Book Review – Where the Crawdads Sing
Friday September 27, 2019 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | Novel Review | Leave Comments
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I just finished reading Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. It is a murder mystery that is wrapped in a story about nature and female empowerment. The protagonist is a young woman who grows up in abject poverty, living in the marshlands of coastal North Carolina. One by one her family abandons her because of her worthless abusive father. He drives them all away until in the end only she is left. She learns barely enough to survive on her own before her father abandons her as well.
The story alternates between two timelines separated initially by seventeen years and they slowly intersect as Kya grows up. The murder timeline is set in rural 1969 Barkley Cove, North Carolina. One of the town peacocks, former football star, Chase Andrews, has fallen off a tower with no solid evidence as to how, but the town sheriff thinks something nefarious has happened, due to the lack of fingerprints or footprints in the marshy land.
We learn a lot about the marsh and how Kya survives, but also how profoundly lonely she is through much of her teens and early twenties. This part was not a hard slog, but it was uncomfortable to see her living in these conditions and very few willing to help her.
The writing is colorful and despite a lot of detail, Owens holds my attention. We pity the young woman, but I didn’t have any real emotional moments until the end of the book. The courtroom drama is well done and the verdict brings all the emotions into a rolling boil.
I won’t spoil the finish, but suffice to say it is not a run of the mill ending. It was satisfying.
Another thing to mention is the poetry that is sprinkled in. It is wonderful and stark and extraordinary. I am not a poetry aficionado, but the poems really struck a chord with me, enough that I wanted to look up the writer. I would buy a book of poetry by her. In actually I already did. I will leave that for you to puzzle out.
The finish is so strong that I can give this book my recommendation.
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Book Review: Alien III by William Gibson
Monday July 22, 2019 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | Blogging | Leave Comments
I am a huge William Gibson fan, and when I heard that his original screenplay for Aliens 3 was going to be made into a comic book I jumped all over it. Then they went and made an audiobook. I just listened to Alien III on Audible. But this was more than an audiobook, it was an audioplay with all the different roles portrayed by voice actors, including Michael Biehn and Lance Hendrickson reprising their original characters. It had sound effects to boot. It was basically a movie without the visuals. This was a redux of the original script that Gibson wrote in 1987, but was never made. It picks up right where Aliens left off. The big beef is it does not focus on Ripley. She is in it briefly, but that was at the behest of the studio. Not sure why. It expands on the politics of the Alien universe and still has all the thriller moments you expect from an Alien story. The presentation is fantastic. And it is an easy listen at only 2 hours and 16 minutes. It’s an Audible original and was a free download. Not sure how long that will last. I highly recommend it!Read More
Book Review: Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues by Molly Harper
Monday July 8, 2019 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | Blogging | Leave Comments
Molly Harper joined the MFA program I graduated from. She came in already with several series published. I saw this book on Audible as a free download and decided to check it out. It is a novella set in her Mystic Bayou series. It's just a taste, but oh so good. It is a wonderful story and laugh out loud funny in parts. The characters are unique and interesting and her vision of tree nymphs was very cool. Molly's voice is wonderful and this worked as planned because I am going to buy her other books now. I highly recommend! Even Tree Nymphs Get the BluesRead More
Review of Steel Victory by J. L. Gribble
Saturday November 14, 2015 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | Novel Review | Leave Comments
Review – On Writing by Stephen King
Friday October 17, 2014 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | Novel Review | Leave Comments
Pimping a book: Lexicon by Max Barry
Tuesday July 2, 2013 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | Novel Review | Leave Comments
I just finished the audiobook version of Lexicon by Max Barry. It made my drive to Pennsylvania for the next residency in my MFA program a riveting adventure instead of drudgery. I’ve been a Max Barry fan since he was Maxx Barry. I loved Jennifer Government, and I’ve made it a point to read every book he’s written. Max’s infectious, dark humor has always been a hallmark of his work, but the tone of Lexicon surprised me. It feels like an older, more mature brother of his other works. It’s a blisteringly brilliant book. I was a fan before this novel came out but this new book puts Max into a different tier. Be careful…reading Lexicon will compromise you, turning you into one of his proselytes for this heart-stopping thriller. It’s a profoundly intelligent tale that covers a global conspiracy to use words as keys to unlock the human mind. (more…)Read More