Archive for the ‘Florida’ Category
I have long been an admirer or Russell Banks’ work. This collection of short stories is excellent and many of them kept me riveted for the duration. The collection consists of twelve stories, most of them about the families we have and the families we make. Others are about the figments of truth that make up our experiences while we decide what is worth believing and what is not. The stories take place in different geographic settings from Florida to upstate New York to Portland, Oregon.
THE CONSUMMATA finds Morgan the Raider on the run in Miamiâ€™s Little Havana and being chased by â€śfederal suitsâ€ť teamed with â€ślocal fuzzâ€ť who think he has 40 million dollars in stolen funds. With no place to hide, the chase seems to be coming to its inevitable conclusion, but suddenly Morgan finds himself snatched and hidden from the feds by some of Little Havanaâ€™s Cuban community.
The main character of Banksâ€™ new novel, a twenty-two-year-old registered sex offender in South Florida known only as â€śthe Kid,â€ť may initially repel readers. The Kid is recently out of jail and on ten-year probation in fictional Calusa County, and is required to wear a GPS for soliciting sex from an underage girl. Ironically, he is still a virgin.
The Kid cannot leave the county, but he also cannot reside within 2,500 feet from any place children would congregate. That leaves three optionsâ€”the swamplands, the airport area, or the Causeway. He chooses the Causeway and meets other sex offenders, a seriously motley crew, who consciously isolate from each other as a group. He befriends one old man, the Rabbit, but sticks to his tent, his bicycle, and his alligator-size pet iguana, Iggy. Later, he procures a Bible.
BIRDS OF PARADISE by Diana Abu-Jaber is a richly layered and beautifully written novel. It is akin to an archeological dig â€“ each layer uncovering unexpected treasures. The book begins five years before Hurricane Katrina hit and ends during its aftermath.
In her hotly-anticipated debut novel, SWAMPLANDIA!, Karen Russell returns to the mosquito-droves and muggy-haze of the Florida Everglades and the gator-themed amusement park featured in her short story, â€śAva Wrestles the Alligator,â€ť that opened her widely-praised 2006 collection, ST. LUCY’S HOME FOR GIRLS RAISED BY WOLVES. It was that collection, with its exuberant mix of satire and fabulism, that secured Russellâ€™s reputation as one of the most exciting up-and-comers around and earned her a coveted spot on The New Yorkerâ€™s much buzzed about â€ś20 under 40â€ť list last fall. With her energetic prose, quirky settings, and fantastical plots, Russell is a writerâ€™s whose style forces you to sit up and take notice, sometimes at the cost of emotional involvement with her work. However, Swamplandia!, with all its flashing-neon prose is an insightful (and surprisingly funny) exploration of the loss of innocence that inevitably follows the death of a parent.
February 2, 2011
Â· Judi Clark Â· 3 Comments
Tags: brother-sister, carnival, Knopf, Loss, Magical Realism, Quirky, Sisters Â· Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Coming-of-Age, Contemporary, Family Matters, Florida, Humorous, Unique Narrative
In Korytaâ€™s latest thriller – noir with a twist of the supernatural – itâ€™s late summer 1935 and a group of hard-bitten WWI veterans and one talented 19-year-old are headed for the Florida Keys to build a highway bridge.
January 24, 2011
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: 1930s, Gothic, Hurricane, Michael Koryta, Real Event Fiction, Supernatural Â· Posted in: Facing History, Florida, Mystery/Suspense, Noir, Thriller/Spy/Caper