Sunday, February 12, 2012

Swamplandia!, by Karen Russell

You may wonder how many times can I possibly evoke Mr. Slinger, the hep teacher from the children's book "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse," whose catch-phrase is "Wow, because that's about all I can say. Wow." Yet, here it is again, because that's about all I can say. Wow.

I could tell you that Swamplandia! is set in a rundown theme park in Florida. I could tell you about the delicious, compelling and brimming-with-quirk children of parents who run the park. I could tell you about how, like in every Disney movie, the mother dies and that this sets in motion the kids' quest. I could tell you that Swamplandia! is so story-rich it almost feels like two separate stories.

But I won't.

Instead, I'll just say this: GO OUT AND BUY THIS BOOK! And this: Russell's writing is swoon-worthy. In previous posts I've shared with you the dirty little secret of my less-than-fully-developed fiction gene. Yet, Russell's inventive turns of phrase, her sparkling similes, her vivid descriptions...Oh, for God's sake, just read it! Thank me later.


  1. I'm just in the middle of reading Swamplandia! and enjoying it very much. Thanks for the great review!

    Marlene Detierro (Fishing The Deschutes River)

    1. Marlene, I JUST saw this! Thanks for reading the blog and for your comment. And I'm so glad you loved Swamplandia! Russell is amazing. If you're as intrigued by her as I am, you might enjoy this little piece I wrote about her: Happy reading! Best, Susan

  2. Enjoyed reading this book, loved the characters. The swamp came alive. Ava Bigtree is a good character along with her brother and sister.
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