HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Lobster Kings by Alexi Zentner
Loading...

The Lobster Kings

by Alexi Zentner

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1282894,050 (3.54)33
  1. 20
    A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley (kjgormley)
    kjgormley: They are both King Lear retellings.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 33 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
From Amazon: “The Kings family has lived on Loosewood Island, Nova Scotia for three hundred years, blessed with the bounty of the sea. But for the Kings, this blessing comes with a curse: the loss of every first-born son. Now, Woody Kings, the leader of the island’s lobster fishing community and the family patriarch, teeters on the throne, and Cordelia, the oldest of Woody’s three daughters, stands to inherit the crown. To do so, however, she must defend her island against meth dealers from the mainland, while navigating sibling rivalry and the vulnerable nature of her own heart when she falls in love with her sternman. Inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear, The Lobster Kings is the story of Cordelia’s struggle to maintain her island’s way of life in the face of danger from offshore, and the rich, looming, mythical legacy of her family’s namesake.”

This was excellent Atlantic Canadian literary fiction until it gave way into thriller mode at its climax.

4 stars ( )
  ParadisePorch | Jan 6, 2017 |
A book that promises much and fails to deliver. The depiction of the lobster fishing I enjoyed, discovering a world far from where I live, the prairies. The romance was tepid to hackneyed, and the references to King Lear while interesting, inevitably, this novel pales by comparison. ( )
  charlie68 | Nov 12, 2016 |
I thought this was quite excellent. It had subtle elements of action, adventure, family relationship issues and just a touch of folklore. It's likely to be one of my favourites of the year. ( )
  Iudita | Jan 17, 2016 |
Alexi Zentner’s novel is bursting with ambition. 300 years of Kings on a small east coast island on the cusp between Canada and the USA (and claimed by both); a cache of paintings by the first of the Kings, Brumfitt, that it is said depict both the history and the future of the Kings; an ancient bond with the sea and its cost in male heirs; territorial disputes between Loosewood Island and James Harbour; encroaching violence from meth runners; tempestuous storms; and a large cast of characters including the Kings family itself with three daughters and a patriarch. And overlaid, a reflected take on Shakespeare’s King Lear. It’s a lot for any author to deal with. Maybe too much.

There are sections of the novel that read beautifully. Zentner handles action scenes, whether of boats caught in storms or people storming at each other, especially well. And his minor characters all come across solidly. But his principals — Cordelia and her father, Woody — seem to be missing something. The first person voice of Cordelia is never really believable, in part because she sounds too much like her father, whom she adores. Woody, meanwhile, is so powerful both on the island and beyond as to be nearly a Prospero-like figure. Inevitably that dehumanizes him, whereas on the surface his personal story is the one that ought to garner all our sympathies. That it doesn’t, I suspect, is due to Zentner tasking himself with juggling too many balls at once. There is neither the time nor the breadth available (or taken) to develop our understanding of these characters, which forces a reliance on mythic tropes and sketched-in motivations. Ultimately the extremely violent climax (or possibly second climax) finds us drained of interest. So it plays out like the ending to an overlong movie. That’s too bad because this novel had immense potential and the writing shows an author on the verge of something truly amazing.

I’d gently recommend this book to those looking for an up and coming author. And I look forward to his next offering. ( )
  RandyMetcalfe | Nov 30, 2015 |
Blechhh. ( )
  eenerd | Sep 29, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
It bears noting that Zentner displays more talent and controlled craftsmanship in The Lobster Kings than many writers will manage in a career's worth of novels. The scope of his fictional creation, indicative of Canada's ongoing identity struggles in the 21{+s}t century, is as masterfully rendered as one of Brumfitt Kings' paintings. And like those stark paintings that rise up from the pages of the novel to provide Cordelia Kings insight in stepping forward into an untenable future, we can only hope that Zentner's mesmerizing novels will continue to reflect our own psychic discomforts back to us as oddly beautiful deliberations.
 
The Lobster Kings is purported to have been inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear. In fact, through much of the book I found myself wondering whether Zentner and I had read the same play. (If high-school English feels like a long time ago, the Coles Notes version is that nearly everyone in Lear ends up dead or crazy.) There are drug-addled villains in Zentner’s story. There are dead bodies and severed fingers and a disturbing scene involving a rape. For heaven’s sake, a dog gets shot. But still, this novel does not even scratch the surface of the insanity and darkness in Lear. The references to Shakespeare tend to feel forced....The unnecessarily lofty Shakespeare buttresses do little to conceal Zentner’s storytelling talent, though...One of Zentner’s most marked authorial talents, a skill he has carried from his first novel to his second and will surely continue to grace us with, is the ability to create a place that seems real enough to live in, yet within which there is the possibility of magic that is just believable enough and entirely unbelievable at the same time. This is the sort of magic which reminds us of why the imagination is such a powerful force – stronger even than the ocean, and certainly vaster.
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
This book is dedicated to all the men and women who work the water.

And to Laurie, Zoey, and Sabine.
First words
We're named the Kings, and we're the closest thing to royalty on Loosewood Island.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393089576, Hardcover)

“Confirms what Touch already prophesied: Alexi Zentner is one of the greatest literary architects and mythmakers working today.”—Téa Obreht

The Kings family has lived on Loosewood Island for three hundred years, and they’ve been blessed with the bounty of the sea. But for the Kings, every blessing comes with a curse. Woody Kings, the leader of the island’s lobster fishing community and the family patriarch, teeters on the throne. Cordelia, the oldest of Woody’s three daughters, stands to inherit the crown after the death of her brother. To do so, however, she has to fend off meth dealers from the mainland while navigating sibling rivalry and the vulnerable nature of her own heart when she falls in love with her sternman.

A love story and a modern epic in the grand Shakespearian vein that introduces a fiery and unforgettable heroine, The Lobster Kings is the story of Cordelia’s struggle to maintain her island’s way of life in the face of danger from offshore and the rich, looming, mythical legacy of her family’s namesake.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:37 -0400)

"The Kings family has lived on Loosewood Island for three hundred years, blessed with the bounty of the sea. But for the Kings, this blessing comes with a curse: the loss of every firstborn son. Now, Woody Kings, the leader of the island's lobster fishing community and the family patriarch, teeters on the throne, and Cordelia, the oldest of Woody's three daughters, stands to inherit the crown. To do so, however, she must defend her island from meth dealers from the mainland while navigating sibling rivalry and the vulnerable nature of her own heart when she falls in love with her sternman." --Book jacket.… (more)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
37 wanted2 pay3 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.54)
0.5
1 4
1.5
2 1
2.5 1
3 9
3.5 8
4 16
4.5 2
5 6

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alumn

The Lobster Kings by Alexi Zentner was made available through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sign up to possibly get pre-publication copies of books.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 113,796,632 books! | Top bar: Always visible