Wednesday, 11 August 2010 19:54The folks at BookBalloon haven't stopped talking about Kings of the Earth by Jon Clinch since it hit the shelves on July 6. "Just fantastic," "rich on so many levels," and "best book I've read all year," are just some of the raves it's garnered among our members.
Stewart O'Nan has called Kings of the Earth "Upstate Gothic," which feels like the perfect description. Here's a very brief summary of the plot from Publishers Weekly: "[A] death among three elderly, illiterate brothers living together on an upstate New York farm raises suspicions and accusations in the surrounding community. After their beloved mother, Ruth, dies, Audie, considered mentally 'fragile,' is devastated, but goes on tending to the Carversville farm with his brothers Vernon and Creed. When Vernon, frail at 60 and not under a doctor’s care, dies in his bed with evidence of asphyxiation, Creed is interrogated by troopers, along with Audie, the brother closest to Vernon."
What makes Kings of the Earth so rich is the way the narrative is handed off from one fully realized character to the next, flowing forward and backward in time like an elaborate game of cat's cradle, and yet you're never in danger of dropping the thread.
BookBalloon is pleased to be hosting Jon Clinch for a special Q & A event on Monday and Tuesday, August 16-17. Join us in the Forum for what is sure to be a lively discussion of one of this year's most notable books. Forum registration is free.
- Jon Clinch's blog, The Horsehair Couch
- Jon Clinch's website
- Kings of the Earth at Random House
- BookPassage review of Kings of the Earth
Thursday, 05 August 2010 00:00
The month The Twin's Daughter (Young Adult, Bloomsbury) will hit the shelves, taking its place next to The Education of Bet (YA, Houghton), which was published in July. Collectors of the Sisters Eight series for young readers (Houghton) have a double bonus this year: Book 5 Marcia's Madness was released in May, and Book 6 Petal's Problems will be released in October.
Saturday, 03 April 2010 20:36
Mary Sharratt, author of Summit Avenue and The Vanishing Point, has written a new book titled Daughters of the Witching Hill, inspired by historical events in 1612 in Lancashire, England. Congratulations, Mary! You can read an excerpt on line, or dig deeper into the research behind the novel at Mary's blog.
Monday, 07 September 2009 18:05
Cliff Garstang's short story collection, In an Uncharted Country, debuted on September 5. Tim O'Brien calls the book "an impeccably written, sumptuously imagined, and completely enchanting book of stories, each with its own high ambitions, each successful both as prose and as story." Learn more about Cliff and his work at CliffordGarstang.com.
Lauren Baratz-Logsted's newest teen/young adult book, Crazy Beautiful, is a poignant re-telling of the Beauty and the Beast fable with a modern edge. Lauren has written several books for adults and teens, and with her husband and daughter is the author of the Sisters Eight series for young readers. Catch up with Lauren's latest at her website.
Written by Kelly Cozy Tuesday, 21 July 2009 20:22
"A Boy and His Dog"
By Harlan Ellison
Published in 1969
A Boy and His Dog
Directed by L. Q. Jones
Released in 1975
Cast: Don Johnson
Tiger/Tim McIntire (voice)
A classic science fiction tale is translated to the big screen.
In a post-apocalyptic America, a young man named Vic and his telepathic dog Blood roam the countryside, living a hardscrabble existence. Their relationship is at times antagonistic and affectionate but is also based on interdependence. Vic provides food for Blood, as well as protection from other outlaws and gangs, and from the radioactive mutants that also roam the wasteland. In return the dog (whose telepathy and high intelligence are the result of a government genetic breeding program) teaches Vic how to read and also scouts out women for Vic. Their friendship is put to the test when a young woman from one of the downunders — underground dwellings where the last of American civilization survives — enters their lives.
Harlan Ellison’s 1969 story, written for his own pet dog Ahbhu, is, despite its often horrific post-apocalyptic setting, a love story. It doesn’t seem like one as the reader watches Vic and Blood scrounge for food (usually whatever canned goods can be found in the ruins of civilization) and scout for women so Vic can do what he calls “get laid” but is actually rape. They rely on each others’ skills but they also understand each other in a way no one else can.
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