Swamplandia! - Karen Russell


By Karen Russell

  • Release Date: 2011-02-01
  • Genre: Literary
Swamplandia! book review score

4 Score: 4 (From 337 Ratings)

Swamplandia! Karen Russell Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

New York Times Bestseller | Pulitzer Prize Finalist

"Ms. Russell is one in a million. . . . A suspensfuly, deeply haunted book."--The New York Times

Thirteen-year-old Ava Bigtree has lived her entire life at Swamplandia!, her family’s island home and gator-wrestling theme park in the Florida Everglades. But when illness fells Ava’s mother, the park’s indomitable headliner, the family is plunged into chaos; her father withdraws, her sister falls in love with a spooky character known as the Dredgeman, and her brilliant big brother, Kiwi, defects to a rival park called The World of Darkness.

As Ava sets out on a mission through the magical swamps to save them all, we are drawn into a lush and bravely imagined debut that takes us to the shimmering edge of reality.

Swamplandia! book review; book recommendations; Literary books;.

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User reviews about this book

  • Skip it

    By Bruyi
    I bought this book after reading the sample. However, wish hadn't because I wasn't much farther along when the story began to drag. I finally started skipping pages just to finish it. This was a most unsatisfying read.
  • Swamplandia

    By Squidgy's
    I kept waiting for something interesting, exciting, or scary to happen, I waited in vain. There were events that were totally pointless and the rescue at the end was completely unbelievable. Total waste of time to read!
  • Good Character in Ava

    By Fpiano
    Some good writing here, but not cohesive. Like more than a few contemporary Florida writers, things are way too over the top. Hard to take as serious literature. Maybe I was expecting too much after the good reviews the book has gotten, or maybe there weren't enough good books this year.
  • Good, but also disappointing.

    By Lexxieeb
    The beginning was wonderfully written and captivating, i had so much hope for this book but the middle was dragging and if one characters story was good, the others was not and it made you want to skip chapters at a time. Potential for sure, but somewhat disappointing.
  • This is why real writers are in trouble.

    By JJordanP
    With authors like Carl Hiaasen and Dave Barry, at least this tired genre of exploitative Florida side shows are written by those who still live there. Unfortunately, Karen Russell had to be tucked safely away in Manhattan before even publishing her first short story. It's a sad example of what literature has come to, and a sadder example of much better work being overlooked for the sake of pleasing those born at the top.
  • Long, but worth it!

    By Not my schtick
    The Bigtree family members chronicled in this book are quirky, curious and courageous individuals whose collective and independent stories combine to build a story which is hard to put down.
  • Fabulous

    By Tucson reader
    What an imagination to write such a story. Always kept me engaged. Loved it.
  • Disappointment

    By Disappointed in denver 8975
    I begrudgingly finished this book. Rather than being creative and compelling, the plot felt forced, never pulling me into the book. There was no hierarchy among the characters and while Ava was the intended heroine, she was overshadowed by the attention given to the other family members. The story of Louis Thanksgiving was the only riveting section of the book and could have and should have stood alone as a short story.
  • Swamplandia!

    By Greenlady48
    Imaginative story, wonderful language, colourful characters, but the plot dragged,especially in the middle when Ava was traveling in the swamp with Birdman.
  • Swamplandia

    By soprano41
    A riveting, beautiful tale of a young girl and her family. The setting, the Florida Everglades, cast a haunting, dark and dangerous backdrop of this tale of loss, love and redemption.

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