- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Chatto & Windus (3 Mar. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 070118602X
- ISBN-13: 978-0701186029
- Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.2 x 2.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,165,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Swamplandia! Paperback – 3 Mar 2011
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"Brilliant, funny, original . . . also creepy and sinister . . . Karen Russell's Swamplandia! is every bit as good as her short stories promised it would be. This book will not leave my mind." (Stephen King)
"A wonderfully fertile novel by an unfairly talented writer." (Joseph O'Neill, author of Netherland)
"A gorgeous and wrenching portrait of sibling love in all its helpless and furious and panicked indefatigability, and of one girl's determination to do what she can to hold what's left of her family together." (Jim Shepard, author of Like You'd Understand Anyway)
"I can't recall the last time I came across a character who shines as brightly as Ava, or a first novel that made such a rich and lasting impression." (Carl Hiaasen)
"The novel is an experiment in how children’s minds comprehend loss, and Ava is a compelling guide…Russell’s strength is her use of language: each sentence is vividly rendered and the pages are as dense with images as the island is with life." (Fiona Wilson The Times)
A triumphant debut novel and follow-up to Karen Russell's universally acclaimed short story collection St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves.
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Kiwi eventually leaves and gets a job in the new amusement park in the hope of helping Chief with his finances. The Chief also goes to the mainland to make money, leaving Osceola and Ava to look after themselves which leads to trouble for both girls.
As the story progresses, you find out what happens to Kiwi and how his decision to leave his home for the mainland leads to changes in his life.
I enjoyed 'Swamplandia!', Ava is a strong character who wants to keep her family and their business going whilst coming to terms with the loss of her mother. What happens to all of her characters helps to face their loss, to move on.
'Swamplandia!' is a interesting story with memorable characters, the downside about the story I felt was that it was quirky for the sake of being quirky which the story did not need because it is a strong story, there is also a part which I knew was going to happen and it was sad to read.
A interesting story about family.
This book was one of the best I read last year. Russell masterfully mixes fantasy, fact, sparkling dialogue, folklore, and history to create a fantastic and wonderful world, whose shadows hold something rather menacing and ominous. Sometimes writers become so engaged in creating living and breathing worlds in their books, that they often forget about the characters which inhabit it - but not here. Swamplandia's Ava is a joy of a character, and I instantly warmed to her: strong, big-hearted, and trying her best to grow-up in a world of deceased mothers, ghosts, red alligators, and eccentric (unhinged) relatives.
Tragic and uplifting, often hilarious (I really enjoyed the World of Darkness bits), and bursting with colour, life, and imagination. I can't wait to see what HBO do with it!
A brilliant book. I just want more and I want it immediately please.
I would recommend it to anyone, and really hope it does well in the Orange Prize - it deserves it.
EDIT: it's been five years since I wrote this review and the Bigtrees are still stuck in my head. Every time my eyes land on the spine of this book on my shelf I remember that terrifying boat ride at midnight. I think I'm going back to the swamp again.
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