✫ The Lobster Kings Books ✭ Author Alexi Zentner – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk A mythical family saga steeped in the legends of the sea The Lobster Kings is a powerhouse of a novel Ben FountainThe Kings family has lived on Loosewood Island for three hundred years Now Woody Kings A mythical family saga steeped in the legends of the sea The Lobster Kings is a powerhouse of a novel Ben FountainThe Kings family has lived on Loosewood Island for three hundred years Now Woody Kings the leader of the island's lobster fishing community and the family patriarch teeters on the throne and Cordelia the oldest of Woody's three daughters stands to inherit the crown To do so however she must defend her island from meth dealers from the mainland while navigating sibling rivalry and the vulnerable The Lobster MOBI :¿ nature of her own heart when she falls in love with her sternman. Alexi Zentner's first novel 'Touch' is one that has stuck in my mind with its evocative setting and wealth of surreal imagery a deer glittering with gold dust a building buried for a whole winter under thirty feet of snow the villain who refused to stay dead and so his second novel was one of the books I was most looking forward to this year Sadly 'The Lobster Kings' doesn't live up to its predecessor I found it to be a confused mess of a novel The dose of magic realism which Zentner so skillfully intertwined throughout 'Touch' is present again but instead of feeling integral here it feels like a box that has been ticked with the surreal elements confined to occasional chapters harking back to the mid 1700s and a character called preposterously Brumfitt Kings who comes from Ireland to Loosewood Island a fictional island somewhere between St John's and Maine whose ownership is disputed by both the US and Canada and founds a dynasty of lobster fishermen Brumfitt's wife who might be a selkie emerges from the sea one day bedecked in pearls and offers to Brumfitt and his line the bounty of the sea with one slight caveat the sea will claim back the first born son of every generation This and much else Brumfitt records in a series of journals and his paintings which he somehow finds time to knock out whilst working his lobster traps By the present day Brumfitt's paintings which seem to closely resemble the work of Winslow Homer despite being painted over a century earlier have become famous and acuired a devoted following art tourists and researchers come to the island every summer and the Kings still rule Loosewood Island in the form of Woody Kings and his three daughters Cordelia Rena and Carly Here Zentner tries to weave in a bit of Shakespeare with Woody representing King Lear And whilst in one scene he does divide up his kingdom between the three daughters the novel never becomes a reworking of the play and so I'm left wondering what the point of the allusion was Mainly the plot of the novel resembles a Canadian version of 'Howard's Way' the British tv series from the 1980s blended with a bad Western The lives of the islanders and their relationships are pure soap opera whilst the 'cutting war' where the lines that secure lobster traps to buoys are cut by competitors and replaced with their own traps that develops between Loosewood Island and James Harbour on the mainland is both dull and ridiculous The Kings and the James Harbour Boys sound like the Earps and the Clantons and act like it too it all gets terribly gung ho and the dialogue descends to the level of a comic strip Harrison Ford famously told George Lucas that he could type this stuff but you sure as hell couldn't say it he'd have had the same problem with Zentner There is something thrown in about the James Harbour boys using lobster trapping as a cover for smuggling meth but this is never fully developed Actually that is one of the main problems with the novel Zentner introduces plot strands and just leaves them dangling and whenever things start to slip from his control his default solution seems to be to kill a character off or get them shot at Eventually a 'villain' emerges but he is so one dimensional and needlessly brutal he is hard to believe his assertion that Woody Kings is nothing but a bully who has no automatic rights to the waters echoed my own feelings yet Zentner seems to want us to think this view is part of his wickedness trying to think of a better word but 'wickedness' suits the cartoonish characterisation The novel also spends a lot of time on the day to day of lobster fishing I've learned one thing from this lobster fishing is incredibly boring The one saving grace of the novel is the narrator Cordelia Kings isn't the most original character but she's so plucky and feisty that the reader can't help but be engaged by her and like her The novel does contain some good scenes some arresting imagery but had this been the first time I'd read Zentner I'd have probably abandoned it halfway through And this will also happen Atmosphere Hands down my first and last point Zentner knows how to write and show and tell and dammit soak you into the atmosphere in which the novel takes placeSet on an island in the north Atlantic the book focuses on the live and myths of one family of lobstermen the Kings Unexpected scenes of suspense litter the tale constantly surprising meWhat it comes down to though is the craft with which the author sets the scenes Sometimes I find authors overly describe their worlds wasting page after page on setting every detail to word Alexi Zentner wastes nothing however and the words used transport me there in such a way that I don't even realize it's happeningMost often when I read it's in the evenings before bed I think the highest praise I can set for this book is that every night as I fell asleep I felt the mists and ocean spray of that island draw in around my dreamsBlood and seawater salt calling to salt “This well crafted story truly captures the beauty and brutality of living by the sea The characters show what it’s like to have saltwater in your veins and commitment to family and community Zentner depicts a way of life that is fast disappearing Perfect for summer reading”Lisa Marie Joyce Portland Public Library South Portland Public Library Portland ME Beautiful one of those books where the synopsis of the plot really tells you very little about what the book really IS Just thinking about the book now I am immediately back in the atmosphere I loved the interlacing of the artwork and the mysticism it inspired2 difficult moments near the beginning I actually had to take a break for each but felt that it would be worth it to hang in there and it certainly wasI received this book through a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest and unbiased review I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to read it Alexi Zentner’s “The Lobster Kings” an intriguing family saga told largely through the eyes of Cordelia Kings and Woody her aging father is so wonderfully constructed that readers will find it difficult to choose a stopping point between reading sessions Members of the King family have run things on Loosewood Island for almost three hundred years It all started for the Kings when Brumfitt Kings made his way there from Ireland in 1720 Brumfitt would virtually live alone on Loosewood for eight years before he was rather mysteriously blessed by the arrival of his future wife Their mythical marriage marked the beginning of a new American family that would over time become “the lobster kings” of the novelBut now time is catching up with the Kings and importantly it is catching up with the culture of the island itself The island has become somewhat of a haven for drug smugglers and perhaps even worse in the long run lobstermen from a neighboring island have begun to encroach on Loosewood Island waters despite the gentleman’s agreement that had been peacefully in place for decadesWoody desperate to maintain the family’s hold on the island and to protect the only way of life they have ever known does everything an old man can do to hold things together But he is a man without a son to take the reins when his aging body begins to let him down a weakness uickly recognized by those willing to fight Woody for what he considers his birthright What Woody does have however is Cordelia a daughter whom he sometimes tends to underrate as badly as his enemies underrate her “The Lobster Kings” is one of those stories that will leave readers thinking about its characters long after they have turned the book’s final page The Kings might not be your typical American family but the relationship between this father and daughter has plenty to teach the rest of us about life Don’t miss this one Seldom does a book capture me and keep me in the story as did Alexi Zentner's novel The Lobster Kings The descriptive uality to the book is beautiful I love the ocean the beach The setting was palpable The Kings family is irrevocably tied to the past to the first lobsterman on Loosewood Island Truth and death and the past becomes part of the present The oldest sister Cordelia brings honest emotion to the pages when relating to her father This book made me think once again about life how fleeting it is and how lucky we are to participate This book is sticking with me and I look forward to reading it again Highly recommend I absolutely loved this book It possessed everything I love in a novel great writing family and friends personal character flaws and growth And I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I loved the author's skill in describing the environment Beautiful and lyrical A Superb atmospheric experience Plus the book had a mythical component which I really don't seek out in stories that I found fascinating I must track down another book by Mr Zentner soon I will miss these characters and will think of this book often I loved this A great story about family loss and redemption I was still thinking about the characters after I put it down I love that there is some mythmagic to the story There were some violent parts that were hard to read Awe inspiring haunting heartfelt novel This is the best novel I read so far I could not put the book down but when I had to all I kept thinking about was I needed to know what happened next The synopsis of this book gave you a small insight of what to expect but when you start reading the story you will definitely get sucked into the depths of Cordelia King's love of being a fishing lobster man on their inherit right island call Loose Island I was spellbound by Cordelia her strength and determination and her love for the legacy Brumfitt King her ancestor of Scottish Irish descent who was the first permanent occupant on Loose Island 300 years ago Cordelia's love for her father the present day monarch of Loose Island She struggles to show him how it's in her blood to be a fishing lobster man The tales of mermaids lobsters so huge that it stretched five feet long curses selkiesseals that shed their skins to become human on land I cannot divulge any or else I will accidentally tell you the whole tale of the story but there's so much to read about Like the synopsis indicated drugs seeped onto the island how do they handle it? You cannot hold back time and this is what life is all about Won this book on Goodreads First Read Giveaway Thank you Darlene Cruz I absolutely adored the first 100 pages of this book the story of the Kings as children Cordelia's love for the sea and tradition and the magical realism elements If the novel had continued on in this vein I would have given it a full 5 stars Unfortunately the story took a significant turn with the James Harbor drug smugglingdealing element which didn't appeal to me so muchI grew up in New Brunswick and am very familiar with Charlotte county and the Fundy Isles Loosewood Island seems very much like Grand Manan Island to me In fact I can't help but wonder if the story was inspired by an event that happened on Grand Manan back in 2006 which was very well publicized Check out this link wwwtheglobeandmailcomnewsnational Any other readers notice this Grand Manan connection?
- 352 pages
- The Lobster Kings
- Alexi Zentner
- 11 November 2016 Alexi Zentner