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Lord of the Barnyard Paperback – 11 Jun 1999

3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; New edition edition (11 Jun. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330368311
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330368315
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.4 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 634,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
The hero, if you can call him that, is the most put-upon, unlucky character I've ever encountered. Largely self-taught, he is a social misfit whose intellect is utterly wasted on his inbred contemporaries. His life of misfortunes has to be read to be believed. The black humor and pathos is awesome. This is one of the best books I have read in years. It went straight into my top ten.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Feb. 2001
Format: Paperback
This book really grabbed me and held on to me all the way through. The intensely disaster-success story of young John Kaltenbrunner made me laugh and cry, cheer and shake my head. Read it!
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By A Customer on 9 Mar. 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is on of the best books I've read. I am lucky to be one of the first in the U.S. to read it, but it's a luck I'd like to share with others. The book is fast, funny, and has the most amazing cast of characters since One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. For a young writer, Egolf shows remarkable poise and a sure hand with language, plotting, and character development. If this is what he has done with his first book, the literary world is in for quite a few surprises.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 65 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Sad day folks......... 14 May 2005
By Snorri Wolfersson - Published on
Format: Paperback
.......I just read that Tristan Egolf, the author, shot himself to death a few days ago. I loved this book for its manic energy and its attention to the details of the assembly line killing and processing of domesticated animals. I can't even imagine standing knee deep in turkey blood slicing off heads all day long for a living. In an odd way this book celebrates individual capitalism and old fashioned gumption like no other. The protagonist studies, tries and fails, tries and succeeds, learns, becomes hopelessly isolated, and gets caught at the wrong end of the paranoia stick more than once. The parallel story track details the assembly line killing of the human spirit which occurs when despair and emotional fragility combine with the quest for the almighty dollar in odd ways in a person's thought process. I enjoyed the energy and the constant seeking for knowledge of the title character. This was truly a fascinating work and I am quite saddened that such an original, twisted, seeking voice has been lost to us all. RIP Tristan.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Audacious debut 28 Nov. 2000
By Christopher A. Smith - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Surely not the most polished novel that you are likely to read this year, and literary purist will frown at Egolf's overblown style and dialogue-free prose. Egolf is often ham-fisted and can be sloppy with the details (upon reading the climax you'll wonder if Egolf has ever even *seen* a basketball game).
But those flaws notwithstanding, Egolf has written an audacious jet-fueled debut which is somehow all the more compelling for it's absurdity. Those reviewers who have criticized the novel have said little which I would directly contradict (no, there is no dialogue; yes, the characters are one dimensional) but somehow the sheer energy and inventiveness of the novel kept me glued throughout its four hundred pages.
Lord of the Barnyard is an Appalachian Confederacy of the Dunces on crack cocaine. Egolf uses sheer creativity and his raw intelligence to muscle his way though a rollercoaster plot that takes us on a whirlwind tour of John Kaltenbrunner's backwoods heroism and larger than life exploits.
And the novel is funny! It made me laugh!
Egolf is a smart writer with talent. Hats off to him for this gutsy first novel, flaws and all; I look forward to reading his future work.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The novel of the year, any year 27 Dec. 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book was my favorite novel of 1998. Before it hits the american market, the book is already out in dutch translation.
Lord of the Barnyard is hard to describe. It is a demolition derby of the soul, a guided tour of hell (no giftshop) and immensely sensitive at that.
As every good writer, Egolf has the power to infect you with his worldview. Makes it unescapable. After putting the novel away the world looks like a desolate place. Egolf writes like Marquez on bad acid, or Hunter S. Thompson going cold turkey. Long, weird sentences, summing up years of misery in a couple of strange images. The plot is fascinating albeit incidental, its not the point of this novel. This novel is about the power of writing, about taking the world by its balls and yanking them until it vomits. Dirty, beautiful and unforgettable. Hard to believe this is the first work of a young writer.
Buy it, and be amazed. Think the novel as an artform is dead? Think again.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Kaltenbrunner vs. the Baker Lay. So absurd, it's credible. 9 Jan. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I discovered this tome during a rather miserable trip to tropical, sunny Cairns (Australia). It was about the only thing that stopped me from running accross the road in the middle of the night, setting free all the poultry farm chickens, then running back to peel all the lizards off the exterior wall and drowning them in the pool.
In Lord of the Barnyard, Egolf weaves a tale of misfortune, destruction, putrification and assertion so involving, intense, and breathless (as much from the narrative as trying to read the free-flowing, pin-wheeling, and exceedingly wordy sentences aloud to my sister) that you can't help but be drawn in. I don't see it as highly likely that even, or especially, John Kaltenbrunner's early exploits would ever be possible, but somehow, it just seems perfecly reasonable.
Explaining this book is as impossible as any of John's deeds. I suppose it's fitting that it has yet to be released in the country in which it's set.
A book for thinking people who relish the self-mocking edge of post-modernism. But if you're into the surprise twist at the ending thing, or you need to be able to identify with the book's main character/hero, look elsewhere. You have been warned...
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
original and exceptional 23 Aug. 2000
By M. W. Zeininger - Published on
Format: Paperback
This was just such an unusual and strange book. I liked how Egolf expects the reader to be intelligent and I loved how dark his comedy could get. This book was so enjoyable to me because I got to see John Kaltenbrunner dish out revenge on all of those who put him down throughout his life. It was cathartic. One of the best books I've read in my lifetime, and I'd recommend it to anyone.
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