Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Family Life” as Want to Read:
Family Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Family Life

3.24  ·  Rating Details ·  89 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
In Family Life, Russell Banks' first novel, he transforms the dramas of domesticity into the story of a royal family in a mythical contemporary kingdom. Life inside this kingdom includes the king (dubbed "the Hearty" or "the Bluff"), who squeals angrily as is his wont; the queen, who, while pondering the mirror in her chambers, decides to write a book; three adolescent pri ...more
ebook, 144 pages
Published November 22nd 2011 by Harper Perennial (first published August 1st 1987)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Family Life, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Family Life

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 157)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Phyllis
I checked the book's back cover after starting to read it and discovered it is Russell Banks's first novel. The copyright is 1974. I found the novel an odd piece of work, but as a writer, I liked the quirky structure - a very brave feat to endeavor. In the middle of the book, a section or chapter consists of a novel written by one of the characters. The book has the same number of characters in a "family" in each section or chapter, but sometimes they have different names and are in different lo ...more
Brandt
Aug 05, 2015 Brandt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
While notable as being Banks first novel/novella, it's a book with an interesting concept that is poorly executed. By trying to superimpose a contemporary family over the top of a medieval/feudal setting, the characters come across as wooden and uninteresting. This may come as a shock to fans of Banks, who is a master at exploring interpersonal relationships in novels like The Sweet Hereafter and Affliction.

I'm currently trying to read all of Banks work in the order he released it (currently re
...more
Alex
Feb 22, 2014 Alex rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Very obviously the work of a young man, who tries desperately to be quirky and edgy. Reads a little like Donald Barthelme - at his worst.
Lynn
Mar 27, 2011 Lynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't get what this book was about. I felt like it had to be an allegory, but of what? Strange, unsettling, oddly beautiful, but not the type of book you recommend or wish to read again or even to spend much time contemplating. It's all sex and violence and fanciful until toward the end, when it becomes surprisingly mundane. One of the strangest books I've ever read, from one of the last authors I would have expected to stray so far from realism. What to make o ...more
Evan
I feel like there is a Rosetta stone out there that will explain this book. It's about Vietnam. But it's also a fairy tale. and it's also crazy. It also doesn't read like ANYTHING else Banks has written.
Ronald Wilcox
First novel by Banks. Story of a king and queen and their three princes that is very surrealistic. Interesting and looking forward to reading others by the author.
Tanya
Apr 18, 2009 Tanya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strange, analogy (in a fairy tale), parallel story where two stories are one. Essentially about a husband and wife and their lives separately and together.
Jennifer
Oct 04, 2008 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny, weird, and unlike anything else I've read. Seems to be the precursor to some more recent experimental fiction.
Alice
Feb 27, 2012 Alice rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
allegory?
rewrite of Odyssess
Brent
Jan 29, 2013 Brent rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not his best.
BookDB
BookDB marked it as to-read
Sep 19, 2016
Dave Alluisi
Dave Alluisi rated it liked it
Aug 02, 2016
Jaqi
Jaqi marked it as to-read
Jun 17, 2016
Laura
Laura rated it it was ok
May 17, 2016
James M
James M rated it liked it
May 10, 2016
Kelly
Kelly marked it as to-read
Apr 21, 2016
Sheri
Sheri marked it as to-read
Apr 19, 2016
T.
T. marked it as to-read
Mar 29, 2016
Gregory Dilcox
Gregory Dilcox is currently reading it
Feb 24, 2016
Isaac Birchmier
Isaac Birchmier rated it really liked it
Jul 13, 2016
Kathryn Hawkins
Kathryn Hawkins marked it as to-read
Dec 26, 2015
Lauren
Lauren marked it as to-read
Nov 25, 2015
Chris Grawl
Chris Grawl rated it liked it
Nov 23, 2015
Brian
Brian rated it did not like it
Oct 13, 2015
Iris Iris
Iris Iris marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2015
Pamela Collins
Pamela Collins marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2015
John
John added it
Jun 24, 2015
Charlie
Charlie rated it did not like it
Jun 11, 2015
Nikki Dubert
Nikki Dubert is currently reading it
May 26, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
15128
Russell Banks is a member of the International Parliament of Writers and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been translated into twenty languages and has received numerous international prizes and awards. He has written fiction, and more recently, non-fiction, with Dreaming up America. His main works include the novels Continental Drift, Rule of the Bone, Cloudsplit ...more
More about Russell Banks...

Share This Book



No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »