Legend of a Suicide
In semiautobiographical stories set largely in David Vann's native Alaska, Legend of a Suicide follows Roy Fenn from his birth on an island at the edge of the Bering Sea to his return thirty years later to confront the turbulent emotions and complex legacy of his father's suicide.
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David Vann will take you by the hand and into an abyss, a dark and poignant walk into relationships. Powerful, potent quality of meaning and what had been and a stark warning on that which one can prevent treading upon the same path mentioned within these pages.
This is a story that a reader should not disappointed if they find not a happy Disney like ending. It's raw at times but h...more
As a reader, there are certain plotlines and motifs that I am very moved by. These include the following:
a.) animals and the gentleness of nature
b.) the terse affection between fathers and sons
c.) the tragedy of inherited depression
d.) the personal archaeology & myth-making that begins and never ends when one you love commits suicide
This book works...more
All are told from the view, if not necessarily in the voice, of a young boy, Vann’s avatar.
In Icthyology – a father’s suicide parallels a boy’s (Roy) interest in fish and his fish tank.
Rhoda tells of the increasing strain betwe...more
Riveting and visceral, all the stories centre around a boy with a suicidal father (a failed dentist), and a mother with a series of boyfriends (very Tobias Wolf). The viewpoint is usually the child’s, but in the long novella it switches with heart freezing effect to the father’s halfway through. Seriously chilling – appropriate as it’s set in the wastes of Alaska - it deals with isolation, starvation, depression, fear, false hope, failu...more
How I love the ladies at Harper Perennial for sending me a copy of "Legends of a Suicide". This is a book I may never have picked up on my own, so I am very thankful to them for the opportunity to review it.
David Vann's family has been surrounded by suicide. At a young age, his father took his own life, his step mother's parents died by murder/suicide, and his grandmother found her mother dead by self-hanging. David had a hard time accepting and believing in his fathers death....more
So says the New York Times Sunday Book Review (http://tinyurl.com/3rh2nw6).
Vann here collects 5 short stories & a novella, all relating to his father, all exploring Vann's relationship to his father and his relatiionship to his father's death. Some of these are fiction, since we know from a study of Vann's own life that his father suicided when he...more
Through that definition, Legends of a Suicide is a true book. James Edward Vann – the author’s father – did, indeed, kill himself when David was only 13. But the circumstances described here are that of mythology – a real-world event that is ima...more
But Vann has known pain. It comes out mutated (but not muted) into his "fiction" here, almost like the way some movies have alternate endings. His writing is crisp and exceptional, and the focused, or at least longest, story here is a difficult read. More troubling than The Road, as here the apocalypse created is smaller and more personal. I cannot recommend this for everyone; if this is a...more
I think you could think many things about it, and I think it is good to interpret it how you feel is right. Some ideas it gave me made my head twist a little and I had to give up thinking them.
I think the main thing to know before reading this book is that the author's...more
In the author's notes at the end of the book, we find out that James...more
U prvom dijelu kojeg bismo mogli svrstati pod "Ketchikan",dječak opisuje životne prilike svojih roditelja,pokušaje i neuspjehe svog oca u raznim poslovima i brakovima,te,konačno i put do samoubojstva.U drugom,naj...more
De zelfmoord van David Vanns vader is reëel, de legende die er rond geweven wordt een manier om dat trauma gestalte te geven. Vann is met dat trauma niet ‘klaar’ (is iemand dat ooit?), hij tracht het op een hoogst persoonlijke manier te verwerken in ‘Sukkwan Island’ en in vi...more
Tien jaar schreef (en schrapte en herschreef) de auteur...more
I seem to be in the minority, and I almost feel guilty that I did not love David Vann’s novel - my father took his own life when I was eight, so I have an obvious interest in the subject matter. However, I found the book too dislocating & jarring with its shifting perspectives and ‘facts’, and when ‘the terrible thing’ (which seems to have invoked near-reverence in some readers) happens, it seems almost farcical – I found it...more
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"My mother and I each had our routines. She taught high school, took long hikes in the state parks near our house, read mystery novels, and sometimes disappeared with explanations as thin as, "I just need a few days," or "I'm going to visit a friend."
"Which friend?" I would ask.
"That's right," she would say.”