Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead


Published Dec. 17, 2019 by Rverhead Books.

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4 stars (2 reviews)

With Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, Man Booker International Prize-winner Olga Tokarczuk returns with a subversive, entertaining noir novel. In a remote Polish village, Janina Duszejko, an eccentric woman in her sixties, recounts the events surrounding the disappearance of her two dogs. She is reclusive, preferring the company of animals to people; she’s unconventional, believing in the stars; and she is fond of the poetry of William Blake, from whose work the title of the book is taken. When members of a local hunting club are found murdered, Duszejko becomes involved in the investigation. By no means a conventional crime story, this existential thriller by ‘one of Europe’s major humanist writers’ (Guardian) offers thought-provoking ideas on our perceptions of madness, injustice against marginalized people, animal rights, the hypocrisy of traditional religion, belief in predestination – and caused a genuine political uproar in Tokarczuk’s native Poland.

12 editions

A clever parable for our times

4 stars

The back of the book said it's a thriller but even thought the narrative revolves around a murder mystery, what was really captivating about this tale is the main character. There is nothing truly like her: A vegetarian old lady, a weirdo that never ceases to surprise the reader by exposing new, strange, sides to her. It with the force of this magnetic leading persona that Tokarczuk - like Yuki Urushibara, Monica Bryne and a few other writers of our times - succeeds in discussing one of the main issues of our time - namely, man's relation to nature and the harm he inflicts on it. It is done in a tone that is just the right amount of preachy and somber, but is also humorous and light at times. Brilliant piece.

Review of 'Sobre os Ossos dos Mortos' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Left any possible spoiler content to the past paragraph. so you can stop before then.

Tokarczuk novel starts off with a loud knock on the door, a visitor, and in a hurried shuffle the discovery of a neighbours body in his home: a local hermit, poacher, and dog abuser whom our protagonist has a distinct dislike of. From there a interesting murder mystery unfolds exploring the relationships between a small community bordering the Czech Republic in Poland and the human and animal relations.

Our protagonist from the begin presents as an unreliable narrator, an elderly vegetarian woman with poor social skills, a strange naming convention for people in her life, an almost fanatical devotion to Astrology, and a passion for William Blakes Poetry which the novel derives its title from. I found myself both sympathetic to her and at odds with her stories, as we see the world through her …