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44+ Works 7,167 Members 242 Reviews 24 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Olga Tokarczuk

Works by Olga Tokarczuk

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead (2009) 2,877 copies, 143 reviews
Flights (2007) 1,755 copies, 39 reviews
The Books of Jacob (2014) 999 copies, 21 reviews
Primeval and Other Times (1996) 543 copies, 13 reviews
House of Day, House of Night (1998) 355 copies, 10 reviews
The Lost Soul (2017) 149 copies, 9 reviews
Gra na wielu bębenkach (2001) 63 copies
Empuzjon (2022) 59 copies, 2 reviews
Opowiadania bizarne (2018) 58 copies, 1 review
Ostatnie historie (2004) 48 copies, 1 review
Anna in w grobowcach swiata (2007) 44 copies
E. E. (1995) 34 copies
Szafa (1997) 31 copies
Czuły narrator (2020) 29 copies, 2 reviews
Podróż ludzi Księgi (1996) 28 copies

Associated Works

Granta 78: Bad Company (2002) — Contributor — 135 copies
Granta 72: Overreachers (2000) — Contributor — 132 copies, 1 review
Best European Fiction 2011 (2010) — Contributor — 109 copies, 3 reviews
Granta 146: The Politics of Feeling (2019) — Contributor — 54 copies, 2 reviews
The Analog Sea Review: Number Four (2022) — Contributor — 4 copies

Tagged

2019 (25) 2020 (26) 2021 (30) 2022 (27) 21st century (51) animal rights (30) animals (23) astrology (56) audiobook (25) crime (23) Eastern Europe (32) ebook (41) fiction (552) historical fiction (34) hunting (25) Judaism (21) Kindle (44) literary fiction (31) literature (67) magical realism (25) murder (31) mystery (101) Nobel (28) Nobel Laureate (36) Nobel Prize (88) novel (134) Novela (19) Poland (318) Polish (110) Polish fiction (37) Polish literature (199) read (57) read in 2020 (23) Roman (34) short stories (36) to-read (589) translated (46) translation (71) travel (37) unread (24)

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Reviews

4.5

Eccentric old lady who house sits in the off season, loves astrology and William Blake’s poetry. But most of all, she loves animals. So you’d better not mess with them.

The writing is superb. The winter vibes are flawless. It did meander a little now and then but overall it was a great noir thriller set in a small polish village on the Czech Republic border with an odd cast of characters.
we all aspire to having ride or die friends like her.

rel="nofollow" target="_top">https://youtube.com/@chanelchapters… (more)
 
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spiritedstardust | 142 other reviews | Jun 1, 2024 |
Although I recognize this Man Booker Prize Shortlisted novel is well written it just wasn’t for me. Translated from Polish this noir mystery was set in rural Poland in the Kłodzko area near the Czech border. The main character is Janina Duszejko (although she despises her own name), an eccentric lady in her 60s, a retired engineer, who now lives in a remote area and is caretaker for others’ cottages during the harsh winter months. As she says, “Here the sky hangs low over us dark and low, like a dirty screen, on which the clouds are fighting fierce battles. That’s what our houses are for-to protect us from the sky, otherwise it would pervade the very inside of our bodies, where, like a little ball of glass, our Soul is sitting.” Mrs D is passionate about animals and astrology, spends hours translating Blake, and refers to people by nicknames. When her neighbour Big Foot is found dead in his home, and then two other local hunters are murdered she forms the theory that the animals have killed them out of revenge. When she sends her thoughts along with astrological evidence to the police they write her off as a crack-pot old lady (which she probably is).

On the positive side this book has a philosophical tone and Mrs D has some interesting thoughts on life. I enjoyed her theory on the aging male: “He was a man of very few words, and as it was impossible to talk, one had to keep silent. It’s hard work talking to some people, most often males. I have a Theory about it. With age, many men come down with testosterone autism, the symptoms of which are a gradual decline in social intelligence and capacity for interpersonal communication, as well as a reduced ability to formulate thoughts. The Person beset by this Ailment becomes taciturn and appears to be lost in contemplation. He develops an interest in various Tools and machinery, and he’s drawn to the Second World War and the biographies of famous people, mainly politicians and villains. His capacity to read novels almost entirely vanishes; testosterone autism disturbs the character’s psychological understanding.”

The negatives for me were that the mystery was obvious with no surprises or reveals. There was way too much detailed astrology minutiae for me and I found myself skimming whole paragraphs and pages. I’m also not drawn to stories with grisly murders, I prefer the problem-solving type of mystery. Although the book makes some valuable points about hunting and animal cruelty it is very black and white on this front with little nuance. Overall I think I’d drive my plow right away from this novel!
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mimbza | 142 other reviews | May 30, 2024 |
It's funny, interesting. I didn't love it, but it was a pleasant reading.
 
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SergioRuiz | 142 other reviews | Apr 30, 2024 |
In a remote Polish village, Janina devotes the dark winter days to studying astrology and taking care of the summer homes of wealthy Warsaw residents. Her reputation as a crank and a recluse is amplified by her not-so-secret preference for the company of animals over humans. Then a neighbor, Big Foot, turns up dead. Soon other bodies are discovered, in increasingly strange circumstances. As suspicions mount, Janina inserts herself into the investigation, certain that she knows whodunit. If only anyone would pay her mind . . .

A quirky dark tale, exquisitely written and thoroughly enjoyable.
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Quizlitbooks | 142 other reviews | Apr 20, 2024 |

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Works
44
Also by
7
Members
7,167
Popularity
#3,423
Rating
3.9
Reviews
242
ISBNs
399
Languages
33
Favorited
24

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