Abbie | ab_reads's Reviews > Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead

Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk
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it was amazing
bookshelves: read-around-the-world, favorites, translations-read-in-2019

Thank you SO much @fitzcarraldoeditions for sending me this lovely copy of Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead - I absolutely loved it and I wouldn’t be surprised if Tokarczuk nabbed the Man Booker International Prize for the second year running. She’s certainly found a new fan in me, and I’ll be seeking out her other books.
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Described as a subversive, eco-thriller, Drive Your Plow follows Janina (but she doesn’t consider that her real name) Duszejko as she recounts the disappearance of her two dogs. But when members of the local hunting club start showing up murdered, Duszejko tries to help with the investigation, gifted as she is in astrology.
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This book is WEIRD, but good weird, like really good weird. From the first few pages I knew I was going to love it, as I listened to Duszejko muse on the importance of names, her preference of animals over people, her remote life in a Polish village with only 3 other neighbours during the winter. Her passion for astrology is fascinating, and tbh I was convinced of its accuracy. Although admittedly she does get quite technical in a couple of places which can be hard to follow.
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Once again with the long-listed books there were some incredible translator moments that had my nerdy brain exploding. Mrs Duszejko and Dizzy are huge fans of William Blake (where the title comes from apparently) and they like to translate his poems from English to Polish. At one point, they have the verse in English, then in the original Tokarczuk obviously has four possible Polish translations, each slightly different. Lloyd-Jones then back-translates the four different Polish verses of Blake into English, keeping the subtle nuances each Polish verse has that makes it different to the ORIGINAL English. Just. Wow.
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Truly a unique and original novel with unforgettable characters, and I’ll be hunting (pun not intended) down the rest of her work!
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Reading Progress

April 17, 2019 – Shelved
April 18, 2019 – Started Reading
April 19, 2019 – Finished Reading
April 22, 2019 – Shelved as: read-around-the-world
November 11, 2019 – Shelved as: favorites
December 6, 2019 – Shelved as: translations-read-in-2019

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