Jenna's Reviews > Swamplandia!

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
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's review
Jan 09, 2012

liked it

I really wanted to like this book. It came with high praises and witty blurbs. It came with a cool cover. It started out fun and quirky: a family of alligator wrestlers living on a Florida island, running their own crazed theme park. But halfway into the story, I am stranded in the swampland. Stranded not by fierce monster gators, but by beautiful pointless writing with no movement toward either crisis or resolution. It's a mystery to me why this doesn't work, but it just doesn't. Beautifully written nothing.
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02/21/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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M.A. Agreed.

Clay Mosby If this was considered a serious contender for the Pulitzer this year, I now understand why there was no award given.

Andrew You really couldn't find the conflict(s)?? Did you stop reading?

message 4: by Jenna (last edited Jun 03, 2012 07:07AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jenna Andrew wrote: "You really couldn't find the conflict(s)?? Did you stop reading?"

Andrew, I did stop reading at page 201. My feeling is that the book needs to do it's job by midway or it isn't worth any more of my time.

I know the conflicts were there, I just couldn't care about any of it. The approach of using the quirky and bizarre characters, setting, plot, etc was just too distant from reality for me to ever invest real emotion into the read. I felt that THE FAMILY FANG did a better job of blending the truly strange with some really believable emotions.

Did you like it? Did you feel it was even worthy of the Pulitzer nomination?

Andrew In the end I did enjoy the novel. There was a part about midway through where I was unsure but I got sucked in. I didn't enjoy Kiwi's parts at first but he grew on me.

As far as the Pulitzer nomination--I have only read one other novel that was published last year (The Marriage Plot) because in the past year I have taken 8 Literature courses and didn't have time to read much else haha, so I can't really say. I definitely think she is a great writer and that the writing was very good. I also feel like the story came along nicely in the end. Maybe you are right though, if 200 pages in a book hasn't totally sucked you in it doesn't deserve the Pulitzer haha--but I would not be surprised if this young writer wins it in the future.

Jenna So, after taking all those Lit courses, do you have any recommendations to share? I'm always on the lookout for new reads.

Dana Agree 100%

Kewannah " beautifully written nothing". Indeed

Sara I'm 60% through right now and I agree 100% with what you've said here. I'm so bored. It is truly beautifully written but I feel like it's talking in circles and reiterating things to a degree unnecessary. It's gotten boring, dull. The story is THERE and I AM interested but I'm so bored. I will finish it, I will see it through, but it's not going to get high ratings from me.

Angela Knox I felt the sane way until the last 50 pages. The end redeemed the book for me.

Angela Knox *same

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