Lucy Ellmann [Download Read] Ducks Newburyport

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Rching indictment of America’s barbarity past and present and a lament for the way we are sleepwalking into environmental disaster Ducks Newburyport is a heresy a wonder and a revolution in the novelIt’s also very very funny. The book responsible for my most annoying reading experience of 2019 wins my favourite prize I have a lot of respect for Galley Beggar and admire them for having the courage to publish such an ambitious novel My review is going to be a little unfair but there are plenty of reviews here that present only the positive sides of this novel and I can t honestly say I enjoyed this in the slightestIt s tempting as many have to review in the too easily imitated style of the book but having waded through 19396 the fact that s I d rather not add So instead a recipeHow to bake a Ducks Newburyport pie cakeTake an ordinary piece of text We had a poor old erratic mouse in the kitchen once that wasn t acting normal The poor thing kept going in circles Maybe the cats had brought him in and played with him and injured him or maybe he was just a little crazee and came in all by himself He didn t act like Edward Edward always behaved very sensibly Edward was brave An adult mouse can have a friendship with a human child Maybe he was cold and hungry or thirsty the crazy mouse not Edward and we should have given him some refreshments Really he acted like he needed to go to a mouse nursing home or a mouse senior day care center We were going to try to catch him but he disappeared and I don t know what happened to him The cats probably gobbled him up in the night I don t think he was the same wild mouse we had last summer Search and replace all s with the fact that and capitalise the letter immediately after the fact that we had a poor old erratic mouse in the kitchen once that wasn t acting normal the fact that the poor thing kept going in circles the fact that maybe the cats had brought him in and played with him and injured him or maybe he was just a little crazee and came in all by himself the fact that he didn t act like Edward the fact that Edward always behaved very sensibly the fact that Edward was brave and smart the fact that an adult mouse can have a friendship with a human child the fact that maybe he was cold and hungry or thirsty the crazy mouse not Edward and we should have given him some refreshments the fact that really he acted like he needed to go to a mouse nursing home or a mouse senior day care center the fact that we were going to try to catch him but he disappeared and I don t know what happened to him the fact that the cats probably gobbled him up in the night the fact that I don t think he was the same wild mouse we had last summer the fact thatvoila experimental prose look no full stops and an upped word count in one simple operation A real example plucked at random from the many pages of Ducks Newburyport Then season liberally with word riffs use of a thesaurus and long lists the fact that all in all we re really just a normal Joy Pledge Crest Tide Dove Woolite Palmolive Clorox Rolaids Pepto Bismol Alka Seltzer Desitin Advil Aleve Tylenol Anacin Bayer Excedrin Vitamin C Kleenex Kotex Tampax Altoid Barbazol Almay Revlon Cetaphil Right Guard Old Spice Gillette Tip Johnson Johnson Vaseline Listerine Head n Shoulders Safe Owl Eagle Brand Jolly Green Giant Land O Lakes Lucerne Sealtest Clover Blue Bonnet Half Half Snyder VanCamp Wish Bone French s Skyline Empress Gerber Nabisco Heinz Kraft uaker Oats Sunkist Purina Vlasic Oreo Shredded Wheat Arm Hammer Jell O Pez Sara Lee Chock Full o Nuts Libby s Pepperidge Farm Fleischmann s Morton General Mills King Arthur Bell s Reese s Pieces kind of household like everybody else Houston we got a problem even with all these macrophages and tardigrades sneaking around whatever they are like everybody else Make use of the commas as part of the full stop replacement device to create humorous ambiguity I couldn t do it when I was pregnant the fact that I can t make Leo do it Move crates I mean not get pregnant the fact thatyou will need to use this particular ingredient at least 75 times in a full sized cakeAdd the tiniest pinch of plot but use this for contrived world play Eg have your character get a flat tyre on a snowy day on the way back from the dentist and be rescued by a character called Jesus Her amusement that there are people called Jesus can then be used to make a Jesus saved me joke that you can re use 15 or so timesSprinkle in acronyms to taste add over generous dollops of film plots and lashings of Little House on The Prairie syrupPut in the oven for many long hours and then remove the full stop replacement cake from the oven and and cover with a frosting of sour dream seuencesBreak up any monotony with interspersed layers of a conventional pie baked from the story of a mountain lion albeit narrated from the lion s perspective taking care to hide in one layer like the sixpence in a Christmas pudding a scene to be discovered by the Literary Review s Bad Sex in Fiction Award new animal sub divisionAnd having spent 1000 pages largely going nowhere well to the mall and to the dentist and back add an anachronistic topping of a dramatic ending On my first attempt at this book read on publication I abandoned it and struggled to justify a star See below for my original review in spoilers The Booker longlisting and a 12 hour flight gave me the opportunity to revisit and finish it It improved a little on a re read the personal seuences of the narrator s past were powerful and built up over the book s length and I was left with an uneasy feeling that her husband was not the saint that she convinced herself he was as another GR friend Neil joked you need to read between the Lions And when not employed to excess even the repetition works wellThe biggest problem I had wasn t its length per se the 426100 words I have read and very much enjoyed several significantly longer books it s the fact that it feels at times like length is conflated with uality For example the publishers pre release campaign largely consistent of photos of the brick like time measured up against other books The uite literally pointless the fact that device occurs as mentioned 19396 times in the book That s 58188 words which enough for many writers to write a whole novel If they make an audio version then given the three words would take a second to say the unlucky narrator will actually spend over 5 hours simply repeating and repeating and repeating the fact that The indictment of certain aspects of US culture is strong and timely I boarded the plane where I read the bulk of this book to breaking news of one mass shooting and landed to news of another the second in Ohio and close to where the book is set But as a European I found it rather reinforced my pre existing biases It would be challenging to read a book with characters presenting the opposite views to be fair Ali Smith s seasonal uartet has the same issue in UK politics And if anything the political analysis rather resorts to Trumpesue name calling the narrators favourite Mary Poppins based example inspired by the Sun but fortunately able to be sourced to the Guardian An example which captures much of the strengths and weaknesses of the book the fact that I think he s a big bully coward mean guy third rate just like Trump Sad the fact that he could be a lot of places by now this shooter not Trump though Trump gets around too golfing and holding rallies the fact that they can t get him to stop holding rallies the fact that he goes for the adulation bigly ululation elation election erection cracks failed bridge broken flaccid the fact that he could be right outside our house right now the selfie killer not Donald Trump I hope the fact that maybe the selfie killer Trump and the lion are outside our house help the fact that I don t know which would be worse the fact thatUpping my rating to 15 stars rounded to 2But I can t help but feel that if the movie seuences and Little House parts were drastically pared back the dreams ditched the lists and gratuitous repetition reduced the fact that used only to mark a genuine shift in thoughts rather than every time a full stop is needed and the Hollywood ending removed this would have been a fulfilling and much shorter book But then it likely wouldn t have got nominated for prizes and again all praise to the author and to the publisher for the courage to go with the unadultered versionview spoilerMany of my GR and real life friends loved this novel but this wasn t for me After 100 pages I decided to stopThere is a lot here and I think what one gets out of it will differ according to one s interest For me they include Korea and politics And indeed Korea South and North features throughout These are the first 5 mentions Your Views on North KoreaHillary adaffi Syria North Korea sisters sororities Elks the Brontes Phoebe and methe fact that some girls spread a nerve agent on the North Korean leader s brother Kim Jong ill or somethingNorth Korean nuclear missilesthe fact that you have to wonder why slime eels have to be transported anywhere but Koreans like them the fact that they eat slime eels friendly wolf eels hagfish Kim Jong Unshowcasing the word play Kim Jong Ill geddit It doesn t even make sense since the hanja for the il is which means sun and the respectful insight into different cultures Indeed I note that the perceptive review in Private Eye also picked up on the oriental stereotyping which is also a feature when a Chinese character is mentioned Ming Dynasty porcelain Mao jackets terracotta warriors Great Wall wontons pot stickers cheap toys and electrical goodsNot surprisingly Trump gets 137 mentions these are the first 10 the fact that Trump wants to take cover away from 630000 Ohioans who took up Obamacarethe fact that Trump wants to get mining and oil drilling going in all the national parks MAGARapid SSitty SSSouth Dakota James Mason Trump Tower beauty pageants sexual harassment ssssexual harassmentobstruction of justice which is something Trump gets up to all the timetrompe d oeil Trump l oeil Trump liesnot Trumpthe fact that Trump called Melania a monster when she is pregnant and maybe she is a monster but he s one to talk fat bullythat twenty foot inflatable rooster outside the White House really does look like Trumpthe fact that Mummy thought it was rude to comment on someone s appearance but Trump does it all day Sadthe fact I had a bad dream about trump last night the fact he admitted to me he couldn t cope with the joba highly insightful analysis as we are less than 18 months away from the next US election as to how Trump manages to appeal to his base and the strategies the Democrats might use to defeat himAnd the book carries on in that vein 127 times for TrumpIt s not that I dislike long books Knausgaard Proust Marias Ferrante and Murakami have all written much longer novels albeit in most cases published in separate volumes but they are world class writers Addition I raised my concerns on the cultural point with the publisher They were gracious enough to send me a helpful reply Most importantly the thing to say is that it s the internal monologue of a character It s the thoughts going through a particular person s head Crucially the un policed thoughts What she thinks doesn t necessarily reflect Lucy s worldview Or anyone else s It s true to a very particular person of an age in a place at a time Those thoughts aren t always going to make us feel easy or comfortable Fiction is here to confront us with realities and ideas we might not like among other things She is not meant to be a perfect human being If you re seeing faults with her that s because she s a fully realised creationThat s the most important thing to remember I think Even so if it isn t too absurd and because I kind of love her I do also want to defend this fictional person a bit I can t remember the context but I don t even think the Kim Jong ill thing is a joke She s just trying to remember his name Nor is she likely to have a clue about hanja or be aware that people might get upset in relation to them I m now actually imagining her horrified thought stream as she realises that there are sensitivities thereI also kind of feel like you ve answered your own uestion about the Chinese character producing clich s those are the first things that a person like this is likely to think of don t you thinkFinally it might be worth considering how race is one of the central themes of Ducks Newburyport and how the narrator s insensitivities are a vital part of this For example her eldest child is part Indigenous and there is a pivotal scene involving her a painful admission about feeling like an outsider not White in a White family and the narrator s horrified realisation of her own complicity unawareness and the fact that if you ll excuse the pun she has simply had no idea So there is a very complex web here which is developed throughout the novelI hope you carry on reading It feels sad for anyone not to be able to share in the pleasure of this book And I guess that s the final thing It s intended as a gift for anyone and everyone Except maybe Donald Trump 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Read â PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook Ê Lucy Ellmann

Ducks Newburyport

LATTICING one cherry pie after another an Ohio housewife tries to bridge the gaps between reality and the torrent of meaningless info that is the United States of America She worries about her children her dead parents African e. Thoughts at p 50 of Ducks NewburyportThis seems to be one of those books that make me stop in my reading tracks and think about how I read as in what s going on in my mind as my eyes glide left to right across the page then return left before sliding right again like an old fashioned typewriter though of course my eyes are not typewriters but type readers and very experienced ones having focused on billions of typed words in their lifetime But have they really focused clearly on all the words they ve supposedly read Haven t there been times when they ve lost focus when the words became blurry and my attention wandered away from the meaning on the page towards things of import to my own life Yes it s true that my attention sometimes skips away from the matter in hand such as a book I m reading and goes rummaging through some backroom of my mind That can be interesting but it can also be scary because there are things stored away in the back rooms of my mind that aren t pretty and there are so many of them that if I remove one thing in order to examine it others tumble after it and before you can say ducks newburyport a whole string of vaguely connected things have been brought into the light and examined not deeply just in a uick assessment sort of way like objects in a bric a brac shop that you might pick up for a moment then put down again Often of course something I d read just before my mind wandered inspired the particular direction of the the backroom rummage which can sometimes turn out to be pleasant and even fruitful but I d really prefer if my mind didn t wander while I readI m sure you re not wondering what all this has to do with Ducks Newburyport because I think most readers know already that the book is made up of long strings of vaguely connected thoughts So yes Lucy Ellmann s narrator s vaguely connected thoughts are causing my eyes to lose focus uite freuently and my attention to wander amongst my own collections of connectionsThoughts at page 120 My mind seems to be wandering less than it did at the beginning which is an improvement but on the other hand I ve become seriously irritated by the narrator s habit of affixing the phrase the fact that before each of her thoughts even though there is rarely any follow on to the fact that as in the fact that she uses that phrase without a follow on means that I get super irritated no her the fact that is just the fact that this followed by the fact that that though I did notice one place where she had a follow on the fact that even though it s crudely made it s still very recognizably an elephant a tiny pale green elephant with a roughly carved trunk and tusks I have to say I kind of cheered when she did that follow on but she mostly uses the fact that as a way of artificially listing her strings of thoughts Perhaps I ll get used to itThoughts at page 180Well I haven t got used to the fact that and I don t believe I ever will I ve also noticed that the narrator uses the fact that when listing thoughts that are naturally connected already and therefore don t need to be artificially connected as for example the fact that we suddenly decided to make this whole load of pomanders as Christmas presents for people the fact that Phoebe was always coming up with ambitious schemes like that the fact that it took much longer than expected and we got sick to our stomachs from the smell of cloves the fact that it hurt too the fact that actually pomanders look better if you don t completely cover them but we didn t know that so we covered every inch with cloves the fact that we didn t leave one little spot empty on the whole orange the fact that the whole orange was brown with cloves and we really hurt our fingers doing it pressing all those sharp cloves into the oranges the fact that we should ve used thimbles or something or not done it at all the fact that I feel a little nauseous just thinking about it see what I meanBut the useful thing about all this is that while I m being irritated and distracted I m asking myself why I m still reading just as you may be doing now The only conclusion I can come to is that I m a sucker for words that words laid out on a page hold an irresistible attraction And it helps that I m not put off by 1000 page books or by stream of consciousness narratives or by word lists whether they are related through sound or through meaning And Lucy Ellmann definitely likes word listsThoughts at page 250So I ve been reading Ducks Newburyport on and on and on and on until my arm became tired holding it and I d gotten far enough into it that the thickness of the book as it lay open on the cushion I d begun using to prop it up caused the type in the inner edges of the pages to be almost impossible to read even when I tried to press the pages flat At that point I switched to an ebook version solving the problem of the weight and also the problem of the print dropping into the gutter between the pages But I haven t solved the problem of the constantly recurring the fact that though I try to skip over it as I read But that s easier said than done It somehow snags my eye every time no matter what I do However my irritation has eased a little due to my growing interest in the story aspect of this book In the early pages for example there s a casual mention of a gun lying on the seat of someone s car Chekhov has ensured that most readers will prick up their reading ears when a gun is mentioned Lucy Ellmann s narrator circles the gun theme constantly making freuent references to gun law open carrying householders being expected to have guns on the premises etc so it soon becomes clear that this book is making the proliferation of guns in the US today and the deaths that ensue a central theme It also becomes clear that the environment is a key issue plus the problem of noxious substances in water food and drink causing illness and death Mothers and children and the bonds between them is another big focus not only in the brief episodes about a mountain lioness and her cubs that are inserted in gaps between the narrator s much longer sections but also throughout those longer sections as the narrator s thoughts hop from one of her four children to another Her thoughts often circle back to her own childhood too and to her much loved mother who died years before I noted a passage early in the book where she remembers a lecture she attended the fact that I remember Declan Kiberd s talk at Notre Dame the fact that I do remember and he said people fetishize the past in Ireland the fact that he said the Irish were drunk on remembrance like Hamlet and the ghost the fact that I can t understand people who want to go over and over old times getting all nostalgic and stuff the fact that I m scared of old times the fact that old times are soggy saggy cradles of regret As I scroll the pages and realise how much the narrator goes over old times herself and how obsessed she is with her mother and with regrets concerning the past that uote becomes interesting The memory theme is one of the most powerful in the book Thoughts at 40%So I ve kept on reading the ebook version but the trouble with an ebook is that you can t see the pages on the left increasing and the ones on the right decreasing I found myself checking the percentage read a lot and feeling dispirited that I was still at 31% for example after I d checked many times I wondered how I would ever finish this book I ve begun to identify with the narrator especially when she says things like the fact that February s the shortest month but somehow it feels the longest I ve also begun to harbour seriously unpleasant thoughts about innocent things like cinnamon rolls they are mentioned so often I understand that the narrator runs a home baking business and is making rolls and pies all day every day and that many of the actions she repeats are automatic allowing her thoughts to roam over her world as she works What I don t understand is that the author believes that I will be happy to read every one of those 998 pages of thoughts the seemingly trivial as well as the possibly relevant I ve been thinking too about other books I ve enjoyed where narrators spend a lot of time recounting their thoughts often while performing daily tasks as in Mrs Dalloway and Ulysses or simply thinking over the past as in Proust s long saga but the book I was most reminded of here was Claire Louise Bennett s Pond Her narrator cooks and cleans while her thoughts circle the serious issues in her life before inevitably becoming mired in the trivia of the everyday just as in Ellmann s narrator s case Both books unlike the others I mentioned contain no dialogue we are in the narrators thoughts all the time But Bennet is beautifully economical with her narrator s stream of consciousness and each sentence is a dream to read a perfect reward for spending so much time in one character s head Lucy Ellmann doesn t really do complete sentences beautiful or otherwise except in the mountain lion segments which are a very small percentage of the book But I have to admit that there is the odd lovely bit here and there in the narrator s segments too this one for example again related to memory the fact that it sometimes feels like my memory has very very ancient times in it like the dark ages stuff from long ago that s pretty dim and then come the medieval times that aren t uite as impenetrable but still pretty blurry snow flurry furry curry in a hurry and then there s the Renaissance which is the recoverable stuff and then there s recent stuff that s clear and vivid like Gillian her seven year old crying about the meaning of lifeIn spite of such interludes my patience with the narrator has been wearing very thin especially because she spends a lot of timing watching episodes of Little House on the Prairie and old movies while she bakes and her thoughts ramble over the plots the characters and the actors In order to avoid all those plot summaries plus all her dream fragments and thoughts about the jigsaw puzzles she does to relax not to mention the stuff about the pets her family had over the decades I really couldn t keep track of those pets their names when they died etc I decided to adopt a hopscotch method of reading I d search a word lion for example and read a couple of the search results related to that word Thanks to that method I ve reached 40% and now I m thinking that maybe I can stick with this book after all And that has made all the differenceAt 50%The hopscotch approach has began to work against me Having created what amounts to a scatter of bullet holes in the text by skipping chunks of it I ve begun to worry about what I might have missed The Road Not Taken So I stopped skipping and started reading normally again from the 40% point I ve even circled back to search for bits of key text I might have missed as in references to the words mommy gun duck and the characters Ronnie Stacy and Leo I found some good bits and even one of my favourite words hiding in a string of unrelated forgetables petrichor I love that word And tintinnabulum Great rewardsAnother reward while I was doing the searchingfinding process I noticed that my attention had stopped wandering and that my mind was taking and notice of the interesting patterns in the narrator s strings of thought Even the cinnamon rolls have become significant in their own way I am very grateful that my lapses of focus plus my irritation in the early pages well not just the early pages the first three hundred or so pages did not stop me reading on because they might well have it was touch and go there for a while up in the air a leap in the dark uncharted waters very muddy waters in fact and my feet were pretty cold Days laterOk I went too far with the listing in the previous paragraph and anyway I m guessing you simply want to know if I finished the book I did Then you might want to know if it was worth the weeks I spent reading it It wasThis is why The book is like a giant jigsaw puzzle At the beginning you ve got a huge pile of pieces every the fact that phrase being a separate piece And those separate pieces are not regular shaped No they are all oddly shaped and you think it s impossible that you re ever going to be able to put the picture called Ducks Newburyport together But then you start to spot pieces that might match up some of which you d discarded early on as having no elements in them that could possibly connect to anything else Slowly the intricate picture starts to come together When that happens it s such a reward for persisting You are in reader heaven from then on and you conclude that this book makes for a very clever and very worthwhile puzzle And why wouldn t you keep reading the thousands of the fact that puzzle fragments because if you weren t reading the pages that contain them you d be reading other pages and the chances are they wouldn t be half as clever or rewarding as Lucy Ellmann s pages The cleverest part of all is that the main narrative circles its central themes in a way that mirrors the insert story of the mountain lion Like the lion the main narrative makes very wide circles in the first third of the book so wide we don t see the point of them but as the book progresses the circles get smaller and tighter and the connections clearer until we arrive at the central point of all that spiraling and boy is it sweet Talk about cinnamon rollsThanks for reading this great uantity of review words those of you who didn t bail out early on as well as those who skipped huge chunks but still reached the end Perhaps reaching the end is a sign that you too might enjoy Ducks Newburyport

Lucy Ellmann Ê 4 Summary

Lephants the bedroom rituals of “happy couples” Weapons of Mass Destruction and how to hatch an abandoned wood pigeon egg Is there some trick to surviving survivalists School shootings Medical debts Franks ’n’ beansA sco. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2019Deserved Winner of the Goldsmiths Prize 2019 and the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction 2020This is a brave uniue and ambitious book so full credit to Galley Beggar press for stepping in where Lucy Ellmann s previous publishers baulked and giving it such wholehearted support Having spent a week reading it intensely I feel that this is a book that entirely justifies their faith in itThe core of the book is an interior monologue written as a single run on sentence that is unbroken throughout most of the 988 pages logging several months in the life of its narrator an unnamed housewife formerly of Connecticut and Illinois now living in Newcomerstown Tuscarawas Ohio with her husband Leo a saint scientist and expert on bridges a daughter Stacy from a previous marriage and their three younger children Ben Gillian and Jake the fact that the narrator s parents both died young her mother was born in Newburyport Massachusetts and almost drowned there as a small child trying to chase ducks the fact that the narrator barely breaks even spending her days making pies and cakes to sell and keeping chickens and she is obsessed with the state of America gun violence the destruction of the environment and Ohio s history not least the brutal aspects of itThe main narrative is interrupted at irregular intervals with the story of a cougar lioness whose travels crisscross Pennsylvania West Virginia and Ohio and her three newborn cubs These are written in normal even sometimes short sentences but for me this does not stop the rest of the book being at least arguably an unbroken sentence because these parts are like inserted pictures and are not preceded by full stops or followed by capital letters This story does eventually start to touch on the events of the main monologue In an attempt to work out what percentage of the story these comprise I made a list of their page numbers pages 11 12 before the start of the main monologue 91 93 113 4 241 2 307 8 370 1 406 7 439 40 471 3 495 7 516 7 570 2 591 630 1 672 3 730 1 742 3 786 7 828 30 872 3 885 7 912 3 925 7 937 9 949 957 9 There are four other places where some white space occurs p168 a list of slogans that appear on a school neon sign p199 a let them eat cake flyer for the business p454 6 a list of freezer contents some things are definite like followed by an almost poetic list that runs from p645 672 At first the book and particularly the monologue seems infuriatingly relentless plotless and random but hints of momentous events start to appear after a while gradually accumulate and by the end and especially in the last 50 pages a complex dramatic and moving story has emerged and the place of the lioness in the story is clarified and the narrative techniue also gains power as the reader gets used to its uirks Much of it is topical and it is often very funnyThe story ends at page 998 after which there is an eclectic and oddly charming 25 page list of the many abbreviations in the book some of which are serious and others changed for comic effect for example MAGA becomes Make America Gyrate Again followed by a couple of pages of apposite uotesThere are many words phrases and topics that crop up repeatedly for example The fact that there must be several thousand of these Amish and Witness one of many extended film references bananas that are radioactive bears boarlets crazee Cy Young dceaglecam derecho De Smet Ducky Ducky galoshes and the history of galoshes in the movies goiters hydrangea Laura Ingalls Wilder and Little House and Almanzo macrophage nanoparticles nurdles Jake s favourite playthings earworm songMele Kalikimaka pepperpot soup Leo s favourite poffertjes uotes from Jabberwocky rose madder Silent Spring sit me down upon me oh mys and other euphemisms stink bugs styptic stick Swiffer tardigrade tartes tatin turtles stuck in plastic beercan rings wolf eelsHere are a few uotes that amused me the fact that it is kind of unlikely that there is just one Abominable Snowman given the way biology usually works and reproduction and all the fact that after all there seem to be some Abominable Snowmen in Tibet too the fact that if it s all one guy he must be a real jetsetter Abominable Jetsetter Abominable love miles rushing across the globe to visit his Abominable Snowwoman and Abominable Snowchildren Abominable Snowpeople Snowmom the fact that nobody ever seems to see an Abominable Snowmom nursing an Abominable Snowbaby the fact that I wonder if a litter of Abominable Snowchildren would be welcomed into our abominable school system the fact that Trump is like King Lear with all his tantrums the fact that he even has a favourite daughter the fact that people are lining up to play the Fool Sparkle Plenty doll Swanson TV dinners the fact that at least King Lear could form a sentence the fact that soon we won t remember what it s like to have a president that can do that the fact that it s lucky King Lear wasn t in charge of any nuclear codes Blow winds the fact that I just realized that when this monologue in my head stops I ll be dead or at least totally unconscious like a vegetable or something the fact that there are seven and a half billion people in the world so there must be seven and a half billion of these internal monologues going on apart from all the unconscious people that s seven and a half billion people worrying about their kids or their moms or both as well as taxes and window sills and medical bills the fact that I ll never know why she wrote that NAZI POTUS slogan on her shirt and wore it to school the very day they were taking the class photo with Stacy right there in the front row the fact that she says she didn t know they were taking the photo that day but she would have worn it anyway if she had the fact that she was all excited about it being in the photo but then when we got the finished photo they d blanked the photo out so her T shirt no longer said SUPER CALLOUS FRAGILE RACIST SEXIST NAZI POTUS it didn t say anything for once the fact that it just looked like she had a plain black T shirt on the fact that it s just like the way they get about immigrants the fact that maybe they ve confused the lion with an undocumented alien a non native incomer that entered Ohio illegally newcomer Newcomerstown Cheechako Dreamer a Mexican puma the fact that Newcomerstown was once called Neighbourtown so I am really out of place here since I am not a good neighbourOverall this is the kind of book that thoroughly deserved its recognition by the Booker prize and it has to be a strong contender for both the Goldsmiths Prize and the Republic of Consciousness Prize too Not an easy read but an extraordinary achievement that rewards persistence Update 3 Sep I am delighted to see this wonderful book on the Booker shortlist Update 13 Aug three weeks after finishing it this is still my favourite book of the year so far so much of it still feels fresh in the memoryI am probably not the most impartial judge but these reviews demonstrate that I am not alone in enjoying itMarchpane Gumble s Yard Neil Jonathan Ella Robert Kristian Alan Iris MJ Nicholls Leeand a couple of negative ones for balanceMeike Paul


10 thoughts on “Ducks Newburyport

  1. says:

    That fact that this is a 1000 page novel in the form of a list of an Ohio homemakerbaker’s anxieties and neuroses the fact that across these intoxicating and scathing and fear scorched pages the whole of contemporary America is encapsulated

  2. says:

    Thoughts at p 50 of Ducks NewburyportThis seems to be one of those books that make me stop in my reading tracks and think about how I read as in what's going on in my mind as my eyes glide left to right across the page then return left before sliding right again like an old fashioned typewriter though of course my eyes are not typewriters but type readers and very experienced ones having focused on billions of typed words in th

  3. says:

    Now re read after its longlisting for the Booker Prize I've re read all the three books which I rated 5 stars Re reading this one was an unusual experience because my wife was reading it at the same time although she was about 700 pages ahead of me Well she was when I started I had it down to 300 pages when she finished

  4. says:

    Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2019Deserved Winner of the Goldsmiths Prize 2019 and the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction 2020This is a brave uniue and ambitious book so full credit to Galley Beggar press for stepping in where Lucy Ellmann's previous publishers baulked and giving it such wholehearted suppor

  5. says:

    That's great it starts with an earthuakePies and cakes and tardigradesSentence breaks are seldom madeTry to nuke a hurricane watch the burnHell’s an endless news feed Youtube Morning Routines‘Suck in your gut’ Spaghet

  6. says:

    Winner of the Goldsmiths Prize 2019 sighShortlisted for the Booker Prize 2019 This book has a hypnotizing effect as it relentlessly rambles on and on and on in what is NOT a stream of consciousness or God forbid one sentence No one in their right mind has a train of thought like this midwestern housewife the la

  7. says:

    the fact this won the 2019 Goldsmith prize Golden Syrup Golden Retrieverthe fact that this is shortlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize shortlist shortbread the fact that this is longlisted for the 2019 booker prize longlisted longleat lions of longleat mountain lion the fact that madeleines are like little memory sticks but w

  8. says:

    The fact that after the second page it's just one long run on sentence sentence first verdict after afternoon tea tea for two Frère Jacues row row row your boat merrily down the stream stream of consciousness consciousness explained not Not was going to read it first but I beat her to it you can beat an egg you can beat a donkey but you can't beat Ducks Newburyport the fact that there's a second thread hardly anyone mentions the fact that

  9. says:

    The book responsible for my most annoying reading experience of 2019 wins my favourite prize I have a lot of respect for Galley Beggar and admire them for having the courage to publish such an ambitious novel My review is going to be a little unfair but there are plenty of reviews here that present only the positive sides of this novel and I can’t honestly say I enjoyed this in the slightestIt’s tempting as many have

  10. says:

    A sad satirical novel Ducks Newburyport is built on contrasts Lucy Ellmann compares and opposes the life of a harassed housewife – a product of modern civilization – to the life of a lioness – an innocent product of natureAlertness was her new mode but the cubs’ easy slumber was contagious She was always briefly astounded on waking by