The River King
Like Ishmael, the narrator of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, the omniscient teller of Alice Hoffman's The River King has a profound affinity for water. Unlike Ishmael, whose story ends tragically, this narrator, and we, her readers, find in the water's depths the perfect metaphor for the rushing currents of life. For this reason, water is everywhere in
THE RIVER KING certainly starts out in the same way though this one dark, lots of rain, twigs breaking, howling wind. Something crappy is going to happen. She lets us know in her own unique way. and so it does. And no pun intended, that is surely the case with what occurs to Gus.
I wish I could divide the book into two scores becau ...more
I think that is why "The River King" made such a strong impact on me. It haunts me. It is an extreme rarity that something I am reading can disturb me so much that I need to put it down for a few moments before I can bear to continue. With "The River ...more
This book centers around a boarding school in New England, a quiet one where the "rich kids" are sent and silently scorned by the townies. When a young boy is found d ...more
And magical realism doesn't mean making sh*t up. There are no badgers in Massachusetts (can't find the ...more
Based on other reviews it ...more
Carlin, a poor young (but of course, beautiful!) teen, lands a scholarship to the prestigious Haddan School through her determination and swimming abilibity. Haddan is a small boarding school for the elite families of the east coast and outsiders are definitely not welcome. She befriends Gus, a charmingly ...more
(p. 22) "She (Carlin) had swamp dust on her feet and nicotine stains on her fingers, and came from a universe of hash and eggs and broken promises, a place where a women quickly learned that there was no point in crying over spilled milk or bruises left by some man who claimed to love a little too hard or too much."
(p. 128): "Indian summer cme to Haddan in the middle of the night when no one was watching, when people were safely asleep in their beds. Before dawn mist ...more
I almost put it down several times (it took me weeks to read, instead of my usual couple/few days) but the potential resolution of the story kept me interested. just not my cup of tea, I think ...more
"Long after Dr. Jones had completed his lecture, people were still collecting Betsy's personal belongings from beneath their chairs, holding up items to the filtered light as though studying foreign and mysterious artifacts, when in fact all they'd gotten hold of was a notepad or a vial of sleeping pills or a tube of hand cream."
"A chill had passed across her back as she stepped over the threshold, the c ...more
Also, because I'm a football fan, I have to point out that the characters supposedly have dessert on Thanksgiving Day just as the third nationally televised football game is kicking off, but when this book was released, there were only two games played on Thanksgiving, both of which were nationally televised (always the Cowboys in one game, the Lions in another). The third Thanksgiving Day game wasn't added unt ...more
The River King took awhile for me to get into. At first the characters didn't interest me. I didn't care about the ghost story, the deceased horrible professor and his wife that never ran away (but should have), and all the crotchety adults that seemed to settle for their unhappy lives in a desolate town at an eerie boarding school. Even Betsy, whom I like and seemingly gets the attention of the entire town still didn't do anything for me.
Then I was introduced to Gus and Carlin, two teenagers th ...more
Little Free Library Find (my neighborhood is FULL of them which is a great joy!)
This was an intriguing book with a little of everything in it. Ghostly, friendships, eccentricity, love, mystery, wonderment!
The main story revolves around the death of a boy at a private boarding school in New E ...more
Small annoyances: I think that the writing was overwrought at times, which was distracting - like the author was working too hard on making everything sound "beautiful" when she could say it more clearly, and there were too many one-paragraph side stor ...more