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I Cheerfully Refuse

by Leif Enger

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966284,022 (4.18)None
"Set in a not-too-distant America, I Cheerfully Refuse is the tale of a bereaved and pursued musician embarking under sail on a sentient Lake Superior in search of his departed, deeply beloved, bookselling wife. Rainy, an endearing bear of an Orphean narrator, seeks refuge in the harbors, fogs, and remote islands of the inland sea. Encountering lunatic storms and rising corpses from the warming depths, Rainy finds on land an increasingly desperate and illiterate people, a malignant billionaire ruling class, crumbled infrastructure, and a lawless society. Amid the Gulliver-like challenges of life at sea and no safe landings, Rainy is lifted by physical beauty, surprising humor, generous strangers, and an unexpected companion in a young girl who comes aboard. And as his innate guileless nature begins to make an inadvertent rebel of him, Rainy's private quest for the love of his life grows into something wider and wilder, sweeping up friends and foes alike in his strengthening wake. I Cheerfully Refuse epitomizes the "musical, sometimes magical and deeply satisfying kind of storytelling" (Los Angeles Times) for which Leif Enger is cherished. A rollicking narrative in the most evocative of settings, this latest novel is a symphony against despair and a rallying cry for the future"--… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
I could not get through it. 125 pages in and I gave up. ( )
  EdGoldberg | May 20, 2024 |
A lyrical tale of a world where the 1% rule the country and normal people try to live off the radar. ( )
  DrApple | Apr 24, 2024 |
Set in a not-too-distant future marked by climate change, lawlessness, and corruption and governed by a dictatorial ruling class known as the astronauts, Rainy, a musician, and his beloved wife, Lark, a bookstore owner, live on the shore of Lake Superior until she is murdered. Rainy, in his grief, sets sail in an old sailboat partly to escape the perpetrators but also in the hope of finding Lark’s spirit. In his journey, he confronts severe storms, extreme evil and violence but he also finds friendship and hope along the way.

I Cheerfully Refuse by Lief Enger is a beautifully written dystopian tale full of contrasts between the beauty of the landscape and the horrors he encounters on shore, between the kindness of some of the characters he meets and the shocking cruelty of others and all written in lyrical prose. At times, the tale feels like a wild adventure and, at other times, like a fairy tale wonderfully told. This is not always an easy story - there are suicides, references to paedophilia, lynchings - but, in the end, there is hope. I listened to the audiobook narrated by David Aaron Baker who does an absolutely wonderful job of conveying the beauty and lyricism of Enger’s prose.

Thanks to Netgalley and RB Media for an audiobook of this novel in exchange for an honest review ( )
  lostinalibrary | Apr 13, 2024 |
Gdrd 4.24 1@5
  astonishinglight | Apr 5, 2024 |
This hot-off-the-presses dystopian novel packs a huge punch. I’m glad I didn’t shy away from reading it. Read my full review here. 3.66⭐

Publication day: April 2.

#NetGalley #RBMedia #ICheerfullyRefuse ( )
  joyblue | Apr 2, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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"Set in a not-too-distant America, I Cheerfully Refuse is the tale of a bereaved and pursued musician embarking under sail on a sentient Lake Superior in search of his departed, deeply beloved, bookselling wife. Rainy, an endearing bear of an Orphean narrator, seeks refuge in the harbors, fogs, and remote islands of the inland sea. Encountering lunatic storms and rising corpses from the warming depths, Rainy finds on land an increasingly desperate and illiterate people, a malignant billionaire ruling class, crumbled infrastructure, and a lawless society. Amid the Gulliver-like challenges of life at sea and no safe landings, Rainy is lifted by physical beauty, surprising humor, generous strangers, and an unexpected companion in a young girl who comes aboard. And as his innate guileless nature begins to make an inadvertent rebel of him, Rainy's private quest for the love of his life grows into something wider and wilder, sweeping up friends and foes alike in his strengthening wake. I Cheerfully Refuse epitomizes the "musical, sometimes magical and deeply satisfying kind of storytelling" (Los Angeles Times) for which Leif Enger is cherished. A rollicking narrative in the most evocative of settings, this latest novel is a symphony against despair and a rallying cry for the future"--

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