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The Country of Ice Cream Star by [Newman, Sandra]
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The Country of Ice Cream Star Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Length: 642 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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What an astonishing achievement I can t remember when I last read something so original or sophisticated or emotionally engaging or so breathtakingly ambitious. --Kate Atkinson, author of "Life After Life""

A richly detailed dystopian epic This suspenseful, provocative tale is The Hunger Games meets Lord of the Flies and The Walking Dead, only much, much better. --Booklist (starred review)"

Newman s novel is ambitious, taking on race, sex, class, religion, politics, and war all at once. What sets the work apart is its unapologetic narrator, whose fantastically unbridled, wholly teenage point of view renders each page a pleasure to read. --Publishers Weekly (starred review)"

A treat, full of supple metaphors and rhythmic lyricism This is an obvious candidate for Hunger Games-hungry Hollywood to pluck out the linguistic heart that makes it special. Take a look before that happens. --Daily Telegraph (London)"

Stylish and accomplished --The Independent on Sunday"

What sets [this book] apart from its rivals is the extraordinary, blistering insistence of its language...As the momentum builds... raw, addictive lyricism develops...By the last page I was emotionally battered but euphoric: the book had held me so effectively hostage that I felt I had Stockholm syndrome. --The Guardian"

As inventive as it is captivating --Independent"

Entertains with its relentless energy and wild inventiveness --The Times (London)"

A brave new/old world that delivers on multiple levels, especially Ice Cream Star s alluring language --The Observer"

An extraordinary dystopian novel, fizzing with energy and linguistic inventiveness --Scotsman"

Eighty years in the future, a plague kills everyone 20 and older. Now the world is run by children who must do the impossible: find a cure, stay alive, and (as far as we re concerned) reanimate the dystopia genre. --O, the Oprah Magazine, Ten Titles to Pick Up Now"

Probably the Next "Divergent" The unique dialogue (there s no adults to teach them proper English, after all) and quick pacing make it an engrossing, thrilling read. --Self"

A dystopian thriller set in the aftermath of a plague that kills those over the age of 20. When 15-year-old Ice Cream Star s brother begins to show symptoms of the disease, she embarks on a dangerous journey for the rumored cure. --Buzzfeed, 27 Of The Most Exciting New Books Of 2015"

Sandra Newman s novel "The Country of Ice Cream Star"makes the Hunger Games seem wimpy. --Wall Street Journal, Speakeasy"

[W]hat makes the novel so fascinating - and, yes, so challenging - is the language Newman has created for Ice Cream and the way we see this disease-ravaged world through her eyes. --Washington Post"

It s a remarkable creation, an approximation of an English whose evolution failed to be nurtured past adolescence and then ossified with new rules and structure in place. --The Onion, A.V. Club"

[H]aunting and heartbreaking...this is an epic about love and hope that will inspire--and probably be screening at a movie theater near you in the next few years. --VanityFair.com"

A bold, linguistically adventurous dystopia... historically and politically compelling in its view of a future haunted by disease and death. Yet Newman manages to imbue her heroine with a hope and resiliency that will surpass the ravages of a woebegone time.--Shelf Awareness"

The voice Newman has created is bold and lyrical and, better still, complete - belonging to her pulp universe alone... I have almost never seen an equal to the beauty she finds in words...I hear more Shakespeare in Ice Cream s cadence than I do anything else. --NPR"

There s so much compacted into [Ice Cream Star] that narrowing it down to just one element is impossible. Yet in any description of the book, one thing must be made clear: that Ice Cream Star, despite its post-apocalyptic setting, is not your typical dystopia. It s so, so much scarier. --Bustle.com"

"The Country of Ice Cream Star" is a bold, ballsy, ambitious novel that will get you thinking (and talking) differently about literature and the world. --Tweed's"

[An] incredibly ambitious linguistic undertaking, yet Newman manages to maintain the consistency of this dialect over the novel s nearly 600 pages. Even more impressively, after only a few pages the language begins to seem natural and... reveals its potential to be intensely lyrical and expressive. --Harvard Crimson"

"The Country of Ice Cream Star" is in many ways a classic story, craftily refold and made contemporary "The Country of Ice Cream Star" builds towards a powerful, horrifying, and beautifully-written climax, one that s epic in scope but also feels intensely personal. --New York Times Book Review"

["The Country of Ice Cream Star"] weaves geography, race, gender, sexuality, and religion into a gripping narrative... the complexity of the story and the larger questions it raises about the inherently violent and self-serving nature of mankind linger long after the final page. --Bust Magazine"

"The Country of Ice Cream Star" is fresh, dark, and wholly unpredictable at every turn. Let the film rights bidding war begin. --Daily Beast"

This remains one of the most beautiful books I have read this year - the one I champion everywhere. --NPR, Best Books of 2015"

Written in a post-apocalyptic patois, Newman s... haunting story makes us confront the undeniable fact that the citizens of the future will be forced to repeat the history we re making today, Andrew Ervin said here. --New York Times Book Review, Paperback Row"

This heartfelt, compelling tale of a post-apocalyptic world populated by young people is challenging to get through--partly because of the unusual hybrid language used throughout--but readers who persevere will be richly rewarded. --Washington Independent Review of Books, 13 Best Books of the Year"

Newman s richly imagined future world is inhabited almost entirely by African American children and teens who are immune to a deadly virus--and whose complex, slang-evolved patois makes this sweeping epic both fascinating and challenging to read. --Washington Post, Notable Fiction Books of 2015"

A little like Hanya Yanigihara s A Little Life, this is a big book that, while not always an easy read, immerses you in its world in a way that s not easily forgotten. --Slate, The Overlooked Books of 2015"

The post-apocalyptic trend is going strong, and Country of Ice Cream Star is one of the most original spins on the disaster-obsessed subgenre. --Minnesota Public Radio, MPR News, Top Fiction Picks of 2015"

When Newman s novel hit shelves earlier this year it seemed destined to dominate the conversation due to her masterful work capturing the titular character s unique voice... If you re looking for a dystopian SF novel unlike anything else, this is the one. --Barnes & Noble, Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog, 7 Unjustly Overlooked 2015 SF/F Books"

In this haunting novel s postapocalyptic world, a plague kills everyone before they reach age 20. Fifteen-year-old Ice Cream Star sets out to change that. --People, New in Paperback"

This literary dystopia inhabits a fully imagined, remarkably inventive universe with its own bizarre rituals and language... the patient reader will be intrigued by the poetic prose and captivated by the exploits of Ice Cream Star. --Library Journal"

Newman s story is inventive, her characters memorable Praiseworthy for its solid efforts at worldbuilding --Speakeasy, Wall Street Journal"

Book Description

Meet Ice Cream Star: the spirited fifteen-year-old heroine of this mind-poppingly inventive post-apocalyptic adventure story and parable of modern America

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2135 KB
  • Print Length: 642 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (19 May 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #147,153 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Mar. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ice Cream Star is a 15 year old girl, living an outlaw life in post-Apocalyptic Massachusetts. She lives in a tribal world divided mostly, it seems, on ethnic grounds. Whilst Ice Cream and her band of outlaws scavenge the leftovers from the old world (the world of the Sleepers), other tribes seem to have a better life.

One of the first things to have been lost, it seems, is the power of language. Ice Cream narrates in the patois of her tribe, a mostly monosyllabic language owing a debt to her tribe’s African American heritage, and perhaps a dose of French Creole. Hence, good becomes bone; pretty becomes bell; and bad becomes mally. It takes a bit of getting used to bit it is not rocket science. Other tribes have different idiom and one, the Marianos – residents of the former New York City of Hispanic heritage – speak in our own language. We, as bright readers, can understand both dialects whilst Ice Cream struggles. She makes up for this, however, with unexplained competence in “rooish”.

Ice Cream’s world is at war; it has been for ever although it is never quite clear why. It certainly doesn’t seem to be a battle for scarce resources or strategic territory. It just seems to be war for its own sake,

Oh, and Ice Cream’s world is dominated by a disease, the posies, that kills everyone once they reach the age of 18-20. Much of this very long novel is a quest for the cure.

The novel comes with a heap of good reviews and has been long-listed for the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction. The language, certainly, is inventive. Howeverm it is written almost entirely in some kind of iambic meter that has a hypnotising effect, leading to long tracts being read on autopilot without any meaning being taken in.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't go on. I've reached page 360 and I'm throwing in the towel. What began as a compelling, addictive read has become a ridiculous bit of desperation to fill up 630 pages. For the first 200 pages, I was gripped. I enjoyed the rhythm and challenge of the patois even though at times it did detract from the development of the plot - which probably would have been more gripping without the dialect. But now - oh, the disappointment! I've become bored by this novel that had so much promise. It feels like it is written by a small child grabbing at ideas that don't seem to tally. Life is short. Alas I need to turn my attentions elsewhere. I am slightly incredulous as to how this made it to the Baileys prize longlist. Good luck all you readers out there.
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A very solid work with great characterisation. I've never been a fan of invented languages as plot device, I find them more of a barrier than any benefit provided in evoking a world or culture, however the "corrupted english" dialect used here wasn't over done and became less obtrusive as the book progressed.

Well worth reading.
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Well, I gather the reviews have been mixed, but I loved it. The dialogue rang true and I found myself 'learning' it as I went along. A page turner, evokative, and an interesting foray into possible post-apocolypic tribes/mentalities. Agree that the ending could have been stronger, but gripped throughout.
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Wow, where do I start with this book. I thought it was pretty wonderful. It's set in a post apocalyptic America, about 80 years after a virus has wiped out most of the population. The people who are left behind are all black and all children, dying of 'posies' before they reach their 20s. Ice Cream Star is 15 and part of community called Sengals. They hunt and live in the Messa woods, and search old 'evac' houses for clothing and supplies. The amazing thing about this book is that Sandra Newman has created a language, a kind of English dialect, which at first is a little jarring, but soon easy to understand. A few chapters in and my own thoughts were in Ice Cream's language. And it was really hard to shake it after I'd finished. So a pretty immersive read. It's a long book, and so took me a long time to read, but it was well worth it. Ice Cream is a brilliant strong character and leads the story of this unsettling world, through capture, becoming a Queen, and Russian invasion, always looking to do the "right" thing.

“I know, ain't evils in no life nor cruelties in no red hell can change the vally heart of Ice Cream Star.”
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It's not often I wish Amazon allowed the award of six stars. This is one of those books. I'd award it maximum points for its use of language alone: Ice Cream Star speaks to us in a patois of childspeak, mutated grammar and sophisticated reasoning that is compelling to read. She has a unique voice.

The story itself is a beautifully written realisation of a harsh, unforgiving world. It is full of hardship and misery, and the kinds of half-baked systems that you would expect to be invented by children left in charge of their own future. The plot is horrifyingly plausible: a brilliantly realised dystopian vision, with Ice Cream Star front and centre; a reluctant heroine we cannot help but love.

I can only wish to write with such facility. I confidently predict that this book is going to soar.
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