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Il Signore della Fattoria

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  1,012 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
John Kaltenbrunner è un ragazzino nato e cresciuto in un'arretrata cittadinarurale del Midwest, dove ancora sopravvive la cultura rude dei primi coloni.Suo padre è morto in circostanze drammatiche, nel tentativo di organizzare unosciopero dei braccianti. Rifiutato dalla comunità per il suo aspettosgradevole e il carattere difficile, rinnegato dalla madre che si è votatatot ...more
Paperback, Frassinelli Paperback Narrativa #41, 490 pages
Published 2005 by Frassinelli (first published 1998)
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Jun 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a good deal of history here. Back when I wore plaid and carried Nietzsche books everywhere there was a scene here. It was in the Highlands in Louisville. There were hordes of pseuds, but there was a core. There was a group of serious people involved with art, music, literature and activism. Most moved away - the Northwest, NYC, abroad etc. A few died. Recently a number have passed, mostly from cancer. Mostly my age. There was a coffeehouse that hosted readings and concerts. There was goi ...more
Dec 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this is one of the finest stories written by a young American in the past ten years. I've had it around for a while, maybe even read it back in Colorado. An absurd story. But new, and I dare anyone to try and forget this one. The local outcast brings the town down by organizing the garbage men to quit working. The town starts to disappear under trash. A mean story kind of, but so funny. It is a shame this guy is gone. He was really good. Highly recommended.
Sarah Key
Apr 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I loved this book. Amazing story, and Egolf had such style as a writer.

This is not humor. There is an occasional witty or sarcastic sentence from time to time that will leave the reader with a cocky grin on their face, but for the most part, this was a very sad book. Or at least, it was to me. A man loses the woman loves, are you laughing? A man is brutally hurt and losing his very grasp on reality, is it humorous to you now? A story about someone as misunderstood as John Kaltenbauer is not a fu
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're like me, reading the very first acrobatic sentence of this book will let you know that you're in for a serious treat.

Though Barnyard has some flaws--things seem to slow down when the action is ostensibly rising to an impossible apex--the many moments of perfection in language and style certainly make up for any weaknesses. Divided into three major sections, part one of this book is absolutely packed with plot, myth, language and bravado. It could conceivably stand on its own as an exc
Robert Beveridge
Tristan Egolf, Lord of the Barnyard: Killing the Fatted Calf and Arming the Aware in the Corn Belt (Grove, 1998)

Few books published in the last decade have garnered as much attention and as many favorable reviews as tristan Egolf's epic debut novel. It has achieved endless comparisons to John Kennedy Toole and William Faulkner, made ten-best lists the world over, and been lauded as the book most overlooked by all the major literary awards. Needless to say, after all that, it's roughly the litera
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've owned this book since June of 2006 and have never seen fit to crack the spine.

It was given to me as a birthday gift by my best friend Stephen. He was a playwright as well, and a big fan of this writer. Stephen seemed to think that I would enjoy him, too. I put the book on a shelf with every intention of getting to it. But then. . .the October after I received this book. . .Stephen died in a horrific car accident. This novel, among others, went untouched. Perhaps I was too afraid of the nost
Aug 29, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So I wrote the review below in 2007 or something, after reading the book in 1999 and again in, I don't know, 2003 or something. Then I picked up a used copy for a dollar last week (2010) and read it again. I don't like it nearly as much as I used to. The story and the writing style are both deeply problematic. Several plot points are just completely implausible--for instance, crowds of people in a hospital waiting room viciously attack our hero for no particular reason; also, all the faculty o ...more
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: roman, famille
Il s'agit de rétablir la vérité sur l'homme qui devint une légende dans la ville fictive de Baker - pas une légende glorieuse, non, mais plutôt celle d'un criminel, d'un fou, d'un diable apparu de nulle part pour semer le malheur et le chaos au sein d'une bourgade jusque là (presque) sans histoires. Il s'agit d'expliquer comment, en l'espace de si peu de temps, tout a pu tourner à la catastrophe, et quels hideux secrets ont rendu John Kaltenbrunner prêt à tout pour obtenir sa revanche.

Ce roman f
This shit was fantastic. The literary touchstones are myriad, with John Kennedy Toole being a particularly obvious one. But in its humor, there is something far, far darker and filthier. Unlike the good-natured farce of A Confederacy of Dunces, Egolf opts to show the sheer disgusting, almost Harmony Korine scuzz of postindustrial Middle American existence. Almost like a white trash Dostoyevsky. John Kaltenbrunner isn't a comic hero-- he's much too charmless and laconic for that (a redneck Raskol ...more
Phong Pham
Feb 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Think you've had a bad day, week, or even life? Then you haven't met John Kaltenbrunner. Sure he could walk around grousing "I hate my life" like the rest of us or he could put his nose to the proverbial grindstone with singular determination to do what he knows to be right and to exact perhaps the most outrageous vengeance you'll ever read about. The writing style takes some getting used to (there's no direct dialogue in the entire book) but don't let that deter you. Shame Tristan Egolf is no l ...more
Stefan Martiyan
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended by a collègue this was a complete discovery, both the book and the author and it will take time for me to digest this story, universe and characters. There is high quality writing style here, detailed background that makes the whole city feel like a creature itself and not a single feel like it is useless. I liked most of all the sense of disappointment in humanity, the mysanthropic tone but now that I learned that the author took his life away because of depression, it makes even mo ...more
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's not as awesome as those who totally gush over it say it is, but it's really, really something. The prose is at times mind-blowingly awesome, the story is epic and engaging. Where it falls short of 5-star status is the hyperbole- Egolf goes well over the top way too often, creating characters and situations that are too extreme to be plausible. Definitely makes me want to read more Egolf though.
Jul 29, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: guys
Exhausting, bloated tall tale/first novel with enough action to keep me reading to the end but not enough editing for me to enjoy it.
Brendan Babish
Jun 21, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not a single piece of dialogue in the entire novel. I guess that's somewhat to be commended, but it's really to the detriment of the story.
Jun 14, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
RIP Tristan Egolf

Thanks for the stories
Adam Hawkes
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easily one of the best books I have ever read. Reminiscent of Toole's "The Confederacy of Dunces" but I liked this book more. There is no dialogue, the story is told as a history, of essentially one man, John Kaltenbrunner and his life in a rural, middle-American town. It is both dark and laugh out loud funny. You root for John to prevail against all that life has thrown at him. It's a shame that Egolf, like Toole and DFW, took his own life after battling depression. Fortunately, he left us with ...more
Abbey Road
This book was recommended by a young man in my book club. We all get to pick a book eventually and when his turn came up, my initial thought was, "I can't believe he blew it on this awful book." At first I kept reading it for only two reasons; first, I was hoping that it would get better. Second, I felt a sort of moral obligation; after all, he had read Sue Monk Kidds The Secret Life of Bees for me. The difference is that any bee, even a dead one, is more interesting than the Lord of the Barnyar ...more
Élégie dantesque ou L'Inferno bouseux!

"D'où ce récit: une tentative de mêler archives publiques, folklore local et épopées de basse-cour en une récapitulation chronologique, basée sur des faits et d'une lecture agréable, compilée par le contingent des nègres verts/torche-collines de Pullman Valley. D'autres pistes pourraient fort bien apparaître au cours des années à venir. Les ressources existent certainement. Chacun à Baker a son histoire à raconter."

Le seigneur des porcheries trace les lignes
Feb 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book sometime at the turn of the millenium, read most of it over several years, and then shelved it when I was within 40 pages of the end. At the time, I was motivated by a silent act of defiance against the nature of consumable art: being that we (as participants) are drawn in, become emotionally involved with the characters, and are then subsequently ejected from that world at the end. During this time of my life I was burning through Anime series, comic book series, and books li ...more
Many picaresque novels share a certain amount of repetition, predictability, and lengthiness, and so does this one. The basic idea is: Present your protagonist as an anti-social outcast who becomes the leader of a social movement. Besides the picaresque tradition this book is modelled on some aspects of the New Testament: When the garbage workers are instigated to go on a strike, the town sinks in garbage, which in turn leads to a rise in violence and social stress. Those parts of the book are l ...more
Shannon Dishon
Dec 30, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My friend had told me to read this, claiming that it was one of the best. By page 80, I was still bored out of my mind. I waited until I had about 100 pages left to asked my friend if it got any better. He said "if you don't like it now, you won't like the rest of it." I strained myself and finished the book. I attest that it is the most boring book ever. All the main character does is construct in his mothers backyard and rebuild when it gets destroyed. Then he does whatever he does at the end ...more
It's hard to say what to make of this book. It definitely had its moments.

It's the story of the life of a strange and highly eccentric character who sets in motion a long series of improbable events in the course of his life. In the end he winds up working at a landfill, with others that have come to the end of a long line, with little hope of changing much for the better. The last half or so of the book is the story of a garbage strike. If you are not heavily invested in the fate of the charac
Feb 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone.
Holy Cow I loved this book. I loved the main character John. In any other book a character like John would have evoked pity but John Kaltenbauer did not. Not because he doesn't deserve pity but because you know he doesn't want your pity and it would be an insult to him. Through all the insane shit life hands him deep down you know he can handle it. John's the guy you want on your side because he never quits. He's the rattlesnake head that bites you even after it's dead. He lives life on his own ...more
Sep 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008december
I had little idea of what to expect from Lord of the Barnyard, which is probably the exact right way to approach the book. I knew literary giants had lauded it, but being 10 years behind its release, I didn't really know why.

And in some ways, I still don't.

Barnyard is warped and twisted, overwritten and undercast. But it's still one hell of a read.

Be warned -- the prologue is sleep inducing. Skim or skip if you must, but at least make it through to the first section. John Kaltenbrunner may be th
Jennifer  Sciolino-Moore
I don't really know where to begin with this review. Having read Kornwolf first, I was excited to see what Egolf had presented as a first work.

I wasn't disappointed. John Kaltenbrunner is a tragic hero of the first order. His entire life is a day-after-day account of shit relentlessly hitting the fan. In any other novel, a reader would be apt to shake his head in disbelief and say "Nope, this is just too much, it's gone too far...." But not so LOTB. Egolf crafts his hero in such a way that it l
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As skillfully as Egolf has crafted a faceless, nameless seeing-eye narrator who echoes opinions but never opines himself, a sneering, playfully vengeful orchestrator yet another step removed permeates this novel. Let's just call him Egolf, who isn't likely to complain, and laud him for the joyful catharsis he enables by sending his protagonist to poke the shit out of Baker, a vomit-inducing WASP nest of a town, what my worst self imagines every corner of rural America to be. The comparisons to A ...more
Jun 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I much preferred "Lord of the Barnyard," Egolf's first novel, to any of his other works, and not just because it consisted almost entirely of first-person-plural narrative (it appears at first to be third-person, but eventually the true voice reveals itself) with almost no dialogue. I mean, it was an impressive formal achievement, but - as much as it pains me to admit this, since the first-person-plural voice generally inspires a visceral loathing in me - it also held up pretty well as a story, ...more
Gregg Sapp
Dec 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let us pause to consider what literary marvels Tristan Egolf might have created had his life not taken such a tragic arc. In this book, he manages to simultaneously satirize and celebrate rural Midwest life, especially the hardscrabble workers who bust their asses every day, suck it up, then go back for more abuse the next. John Kaltenbrunner is one of the most original characters in modern American literature: a flawed hero who is destined not only to fail at everything that matters to him, but ...more
Feb 24, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title doesn't tell you much. This is a story about a man who grew up poor, raised by his widowed mother. All on his own, he started raising pigeons. From there, he moved on to chickens, and he soon had a thriving little business.

For some reason--I don't remember if they lost the farm or he didn't sell enough chickens or what the reason was--he got a "regular job" working at the dump and working on a garbage truck. The boss there mistreated the workers and didn't pay them well, so the hero of
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Egolf was born in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain. His father, Brad Evans, was a National Review journalist and his mother, Paula, a painter. His younger sister is American actress Gretchen Egolf. His parents divorced in Egolf's childhood and he took the surname of his stepfather, Gary Egolf. In his youth, the family moved from Washington to Kentucky. It was life in Philadelphia, however, that i ...more
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