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The Enchanted: A Novel by Rene Denfeld
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The Enchanted: A Novel (edition 2014)

by Rene Denfeld

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8256620,258 (4.06)73
The enchanted place is an ancient stone prison, viewed through the eyes of a death row inmate who finds escape in his books and in re-imagining life around him. A female investigator searches for buried information from prisoners' pasts that can save those soon-to-be-executed. Digging into the background of a killer named York, she uncovers wrenching truths that challenge familiar notions of victim and criminal, innocence and guilt, and reveals shocking secrets of her own.… (more)
Member:aarti
Title:The Enchanted: A Novel
Authors:Rene Denfeld
Info:Harper (2014), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:E-Book, Fantasy, Contemporary, Magical Realism, 2014

Work details

The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld

  1. 00
    The Keep by Jennifer Egan (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: Imagination of prison inmates
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Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
The Enchanted is viewed through the eyes of a death row inmate who finds escape in his books and in re-imagining life around him, weaving a fantastical story of the world he inhabits. Fearful and reclusive, he senses what others cannot. Though bars confine him every minute of every day, he marries magical visions of golden horses running beneath the prison, heat flowing like molten metal from their backs, with the devastating violence of prison life.

Two outsiders venture here: a fallen priest, and the Lady, an investigator who searches for buried information from prisoners’ pasts that can save those soon-to-be-executed. Digging into the background of a killer named York, she uncovers wrenching truths that challenge familiar notions of victim and criminal, innocence and guilt, honor and corruption-ultimately revealing shocking secrets of her own.

Beautiful and transcendent, The Enchanted reminds us of how our humanity connects us all, and how beauty and love exist even amidst the most nightmarish reality. It is a critical examination of mass incarceration, violence, and the meaning of justice and hope.
  Gmomaj | Sep 20, 2021 |
This book better be as good as everyone is raving that it is.
  Jinjer | Jul 19, 2021 |
A well-written, but haunting novel. Narrated largely by a mute, waiting on death row with a vivid imagination and horrors of his own, the story follows three primary characters: a prisoner about to be executed, a female specialist trying to work on an appeal he does not want, and a fallen priest. The Lady's own history is eerily similar to the prisoners without the same ending, but she suffers from low self-esteem. I think it is not unlike "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest:" depressing, but stunning. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
It an easy story. Well told, though. ( )
  KittyCunningham | Apr 26, 2021 |
I'm not even 100% sure what to think about this book because it was so different from anything I have ever read before. In fact, right after I finished reading it, I flipped back to certain parts of the book because I wanted to re-read them because they were so different.

The Enchanted starts out a little confusing because you learn only one person's name throughout the majority of the book. The book is set in a prison (mostly following a few characters on death row) and while all the stories tie up nicely in the end, in the beginning of the story, it is very confusing how everything is supposed to work together. Our unknown narrator seems able to sense fantastical things that happen in the enchanted prison (slight tectonic shifts he sees as golden horses running below the ground) and our narrator also seems hyper aware of what others are feeling and doing at just about any given time. It was this that started a little of my confusion. I was left wondering throughout most of the book whether there was actually any kind of fantastical events happening or whether it was all in the narrator's head. We learn early on that the narrator likes to read books and spend a lot of his time in a book, so he may pull some of his experiences from things he has read, but you never know. I kept wondering how much was real and how much was coming straight from the narrator's head.

The book also follows "the woman" who is researching York (a prisoner on death row) and his life so he can possibly win an appeal. This will not take him out of prison, but will simply save his life from death row. There were disturbing things throughout "the woman's" investigation that I was left wondering who I should feel bad for. Not everything that a person does is simply done because they feel like it. A person becomes the person they are based on multiple factors: the strongest of which could be seen to be their home background. York (as well as a few other characters in this book) have had horrible home lives and their actions later on in life are reflected in this. Many people become products of their environments and some cannot help that their parents were not present or not good parents in general. This book explores these ideas, as well as how those who are intellectually challenged fit into the mix of these ideas.

We also follow "the white haired boy". It is through this boy that we are able to see and closely examine what life can sometimes be like for certain inmates in a prison and how corrupt prison life can be like. While I don't think all prison systems are like this, I certainly believe there are some locations throughout the country/world where things are as bad as what is described in this book.

Finally we follow "the fallen priest" where one is left thinking about the choices one makes in life and whether there can be true forgiveness for certain things that are done by certain individuals.

This book was beautifully written! The prose was so flowery yet real in its descriptions. Feelings of all and any characters were very closely examined by our unnamed author which left you thinking about topics that one doesn't usually think about. I will definitely read this again sometime in the future and look forward to reading it when I will have a better understanding of how things happen and how they tie in to the bigger picture of the entire story.

I just want everyone to read this so I can have conversations with others about this! ( )
  courty4189 | Mar 24, 2021 |
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For Marty
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This is an enchanted place. Others don't see it but I do.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The enchanted place is an ancient stone prison, viewed through the eyes of a death row inmate who finds escape in his books and in re-imagining life around him. A female investigator searches for buried information from prisoners' pasts that can save those soon-to-be-executed. Digging into the background of a killer named York, she uncovers wrenching truths that challenge familiar notions of victim and criminal, innocence and guilt, and reveals shocking secrets of her own.

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