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Why the Tree Loves the Ax
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Why the Tree Loves the Ax

3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  161 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Readers of Denis Johnson, David Foster Wallace, Mary Gaitskill, Susanna Moore, and other contemporary fiction writers will welcome this haunting novel about a 27-year-old woman who flees her failed marriage only to find herself involved in a perplexing spiral of murder, counterfeit, and false identity.
Hardcover, 276 pages
Published January 27th 1998 by Crown
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 267)
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Lora Shouse
Jul 25, 2015 Lora Shouse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
About midway through with this book I was starting to get sort of irritated at it. Mostly through the style of the narration (because only a few of the events related are actually improbable in themselves) it was beginning to look like a) either the whole thing was a dream or some sort of drug trip, or possibly a drug-influenced dream or b) it was going to turn out that the person who intermittently poses questions throughout the book was some sort of mental health professional and the narrator ...more
Melissa
Jul 29, 2008 Melissa rated it really liked it
The four stars represent my appreciation and respect for the work and the author rather than my enjoyment level. Felt like I was reading an undiscovered classic. I am haunted by the story as if it were a strange dream.
Lucie
May 12, 2009 Lucie rated it really liked it
worth reading just for the dear sweet prose. an outstanding writer! even if some of the story is a little muddled, this is a really enjoyable & riveting book.
Braden Canfield
Nov 22, 2009 Braden Canfield rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
I picked this up, loved the first line of the book and read it. Not my usual fare but was quite mesmerizing.
Siobhan
Strange little novel
Becky Everhart
Jan 08, 2010 Becky Everhart rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chick-lit
I really enjoyed this book for the most part. The action is dreamlike, the characters comfortable in their surroundings to act as they must. the storyline did not seem forced or predictable. Again and again, I found myself surprised that a man could write as a woman so well. The untrustworthy narrator technique played games with my head just as it was intended to without revoking itself at the end. It was fitting that she did not always know what happened, how, or why.

What I disliked was how the
...more
Chana
The main character is telling her story to someone who prompts her with the occasional question or suggestion, like "what do you mean?" or "why not just begin".
But she seems so whacked. I assumed she was incarcerated either in a mental institution or a jail and was telling her story to a psychiatrist. I assumed she was schizophrenic.
The story she tells is outlandish, you never know when to believe her or not, she is childish, manipulative, cunning and vulgar. Nevertheless, she also makes you lik
...more
Lori
Dec 07, 2011 Lori rated it it was amazing
I don't know if I ever figured out what was real and what wasn't, but that made me love this novel all the more. It was dark and disturbing and yet still absurdly funny and pure poetry. In so many ways it reminded me of Michael Cunningham's writing, only better because it's wilder and more tangled and far more real in its unreality. I enjoyed the writing tremendously and I am always enamored of men who can write a female point of view that's so strong and so true. I loved it. This is the kind of ...more
Julie
Mar 10, 2012 Julie rated it liked it
The storyline was good—a woman awakens in a hospital in Sugartown, Texas, after a car crash. She begins to remember things from her past. After working in a nursing home and receiving a package from a difficult old man to deliver to men in upstate New York, she begins retracing the steps of her past and also starts a new chapter in her life. However, the writing style was an obstacle for me. It was so odd, that at times it seemed like the woman was thinking in a totally altered state, which was ...more
Lela
Jun 21, 2014 Lela rated it really liked it
A perfect dream.
Jess
Nov 10, 2009 Jess rated it did not like it
Shelves: book-club
I didn't like the way the book was written, and I found it difficult to read. It was like someone's stream of consciousness, and I found it hard to follow. There was a lot of re-reading sentences and starting over, and it wasn't enjoyable.
I actually didn't finish the book, but rather had a friend who had read it tell me how it ended. After hearing the end, and my friend's opinions on the book, I decided to save myself some time and move on to my next read.
Lauren
Aug 03, 2011 Lauren rated it it was amazing
If you read "Sister" and liked it, prepare to absolutely love "Why the Tree Loves the Ax." This book begins and end in a way that blindsides you. The novel itself is a compulsive read, that sweeps you away from the very first page until the book is finished. The final lines leave you hungry for more, as is true with Lewis' previous book "Sister." This novel is something out of the ordinary and there is quite a bit to be found in its pages.
Danielle
Feb 20, 2009 Danielle rated it did not like it
I confess I only made it to page 72 of this book and then I started skipping pages. Then I just quit it altogether. The person in the story is clearly mentally imbalanced and I kept wondering what was going on. All the conversations in the book were written from an "intorspective" point of view making it hard to follow. It is almost like she is discussing her life with a therapist but only in her head. Couldn't take anymore.
Allison
Aug 06, 2010 Allison rated it liked it
Recommended by a friend--I liked it. It was a pretty fast read (not to be confused with an "easy" read--enough uncomfortable stuff for that not to be the case), and the author does a good job using a woman's voice. I found the ending a bit abrupt for my taste, but not bad by any means.
Hilary
Mar 18, 2010 Hilary rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I loved this book. It might have been where I was in my life. Some great lines though: "ok, you're right, he admitted. The truth is, since I was young all I've ever wanted to do was to make a revolution so subtle that no one ever noticed it".
Jocelyn
Feb 19, 2014 Jocelyn rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this. Amazing writing, a very very different book.
Melissa Shelley
Oct 17, 2009 Melissa Shelley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed his writing style, and appreciated new techniques (like weaving dreams into past and present), but the story fell flat and left me wondering what else I could have spent my time on. Not worth it.
Tom
Jun 24, 2012 Tom rated it liked it
Odd read. Is the writer thinking or actually speaking words?! No " " anywhere!
Randa
Aug 03, 2008 Randa rated it really liked it
A woman in TX goes crazy...this book rocks.
Wendy
Oct 27, 2011 Wendy rated it liked it
Hum drum, clever ending.
Tammra
Feb 26, 2008 Tammra rated it did not like it
Shelves: adult-fiction
Didn't care for it at all.
Jerralyn
Jerralyn marked it as to-read
Sep 20, 2016
Kylie Kitchens
Kylie Kitchens rated it really liked it
Sep 17, 2016
BookDB
BookDB marked it as to-read
Sep 16, 2016
Joe
Joe rated it really liked it
Sep 10, 2016
Kelly Anastasi
Kelly Anastasi marked it as to-read
Aug 11, 2016
Nathan
Nathan marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2016
Matt Faisetty
Matt Faisetty marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2016
Mark
Mark marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2016
Megan Rogers
Megan Rogers marked it as to-read
May 09, 2016
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Jim Lewis, born 1963 in Cleveland, Ohio, is an American novelist. Soon after he was born, his family moved to New York; there, and in London, he was raised. He received a degree in philosophy from Brown University in 1984, and an M.A. in the same subject from Columbia University, before deciding to leave academia.

Since then, he has published three novels, Sister (published by Graywolf in 1993), Wh
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More about Jim Lewis...

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