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Locus Amoenus

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4.43  ·  Rating details ·  23 ratings  ·  12 reviews
In this beautifully nuanced dark comedy, a 9/11 widow and her son, Hamlet, have retreated from Brooklyn to the idyllic rural countryside upstate, where for nearly eight years they have run a sustainable farm. Unfortunately, their outrageously obese neighbors, who prefer the starchy products of industrial agriculture, reject their elitist ways (recycling, eating healthy, re ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published June 12th 2015 by Permanent
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Charles Davis
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A 9/11 widow and her son find sanctuary on a farm in upstate New York, but something is rotten in the state of the States as our despairing narrator, the son, describes the incursion into their idyll of a second husband, whose arrival only serves to exacerbate the boy’s spiraling estrangement—from his childhood sweetheart, from the stories he has told himself about his father's death, and eventually from self, sense and sanity. The widow is Gertrude, the son Hamlet, the unwelcome stepfather Clau ...more
Sheila
Imagine Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog, written from the point of view of an American teen. Imagine Shakespeare’s Hamlet set in post 9/11 America. Then cross the science of good health with the politics of consumerism, add a pinch of conspiracy theory, follow some sheep, and you’ll have a pretty fair picture of Victoria N. Alexander’s Locus Amoenus.

With names changed to protect, 9/11 and his father’s death have precipitated young Hamlet and his mother’s relocation from
...more
Patricia Bergman
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this preview edition from Goodreads.

Hamlet and his 9/11 widowed mother, Gertrude, relocate from Brooklyn to a small community in upstate New York. Her enthusiasm for organic and the natural collides with the habits of the carbohydrate consuming grossly overweight population. I am sure Shakespeare would enjoy this modern rendition of his tragedy, although parts are laugh out loud funny. Without some knowledge of the play, and the names she has chosen for the characters, it might
...more
Anne
May 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I won this book on goodreads and I didn't know what to expect from a dark comedy. I am glad I won this book because I found another genre I like to read. I had to look up what Locus Amoenus means :) I was laughing at some points, confused at some points, sad at some points. But it was all very entertaining!
Pat
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The 911 explanation was a different and frightening fiction. Locus Aoenus also viewed life in a small town in upstate New York with appropriate satire. The characterization of each member in the book really hit home. The book instilled good hearty laughs and sobs.
Valerie Grimes
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Alexander portrays small town America—fraught with ignorance, senseless bureaucracy, economic disparity, conspiracy theories, and obesity—with extraordinary gallows humor.
Ssmith2552aol.com
Sep 27, 2017 is currently reading it
Good book, leaves a lot of questions to ending.
I would suggest reading and discussing, jaw dropping and good details to characters.
This would make a good movie in my opinion.
Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount)
A young man tries to deal with conspiracy theories and the reality of how politics and governance work, having been brought up in a very sheltered, uninformed, but 'healthy' home. Written as a sort of retelling of Hamlet, but set in a small town in Massachusetts, Hamlet and his mother Gertrude create a new life for themselves after Gertrude's husband is killed in the 9/11 terrorist attack. 8 years later Hamlet is unwilling to let his mom move on and remarry, and his dislike for Claudius, her new ...more
Steve Madison
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I did not love this novel - but then why would I? An under-cultured nuts-and-bolts architect from Texas, I came into possession of this (very small) adaptation of Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet” purely through the serendipity of a coffee house on a rainy night. The works of William Shakespeare were not featured curriculum items at Texas Tech during my collegial youth, so very much of Alexander's wit and (perhaps even) classical genius, were, for me, seeds sewn on a stony path.

About halfway through
...more
Jekyll
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, no-words, great
Locus Amœnus is a thoroughly clever Young Adult novel loosely based on Shakespeare's Hamlet. When Hamlet is told by an old friend Horatio that 9/11 was covered up, with help from his new stepfather, he becomes depressed and wants to set things straight.

First off, I loved it! Full of snappy wit and a British sense of humor. Locus Amœnus will appeal to young adult readers because of its young protagonist vs. the World theme, but this time, dragons and magic are not necessary to paint a
...more
Ray
Jan 04, 2016 added it
Thank you Victoria for such a marvel of technique.
I feel the urge to read Hamlet. I somehow neglected that in my education or have forgotten having read it .All thru Locus Amoenus I kept thinking I should reread Hamlet first. I kept reading to the end and I'm a better man for it.If this is for young adults, I must be immature.
This is a jewel of a book by Victoria N. Alexander that must be read slowly. She concentrates so much information with a smoothly flowing style .
Ulli
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great read. Funny and witty.
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Victoria N. Alexander, Ph.D. is a novelist, philosopher of science and co-founder of the Dactyl Foundation in NYC. She is currently writing a political comedy screenplay about a high-security dystopia. Her favorite authors are Vladimir Nabokov and Stanislaw Lem, and she lives on a small sheep farm upstate with her husband and son. Alexander's fiction is published by The Permanent Press. Her nonfic ...more