While his writing is definitely not my usual style, I found Centuries of June to be well written and darkly humorous. The plot felt confusing at times, and although I found the stories told by the women to be entertaining, I found myself bored and distracted while reading. Personally, I would have preferred to read the women's stories as short stand-alone novellas.
However, I am impressed by the creativity it took to weave the stories together in this manner. As a lover of books, I have to comment on how beautiful the book itself is. The cover is mysterious and alluring, the book feels good in the hand, and the pages are wonderful. They are thick, with roughened, uneven natural edges.
Yeah, I know - I'm a total geek, but I was so impressed with the look and feel of the actual book, I couldn't not comment on it! It's rare that I find a book that makes me want to open it just because of the beauty and feel of the pages. You're laughing - I can tell. But seriously, it's a beautiful book! Jun 13, Chris rated it it was ok. I was so sad as I read this.
Much as I love his writing, his novels are on a downward slope. This one might not have bothered me as much if it had I was so sad as I read this. This one might not have bothered me as much if it had simply been a collection of short stories. Some of the women's tales were quite interesting--some I quite liked on their own--but I didn't feel like it worked as a novel. Perhaps this is just me.
As I hinted at above, this is a gorgeously written novel, but the lack of coherency and an enjoyable protagonist made this one hard to read. Mar 19, Matt Fitz rated it really liked it. A mixture of folklore, myth, surrealism, magical realism, and American history as a man wakes up laying on the floor with a hole in the back of his head with unknown origin.
As he tries to assess both the cause of his pain and the mess he has to clean up he is confronted by a series of 8 women who may wish him harm and a man who looks like his dad or a famous writer. Not a good book for people who need literal fiction.
If you'd like to "read" a Dali painting then this may be the book for you. Fa A mixture of folklore, myth, surrealism, magical realism, and American history as a man wakes up laying on the floor with a hole in the back of his head with unknown origin. Fantastic journey and narration and ends in an interesting fashion. Can't say too much more than that without spoilers.
May 18, Sheri rated it really liked it Shelves: I picked this up because I liked the cover and really had no idea what I was going to find. Essentially it is a collection of short stories linked together by the main character Jack. Of c I picked this up because I liked the cover and really had no idea what I was going to find. Of course, unlike Scrooge, Jack does not get his second chance; he will not wake in the morning and by the time he is reborn he will have forgotten all of these previous eight lives.
Although, the irony is in the wondering of whether he will become the cat in his ninth talking Harpo is one of my favorite characters. The stories are all rather stereotypical and emblematic of their era; some are more entertaining than others, but they are all fairly well done. I kept half expecting them to roll a die to determine what kind of weapon the next girl was going to bring in. Donohue himself made two dramaturgical references that I could appreciate: There were a few good quotes on human nature: Jun 29, Wendy Hines rated it liked it.
This has got to be one of the strangest books I have ever read. Nonetheless, it is very addictive. It opens with "Jack" watching his blood flow onto the bathroom tiles. He's hit his head with half of his naked body in the bathroom and half in the hallway. He momentarily thinks how regretful he would be if someone found him in his current situation. His pain ebbs and that is when his departed father appears sitting on the edge of the bathtub.
Jack immediately feels better and is able to stand. He This has got to be one of the strangest books I have ever read. He puts on a robe and goes to fetch his dad a shot of whiskey. But on his return to the bathroom, with the whiskey, he pauses at his bedroom and peeks in. Eight naked women are sleeping in his bed. But then one of the women appear behind him in the bathroom, and proceeds to tell him her life story. And the stories continue as each woman appears in the bathroom. Each woman is from a different point in time and some of them are mythical.
But what of Jack? Will he wake up? Who hit him on the head? Centuries of June is a unique tale that will keep the reader entranced. Crude language and sexual situations are intermixed sporadically, but humor outshines it. The talking cat, Harpo, lightens any situation the protagonist finds himself in. The character building is unique and I can honestly say that Keith Donohue has one powerful imagination. The worlds he builds for each woman is detailed and easily imagined.
A compelling novel sure to entertain! Sep 16, drey rated it really liked it Shelves: Keith Donohue is a new-to-me author, though I have The Stolen Child sitting on my shelves and it's been sitting there for a while now. But I couldn't turn down the opportunity to check out his latest, Centuries of June.
I mean, the blurb had me at "black comedy about a man who is attempting to tell the story of how he ended up on the floor with a hole in his head" How do you turn down something like that? I will admit to reading this slowly at first. In fact, it probably too Keith Donohue is a new-to-me author, though I have The Stolen Child sitting on my shelves and it's been sitting there for a while now. In fact, it probably took me a good days to get through the first two stories, which is unheard of in my reading.
- Mind Games.
- Hardback Editions.
- See a Problem?!
- CENTURIES OF JUNE by Keith Donohue | Kirkus Reviews.
- Gordons Way: A Day Like 1000 Years (The Gordons Way Series)!
- He Ought to be Shot (Murder Room).
And here I will state that while I thought those two stories were entertaining, I didn't quite get the whole picture then. In fact, I didn't even get a glimpse of what might be the whole picture. The parts involving the guy-with-the-hole-in-the-head were hazy and confusing enough, and then all these other characters showed up. Then I picked it up again--because, hey, I had to read it and review it--and started really getting into the stories.
Which is where Donohue shines, because the women and their stories were something I really enjoyed. Each character was interesting, each story had a different style about it, and it all wrapped up nicely at the end And now that it's done, I think reading each story and savoring it slowly is the way to go here.
But don't take my word for it, enter the giveaway to win your own copy. Jun 01, Bill rated it liked it. Really like this author, and this was a good book, but his debut novel, The Stolen Child , was so spectacular, and his second, Angels of Destruction , so close to that level, that this one pales just a bit by comparison. But just a bit! The great thing about this one, for me, was that there are so many stories included from so many different points in history.
It's kind of like seven short historical novellas in one book. It begins with a man waking up on his bathroom floor, totally disoriented an Really like this author, and this was a good book, but his debut novel, The Stolen Child , was so spectacular, and his second, Angels of Destruction , so close to that level, that this one pales just a bit by comparison. It begins with a man waking up on his bathroom floor, totally disoriented and with a wound on the back of his head. Upon investigation, he discovers that his bed is filled with 8 women, who proceed to visit him one by one in the bathroom, each one apparently intent upon killing him.
Their histories become the short historical novellas that form most of the rest of this story, interspersed with connecting scenes taking place in the bathroom, which continues to fill up with these women from the past who provide each new arrival with encouragement and support as each one relates her own story. The stories, by the way, are all about how each woman was mistreated, disappointed, sometimes even murdered by the man in her life.
Even once you've realized how they are all tied together, which doesn't take all that long, there is a bit of a surprise waiting at the end. Jun 18, Lee Razer rated it really liked it Shelves: Having read all of two novels by Donohue now, with a third about to be teed up, I can say I really like this author. He's a smart cookie who has also got imagination and a sense of humor, and as a novelist at least he lives in a spirit filled world. He mixes absurdist whimsy with realist melancholy in a way that really appeals to me though I readily imagine not to everyone.
Would it be absurd to compare his novels to the music of The Smiths here? Well, I won't yet, but an analogy is tickling the Having read all of two novels by Donohue now, with a third about to be teed up, I can say I really like this author. Well, I won't yet, but an analogy is tickling the back of my mind. In this novel the central character is really just a maypole, there to stand in the center while the action and colors swirl all around.
Having just received a nasty skull fracture and passed into an uncertain realm outside of normal time, he is confronted in turns by seven women from throughout several centuries of American history with whom he apparently had meaningful and fraught relationships. Nonsensically, since we are clearly not in normal physical and temporal space here, each woman begins her story with an attempt to kill him, which provides some good fun.
Their stories make up the majority of the novel… the realist melancholy married to the framework of absurd whimsy, the combination I so enjoy. Nov 03, Kelly rated it it was amazing Shelves: It's been a few weeks and I still cannot fully express how much I loved this book and why.
It's like asking a 2 year old to explain dark matter Irrespective of being a grown ass woman who knows how to use her words, I just can't put together a bunch in such a way that you want to buy this book. It could also be the lack of serotonin and an abundance of chocolate. Either way, do me a favor, just buy the damn book.
Centuries of June by Keith Donohue | Review | Historical Novels Review
And if my vulgar demand isn't enough, just read this small excerpt fr It's been a few weeks and I still cannot fully express how much I loved this book and why. And if my vulgar demand isn't enough, just read this small excerpt from the Washington Post's review of the book Donohue puts a wide range of voices and methods to work, some of which succeed better than others.
But what lies beneath is his delight in exploring the interplay of reality and fantasy, of things temporal and eternal Jul 03, Kevin Farrell rated it liked it. This booked is packed with stories, each told by a woman from a different era in history. The audience is a young man who has apparently just died a violent death. That is all I am going to tell you.
None of it makes sense until the end. Was it worth the trip? I can recommend this book for wonderful writing, interesting characters and great stories. What it lacked for me was some understanding of how they were supposed to fit together. This is not a fault of how it is written. This is This booked is packed with stories, each told by a woman from a different era in history. This is just the purpose of this novel. It raises many questions in your mind as you read and answers very few. Read some other reviews and give it a go if you like the sound of it.
I absolutely loved just about every second if this book. I loved the characters, I loved the story, I loved the end. All good things in this interesting, historical tale. The story is told from different POVs and each one is totally believable, as are the actual stories they tell.
There is violence; there is sex, revenge, and sadness. I read this book for my yearly challenge - this one was a book with the month you were born in the title. With this book, and f I absolutely loved just about every second if this book. With this book, and fur s lot of other reasons, too, I am so glad I was born in June. May 03, Pam marked it as to-read Shelves: Won a free copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads!! Not a madcap romp; not funny Billed as a madcap romp. More like a strange collection of short stories.
It is an odd book, and I was annoyed by the female characters. The author has them telling their own stories, but he doesn't know how to speak in a woman's voice. All the woman sounded like what a man thinks a women sounds like. The bear woman falls in love with a man who rapes her. Jane is offered up like a plaything and is fine with this.
This was a fantasy written by a man disguised as a book Not a madcap romp; not funny Billed as a madcap romp. This was a fantasy written by a man disguised as a book about female empowerment. I'm not buying it Sep 07, Carol Ann rated it it was amazing. I nearly put it down but persevered. It became very absorbing. A magical tale married with grief, regret, fantasy and humor. Nov 05, Jeanette rated it liked it. Jul 21, Marnie Zorn rated it it was ok.
Mar 22, Mike rated it it was ok. Donohue's 1st effort at writing a novel was very weak. Jul 30, Judy Wiebe rated it liked it. An interesting collection of stories from multiple centuries, all linked to one man. It took a while to get the drift, but eventually it all made sense. Alle Frauen hatten sie eines gemein, ein Mann in ihren Leben das ihr Leben aus der Bann geworfen hat.
Was die einzelnen Geschichten der Damen ebenfalls ausgemacht haben, war die Mystik die sie beinhalteten. Auch wenn es eine sehr heftige und unmenschliche Zeit war. Feb 19, Cornelia Franke rated it really liked it. Das Buch beginnt mit seinem Sturz im Badezimmer, der Leser sieht Jack also nie in seinem wirklichen Leben agieren, sondern nur in der Traumblase, in der die acht Frauen und Beckett ihn aufsuchen.
Die Frauen jedoch sind einmalig. Wild, leidenschaftlich, treu, ehrgeizig. Und obwohl sie nur kurz und epidosenhaft ihre Leben wiedergeben, konnte ich sie beim Lesen greifen. Deswegen hatte ich auf den ersten hundert Seiten Probleme, in den Text zu finden, eigentlich mag ich keine Episodengeschichten. Weder im Film noch als Buch. Ich wollte wissen, was sich hinter den anderen Frauen verbirgt, was mit Jack geschehen ist. Verschachtelt, wunderlich, poetisch, aber klug und stilistisch sehr gut verfasst.
Dieses Buch zu lesen, ist wie einen Dali auseinander zu nehmen. So wie Jack beginnt eine neue Runde, ein neuer Abschnitt und das fand ich erstaunlich: Wie ein Traum im Traum, eigentlich passiert nichts und gleichzeitig passiert zwischen den Zeilen unglaublich viel. Es ist ein leises Buch, aber nichtsdetotrotz phantastisch. Jun 30, Gladys McGuillicutty rated it really liked it. I am always thrilled and excited to read new authors so I readily accepted.
It is difficult in this age of instant gratification and self publishing to find original and intriguing stories. You know how it is you pick up a book and start reading an instantly know you ha A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by Crown Publishers to review Centuries of June by Keith Donohue. You know how it is you pick up a book and start reading an instantly know you have read this story before except instead of Miami it was set in Milan and instead of the protagonist being Joe its Juan. Not so with this story. He did incorporate other stories but he made them his own by entwining them into his own tale.
I began reading Centuries of June by Keith Donohue and immediately the movie began playing in my mind. I love it when an author can create a story so vivid I loose all sense of space and time and this is exactly what Mr. A young man struck in the head and the 7 women who visit him through his stupefied state.
The old man who protected and helped him through the journeys of his mind and who and what was he really? Each visit opened more questions with little resolve, each ghostly and beautiful visitor adding to the mystery as well as the question as to why our main character was bludgeoned in his own bathroom. The more you read the more you try to decipher who the old man is and why is he there, why are these women all trying to kill our poor architect and who is the woman asleep in the bed facing the wall. His dark humor and storytelling abilities kept me on the edge of my seat waiting for the punch-line.
He took me into that cold tiled bathroom and then carried me from primeval forests of the pacific northwest through the gold rush and on into the early 20th century reminding me of the pain and suffering women have lived through to give me the freedoms I have today. I thoroughly enjoyed my romp through the centuries with Mr. But he keeps getting interrupted by a series of suspects--eight women lying in the bedroom just down the hall.
Each woman tells a story drawn from five centuries of American myth and legend in a wild medley of styles and voices. Centuries of June is a romp through history, a madcap murder mystery, an existential ghost story, and a stunning tour de force at once ingenious, sexy, inspiring, and ultimately deeply moving. The Song of Achilles Madeline Miller. Not Perfect Elizabeth LaBan. Kill Creek Scott Thomas.
Centuries of June Author s: A Novel Author s: