Tornado Weather: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 320 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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--New York Times Book Review
"The novel will stun readers with its sensitive portrayals of both likeable and unlikable characters and understanding of the social tensions in today's America... As the city's residents share their own stories, the reader finds out they are critically connected to each other... Jennifer Egan used a similar narrative technique in her Pulitzer Prize-winning 2011 novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad. The technique creates a rich array of characters and deepens the perspective of readers."
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"Much more than a thriller...a Winesburg, Ohio of small-town grotesques delivered with the starkness of Dennis Lehane. Each of the book's 18 chapters is a vignette told by a different resident of Colliersville, each with a distinct style and voice. Each reveals a subtle clue about what happened to Daisy, while Daisy's disappearance becomes a mirror that reveals the humanity--and the secrets--of the people lurking at the story's fringes. ...."
"The story is the town, the people who live in it and even the people who left it. Kennedy provides vignettes of their lives - and how those lives are interwoven - with microscopic insight. In many ways, her book is like Sherwood Anderson's "Winesburg, Ohio"... If there is one quality that elevates Kennedy's fine book, it is the empathy with which she writes... In this era when Americans left, right and center spend more time judging each other than listening to each other, hers is a rare accomplishment."
--TheStatehouseFile.com, John Krull
"Captures the warped and isolated landscape of today's American Midwest...Though this story is hung on a child gone missing and a tornado on the horizon, the focus is the flawed folks who people it. The author is a fine mimic, inhabiting her characters in such a way that we know them from the inside out....Kennedy's superb chorus leaves an indelible impression."
"As Kennedy takes readers from the trailer park to the McMansions, from the laundromat to the psych ward, she brings this flailing Midwestern town to life. She creates a rich chorus of distinct and authentic voices."
"Moving debut novel...Kennedy's writing is very good, and her dialogue rings true and keeps the stories moving...Kennedy has painted a distinctive picture of a Midwestern blue-collar town that will remind readers of Richard Russo's work. Fans of Did You Ever Have a Family, by Bill Clegg, will also find much to admire."
"Everyone knows someone else's secret, everyone has a secret held over him or her, and everyone has an opinion on what really happened to Daisy. A beautiful portrait of flawed subjects trying to find meaning and fulfillment."
"Tornado Weather is dark and dangerous and strange and wonderful, and Deborah E. Kennedy writes with the gritty poetry of Daniel Woodrell and misfit sensibility of Flannery O'Connor. So many characters swirl together--their stories compiling with cyclonic force--into this layered, powerful study of a small town in decline."
--Benjamin Percy, bestselling author of Thrill Me, The Dead Lands, Red Moon, and The Wilding
"Deborah Kennedy's vision is as clear as her embrace is wide. With Tornado Weather, she has given us a novel that startles and surprises from the first page to the last, turning our heads again and again. ... In the abundance with which [the book] is populated, and the diversity with which it is colored, it offers something considerably more than the fragments of a few stray characters. It offers the mosaic of an entire community."
--Kevin Brockmeier, bestselling author of The Brief History of the Dead
"A wonderful novel. Deborah E. Kennedy's Tornado Weather has a very distinctive energy, and there is real pathos along with subtle humor. The characters are from a social class that is too often overlooked and misrepresented. Kennedy gives them their due, with all their resourcefulness, resilience, and suffering intact."
--Charles Baxter, bestselling author of The Feast of Love
"Kennedy's engrossing portrait of rural Indiana is as compassionate as it is knowing. In language that is searing, knowing, and often brutally funny, Deborah Kennedy brings an entire rural town to life. Without condescension or caricature, she draws out the intertwining threads in the lives of a town populated in equal measure by the feckless and the blameless--and examines the fabric of small town America--its poverties and prejudices, the preoccupations and hopes of a group of people striving to live their lives in a place that prosperity has left behind. Tornado Weather holds to the light the curses that nature sends, the curses we bring on ourselves, the curses we outlive and the curses we break--the ways of the human heart both bright and dark. Truthful and timely, Kennedy's vision will spin you up into its still, silent, eye, wreck every bone in your body and touch you back down into a landscape that has been utterly transformed. Simply breathtaking. Chase this one like the tornado that it is."
--Amy Parker, author of Beasts and Children
"Generates a rain wall of wonder....Watch out for this one!"
--Michael Martone, author of Michael Martone and Winesburg, Indiana
About the Author
- File size : 1393 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : Flatiron Books (11 July 2017)
- Print length : 320 pages
- ASIN : B01N1U27YI
- Language: : English
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: 909,276 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from other countries
Novelists are urged to ‘create a world’ in their fiction; here the writer is creating a town (and all that that means for human culture and contemporary society). She creates the town by allowing the denizens of the town to describe their lives and experience. Many of the stories are sad or bittersweet and most of the story tellers are struggling personally and financially. Some are quirky—a collector of roadkill, e.g. and the always reliable teller of tales, the operator of the beauty parlor. Their stories do not focus on Daisy, the missing child. This is not like the film Rashomon, in which each speaker tells a different version of events. They are not reconstructing Daisy’s disappearance; they are describing their own lives and the interconnections of those lives with those of the other tellers.
The book is beautifully written. It is honest, human and generally apolitical. It is filled with simple but enormously-creative metaphors and similes. The author writes like an individual on her tenth novel. The prose is polished and mature to an uncommon degree and there are some laugh-out loud moments along with moments of great poignancy.
I will not spoil the genre-bending ending which is very, very unique. Some will find it strange; others will find it transcendent. Some will be nonplussed, others will be very moved.
Bottom line: an excellent mainstream novel that leverages mystery elements. It is long on humanity and short on politics. Just what we needed.
Chapters could stand on their own as short stories. One theme of the book is the layers of connection and memories that build up in a small town community. Each chapter is told from the perspective of a different character, but all the characters are connected by stories or history. While there's a missing girl in the beginning of the book and many of characters are responding in one way or another to her disappearance, that is only one of the plot points.
The other major one is change. What used to be an all white town now has Mexicans in it. There's a transgender teen, a gay young man, people who use alcohol and drugs or politics to deaden their pain. The book is set, I'd guess, maybe 5-10 years ago. I found it almost comforting to be reminded that deep political division existed before the current era.
The book is triumphant and transcendant. I can't remember when I liked a first book so much.
I also love all the little word play jokes throughout!!