Friday, August 19, 2011

Centuries of June by Keith Donohue

Title: Centuries of June
Author: Keith Donohue
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Adult
Grade: 93% or A-
Buy It: Amazon

Set in the bathroom of an old house just before dawn on a night in June, Centuries of June is a black comedy about a man who is attempting to tell the story of how he ended up on the floor with a hole in his head. But he keeps getting interrupted by a series of suspects eight women lying in the bedroom just down the hall. Each woman tells a story drawn from five centuries of American myth and legend in a wild medley of styles and voices.

Centuries of June is a romp through history, a madcap murder mystery, an existential ghost story, and a stunning tour de force at once ingenious, sexy, inspiring, and ultimately deeply moving.

My Thoughts::
When I first accepted the chance to review this book, I have to be honest, I only accepted it because I was running out of books to read. Sure, it looked a bit interesting but I didn't give it much thought until it has been sitting on my shelf for long enough and it was time for me to read it. It didn't seem like my type of book, but I decided to give it a chance.

It started out pretty confusing. It was just one of those things that the narrator had no clue what was going on, so the author had to make a choice. Do we get inside knowledge, or do we take it as we go just like our main character? He chose the second option. Don't get me wrong, this usually makes the book more exciting, but I didn't see the purpose of withholding information this time.

After the first woman tell her story, the confusion didn't matter anymore. I got so wrapped up into what she was saying the pages just flew by. I was very impressed by how many characters were put into this novel without it taking away from the full story or causing it to drag on. I felt like I could have read an entire book based on each woman's story. They all just seemed so interesting and real. The book would thrust me into the next time period and my mind would get a little makeover every 40 pages or so. It never got boring or laggy. This book could have easily have felt like a book of short stories, but our main character is connecting them all together, which makes the book even more interesting.

The ending wasn't a big surprise or anything, but our suspicions are confirmed. We get to hear the narrators final thoughts on each of the women and get a sense of finality, which is hard to find in novels recently.

Overall I have to say that this book had the most interesting characters and storyline of all the books I've read so far this year. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to fully meet many characters in one novel, or just those who like to take a trip to the past.

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