Site Overlay


Swamplandia From the celebrated twenty nine year old author of the everywhere heralded short story collection St Lucy s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves How I wish these were my own words instead of the breakneck

From the celebrated twenty nine year old author of the everywhere heralded short story collection St Lucy s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves How I wish these were my own words, instead of the breakneck demon writer Karen Russell s Run for your life This girl is on fire Los Angeles Times Book Review comes a blazingly original debut novel that takes us back to theFrom the celebrated twenty nine year old author of the everywhere heralded short story collection St Lucy s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves How I wish these were my own words, instead of the breakneck demon writer Karen Russell s Run for your life This girl is on fire Los Angeles Times Book Review comes a blazingly original debut novel that takes us back to the swamps of the Florida Everglades, and introduces us to Ava Bigtree, an unforgettable young heroine.The Bigtree alligator wrestling dynasty is in decline, and Swamplandia , their island home and gator wrestling theme park, formerly 1 in the region, is swiftly being encroached upon by a fearsome and sophisticated competitor called the World of Darkness Ava s mother, the park s indomitable headliner, has just died her sister, Ossie, has fallen in love with a spooky character known as the Dredgeman, who may or may not be an actual ghost and her brilliant big brother, Kiwi, who dreams of becoming a scholar, has just defected to the World of Darkness in a last ditch effort to keep their family business from going under Ava s father, affectionately known as Chief Bigtree, is AWOL and that leaves Ava, a resourceful but terrified thirteen, to manage ninety eight gators and the vast, inscrutable landscape of her own grief.Against a backdrop of hauntingly fecund plant life animated by ancient lizards and lawless hungers, Karen Russell has written an utterly singular n

  • Unlimited Swamplandia! - by Karen Russell David Ackroyd Arielle Sitrick
    255 Karen Russell David Ackroyd Arielle Sitrick

About Author

  1. Karen Russell David Ackroyd Arielle Sitrick says:
    Karen Russell graduated from Columbia University s MFA program in 2006 Her stories have been featured in The Best American Short Stories, Conjunctions, Granta, The New Yorker, Oxford American, and Zoetrope Her first book of short stories, St Lucy s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, was published in September 2006 In November 2009, she was named a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree In June 2010, she was named a New Yorker 20 Under 40 honoree Her first novel, Swamplandia , was published in February 2011.She lives in Washington Heights, New York.

Comment 767 on “Swamplandia!

  1. Oriana says:
    Hey, it s my latest and meanest review for CCLaP I also put this on my CCLaP best of 2011 list for best total disappointment.Perhaps Swamplandia is a case of being careful what you wish for Perhaps it was a back handed slap against wish fulfillment Perhaps it should force me to reexamine deeply held prejudices, or at least preferences, which would make me grow as a reader and a person, ultimately making me open minded, forgiving, and calm.Or maybe it s just a bad book.Let s start with this I ha [...]

  2. Olivia says:
    Geez, Karen Russell WTF I loved the idea of Swamplandia so much The story is strange, the title is awesome, and the setting and characters are completely foreign to me alligators swamps ghosts a bird man Florida lots of exclamation points used with wild abandon Swamplandia woo hoo, right Unfortunately, no There is no woo hoo in this book at all Russell is clearly a talented writer with a cutting sense of humor of which she shows a few hints in the beginning , but this story is one that I d pay g [...]

  3. Jenna says:
    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 no [...]

  4. Jill says:
    Swamplandia is its very own Rorschach test A reader can see in it most anything he or she wants Is it a terrifying supernatural thriller A fast paced adventure story An elegiac narrative about a dysfunctional family slowly spinning out of control A cautionary tale about the perils of being an outsider Or a quirky and dream like parable using the swamp as a mythic archetype In fact, it s all these things Yet above all else, Swamplandia is a lavishly imagined and highly original coming of age stor [...]

  5. Krok Zero says:
    So where did Swamplandia go wrong Was it the point at which the narrative branches off into two tracks, following the separate adventures of the protagonist s wayward brother Was it the inclusion of a play within the play, suddenly covering the life story of a new character Was it the general shift in tone from quirkily heartfelt family novel to weak magical realism about ghosts Or did the real trouble begin at conception, when promising young fictionist Karen Russell had the idea to expand one [...]

  6. Pattie says:
    Whenever I read a review on good reads that starts This was too dark I just roll my eyes Bring on the complexity, bring on the darkness But this may have been too dark and sad even for me, not saved by an end that felt tacked on Darkness and sadness this deep needs some hint of humor to make it bearable, and this story is almost completely unrelievedly, unremittingly dark Well, okay, the World of Darkness was pretty funny I loved St Lucy s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves and really, really wante [...]

  7. Kerri says:
    This was 4 5 star territory, until 7 8 through the book, you know THAT part I feel like I was sold a bill of goods I liked what I was sold a book with some seriously beautifully depicted magical realism, a hero with a call, and an unlikely helper, almost a spirit guide I mean, I was quite aware of where that relationship could have headed, and I kept consciously thinking, I m glad that I really believe that the author is going to take it on a original path than that But nope even seeing all the [...]

  8. Karen! says:
    I had completely forgotten that I had read this book And then recommended that I read it Fail Fail Reviewing this book has prompted me to add a brand new bookshelf What is wrong with the world Although, I think that the didn t make it They are understood, I hope.This is one of those books that you start out kind of liking who doesn t want to read about an alligator park in Florida where the mother of 3 children is a phenomenal alligator wrestler And then she dies Of Cancer So the family tries to [...]

  9. Saleh MoonWalker says:
    Onvan Swamplandia Nevisande Karen Russell ISBN 307263991 ISBN13 9780307263995 Dar 323 Safhe Saal e Chap 2011

  10. Sarah Ryburn says:
    3 4Getting into this story was a bit of a task Somewhere around page 89, however, I realized that I didn t want to put it down Russell is an excellent writer, despite the occasional split infinitive personal pet peeve , and her story sparked some truly rich and engaging discussion one particularly fine April evening This is a novel that lends itself to discussion and not of the I liked it when variety Russell s approach is subtle she is a master of showing rather than telling, pairing terse, som [...]

  11. Stephanie says:
    I didn t like this book because it was boring, not interesting and annoying.Interested to know what happens, but don t want to waste than a minute or two Read my synopsis view spoiler A girl named Ava lives on an island in the swampy everglades with her dad, who calls himself the chief but isn t actually Native American at all, and her sister and brother They own and live in a tourist trap called Swamplandia which is basically an alligator wrestling show and a bunch of crap The mom was the main [...]

  12. meeners says:
    i confess giving this book even two stars is a struggle i was ready to like it, to praise its finely crafted prose until maybe 50 pages in, when i started to feel some serious reading fatigue from all the Finely Crafted Prose emphatic capitalization necessary 100 pages in, and i was ready to throw my kindle against the wall in a fit of Finely Crafted Prose pique i ve got nothing against careful, ponderous writing, but writing that basically sits there preening at its reflection in the mirror, re [...]

  13. Marco Kaye says:
    No one writes sentences quite like Karen Russell They are charming, mysterious, and miles from normal Here, she vividly describes a meal made by Chief Bigtree, the wayward father of the book Tiny broccoli florets floated in the gluey cheese like a forest consumed by lava The sky, yawned blue at us, then disappeared Another one of my favorite sky sentences, A huge hole in the middle of the ceiling opened into the clear night sky it looked as if some great predator had peeled the thatched roof bac [...]

  14. Melki says:
    When gator wrester Hilola Bigtree, Swamplandia s star attraction, dies, her family is left grasping at straws Her husband, Chief Bigtree, up and disappears, off to raise funds for his Carnival Darwinism expansion project Oldest daughter, Osceola, not only sees dead people, she s beginning to date them Son Kiwi runs off to work for the competition, a bizarre theme park called World of Darkness And youngest daughter Ava schemes to save the park with her secret weapona beautiful red alligator The b [...]

  15. Debra says:
    Stephen King says Sisters Ava and Ossie Bigtree are left in charge of their family s fading Everglades theme park, Swamplandia , when a flashier attraction World of Darkness think hell with roller coasters opens nearby Russell is a tremendously gifted writer, and Swamplandia goes rollicking right alonguntil you get to the bone chilling second half, which is as terrifying as Deliverance It ll be published in early 2011 Don t miss it I thought this book was wonderful the writing sublime, the chara [...]

  16. Jack says:
    The best book I ve read in ten years, exclaimed my older brother, Phil Given that he is a bit weird, as are his tastes, I took his words with a shaker of salt Phil was one of the very first hippies in Kansas, back when they were ostracized as if they had some deadly communicable disease He has always marched to his own drum beat, a bizarre cadence that I often don t hear or fully understand So I assumed that Karen Russell s Swamplandia would be as unconventional as my brother But I had read Russ [...]

  17. Kim G says:
    I should have loved this book, it s so awesome in theory Karen Russell s talent for imagery is insane, I have a major obsession with circus carnival fiction, this book even has a bear that s a member of the family named Judy Garland criminally underused, by the way I mean, c mon, SOLD But I didn t enjoy it It probably deserves like 2.5 stars, because it s got its strong points, but it could and should have been so much better.It starts out really well The core of the book, the family at Swampla [...]

  18. Madeline says:
    When I read Karen Russell s debut short story collection, St Lucy s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, I was frustrated by the way almost all the stories stopped rather than ended, leaving unanswered questions and no resolutions Which is a shame Russell s writing is gorgeous, and she creates these endlessly fascinating characters and settings that walk the line between reality and magical realism I was excited to start this book an expanded look at the family of alligator wrestlers and owners of t [...]

  19. Hannah Garden says:
    Well well, okay Okay, no I mean, yes she has a seriously goddamn dazzling instinct when it comes to turning an exquisite phrase And the plot is inventive And it s set in Florida, land of my sticky swampy childhood o heart, o little busted swampheart But she has NO instinct for measuring out her exquisite phrases in palatable dollops she just smears them all over every page with the mindless wonky eyed mania of a two year old frosting a cake globs and wads of sugarpaste everywhere, enough so I [...]

  20. Jeffrey Mervosh says:
    Wow I loved this book It is certainly not for everyone, as it is deeply dark and tragic and switches between silliness and terror in the unclear haze of magical realism, but it is also evocative, captivating, and full of wonderfully vivid prose ruminating on love and the loss of childhood One of the best books and strongest characters Ava I have encountered in some time.Update After two weeks to reflect and think about my review I ve down graded it to four stars This isn t to take away from the [...]

  21. Paula Margulies says:
    A lushly written, quirky, and oddly compelling book, although I felt a little cheated after finishing it, mainly because of the loosely ended plot The setting is one of the best I ve seen in fiction a steamy, mucky Florida swampland theme park called Swamplandia hosted by the Bigtrees, a family of alligator wrestlers The main character, Ava, is plucky and devoted to her family, which unravels when her mother, whose dives into an alligator infested pond is the chief attraction at Swamplandia , di [...]

  22. A.J. Howard says:
    Swamplandia begs George Saunders references Karen Russell shares Saunders fascination with the peculiar Americana of the tourist trap The titular attraction here is the island home of the Bigtree Tribe, a family of eratz Indian alligator wrestlers However, whereas the attractions become characters of Saunders stories, Russell s characters are themselves the attractions of Swamplandia Their faces appear on the billboards and promotional material and one of the attractions is a museum devoted to t [...]

  23. Karin says:
    This young author was successful at writing narrative in the first person, characterized simultaneously by the limited perspective and understanding of a child and insights befitting an adult Her descriptions of the flora and fauna of a Florida swamp suggest an interest or training in botony zoology, and she writes persuasively and sensitively about her protagonist s parents a couple trying, and failing, to live outside of society to realize their Utopian dream on the island known as Swamplandia [...]

  24. Megan Baxter says:
    Swamplandia is the story of a family on the verge of failure, and the various ways that collapse comes to pass after Hilola Bigtree, mother, wife and celebrated alligator wrestler, dies suddenly It s the story of a family struggling in uncertain economic times, being squeezed out by a corporate theme park, and the various ways Chief Bigtree and his three children, Kiwi, Osceola and Ava try to cope.Note The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in policy and enforcement You ca [...]

  25. Allie Riley says:
    Very powerful Can the alligator wrestling Bigtree family survive the death of their star and beloved mother Hilola and the popularity of new rival theme park World of Darkness Each family member reacts differently to the two pronged crisis but when elder daughter Osceola slopes off to the Underworld to marry her host fiance, Louis Thanksgiving, and her 13 year old sister enlists the help of the enigmatic Bird Man to go after her, the family unity is tested to its limits Brilliantly written and w [...]

  26. Rebecca Renner says:
    I live tweeted my reading of part of this book because I m hunkered down for Hurricane Irma but thankfully I still have power For a extensive version of my thoughts on Swamplandia , you can read the series of tweets.In the end, I thought that Swamplandia was a novel that really should have been a few strong short stories instead.There was a lot to like about the book I especially enjoyed the specificity Russell used when she talked about ecology, flora and fauna, and Florida history Those are s [...]

  27. Jon says:
    I loved this book By turns, it s funny, whimsical, satirical, and than a little gothic as it tells the story of plucky 13 year old Ava Bigtree, her family, and their gator wrestling themed amusement park, Swamplandia, located deep in the Florida Everglades Anyone expecting realism will be disappointed The book is filled with eccentric characters and the plot takes a hard right turn into the supernatural early on The eccentricity starts with the Bigtree family themselves Though the parents are w [...]

  28. Jenny (Reading Envy) says:
    When I found out that Karen Russell turned one of her short stories from St Lucy s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves Stories into a novel, I knew I had to read it The story this is expanded from is Ava Wrestles the Alligator, and as far as I can tell, the story can easily be contained within the time period of the novel It may happen slightly before.I m a little torn on this book I ve read some reviews that shred it, and I understand their points, but I think other strengths of the book redeem it [...]

  29. Janetmanley says:
    Although Karen Russell claims her indebtedness to several authors in the acknowledgments of Swamplandia, the book was so rattlingly new to me, I didn t see the borrowings I had a swell time wading through the pseudo comedy fantasy, which she centered around an alligator wrestling theme park in mangrove swamp off Florida s coast, and populated by the eccentric Bigtree family, headed up by the indefatigable Chief Bigtree until he was defatigable When I reached a climax of sorts three quarters of t [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *