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Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead (2009)

– tekijä: Olga Tokarczuk

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
9975214,915 (3.97)82
Finalist for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize. A deeply satisfying thriller cum fairy tale, Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead is a provocative exploration of the murky borderland between sanity and madness, justice and tradition, and autonomy and fate. In a remote Polish village, Janina devotes the dark winter days to studying astrology, translating the poetry of William Blake, and taking care of the summer homes of wealthy Warsaw residents. Her reputation as a crank and a recluse is amplified by her not-so-secret preference for the company of animals over humans. Then a neighbor, Big Foot, turns up dead. Soon other bodies are discovered, in increasingly strange circumstances. As suspicions mount, Janina inserts herself into the investigation, certain that she knows whodunit. If only anyone would pay her mind . . .… (lisätietoja)
Viimeisimmät tallentajatmdpetrie, yksityinen kirjasto, VivienneR, ohlonelibrary, esme-rose, mrswarren, Jimbob252a
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» Katso myös 82 mainintaa

englanti (41)  ranska (3)  espanja (2)  tanska (2)  ruotsi (2)  saksa (1)  hollanti (1)  Kaikki kielet (52)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 52) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Less formally interesting than House of Night or Flights, but still very well done and glorious to read. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
Well paced and satisfying mystery. I really liked the intersection of astrology and animal justice in creating a unique protagonist. ( )
  albertgoldfain | Oct 16, 2020 |
(...)

This also struck me as a cousin of The Door by Hungarian author Magda Szabó – an absolute masterpiece that also deals with an eccentric old female protagonist that’s something of a housekeeper, and similarly has a vibe that gently flirts with fairy tales & the mythic. The Door is one of my favorite books ever, so I had to check out this one too.

While Szabó’s book is superior, I had a great time reading Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead.

What makes Tokarczuk’s book a bit of a lesser affair is that it’s more obvious and transparent than The Door. Nonetheless, I get what the Nobel Prize committee meant when they awarded her the price for her “narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life”. There clearly is transgression in this book, and, as such, the excess Blake speaks of.

(...)

Full review on Weighing A Pig Doesn't Fatten It ( )
  bormgans | Oct 10, 2020 |
Tänkvärt och annorlunda. Vad är rätt och fel och vem bestämmer vad som är rätt och fel. Filosofisk diskussion på hög nivå med härligt språk. ( )
  Mats_Sigfridsson | Oct 6, 2020 |
The title comes from William Blake’s Proverb’s of Hell. It’s a philosophical novel masquerading as a kind of mystery – although it is much more than that.

Because there are so many ideas and themes in the novel, at least for those with a philosophical bent, it became endlessly readable. From the first page we are presented with an examination of the process of aging, astrology references and readings, the impact of drugs - natural and otherwise, and omens - both ill and good. The psychology of madness and losing one's consciousness is explored along with the poetry of William Blake (further shades of madness). But above all there is nature and a lonely cold climate filled with many animals and few humans. It is the isolation of the cold climate that comes to the fore as the story begins, and the wonderful narrative voice of Janina Dusejko, whose story is one of a nonconformist whose metaphors are a delight and whose imagination makes this story one that seems almost dream-like at times.

The story is portrayed as a mystery and there is a dead body almost before you are out of the starting gate, yet it is nothing like any mystery I have ever read. It appears to be a character study of its quite quirky narrator who valiantly tries to convince the police that all four deaths are the result of animals taking revenge against hunters. However I believe it is about the mystery of life.

"But why should we have to be useful and for what reason? Who divided the world into useless and useful . . . Does a thistle have no right to life, or a Mouse that eats the grain in a warehouse? Whose intellect can have the audacity to judge who is better, and who is worse?"(p 248)

The lack of detailed investigations and the absence of a plucky detective putting the pieces together is another of the book’s oddities. In doing this it redirects the focus from the typical concern for justice and human lives, and instead allows Janina to unfurl her life story—as an engineer of bridges turned schoolteacher turned caretaker of summer houses, vegetarian, astrologist, co-translator of Blake’s poetry, and devoted animal lover—and her dislike for hunters of all stripes, especially one particular group of poachers, whose connections to the local law enforcement and politicians takes on a conspiratorial air.

A great believer in the power of the planetary configurations on human life, Janina spends her free time with an Ephemeride drawing up cosmograms of people she knows and trying to lend credence to her theories about the influence of stars on human life. She believes order in events are determined by stars. “The stars and planets establish it, while the sky is the template that sets the pattern of our lives."

Janina is also a great lover of Blake’s poems and helps her former student Dizzy, who now works part time as an IT specialist for the police department, in the translation of Blake’s poems. An ardent believer in the rights of animals, she periodically writes letters of protest to all concerned departments to draw their attention to the illegal poaching and hunting of animals that take place in the region. She firmly believes that “Animals show the truth about a country. If people behave brutally towards Animals, no form of democracy is ever going help them, in fact nothing will at all.” But unfortunately her letters go unanswered and her personal visits to the City Guard’s office turn out to be equally futile. After all, who would take the apparent ramblings of a quirky old lady seriously? But Janina believes that one day the animals will take revenge, because contra humans, animals have a keen sense of justice and an excellent sense of the world.

When there is a spate of mysterious deaths in the valley, all the dead people have a history of hunting or poaching animals and in all the deaths there are signs of animals present in the vicinity. Janina conjectures that the animals are taking their revenge from the humans who harmed them. The police department scorns at her theory but, undeterred, she works on the cosmograms of the victims and concludes that for each death there is significant astrological proof that points to the involvement of animals. She calls it her “project without funding from the European Union. A kitchen-table project."

All her efforts to present her hypothesis to the police go in vain and she is slotted as just an old eccentric. The police chalk up the murders to internal conflicts between corrupt people. Dejected, Janina concludes that "people are only capable of understanding what they invent for themselves. The idea of a conspiracy among people from the provincial authorities, corrupt and demoralized, fitted the sort of story the television and the newspapers reveled in reporting." Neither of them are interested in animals, unless a Tiger escapes from the zoo. But after three more deaths when the president of the Mushroom pickers society is found dead under mysterious circumstances, his body covered with a unique species of flat bark beetle, the police finally start paying attention to Janina.

Under the garb of a mystery novel, Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead is a combination of philosophical and astrological commentary on the current state of human society. This commentary underlines the battle between free will and determinism as humans are caught in the nets of the great cosmic scheme. There is even a moment when a writer comes to visit and I could not help but speculate that the author had, anonymously, inserted herself into the story. Janina comments, "If I hadn't known her so well, I'm sure I would have read her books. But as I did know her, I was afraid to open them." (p 51)

Ultimately a unique and brilliant novel, one that questions the importance of man in nature and the nature of man. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk is a book I heartily recommend to all. ( )
1 ääni jwhenderson | Oct 6, 2020 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 52) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu

» Lisää muita tekijöitä (26 mahdollista)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Tokarczuk, Olgaensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Carlier, MargotKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
De Fanti, SilvanoKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Lloyd-Jones, AntoniaKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Murcia, AbelKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Tønnesen, Hanne LoneKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Unuk, JanaKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu

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Finalist for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize. A deeply satisfying thriller cum fairy tale, Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead is a provocative exploration of the murky borderland between sanity and madness, justice and tradition, and autonomy and fate. In a remote Polish village, Janina devotes the dark winter days to studying astrology, translating the poetry of William Blake, and taking care of the summer homes of wealthy Warsaw residents. Her reputation as a crank and a recluse is amplified by her not-so-secret preference for the company of animals over humans. Then a neighbor, Big Foot, turns up dead. Soon other bodies are discovered, in increasingly strange circumstances. As suspicions mount, Janina inserts herself into the investigation, certain that she knows whodunit. If only anyone would pay her mind . . .

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