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Disappearing Earth

Phillips, Julia. Book - 2019 Fiction / Phillips, Julia, Adult Book / Fiction / General / Phillips, Julia None on shelf 36 requests on 12 copies Community Rating: 4 out of 5

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"One August afternoon, on the shoreline of the Kamchatka peninsula at the northeastern edge of Russia, two girls -- sisters, eight and eleven -- go missing. In the ensuing weeks, then months, the police investigation turns up nothing. Echoes of the disappearance reverberate across a tightly woven community, with the fear and loss felt most deeply among its women. Taking us through a year in Kamchatka, Disappearing Earth enters with astonishing emotional acuity the worlds of a cast of richly drawn characters, all connected by the crime: a witness, a neighbor, a detective, a mother. We are transported to vistas of rugged beauty -- densely wooded forests, open expanses of tundra, soaring volcanoes, and the glassy seas that border Japan and Alaska -- and into a region as complex as it is alluring, where social and ethnic tensions have long simmered, and where outsiders are often the first to be accused. In a story as propulsive as it is emotionally engaging, and through a young writer's virtuosic feat of empathy and imagination, this powerful novel brings us to a new understanding of the intricate bonds of family and community, in a Russia unlike any we have seen before." -- Provided by publisher.

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COMMUNITY REVIEWS

Normalna submitted by MH17 on August 30, 2019, 4:17pm A much-hyped book that does not live up to its hype, this novel is strongest on the conceptual level--twelve tangentially-linked stories of women either lost or losing their way in a remote part of Russia, the Kamchatkan peninsula, meant to trace the disappearance of two girls from the capital city. After a compelling first story/chapter, the book loses momentum, devolving into set pieces that on the whole lack narrative tension and only manage to clumsily piece together the mystery of the missing girls, a mystery that is hinted at much too early and leads to a rather disappointing, clunky concluding movement more fitting for NCIS: Kamchatka than a novel. A lot of buzz for the exotic locale and for a new writer, but the novel doesn't deliver. Ordinary on the sentence level, plodding on the narrative level, effective on the idea level but ultimately a let-down: go in with low expectations is my advice. Try anything by Lara Vapnyar or Sergei Dovlatov instead.

Hardcopy probably easier to follow characters than audio book submitted by psgriffi on June 13, 2020, 10:39pm As this story weaves and turns, I found it a bit difficult to follow the characters from one chapter to the next while listening to the audio book version. Had I been able to flip back in a hardcopy book to cross-check and reference the characters and names then it may have been a more enjoyable read. Nonetheless, I enjoyed learning tidbits about Russian culture and geography that I'd never known before.

Lyrical and Evocative Prose submitted by ywbwlffl on June 20, 2020, 11:47pm Set in Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula, this story starts with the vanishing of two young girls. What follows is a character sketch of several female characters during the months and how seriously their lives are affected by the disappearance.

If you like a thriller focused on character sketch rather than the plot, you will love this book. Definitely not a whodunit and so let the first chapter of the book not fool you with all its hope of finding the motive of disappearance.

ONE DIFFICULT THING: it's challenging to remember all those Russian names

Great stories submitted by kthomhave on August 10, 2020, 10:12pm Think of this book as a collection of short stories all tied together with the thread of one event--the disappearance of two young girls. Each story introduces new, complex characters and may only briefly mention other, previous characters. This can be a little frustrating because it means we don't learn what happens to several interesting characters. Still, a riveting book! I read it in two days.

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PUBLISHED
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2019.
Year Published: 2019
Description: 255 pages : map ; 24 cm
Language: English
Format: Book

ISBN/STANDARD NUMBER
9780525520412
0525520414

SUBJECTS
Missing persons -- Fiction.
Kamchatka Peninsula (Russia) -- Fiction.
Suspense fiction.