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The Only Harmless Great Thing (2018)

av Brooke Bolander

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
3393057,443 (3.72)22
Early in the twentieth century, a group of female factory workers in Newark, New Jersey, slowly died of radiation poisoning. Around the same time an Indian elephant was deliberately and publicly put to death by electricity in Coney Island. These are matters of historical fact. Now these two tragedies are intertwined in a dark alternate history of rage, radioactivity, and wrongs crying out to be righted. Brace yourself for a wrenching journey that crosses eras, chronicling cruelties both grand and petty while searching for meaning and justice.… (mer)
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» Se även 22 omnämnanden

engelska (29)  tyska (1)  Alla språk (30)
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Could not get beyond page 10. Was so confused. Maybe my patience for this writing style is just abnormally low, as a lot of people seem to love this book. To be fair, I also tried to read it in several small moments when I had a chance to read. Seems like it needs a good 30 minutes of cleared reading time to crack into (and maybe finish — it's pretty short). ( )
  jzacsh | Sep 10, 2020 |
A sharp, beautiful kick in the pants. Gorgeous, vicious, and utterly original. ( )
  elenaj | Jul 31, 2020 |
Oh, humanity, SHAME ON YOU.

This is a shamefest of shameful shenanigans, from Radium Girls to massive mistreatment of elephants...

But unlike us and our own grasp of history, THEY WILL REMEMBER. :)

I've read a few of Bolander's stories and they all struck me as hardcore. In the sense that they hit hard and make you feel it in your gut and gonads, barely letting up long enough to go for another sucker punch.

Let's face it. We don't look at the crap we do to ourselves very well. Narrative restructuring for our lives has made it almost impossible to see the truth for what it is. So let's write more stories that SHAME us for the immortal monsters that we're becoming, shall we? Break through that immense narrative wall.

Ah... but... and here's the really shameful bit... people don't want to hear how bad they're being. Pointing fingers is what they do best, but those fingers never land on ourselves.

I think this novella works best for those of us willing to take our share of the blame. Or at least get angry enough to start pointing a few extra fingers at some random folk and hope it sticks. :)

Is the story fun, otherwise? Sure! Pretty awesome text that's like poetry and being inside an elephant's head. :) Oh, wait... :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
I finished *The Only Harmless Great Thing* this morning, after I woke early and couldn’t fall back to sleep. Imagine if during the period where radium was still painted on the dials of warplanes to be seen at night, elephants were introduced to replace radium girls because of their ability to endure more radiation. And also we discovered they speak a coherent language that can be translated into english. It is not a full narrative story, but a series of scenes and images, some that fall flat, and some that soar. Best of all, there are a few moments where I began to question whether or not humankind had any chance of redemption at all, or whether the world would be better off without our ratcheting little culture-brain. ( )
  jtth | May 5, 2020 |
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Early in the twentieth century, a group of female factory workers in Newark, New Jersey, slowly died of radiation poisoning. Around the same time an Indian elephant was deliberately and publicly put to death by electricity in Coney Island. These are matters of historical fact. Now these two tragedies are intertwined in a dark alternate history of rage, radioactivity, and wrongs crying out to be righted. Brace yourself for a wrenching journey that crosses eras, chronicling cruelties both grand and petty while searching for meaning and justice.

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