholic, tormented genius who seems determined to make them grasp the very essence of philosophical thought.But Peters—a working-class student surprised to find himself among the elite—soon discovers that there’s no place for logic in a Cambridge overrun by posh boys and picnicking tourists, as England’s greatest university is collapsing under market pressures.Such a place calls for a derangement of the senses, best achieved by lethal homemade cocktails consumed on Cambridge rooftops, where Peters joins his fellows as they attempt to forget about the void awaiting them after graduation, challenge one another to think so hard they die, and dream about impressing Wittgenstein Jr with one single, noble thought.And as they scramble to discover what, indeed, they have to gain from the experience, they realize that their teacher is struggling to survive. For Peters, it leads to a surprising turn—and for all of them, a challenge to see how the life of the mind can play out in harsh but hopeful reality.Combining his trademark wit and sharp brilliance, Wittgenstein Jr is Lars Iyer’s most assured and ambitious novel yet—as impressive, inventive and entertaining as it is extraordinarily stirring.

This is going to be a short review. I’m just going to be honest. I didn’t get it – there were moments where I had glimmers of ideas where I thought I might be understanding something — but then it just went right over my head. Kind of like DeLillo’s Underworld I have a hard time giving this book any rating because I really think that I just did not get the deeper meaning that Iyers was aiming for. 

Despite that this book is beautifully written and there are many quotes that I highlighted that could stand alone and feel deep and important. 

“The failure to launch. To leave your house. To leave your room. To leave your bed. To open your eyes in the morning. How easily it could happen! One mistimed bout of depression and that would be it – the rest of your life, in your parents’ house, on soul rotting medication.” p. 164

As far at the Tournament of Books goes – I honestly have no idea how this will fare. (Maybe that goes part in parcel with not understanding the book.) I can’t see it winning, though – not with the other great books that I’ve read. 

“Why is the drive to understand so close to the drive to misunderstand?, he asks. Why is the urge to think almost identical to the urge not to think?” p. 122

Perhaps this book will be more accessible to those with a stronger background in philosophy. If anyone has read this and feels like they ‘get it’… I’d love to hear from you.

“We’re drowning in openness, he says. In our sense of the possible. We’re ready to take anything in – to learn about anything, and therefore about nothing. Everything is available to use, and therefore nothing is available to us. Everything is at our disposal, and therefore nothing is at our disposal.” p. 76

New Century Reading has a similar review here. I think she’s also doing the whole Tournament List too! 

What about you, Reader? Have you read this one? What’s the last book that you read that you didn’t feel like you ‘got’?

 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Annihilation: A Tournament of Books Selection

Posted 13 February, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Annihilation: A Tournament of Books SelectionAnnihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
Published by Macmillan on February 4th 2014
Genres: Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, General, Literary, Science Fiction
Pages: 195
Goodreads
three-stars

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.     The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one anotioner, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.     They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.

This is a great horror novel for people who don’t like horror novels. By that I mean that this novel is delightfully atmospheric without a lot of blood or killer clowns jumping out at you. Some readers may find the story to be a bit slow – but I thought that Vandermeer did a great job in creating a slow burn, but be warned Reader – this is the first of a trilogy (Southern Reach trilogy) and honestly that’s the downside. 

As a Tournament of Books selection – this doesn’t stand alone very well (the good news is that all three books in the trilogy were published in quick succession and therefore are all available). There is a slow building to a climax and then … more mystery. Which is fine – just go get the other two books (or have them on hand before you start). I liked the fact that the expedition was made up completely of women, which enabled Vandermeer to avoid the common sci-fi/horror trope of women being there solely for the men to rescue. 

The characters are interesting and compelling. What’s the biologist’s deal? What the hell is the psychologist’s problem?

Overall, this is an incredibly readable book, but it can’t be read as a standalone – there are just too many questions left open. Area X is described in detail so that the reader can almost feel it closing in around her. 

Added bonus, each book in the trilogy is also short enough (no more than 350 pages) that they can be read in just a few sittings so ideally a reader can get through the whole thing in about a week or so.

As far as The Tournament of Books goes – I don’t see this one lasting long because it simply can’t stand on its own.

Also, here’s a great tell all from Vandermeer in the Atlantic on his writing of The Southern Reach Trilogy. (Spoilers)

Finally, Michael at Literary Exploration has an excellent review on Annihilation here.

What about you, Reader? How do you feel about atmospheric novels? Read any good ones lately? 

 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Sunday Salon: Thinking and Perching and Sentiment

Posted 8 February, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in

Time //  11:47 AM EST

Place //  Couch perch.

Watching // The Girl traipse around the living room – I’m finding myself amazed by her physicality. Were we all able to be so physical and graceful once? (End Sentimental Parenting Nonsense).

Blogging // Still working on catching up on my reviews for upcoming releases and Tournament of Books. I tried to write my Bone Clocks review last night – but the words for Mitchell’s eloquence just wouldn’t come.

Reading // February has a slower start than January – which is totally fine. I’m still listening to Jane Eyre on audio. As for The Tournament of Books reading: A Brief History of Seven Killings had to be set aside, it’s a technically difficult book for me (meaning I really have to concentrate on it), I started Wittgenstein Jr. this morning, which leaves only the Elena Ferrante novel Those Who Stay and Those Who Go, which is way outside the scope of things that I usually read which got me …

Thinking // My comfort zone is pretty different than many other people. I don’t feel comforted by cozy mysteries, chick lit, or romances – I feel the most ‘comfortable’ with evil clowns, serial killers, and apocalypse (all you have to do is look at my Awesome Favorites shelf on Goodreads to verify this). While I still read outside my comfort zone in a non-fiction way, mostly with religious apologetics, I think I need to make a better attempt to get outside my comfort zone in a fiction setting. Problem is I haven’t the slightest idea where to start – so I’m going to start with the Ferrante novel.

Participating // Yesterday I judged a high school Mock Trial competition. It was an excellent experience and gave this cynic some hope to see those kids so excited about the law.

Finally, with Harper Lee in the news I really enjoyed A.M.B.’s take on the issue in her post Can We Trust Harper Lee’s New Watchman? Can She?

Oh! Also the last day for the That’s Paris giveaway! See the link in the upper right hand corner to get your entries on!

So, how was your week, Reader? Anything exciting?

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Sunday Salon and January Stats

Posted 1 February, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in

Time // 12:03 A.M. EST

Place // Couch perch. Of course.


January Stats //  Holy moly, y’all. I completed 22 books this month. Only one was started previous to this month. (Underworld).

In short, I have been a reading machine! Bout of Books didn’t hurt those numbers. Now if I only could be a reviewing machine. 

Tomorrow // The Kindle release of That’s Paris and a giveaway coming up here. Stay tuned. Also. Groundhog Day. I frickin’ love Groundhog Day.

Thoughts // I had something deep and important that I wanted to say that I was composing in my head in the shower. Alas. I need shower crayons to make notes on the walls because I haven’t the faintest what it might have been.

What deep and important thoughts have you been thinking, Reader?

 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Redeployment: A Tournament of Books Selection

Posted 30 January, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Redeployment: A Tournament of Books SelectionRedeployment by Phil Klay
Published by Penguin on March 4th 2014
Genres: Fiction, General, Short Stories (single author)
Pages: 304
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Winner of the 2014 National Book Award for Fiction · Winner of the John Leonard First Book Prize · Selected as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review, Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post Book World, Amazon, and more  Phil Klay's Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned.  Interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival, the characters in these stories struggle to make meaning out of chaos. In "Redeployment", a soldier who has had to shoot dogs because they were eating human corpses must learn what it is like to return to domestic life in suburbia, surrounded by people "who have no idea where Fallujah is, where three members of your platoon died."  In "After Action Report", a Lance Corporal seeks expiation for a killing he didn't commit, in order that his best friend will be unburdened.  A Morturary Affairs Marine tells about his experiences collecting remains—of U.S. and Iraqi soldiers both.  A chaplain sees his understanding of Christianity, and his ability to provide solace through religion, tested by the actions of a ferocious Colonel.  And in the darkly comic "Money as a Weapons System", a young Foreign Service Officer is given the absurd task of helping Iraqis improve their lives by teaching them to play baseball.  These stories reveal the intricate combination of monotony, bureaucracy, comradeship and violence that make up a soldier's daily life at war, and the isolation, remorse, and despair that can accompany a soldier's homecoming. Redeployment is poised to become a classic in the tradition of war writing.  Across nations and continents, Klay sets in devastating relief the two worlds a soldier inhabits: one of extremes and one of loss.  Written with a hard-eyed realism and stunning emotional depth, this work marks Phil Klay as one of the most talented new voices of his generation.

Whoa. This book takes on some of the hard truths that soldiers and Marines returning from (and participating in) the longest two wars in American history have to face. As a veteran this was a difficult read for me. When I started the book I didn’t realize it was a collection of short stories. At first I was disappointed because the first story is so raw and powerful. It’s about how a man returning home from Iraq struggles to reintegrate back into everyday life with his wife and dog. I wanted to know more of that character’s struggles. In the end though it turned out to be a good thing that this was short stories because I found that I could only read it in short bursts, so harrowing are the narratives at times. Perhaps this is the reason I don’t read a lot of war fiction (or war non-fiction, for that matter).

In a time where less than one percent of the American population is in the military – it’s so easy for some to forget the experience that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have been through. There are many people who don’t know anyone in the military. This book is important if not for that reason alone.

A line in the first story ‘Redeployment’ struck me so hard because it’s the honest to god’s truth.

“We took my combat pay and did a lot of shopping. Which is how America fights back against the terrorists.”

What else is there to do after you’re haunted by a war that makes little to no sense to you or the rest of the country? Another line that I ran across hit me hard because as a veteran I’ve always had a hard time with the “Thank you for your service” type gratitude actions that I would get. It’s an awkward feeling that many veterans don’t know what to do with (I’m not saying don’t do it when you see a man or woman in uniform – just that it’s a weird feeling – at least for me).

“I was angry. I’d gotten a lot of Thank You for Your Service handshakes, but nobody really knew what that service meant…” 

I worked as a Unit Deployment Manager for the Air Force, it was my job to tend to all the airmen that would be deployed, ensuring they had all their training, paperwork, and equipment. While because of my rank I was not the one making personal selections on who would go and who would stay at home (unlike the Army, the Air Force does not deploy entire units at one time, instead it’s a piecemeal selection of individuals based on job functions that are needed down-range). Despite that I still fielded phone-calls from angry spouses and sent men and women away from their families to miss anniversaries, Christmases, and even the birth of their children.

The stories in Redeployment focus exclusively on the Army and the Marine Corps and I’m okay with that. The problem that I had with this collection is that there were no stories told from the point of view of female characters. Women, despite not technically being allowed in combat, are in combat. I felt that Klay might have strengthened his book if he could have told at least one story from the perspective of a woman.

The other thing that will probably drive civilian readers crazy are the excessive acronyms. It didn’t bother me because I knew what most of them meant, but I can definitely see this as being an impediment for a reader with little to no knowledge of military jargon.

Like I said, this was a difficult read for me but I do think that it’s an incredibly important and well written book. It’s not really about the wars themselves, it’s a portrait of the people who fight those wars at the lowest level. I have to highly recommend it to everyone.

As far as The Tournament of Books goes, I predict that it should at least make it out of the first round (depending on what it’s pitted against), but it’s unlikely it will take the whole hog.

What do you think, Reader? I know this has been a meandering review, but does this appeal to you at all? To those of you that are active duty or veterans, really, thank you for your service.

 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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An Untamed State: A Tournament of Books Selection

Posted 21 January, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

An Untamed State: A Tournament of Books SelectionAn Untamed State by Roxane Gay
Published by Grove Press on 2014
Genres: Contemporary Women, Fiction, Literary
Pages: 370
Goodreads
five-stars

Roxane Gay is a powerful new literary voice whose short stories and essays have already earned her an enthusiastic audience. In An Untamed State, she delivers an assured debut about a woman kidnapped for ransom, her captivity as her father refuses to pay and her husband fights for her release over thirteen days, and her struggle to come to terms with the ordeal in its aftermath. Mireille Duval Jameson is living a fairy tale. The strong-willed youngest daughter of one of Haiti’s richest sons, she has an adoring husband, a precocious infant son, by all appearances a perfect life. The fairy tale ends one day when Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a gang of heavily armed men, in front of her father’s Port au Prince estate. Held captive by a man who calls himself The Commander, Mireille waits for her father to pay her ransom. As it becomes clear her father intends to resist the kidnappers, Mireille must endure the torments of a man who resents everything she represents. An Untamed State is a novel of privilege in the face of crushing poverty, and of the lawless anger that corrupt governments produce. It is the story of a willful woman attempting to find her way back to the person she once was, and of how redemption is found in the most unexpected of places.

Reviewing An Untamed State hopped up on cough medicine and generally feeling ill may not be advisable, but I’m going to try it anyway. It’s a powerful book, powerfully written, with a powerful message. That message, like it or leave it, is feminism.

Before reading An Untamed State I have read maybe half of Bad Feminist and admire Gay as an essayist and someone who is making waves (meaningful waves) in current American feminism – attempting to grapple it out of the hands of upper-middle class white women and spread it for ALL THE PEOPLE. The cough syrup is rearing its head already, no?

This book is raw and powerful. Gay gives descriptions of rape and abuse that are written on a page of onion skin. By that I mean that the reader is sheltered from the worst of the abuse through a layer of beautiful, heart wrenching prose. The tug and pull between Mireille’s past, present, and future, is a haunting and difficult part of the novel.

For whatever reason, these novels of abuse and survival are not ‘hard’ reads for me. An Untamed State was harrowing, yes. But just as other novels have left me with me – so has this one done. I know that my privileged upper-middle class, white cis-woman experiences are a part of it – I’ve never encountered real fear or hardship – for whatever reason – I’ve always been shielded from the most terrible parts of life. This does not negate my own difficulties. But all the same An Untamed State is one of those books that lifts the veil on the realities that even the wealthiest face in a lawless, yet beautiful country such as Haiti.

For me the most difficult part of the novel was the not the physical abuse and torment that Mireille faced at the hands of her kidnappers. It was the psychological scars and pain that would not perhaps ever heal from the experience. Maybe this is because I have known psychological pain where I have not known the terror of physical brutality. My heart ached when following her return she suffered from PTSD, when she was unable to ‘pull it together’ or even verbalize why everything was spiraling out of control after her return to the States. This part of the novel has not left me the way that the section on the torments of her kidnapping have.

Gay balances all of this horror and pain with great kindness. The patience and love that is shown by her mother-in-law is unexpected and because of that it is also more beautiful. 

I highly recommend this book to everyone. The difficult reading combined with the beautiful prose makes this a meaningful read. If you’re a rape/kidnapping/abuse survivor, please know this probably will have triggers. 

Andi had an excellent review of this yesterday.

What about you, Reader? Have you read An Untamed State? Do you challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone enough?

 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Sunday Salon: Not So Night Owls

Posted 18 January, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in

Time // 8:40 PM EST

Place // Couch perch

Feeling // SUPER PSYCHED that I finished Don DeLillo’s Underworld. I won’t pretend that I understood it all… because I didn’t ‘get’ most of it. But whatever. I’m checking it off the list.

Also still siiiickkkk. The long MLK Weekend here in the U.S. is not going to help speed up my recovery. I KNOW.  Pissed at myself that I missed the Bloggiesta chat.

Reading // All the Tournament of Books (ToB) … books that I can get my hands on. I’ve been totally scared of David Mitchell, for some reason I put Cloud Atlas on the difficulty level with Infinite Jest, and while I still can’t speak for Cloud Atlas, The Bone Clocks is readable, delightful, and my only regret is that I didn’t start it sooner. I also wish I could have done it in read-along format. I have ALL THE THOUGHTS about it so far. 🙂 I’ve completed 9 out of the 16 ToB, I’m halfway through two others, and I think that of the ones that I’ve read only Station Eleven, All the Light We Cannot See, The Bone Clocks, and possibly An Untamed State are the serious contenders. But there are still four more that I know little to nothing about.

Blogging // I completed some of my Bloggiesta tasks – but am again, pissed that I missed the chat.

I know it’s not much. But I think I have to go pass out now, Reader.


April @ The Steadfast Reader

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