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Centuries of June: A Novel
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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Published:
Crown 2011
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Description
Keith Donohue has been praised for his vivid imagination and for evoking “the otherworldly with humor and the ordinary with wonder” (Audrey Niffenegger). His first novel, The Stolen Child, was a national bestseller, and his second novel, Angels of Destruction, was hailed as “a magical tale of love and redemption that is as wonderfully written as it is captivating” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). Centuries of June is a bold departure, a work of dazzling breadth and technical virtuosity.
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.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
05/31/2011
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780307450302
ASIN:
B004J4WNE4
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Keith Donohue. (2011). Centuries of June: A Novel. Crown.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Keith Donohue. 2011. Centuries of June: A Novel. Crown.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Keith Donohue, Centuries of June: A Novel. Crown, 2011.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Keith Donohue. Centuries of June: A Novel. Crown, 2011.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:54:08
Date Updated:
Dec 08, 2020 07:16:02
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      • bioText: Keith Donohue is the author of the acclaimed novels The Stolen Child and Angels of Destruction. For several years he was a speechwriter at the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C., and he now works at another federal agency. He lives with his family in Wheaton, Maryland.
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Crown
publishDate
2011-05-31T00:00:00-04:00
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title
Centuries of June
fullDescription
Keith Donohue has been praised for his vivid imagination and for evoking “the otherworldly with humor and the ordinary with wonder” (Audrey Niffenegger). His first novel, The Stolen Child, was a national bestseller, and his second novel, Angels of Destruction, was hailed as “a magical tale of love and redemption that is as wonderfully written as it is captivating” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). Centuries of June is a bold departure, a work of dazzling breadth and technical virtuosity.
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.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews
      • content:

        "A tour de force in its mastery of styles, the book also has moments of high silliness--though toward the end Donohue weaves the threads of plot together in a surprising and affecting way."

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        February 14, 2011
        Face down on the bathroom floor after "a conk on the skull," Jack, the narrator of Donohue's unconventional latest (after Angels of Destruction), embarks on an epic and darkly funny journey through time and space without traveling much beyond his own bathroom. Visited by seven ghostly women, and eventually his wife, Jack stands in for disappointing men throughout history as each of the phantom visitors tells him her life story. From Dolly, the Tlingit woman who marries a shape-shifting bear, to Alice, who winds up on the wrong end of the Salem witch trials, and Bunny, a New York City housewife whose search for love goes very wrong, the women each accuse Jack, tell their story, and then fade into a chorus with the others. When Jack finally hears out his own wife, the reason for the night's events—including stopped clocks, talking cats, and what could be the ghost of Samuel Beckett—becomes clear. Donohue's faultless eye for character and keen sense of humor keeps what could easily become a muddled mess pristine, with members of his quorum shining individually but also acting as cogs in the larger story's machinery. There are moments when the reader is left to wonder how things can possibly come together, but it's worthwhile to trust Donohue's narrators as they lead this puzzling and greatly satisfying trip.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        February 15, 2011
        A novel that is sui generis—part fantasy, part realism, part dream-vision.

        Donohue starts the narrative by setting a challenging task—sustaining a 350-page novel that essentially takes place in a bathroom and bedroom. He works out the technical problem by having his narrator take a fall in the bathroom, and this tumble leads to visions, specifically a vision of eight attractive women inhabiting his bed. Each has a story to tell, and Donohue lets them speak with different voices and in different styles (appropriate because they come from different historical periods). These narrators include Jane (aka Long John Long), who as a young woman disguised herself in male clothing and escaped from her home as a cabin boy. After her ship is blown off course, she begins a long and lusty affair with several other castaways. Another narrator is Alice, who devolves into a witch and becomes deeply involved in the Salem trials in the late 17th century. We also meet the exotic Marie, whose body is covered with tattoos that reveal the story of her life. Originally a slave from Saint-Domingue, she is taken to New Orleans by her master and eventually becomes an exceptional chef. Other storytellers include Flo, who pans for gold in the 19th-century rush, and Bunny, a femme fatale right out of Raymond Chandler (or Billy Wilder). A tour de force in its mastery of styles, the book also has moments of high silliness—though toward the end Donohue weaves the threads of plot together in a surprising and affecting way.

        Peculiar and quirky—and sure to appeal to offbeat tastes.

        (COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 15, 2011

        A man's late-night visit to the bathroom results in a fall, opening a hole in his head through which a parade of women from his past lives enter one by one. Each woman bears a grievous anger toward the narrator, who, in the course of their relationship, deserted or destroyed her. Centuries of American history are viewed through these relationships, and each chapter of his previous lives is beautifully reported in the prose of the day. The reader meets a member of the Tlingit tribe in the time before Europeans arrived. There are the Colonists on their way to Jamestown. The Salem witch trials are re-created, as is life for a slave in New Orleans, as well as the California gold rush, before the novel moves into the 20th century with early baseball then the flappers. VERDICT Donohue's (Angels of Destruction; The Stolen Child) tour de force blends aspects of the time travel and reincarnation genres into a witty whole. With a touch of David Mitchell and Audrey Niffenegger, but a witty style uniquely the author's own, this novel about a clueless man, who may in some future life get it right, is a pleasure to read. [See Prepub Alert, 11/15/10.]--Andrea Kempf, formerly with Johnson Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, KS

        Copyright 2011 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        May 1, 2011
        Our narrator, Jack, finds himself lying on the bathroom floor after a hard fall, blood gushing from a gaping hole in his head, in Donohues imaginative, sometimes bizarre third novel. Jack rights himself and notices he isnt alone; a man, perhaps the ghost of Samuel Beckett, sits nearby in the bathtub, as well as eight women lying naked in bed in the other room. To Jack, little makes sense. But one by one, each woman joins the two men to tell her life story. They range from a woman who marries a bear to a prospecting phenom during the California gold rush to an unhappily married woman ready to kill for love. After each story is told, the group chats and kills time while Jack tries to connect the dots. The unusual circumstances of the night, with clocks that have stopped and a sassy talking cat, may hint to readers what has actually happened to Jack, but Donohues polished prose holds the story together and offers a more than satisfying ending.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2011, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription
Keith Donohue has been praised for his vivid imagination and for evoking “the otherworldly with humor and the ordinary with wonder” (Audrey Niffenegger). His first novel, The Stolen Child, was a national bestseller, and his second novel, Angels of Destruction, was hailed as “a magical tale of love and redemption that is as wonderfully written as it is captivating” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). Centuries of June is a bold departure, a work of dazzling breadth and technical virtuosity.
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...
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