Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead ~ by Olga Tokarczuk

The title is from William Blake’s, “Proverbs of Hell” but the story here is straight from Tokarczuk. But there’s lot of Blake in it as well as astrology, Swedenberg and even, yes, a couple of murders.

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead
By Olga Tokarczuk /trans by Antonia Lloyd Jones
2019 / 275 pages 
Read by Beata Pazniak 11h 39m 
Rating –  B+ for the Kindle and C- for the Audible / crime

This was first published in 2009 but won the Man Booker International Award just this year because it was finally translated into English.  Tokarczuk is a well known writer having won the Nobel Prize for Literature only last year..

Drive Your Plow is different. But all her books are different.  She’s amazingly creative and imaginative 

In a small town in Poland,  just across the border from the Czech Republic an older woman lives in a very small house alongside two other small houses on a hill above a small town.  Her name is Mrs  Duszejko and nothing is ever said about a possible husband somewhere – she doesn’t like her given name,  Janina.  And she gives her friends and neighbors their own names,  Oddball,  Big Foot,  Dizzy,  the Grey Lady and so on to suit their personas.  

But seemingly random people start dying and we learn more about Mrs Duszejko and her friends. 

The book was good – the Audible version was lousy.  The narrator read way too slowly (275 pages took 11 1/2 hours?) It was so slow in places I could barely keep tuned in to what has happening.  

Interesting  research on animal behavior –  Edward Payson Evans, The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals (1906), p. 18.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barthélemy_de_Chasseneuz#cite_ref-1

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hour_of_the_Pig

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4 Responses to Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead ~ by Olga Tokarczuk

  1. Lisa Hill says:

    I borrowed this from the library, and couldn’t get interested in it at all.
    I’ve been asking people, what makes this crime novel worthy of a Nobel??

    Liked by 1 person

  2. True, Lisa – it’s a crime novel with a couple of murders but I doubt mystery aficionados will enjoy it because they willl certainly say it’s too literary and with the Blake allusions what can I say? – It”s a literary mystery – not for everyone. heh

    Like

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