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Thin Place by Kathryn Davis
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Thin Place (original 2006; edition 2006)

by Kathryn Davis

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5282328,718 (3.49)19
Member:caviglia_jr
Title:Thin Place
Authors:Kathryn Davis
Info:Little Brown and Company (2006), Edition: 1st, Paperback, 275 pages
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The Thin Place by Kathryn Davis (2006)

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» See also 19 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Not what I expected, and not difficult. All the pieces of the jigsaw do fit together to make a provocative picture. It's not the picture on the cover, though. One tip, if you do feel intimidated - make notes to keep track of the different characters, and try to read it in big chunks. Also, enjoy it for what it is, a collection of images and ideas, not a plot-driven package. Life is messy and sometimes 'stories' should be, too. Recommended if you're in the mood for something different and, like me, you tend to read genre fiction. ( )
1 vote Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Davies is an unusual writer--kind of creepy and provocative at the same time... she introduces you to a normal kind of small town setting and then tells you what the dogs are thinking, and how the family of beavers in the town lake are dealing with environmental changes...you actually get the beavers' perspective, along with regular people and their everyday thoughts and reactions to things. It's very interesting. ( )
  KristySP | Apr 21, 2013 |
I really can't even tell you what this was about. There's this little town in New England where the membrane between worlds is very thin. This book tells about one summer in the town's history and some of the weird things that happen.

This sounded like exactly my kind of book. It wasn't. At all. I should have been warned when I read the book jacket and saw that the author had won some sort of Kafka prize. I've never read Kafka, but I have this vague idea that he's hard to understand and the reader is left unsure of what exactly just happened. That's where I am. I don't know what the point of this was. I'll be honest here and say that, maybe, if I had some sort of intellectual book club to discuss this with, I just might enjoy it more, or at least "get" it. I don't belong to a book club, but I do usually "get" books, whether I enjoy them or not, and I just don't "get" this one. I couldn't wait to finish it and I'm so disappointed that this was the book I had with me on my weekend at the beach.

If Kafka's your thing, you might like it. I don't think this book's for the average reader though. ( )
  JG_IntrovertedReader | Apr 3, 2013 |
I enjoyed this well-written, darkly humorous and literary novel. I mean "humorous" in the tragic way, not that it is funny, though there are many moments of wit. It is humorous in its brief, matter of fact summations of events both horrific and merely sad, in its choices of focus, in its language, and in its sentiments. It includes both shaggy dog stories and stories told by shaggy dogs. Some reviewers have called it Christian allegory, which is certainly there (in a raw, messy, non-sanitized way), but it is at its center an animist tale of love, loss, and beauty. Some passages remind me of Annie Dillard's ecstatic nature writing, not in tone or structure but in their dizzying and sudden revelations of worlds that constellate with the world that appeared to be the focus of the narrative. Thus, the discourse shifts from the thoughts of a girl to a narration describing rocks, or to the voice of a beaver, or the telling of a character's secret. These secrets, hopes, and vulnerabilities not just of people but of animals and landscapes, are the true "thin places" of this novel, points of congruence and divergence not just between humans but all of the world's constituents.

My only complaint about the book is not about the book, but the cover. The cover image is misleading and creates an inaccurate expectation about the book's genre. Take out the man in the funny hat, change the baby for a cat, and the wedding dress for something semi-formal from the LL Bean catalogue for a much better depiction of the novel. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
The first book of 2008 I've fallen for.

I'm short on time to review. I'll say this, if you at least get the chance to hold the book in your hand, the praises given on the back of the book are not exaggerations or mere cliches. The book DOES have a certain magic, life and originality that I haven't come across often. ( )
  palaverofbirds | Mar 29, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
The Thin Place remains the first book I’ll recommend to adventurous readers interested in checking out Davis’ work.

I can be an impatient reader when I sense a writer is being obscure for obscurity’s sake, but Davis has an oddly humble approach for someone whose work is so ambitious. She only wants you to understand how stupendous creation is, as well as all the works of human ingenuity and passion. I spotted lines from Lucretius’ On the Nature of Things, but there’s probably a lot more I missed. Perhaps if she were more grandiose (or, let’s face it, male) she’d have a large following of fanboys intent on decoding her every allusion and device, like Thomas Pynchon’s. As it is, she has a devout but tiny band of admirers. Join us.
added by elenchus | editSlate.com, Laura Miller (Mar 18, 2019)
 
When was the last time you read something truly lovely? And not only lovely, by which I mean pleasing to the imagination and the mind’s eye, but funny, too? Think about it—funny and exquisitely lovely. Now hold onto those two qualities and add these to the mix: fiercely intelligent, spiritual, and thought-provoking.
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kathryn Davisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bartlett, BoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"Beloved, I am so glad that you are happy to see me. Beloved, I am so glad, so very glad, that you have come." -- Hafiz
Dedication
For Jan Armstrong & for David Hall
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There were three girlfriends and they were walking down a trail that led to a lake.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316014249, Paperback)

In a thin place, according to legend, the membrane separating this world from the spirit world is almost nonexistent. The small New England town of Varennes is such a place, and Kathryn Davis transports us there - revealing a surprising pageant of life as, in the course of one summer, Varennes' tranquillity is shattered by the arrival of a threatening outsider, worldly and otherworldly forces come into play, and a young local girl finds her miraculous gift for resurrecting the dead tested by the conflict between logic and wish.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:51 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"In a thin place, according to legend, the membrane separating this world from the spirit world is almost nonexistent. The small new England town of Varennes is such a place, and Kathryn Davis transports us there - beginning with one bright spring morning when three girls come across the body of a man at the local lake. While two of them run to get help, the third stays with the body and brings it back to life. This is sturdy, blunt Mees Kipp, whose helpless ministry responds not to virtue or justice, only to need." "The Thin Place is the story of Mees and her friends, and the worldly and otherworldly forces that come into play in their town over the course of a summer. Like a drop of water that is seen under the microscope to be teeming with life - with old ladies and bankers, teachers and lovers, as well as with many animals, wild and domestic, that are among its most extraordinary creatures - The Thin Place illuminates every aspect of creation. It draws on commonplace forms - police blotters, garden almanacs, Sunday sermons, horoscopes, and diaries - to ground its surprising pageant." "When Varennes's tranquility is shattered by the arrival of a threatening outsider, Mees's gift is further tested by the conflict between wish and logic, between the earthly and the miraculous. Kathryn Davis addresses the precariousness of life in the twenty-first century partly by way of spiritual questions - the dream of resurrection among them."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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