Half the Kingdom

Half the Kingdom

Book - 2013
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"A brilliant dark comedy about life, death and growing old in America told with Segal's characteristic humor, crystalline style and deadpan delivery--and her hilarious sense of the absurd. Half the Kingdom is a brilliant dark comedy about life, death and growing old in post-9/11 America--a place where terrorist paranoia and end-of-the-world hysteria masks deeper fears about mortality; a place where the broken medical system leads one character to quip, "Kafka wrote slice-of-life fiction." Characters from Segal's earlier novels are part of the cast whose lives intersect at Manhattan's Cedars of Lebanon emergency room--where doctors have noticed a marked up-tick in Alzheimer victims. People who seemed perfectly lucid just a day earlier exhibit signs of advanced dementia. Is it just normal aging or a coincidence? Is it an epidemic, or a secret terrorist plot? As profoundly moving as Joan Didion's latest non-fiction, and as thoughtful and charming as Diana Athill, Segal's crystalline writing and deep appreciation of the absurd make this most tragic and hilarious novel a joy for all to read"-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: Brooklyn, NY : Melville House, c2013
ISBN: 9781612193021
Branch Call Number: FIC Sega
Characteristics: 167 pages ; 23 cm


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Jun 21, 2014

When I finished this book I wanted to read everything else Lore Segal has written, to enjoy more of her witty, insightful and compassionate character portrayals. “Kingdom” is a short, very fast read involving contemporary characters who do not let looming mortality interfere with their efforts to take care of unfinished business, nurse petty grudges, try to solve conspiracies, and tell their personal stories. Particularly effective is her illustration that very distant memories can assume a vivid reality as we age. The mysterious ending made me want to read the book again, to see if there were connections I may have missed. I did have to reread certain passages during my first read, because with so many characters of a certain age I occasionally became confused about who was who. As a whole the book is less about solving a mystery than about coming to terms with what will eventually happen to all of us.

Feb 19, 2014

I thought this would be more of a medical mystery with humor. Its not either and I was confused why it got such good reviews.

Jane60201 Jan 11, 2014

I didn't get this "brilliant dark comedy" at all. It just didn't make any sense.


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