Category: Fiction

Feb 07 2021

Drive Your Plows Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

Nobel laureate, Polish literature, what’s not to like? It turns out that for me the more relevant question was what’s to like? Tokarczuk’s first-person narrator and protagonist, Janina Duszejko lives alone in a small group of houses on a plateau in southern Poland, hard up against the border with the Czech Republic. Most of the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/02/07/drive-your-plows-over-the-bones-of-the-dead-by-olga-tokarczuk/

Feb 01 2021

Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson

Happy Black History Month, everyone! I’m so excited to have just read a strong slate of contemporary novels featuring Black protagonists and casts living their best lives, whether it’s via superheroics, sleuthing or, in this latest case, shop-keeping while falling in love. Real Men Knit follows Jesse Strong, the youngest of four very different adoptive …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/02/01/real-men-knit-by-kwana-jackson/

Dec 04 2020

Writers & Lovers by Lily King

At this point in my experience with Lily King, I know what to expect: a meticulously rendered milieu with quietly simmering emotions that are universal despite the very specific circumstances and locales of our narrators, and then BAM! a figurative punch to the face, and then the throat, and then the solar plexus, rendering this …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/12/04/writers-lovers-by-lily-king/

Sep 20 2020

Und keiner weint mir nach by Siegfried Sommer

Und keiner weint mir nach

When the editors of the Süddeutsche Zeitung planned out their 20-book set “Selected Munich,” Siegfried Sommer must have seemed a natural to kick off the series. He had been born in the city in 1914, died there in 1996, lived practically all of his life in Munich except for his time in the army during …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/09/20/und-keiner-weint-mir-nach-by-siegfried-sommer/

Aug 31 2020

Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan

Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan

Richard Brautigan might be that garrulous guy at the bar telling stories of things he’s done and seen, or things that people he knows have done and seen. The book goes down easy; I read it in less than an afternoon. Individually the tales don’t go on for too long, there’s usually something amusing along …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/08/31/trout-fishing-in-america-by-richard-brautigan/

Jun 27 2020

Die Schule der Nackten by Ernst Augustin

You have better things to do with your time than read this book, or at least the latter two-thirds of it. The first-person narrator, Alexander, is interesting, and a bit odd in an interesting way. He’s a historian of sorts, unattached to any academic institute, specializing in the ancient Near East: Chaldean studies, Aramaic studies, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/06/27/die-schule-der-nackten-by-ernst-augustin/

Jun 26 2020

Die Rumplhanni by Lena Christ

Die Rumplhanni

Rural Bavaria at the outbreak of the Great War still moved to the rhythms of nature and the seasons. Village life revolved around the inn, the smithy, and the farms that surrounded both. Generations shared the same house, the young people paired up early and had little choice but to stick together, and families kept …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/06/26/die-rumplhanni-by-lena-christ/

Mar 27 2020

Salz im Blut by Andreas Neumeister

Salz im Blut

In the early 2000s, I am led to understand, the editors of the Süddeutsche Zeitung found that the paper had more printing capacity than was being used to put out the daily news. One way to set that capacity to productive use was with a foray into book publishing. The newspaper’s staff put together a …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/03/27/salz-im-blut-by-andreas-neumeister/

Mar 19 2020

A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

What a lot of fatuous nonsense. First of all, let’s talk about the marketing for this novel. It’s being touted as the story of a Muslim Indian-American family and sure yes, but also it’s a very specific brand of Muslim, a conservative Shi’ah that’s as bizarre to me, raised a mainstream Sunni Muslim, as the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/03/19/a-place-for-us-by-fatima-farheen-mirza/

Feb 12 2020

The Story of Flamenca: The First Modern Novel, Arranged from the Provencal Original of the Thirteenth Century by William Aspenwall Bradley

What a delightful thing to read in the lead up to Valentine’s Day. Being both thrifty and impatient, I actually read the online copy for free at The Hathi Trust digital library, as the original came out in 1922 and is yet unavailable for e-reader. Since I’ve been listening to Rosalia’s El Mal Querer on …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/02/12/the-story-of-flamenca-the-first-modern-novel-arranged-from-the-provencal-original-of-the-thirteenth-century-by-william-aspenwall-bradley/