Centuries of June by Keith Donohue #BookReview

Title: Centuries of June | Author: Keith Donohue  | Publisher: Crown | Publication Date: 2011-5-31 | Pages: 352 | ISBN13: 9780307450289 | Genre(s): Mystery & Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Date Read: 2015-8-22 |Source: Library


Centuries of June

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.

Book cover for Centuries of June

Centuries of June Review

As I thought with The Boy Who Drew Monsters, it is very good, but not quite great. There, again, is some element that doesn’t quite click to take it into the realms of a 5 Cthulhus book. As I still can’t put my finger on what it is, though, unfortunately I can’t tell you about it!

Mr. Donohue has a way with descriptions that instantly paint a vivid picture in your mind. There’s one scene, in particular, involving ink and a woman’s story that I read a few times simply because I loved the imagery. It brought to mind, funnily enough, Fahrenheit 451. Not that the subject matter was in any way the same, but simply the almost poetic flow of words that painted the picture in your mind. Of course, there’s a bit near the end of that chapter where the flow breaks for a very good reason, and I giggled like a naughty child.

Now, I’m a Donohue fan, and I’ll admit it, but not every story told in Centuries of June was very good. Luckily, most of them were, and the strength of those that were easily carried those that weren’t. The failing of the ‘weak’ ones isn’t a lack of description, or that his writing suddenly suffers, as much as it is – I think – that the woman whose story he’s telling just isn’t that interesting and/or likable.

The finish is nice, but a bit weak. The direction he went in was perfectly fine, but I feel like the wording wasn’t as good as it could have been.

This book is perfect for the reader who doesn’t have many solid chunks of time to sit down and read. It is almost made to be read just a chapter or two at a time, then walked away from, so that when you come back you’re fresh and ready for the next experience. It is an easy, entertaining read.

Click here to find Centuries of June: A Novel now on Amazon.com

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