Archive for the ‘Allegory/Fable’ Category

THE ILLUMINATION by Kevin Brockmeier

Many believe that in today’s tortured times, humanity is mortally wounded. What if our pain manifested itself as visible light, and what if that pain was the most beautiful thing about us? What if the pain would cease and the light would radiate from us all?

In Kevin Brockmeier’s incandescent novel, his characters struggle to adapt to a new way of experiencing pain and loss and indeed, life itself. The author employs overlapping, fable-like narratives starting with Carol Ann whole life “seemed like one long litany of wounds.” Carol Ann had “known days of happiness and beauty, rate moments of motionless wonder, but trying to relive them was like looking out the window at night from a partially lit room.”

February 3, 2011 · Judi Clark · One Comment
Tags:  · Posted in: Allegory/Fable, Contemporary, Reading Guide, Speculative (Beyond Reality)


In the snow-encrusted archipelago of St. Hauda’s Land, moth-winged bulls and a creature that can turn things white with her gaze share an island with more human lives: people who lose love as quickly as they gain it and who must struggle with the baggage of the past.

November 1, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Allegory/Fable, Contemporary, Debut Novel, Speculative (Beyond Reality), United Kingdom


What is the relationship between persecutors and their victims? In THE DEATH OF THE ADVERSARY – poised on the brink of what soon will be one of the world’s most horrific tragedies – an unnamed narrator in an unnamed country reflects on an unnamed figure who will soon ascend to power. Although the figure (“B”) is never revealed, it soon becomes obvious that he is Hitler and that the narrator is of Jewish descent.

October 22, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Allegory/Fable, Classic, Facing History, Germany, World Lit

BRODECK by Philippe Claudel

There are many reasons we read: for enlightenment, escape, education, and in some rare instances, to confront ourselves with truths and insights we never would have encountered otherwise.

BRODECK is one of those rare instances. It is, quite simply, one of the best contemporary books I have ever read. And I have read a lot.

August 10, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Allegory/Fable, Literary, Translated, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

INFINITE JEST by David Foster Wallace

I’ve thought a great deal about this review, since beginning the book, in fact. (I wonder if even the word “review” is the right one. A review implies more than I think I can deliver.) This is no ordinary book and writing about it is not a normal experience. This book is big and thick and juicy and full of complexities, ripe with humor and allusion, digressions and insights. For this reader, it is the book of a dream. I mean that in two ways…

May 12, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Allegory/Fable, Classic, Contemporary, Humorous, Reading Guide, Scifi, Unique Narrative

BABA YAGA LAID AN EGG by Dubravka Ugresic

Baba Yaga is a star player in Eastern European myths. The Russian version involves a crackly old witch ready to spark terror in children’s hearts. Croatian author Dubravka Ugresic, in her wonderful book, BABA YAGA LAID AND EGG, lays out modern-day interpretations of this age-old myth. These “witches,” Ugresic tells us, are all around us—old women limbs curling from arthritis, shuffling along, waiting, pondering the end of their lives. The book is laid out in three sections—each a different take on the myth.

February 3, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Allegory/Fable, Croatia, End-of-Life, James Tiptree Winner, Literary, Russia, Translated, World Lit