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Q Road: A Novel
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Q Road: A Novel

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  495 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
Welcome to Q Road, in Greenland Township, where the old way of life is colliding with the new. On the same acres where farmers once displaced Potawatomi Indians, suburban developers now supplant farmers and Q road (or "Queer Road," as the locals call it) has become home to an unlikely mix of people. The neighbors include a sixth-generation farmer and his rifle-toting child ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published June 14th 2011 by Scribner (first published August 19th 2002)
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Cathrine ☯️
Once Upon a River is on my favorites shelf and a prequel to Q Road, though written after the fact. Lead protagonist Margo only appears here in flashbacks as this one is about daughter Rachel after Margo has disappeared. Except for those flashbacks, the entire story takes place on one particular day and is told from multiple perspectives by residents in Greenland Township, Michigan. Many of whom define quirky and say or do unexpected things that surprise, sometimes shock you. Take Nicole for
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

I recently found myself with the opportunity to interview revered author Bonnie Jo Campbell for the CCLaP Podcast; and so before doing so, I thought it would be beneficial to read her two most popular books besides the one I've already read (2011's Once Upon a River, that is, considered by many to be a fro
Nancy Brady
A literary novel about quirky neighbors in Greenland Township, Michigan living on Q Road, known to the locals as Queer Road. The Centennial Farm of George Harland (and his ancestors) is the focus of the story (reminded me of my aunt's and uncle's farm in Flushing, Michigan...they, too, owned a Centennial Farm, sign and all).

Rachel loves the land and loves to cuss. In fact, she swore throughout whether it was warranted or not. George loves Rachel. The rest of the characters move in and out of th
I loved the three Bonnie Jo Campbell books I read before this one -- two of short stories and one novel. She's one of my favorite authors still writing and I have all her books and her chapbook of poetry on my shelf. So you can imagine how excited I was when I saw that I would be in Portland, ME when she would be doing a reading at Longfellow's, Portland's "fiercely independent" bookstore. And she was as amazing in person as her books (and website) lead one to think she would be. Before the read ...more
Oct 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sequel to Once Upon A River that was written first. Another great story about quirky characters surviving outside established norms. In this book they are connected to the farm land and rather than the river. The suburbs are encroaching and a way of live is disappearing...Sound familiar? The main character didn't grab me like Margo, and I was sad that Margo didn't appear in the book, but still a great read. Wonder if she will appear in a future book?
Jan 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: siblings, friends, especially Michiganders and other midwesterners
Recommended to Betsy by: Heather
To make things a bit confusing: Bonnie Jo Campbell wrote this novel BEFORE her latest novel "Once Upon A River" (which I really liked. Both share some of the same characters. BUT the latest novel "Ounce Upon a River" is a prequel to this novel "Q Road." To further confuse things, I happened to read these books out of the sequence (in which they were written).

That said, one of the main characters in this novel (Q Road)is the daughter of the main character in the other novel (Once Upon a River) w
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quiet book about a group of neighbors in rural Michigan. Rachel is the closest to being our protagonist, and she is quite a character with her constant swearing, gardening, and rifle-carrying attitude and she's only 17. Her mother killed a man and disappeared, leaving Rachel on her own at 15 when George, the main landowner in the area, takes an interest in her. Each chapter could focus on any one of this town (even one chapter about Grey Cat), and we get to know their individual shameful desir ...more
Feb 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I almost put this book down, as it started very slow for me. But I was glad I didn't, really enjoyed it as I got further into the story. This book tells of the lives of people in a small rural area in Michigan, and what happens over the course of one day, October 9, 1999. The action is centered around folks who live along one rural road, mostly farmers, and fills in background for each of them as the day progresses. What I found most engaging was the story of Rachel, a rough and tough young girl ...more
Dec 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After American Salvage, Q Road is probably Bonnie Jo Campbell's strongest book. I recently interviewed this past summer for Knee-Magazine, so I had the chance to read her entire catalog.

Q Road is a novel told from multiple view points, with each chapter devoted to a single character. As the story moves along, the characters lives begin to intermingle. It is at once about a small Michigan township and of course, like any great story, it is also about the world. While the novel is heavy on charac
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW! I haven't read anything like this in a long time. Q Road, nicknamed Queer Road, is populated by the most peculiar characters ever assembled in a novel. Well, maybe not EVER, but it is certainly up there near the top. While the story takes place on one day, the back stories propel the reader forward. I sometimes can't believe how many fine writers are out there without a huge audience. This book could easily be included in the canon of modern American fiction.
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Bonnie Jo Campbell is the author of the National Book Award finalist American Salvage, Women & Other Animals, and the novels Q Road and Once Upon a River. She is the winner of a Pushcart Prize, the AWP Award for Short Fiction, and Southern Review’s 2008 Eudora Welty Prize for “The Inventor, 1972,” which is included in American Salvage. Her work has appeared in Southern Review, Kenyon Review, a ...more
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