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The Song of Percival Peacock
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The Song of Percival Peacock

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  41 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
A playful, complex novel of banter between servant and master. Edson is the author of The Reason the Closet-Man Is Never Sad.
Paperback, 125 pages
Published July 1st 1992 by Coffee House Press
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Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Although probably not as brilliant as his prose poetry, The Song of Percival Peacock does render Russell Edson’s shrewdness and twisted insight into the human mind in the unusual form of a novel. This author’s ability to write literature from the absurd is simply unique.

The premise of the story is as straightforward as surrealistic: Mr. Peacock, the last of his lineage, comes to claim his inheritance, a missing old chair that had belonged to his father. However, the servants in charge of the hou
Jul 11, 2008 rated it liked it
Russell Edson is his own writer, to be sure. Probably the only creature that comes anywhere close to doing what he does is James Tate, who provides an insightful blurb on the back of this book about the ability of Edson to create characters in a repetitive purgatory, which is probably one of the best ways to introduce a primary Edson theme. Edson's characters often have to deal with highly absurd situations which they can live with or rail against--giving birth to frogs through their ears, havin ...more
Josiah Miller
Feb 06, 2016 rated it liked it
The consistency of built up emotions of the role reversals between the servitude of the peasants that are juxtaposed with the role reversal of the bourgeoisie provide a conflict between authority and those who have laws and rules preemptively set forth to abide. There is constant screaming and yelling between the confusion of family members and those who feel they are the authority which creates a peril between the household. We see that those in power who create the rules and think they are abo ...more
Jan 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
I've only been exposed to Edson's prose poems, which are like starbursts into the emotive absurd. This is a novel-length prose poem, really. All dialogue. And all so loud. EVERYONE'S ALWAYS YELLING! And then TELLING EVERYONE TO STOP YELLING! But in the midst of this is a serious investigation of family, especially the warped expectations that come with childhood.
Nov 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Joyfully absurd. One of my favorite books.
Gerry LaFemina
Feb 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
I love Edson's prose poems, but really, that sort of energy works against a full length novel. I got tired of the same sophomoric dirty jokes, which are truly beneath Edson's talent.
Shaun Gannon
Nov 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite novels. Hope you like dialogue
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Russell Edson was born in Connecticut in 1935 and currently resides there with his wife Frances. Edson, who jokingly has called himself "Little Mr. Prose Poem," is inarguably the foremost writer of prose poetry in America, having written exclusively in that form before it became fashionable. In a forthcoming study of the American prose poem, Michel Delville suggests that one of Edson's typical "re ...more
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