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Iodine by Haven Kimmel


by Haven Kimmel

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Holy. Crap. This book was amazing. I don't even have words right now to talk about it, really. Structurally innoative, linguistically divine, this is a mind fuck of a book that impressed me in ways contemporary literature rarely has been able to do. ( )
  aliceoddcabinet | Jul 25, 2015 |
Too dark! ( )
  bpompon | Nov 27, 2014 |
Something that becomes clear from the moment you start this novel is that Haven Kimmel is brilliant. She could be part of a new species of evolved humans who sit around philosophizing all day, finding a new way to live. At it's heart, this book is an adventurous journey into rural Indiana where conservative religious fanaticism, alien/extra-terrestrial encounters, mental illness, feminism, philosophy, crystal meth, and Kate Bush all manage to collide. Every page is a bit intriguing but it's also a huge train wreck that doesn't make too much sense, either. I like Haven Kimmel's writing but I think she needed to develop the cohesiveness of this novel better and I prefer The Solace of Leaving Early a great deal more because of it. ( )
  kirstiecat | Mar 31, 2013 |
Kimmel does a good job of not making it too clear, in the end, what was real and what a complete hallucination; I appreciate her willingness to leave some things to the reader's imagination, and the feel of her work in general. ( )
  KatrinkaV | Dec 7, 2011 |
"Iodine" was a difficult to book for me to read both its subject matter and the style in which it was presented. The book jacket tells us that we are faced with an "unreliable narrator." My book club has a long conversation about this. The opinions were mixed. I felt the story line was strong, but the main characters extremely damaged. Trace was a woman with extreme mental health issues, living alone, with only her dog, in an old farmhouse and her mind in her own time and place. Her reality wasn't the same as others. She was hiding from her parents and like wise the rest of the world.

There is also the person Ianthe who is Trace in the outside world, like the college she attends where she is a bright student, especially in the ares of literature and psychology. The writing of her"dream journals," brings in her past and helps expand the fuller character of Trace. It wasn’t easy for me to know whether Trace was in the past, the present or a mixed up world of dreams and fantasies. Even the relationship she becomes involved seemed half real and half delusional. I have read other books by Kimmel and will continue to do so but they are not always comfortable or easy to follow. ( )
1 vote WeeziesBooks | Feb 4, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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Each dream is a child of Night, affiliated closely with Sleep and Death, and with Forgetting (Lethe) all that the daily world remembers. Dreams have no father, no call upwards.
--James Hillman, The Dream and the Underworld

"I did this" says my Memory, "I cannot have done this," says my Pride and remains inexorable. In the end -- Memory yields.
--Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

It was an easy birth, once it had been accepted, and I was younger.
--Martha, in Edward Albee's
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
This one is for Scott Browning
Robert Rodi,
with my love and gratitude
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"I never
I never had sex with my father but I would have, if he had agreed."
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From her earliest years, Trace turned away from her abusive mother toward her loving father. Within the twisty logic of abuse, her desperate love for him took on a romantic cast that persists to this day, though she's had no contact with her family since she ran away from home years ago. Alone but for her beloved dog, she's eked out an impoverished but functional existence, living in an abandoned house, putting herself through college, and astonishing her teachers with her genius and erudition. What they don't know is that she leads a double life: thanks to forged documents, at school she is Ianthe Covington, a young woman with no past. Trace's singular life is upended when she and her literature professor fall in love. She tells him nothing about her life, and as it becomes apparent that he has his own dark secrets, she's forced to face herself and her past. After recovering a horrific, long-suppressed memory, Trace finally copes with the fallout from her brutal, bizarre childhood.--From publisher description.… (more)

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