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Prodigal Summer: A Novel av Barbara…
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Prodigal Summer: A Novel (urspr publ 2000; utgåvan 2001)

av Barbara Kingsolver (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
8,178177764 (3.99)341
'Prodigal Summer' describes a single burgeoning season as experienced by the inhabitants of an Appalachian farming community. Deanna Wolfe is a Forest Service ranger who watches over the complex ecosystem of Zebulon mountain; Eddie Bondo is a young hunter to whom a predator is merely prey. Garnett Walker is a widower still mourning his long-dead wife and the blight-struck American Chestnut. Garnett conducts a determined philosophic battle with his neighbor and nemesis Nannie Riley. Lusa Landowski is an outsider who becomes stranded in Zebulon county after her young husband's tragic death. A complex web of human needs and desires surrounded by the greater struggle between species continuation and species extinction. Prose is luxurious and sensual and the text is woven through with both grief and humor.… (mer)
Medlem:Meg_Taylor
Titel:Prodigal Summer: A Novel
Författare:Barbara Kingsolver (Författare)
Info:Harper Perennial (2001), 464 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:*****
Taggar:MT, book

Verkdetaljer

Prodigal Summer av Barbara Kingsolver (2000)

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    BillPilgrim: I heard the comparison/recommendation here: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/07/25/midmorning2/
  3. 00
    Where the Wild Things Were: Life, Death, and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators av William Stolzenburg (Othemts)
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engelska (174)  franska (1)  Alla språk (175)
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This is a noteworthy book that exemplifies accomplished writing, interleaving the natural world with the more immediate human bubble, depicting conflicting proclivities through contrasting characters, even contradictions in individual thinking. Also in showing how alike all life forms are, differing for the most part only morphologically in niche adaptation with varying subjective perspectives.

An example of contradictory thinking depicted is one of the characters believing wholeheartedly in 'Creation Science,' yet trying to improve the disease resistance of a tree species through successive artificial selection — the same technique Nature employs through evolution. 'Survival of the fittest' has nothing to do with with brutishness, and everything to do with adaptability.

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." ~ Mark Twain

There is more to the story to be sure, with characters fleshed out realistically, some even exhibiting a bit of comic relief, plot-line dots to be connected, and the absurdities, misunderstandings, and caring in extended family and neighbor relations. The essence of the story to me though, is our weedy species inability for the most part to recognize what sustains our being any more than our animal cousins do — the connectedness of all life.

Like humans, "A bird never doubts its place at the center of the universe." [from Prodigal Summer]

As an example of the plot, in the first chapter the story begins in introducing the reader to not only a main character, but also to Nature in the randiness of spring as seen through the human umwelt. It's a thread exploited further as the story progresses, spiked with joy, enmity, loss, and irony. What better way to grab the reader's interest than with hormonal enticement, the subjective issues it engenders, and accompanying pleasures and resentments. In my experience, that's the cornerstone of much of literature. I'm not complaining mind you, I'm for whatever might work to hopefully instill a better understanding of the natural world that sustains us — that for the sake of our futures.

What may annoy some in this writing are passages of character thoughts that those reading for entertainment only don't want to think about. Even these character thoughts aren't necessarily dispensed as gospel though, as they may be muddled, even contradicted, further on, leaving the reader to ponder the subjective good vs. bad aspects of the natural world that perplex us. Nature is oblivious to our considered rights and wrongs, adapting life forms in moving on, intent on balancing the paradoxical and symbiotic interactions among evolving life forms in preserving a continuum of physical life.

"The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think." ~ Edwin Schlossberg

I thought the story even handed and the ending a nice touch. I also thought the story well crafted in knowing what to leave out.

Even to those averse to the natural world being a relevant 'character' in the story though, it can be an engrossing read. Pair this book with reading other quality eco-lit, like that of Wendell Berry, Richard Powers, Edward O. Wilson, Rachel Carson, etc., and there is the potential of a heap of wisdom to be gained. It's our futures that are at stake ;-)
( )
1 rösta LGCullens | Jun 1, 2021 |
"Prodigal Summer" weaves together three seemingly separate storylines, the most prominent one focusing on details about participants in an Appalachian natural ecosystem and human ecosystem: in these chapters, Forest Ranger Deanna is dedicated to protecting coyotes and is attracted to a local farmer who hunts them. Another storyline is about an etymologist who must learn to get along with her inlaws, and the third is a farmer who wants to protect his chestnut saplings. The book is well researched and the characters are believable.
Though the main characters in each storyline feel alone, the book shows how they're all connected. The women each represent parts of the natural world -- plant, insect and mammal. Interestingly, the couples seem to be opposites that attract.
Kingsolver uses the opportunity to educate the reader about the interconnection of everything in the environment, including humans. ( )
  dcvance | May 4, 2021 |
A story of three sets of intersecting characters set in marginal Appalachian farmland adjoining state forest. The birds and the bees, and the moths and the trees are all lead characters in this lush tale.
The author can write - plot, characterisation and setting are all done so well. I find that recently I am reading more female authors and enjoying the results. I wonder if less testosterone improves the accuaracy of character observation?
But in this book, a mild criticism, I felt that the author was addressing a female audience more than a general audience. This isn't a problem - it's probably time that men were given the task of seeing the world through other eyes? ( )
  mbmackay | Apr 4, 2021 |
One of my favorite books. I recommend this to a lot of people and I keep multiple copies so I can give it away to someone when I know they will love it.

How do I know they will love it? When someone brings up a love of nature and/or an understanding of the interconnectedness between nature and people, I recommend "Prodigal Summer."

The book speaks to that aforementioned interconnectedness and the value of the ecosystem and the vitality and importance of it and the creatures in it. It's a wonderful read. Kingsolver writes the most beautiful stories. ( )
  coffeefairy | Nov 21, 2020 |
I loved the way that science as entwined within the stories of this book. I loved that the characters were strong women. I loved the descriptions of the forest and farming, which unlike some books didn’t seem to come in clumps, but were part of the story itself. I loved the grumpy old man and the mad old lady. I hated the frayed, unresolved feel of the end. ( )
  Happenence | Oct 2, 2020 |
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Readers hoping for the emotional intensity and wide-angle vision of ''The Poisonwood Bible,'' Kingsolver's magnificent 1998 epic about a self-destructing missionary family in the newly independent Congo, will most likely be disappointed. But the legions of fans primed on earlier books like ''Animal Dreams'' and ''The Bean Trees'' will find themselves back on familiar, well-cleared ground of plucky heroines, liberal politics and vivid descriptions of the natural world.
 
In an improbably appealing book with the feeling of a nice stay inside a terrarium, Ms. Kingsolver means to illustrate the nature of biological destiny and provide enlightened discourse on various ecological matters.
 
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Prothalamium
Come, all you who are not satisfied
as ruler in a lone, wallpapered room
full of mute birds, and flowers that falsely bloom,
and closets choked with dreams that long ago died!
Come, let us sweep the old streets--like a bride:
sweep out dead leaves with a relentless broom;
prepare for Spring, as though he were our greem
for whose light footstep eagerly we bide.
We'll sweep out shadows, where the rats long fed;
sweep out our shame--and in its place we'll make
a bower for love, a splendid marriage-bed
fragrant with flowers aquiver for the Spring.
And when he comes, our murdered dreams shall wake;
and when he comes, all the mute birds shall sing.
--Aaron Kramer
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--for Steven, Camille, and Lily,
and for wildness, where it lives
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Her body moved with the frankness that comes from solitary habits.
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Arguments could fill a marriage like water, running through everything, always, with no taste or color but lots of noise.
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Wikipedia på engelska (2)

'Prodigal Summer' describes a single burgeoning season as experienced by the inhabitants of an Appalachian farming community. Deanna Wolfe is a Forest Service ranger who watches over the complex ecosystem of Zebulon mountain; Eddie Bondo is a young hunter to whom a predator is merely prey. Garnett Walker is a widower still mourning his long-dead wife and the blight-struck American Chestnut. Garnett conducts a determined philosophic battle with his neighbor and nemesis Nannie Riley. Lusa Landowski is an outsider who becomes stranded in Zebulon county after her young husband's tragic death. A complex web of human needs and desires surrounded by the greater struggle between species continuation and species extinction. Prose is luxurious and sensual and the text is woven through with both grief and humor.

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