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The Tide King
Jen Michalski
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The Tide King

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  47 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Stanley Polensky and Calvin Johnson serve in Germany during World War II. Calvin, near death after being shelled, is given a bewitched herb by Stanley but then left for dead. Each soldier returns from the war and years pass. Calvin, discovering that he cannot age and cannot die, searches for Stanley to get answers.

Michalski's The Tide King is the story of burnette saxifrag...more
Paperback, 525 pages
Published July 30th 2013 by Black Lawrence Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Black Lawrence Press published THE TIDE KING by Jen Michalski, a well-published veteran of the small press world, which I review for The Small Press Book Review.

Rating: 3.5* of five

The Publisher Says: Stanley Polensky and Calvin Johnson serve in Germany during World War II. Calvin, near death after being shelled, is given a bewitched herb by Stanley but then left for dead. Each soldier returns from the war and years pass. Calvin, discovering that he cannot age and cannot die, searches for Stanle...more
Melanie Page
The Tide King by Jen Michalski
Black Lawrence Press, 2013
361 pages
$19.95 (paperback)
Recommended for: Novel lovers, small press addicts, and mainstream fiction lovers; those who like reading about WWII, being immortal, "witch craft," country music, forest fires, and romantic relationships.

I start with my admissions: I write book reviews regularly for Jen Michalski at JMWW and I've reviewed her other works, the collection Close Encounters and, more recently, Could You Be With Her Now (two novellas...more
Michalski handles the themes of loss and being lost in life wonderfully in this powerful novel. The characters are vivid, the story fills you with the urgent need to know what is going to happen, and the words move the reader. I was fond of Mickalski's writing before this, but this book is something else above and beyond. In short, this book resonates.
Bud Smith
Stanley Polinsky carries a Tom Swift novel in his pack as he marches trough war-torn WII Europe with his companion, Calvin Johnson who constantly ribs him about it. Carrying a book, while simultaneously engaged in combat with the Nazi seems absurd.
When Stanley explains that the book was read to him as a child, and it's about a magical item called The alamantium lamp, an invention that can raise the dead and heal any wound, the Tom Swift novel within this novel reveals itself, and serves as an a...more
The book that made Jen Michalski a verifiable "real deal." Not that her other work isn't great--it is. But none of it is as ambitious, as confident, or maybe even as accessible, as The Tide King. There is something in this novel for most readers; there's a love story, magical realism, historical fiction. Excellent and exciting work!
A hugely original, compelling, vividly told story. Highly recommended.
I won and received this book for free through the GoodReads giveaway program. As I write my review here, I will try not to give away the storyline plot so you may read it to form your own opinions.

GoodReads is stating this book contains 525 pages, however, my copy contains 361. I will be sure to cross check my copy to a library/book store copy to be sure I have read the entire story. I do feel that I have read the story with a beginning, middle, climax, and end. I do like how the ending meets up...more
Janet Johnson
Enthralling plot with flawed, yet sympathetic, protagonists and a little magic thrown in – this makes for a compelling story and a can’t-put-it-down book that I finished in one sitting. More than that, it was the kind of book that stayed on my mind for weeks afterward. Ms. Michalski is a talented writer with a knack for character development and a vivid imagination. The result is not just a great story but also a thought-provoking examination of the human existence and the meaning of life.
I literally can not think of one thing I found bad about the book except the fact that it's such a depressing story. This novel was amazing. I have to admit that when I started to read the book I thought that it might be about vampires and might have action scenes or something but it didn't and I'm kind of happy that it didn't. I think the fact that the author found a unique way to tell a realistic story with some supernatural elements make this book an amazing and thought provoking read. This b...more
The Tide King has a central maguffin that is very much genre - an herb that bestows immortality - that is used to explore some very weighty topics. Capital letter stuff: Life, Death, Love, Power, War, Time. Perhaps most poignantly, it explores belonging. All four of the main characters in this book are people who are out of step with the world. For two that is a product of magic; for the other two, it is simply the result of life and circumstance.

The Tide King wouldn't stand without the immortal...more
I started this in March, but had to put it aside in order to catch up with my book club book and a library book that I couldn't renew. I'd only read a few pages, but it was torturous to have The Tide King tempting me from my book table.

I (finally!) started again last week, and finished late last night. I haven't been so riveted by a story or it's characters in a long time. From beginning to end, I was wholly immersed in another world and I felt slightly dazed upon leaving it and also better for...more
Susanna Solomon
this is a great book - with a wide screen from early 19th century Poland to present day Montana and New York. The characters are rich and satisfying. Although there is magical realism, it doesn't feel like it as you are carried along in the interesting plot twists and turns.
This is a beautiful book, where the impossible becomes not only plausible but poetic.
Review forthcoming--still digesting this novel and what I want to say!
Jun 17, 2014 Elizabeth marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club, fiction
The University of Chicago Alumni Book Club's August selection.
Jennifer Lee
The Tide King explores a premise that has a long history in the human imagination: what would immortality be like? Jen Michalski's handling of this topic was good fun to read.
When Calvin Johnson is given a magical herb during WWII, the regrowth of his dismembered leg takes months to happen. He finally awakens on the forest floor where he had been left for dead and wanders into a future ignorant of the change that has occurred. The consequences of his unsought immortality play out for decades an...more
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