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Swimming with Jonah

3.11  ·  Rating details ·  64 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Swimming with Jonah

Jane Guy, the awkward, insecure daughter of a world-renowned physician and a beautiful ballerina, has come to a tiny Indonesian island to attend Queen's Medical School--an institution that will accept, for an exorbitant fee, any American child of privilege despite his or her previous academic history. Surrounded by jungle and water, Jane is immediately

Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 1st 2000 by Harper Perennial (first published March 1st 1999)
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Oct 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
Four stars because I couldn't put it down and I appreciated the artistry; one star because it was ugly; for a final grade of two stars. Swimming with Jonah is one of the most sinister, creepy and emotionally manipulative books I have read in a long time. I'm not sure what Schulman was trying to accomplish here but if her goal was to horrify and mesmerize, she succeeded with me, at least partially. But I never completely bought the premise nor was I emotionally engaged with the book's many and mo ...more
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Idiosyncratic word usage got on my nerves. Crunkle for crinkle. Used the word "rasp" too many times to count. Inordinate attention to how Jane (the protagonist) was breathing and if her mouth was open (just about all the time). Ponderous. I almost gave up halfway through, but alternately skimmed and read until the end. It reminded me, and not in a good way, of GRAPES OF WRATH, where humidity and stickiness/sweat take the place of incessant rain, and an overwhelmingly dark story stays that way. I ...more
Mary Beth
Oct 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Not exactly sure how to rate this book, perhaps 3.5 stars. Overall, there was a lot of subtext with the characters, that never really resolved. This kept my attention, but was also frustrating. Seems you were meant to understand everyone's motivation, but given very little back story. Why did Jane not get into US med schools, and why did she agree to attend Queens? Why was Marlene drinking so much? Why was Keefer so horribly sad? Why was Michael an unacknowledged perv? Who can really say? Maybe ...more
Aug 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Schulman seems to like writing about people who don't fit in for various reasons. Unfortunately I just couldn't identify with the main character--she remained annoying throughout. Schulman is an excellent writer though.
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
Kind of a strange story. Had to skim a lot - too many graphic details of the central character's work with a cadaver in medical school.
Oct 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Another brilliant book by Audrey Schulman. Best representation of losing weight I've ever read, and love her ability to look at the creepy and not flinch.
Jan 18, 2013 rated it liked it
troubling but thought provoking.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Swimming with a shark at medical school in Indonesia
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Audrey Schulman is the author of three previous novels: Swimming With Jonah, The Cage, and A House Named Brazil. Her work has been translated into eleven languages. Born in Montreal, Schulman now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
More about Audrey Schulman...