Reviews

77 Fragments of a Familiar Ruin, by Thomas King

emilyhays's review

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4.0

I've read one thomas king novel, and one thomas king nonfiction, so I knew I wanted to pick up some poetry. I was a little surprised by the style, it felt a bit literal to me, especially compared to his novel-writing style which is FILLED with allegory and references. Overall though, I did really enjoy this.

honeyblood's review against another edition

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5.0

Nothing passes for favour here.
All talk is razor-toothed.
Take nothing from the hand
that offers friendship.
In this place,
all promises are bruises
in good suits.

amy_fw's review against another edition

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challenging funny reflective medium-paced

5.0

cb_reads_reviews's review against another edition

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4.0

Thomas King, best known for his influential and iconic book about Indigenous history, “The Inconvenient Indian” and novels like “Green Grass, Running Water” and his “Dreadful Water” mystery series has published his first book of poetry, “77 Fragments of a Familiar Ruin.” King, known for his sardonic wit and vivid storytelling brings his talent and his experience to this new collection. Each fragment provokes our understanding of ourselves in this modern and consumer-based society, incorporating mythical characters and animals, like Coyote and Raven, from King’s oft-told stories (hear “The Women Who Fell from the Sky” in King’s Massey Lectures - available on CBC archives and on iTunes). Political without being dogmatic, challenging behaviour and action, as in Fragment no. 34 which suggests an amnesia in the collective will of Canadian society to recognise and address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. This often thought provoking series is an excellent and enjoyable read.

careinthelibrary's review against another edition

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3.0

3.5 stars

Not my favourite Thomas King work, but I'm thrilled to see he's writing poetry now! What a legend. These poems are a call to action to save the environment and restore rights to oppressed indigenous peoples. Such weighty topics, and yet many poems have the clever humour so skillfully wielded by King! Absolutely timely for the political and environmental climate (pun intended) of this age, 77 Fragments shows us what we've lost already and all we stand to lose if we don't turn this ship around. Capitalism, consumerism, racial hierarchies, and poverty all feature in these fragments that work cohesively with each other. He uses familiar faces from Native American Mythology including his favourite trickster, Coyote. Told in 77 short poems, this goes by quickly and some really benefit from being read twice. It may be fragmented, but in the pieces, you can hear the story he is singing.

lewislikesbooks's review against another edition

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4.0

This was such a wonderful poetry book that managed to be both extremely impactful and meaningful in so few words yet also so concise and easy to read. This was a rare balance that was found here!

manicpixiecowboy's review

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fast-paced

4.5

thepaperbackprincess's review against another edition

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4.0

Read this whole anthology on my morning commute. Really enjoyed it!

laranda's review against another edition

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medium-paced

4.0

Some poems really made me stop and think. Beautiful collection. 

gitli57's review against another edition

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funny reflective

2.0

As far as I know, this is the only published collection of poetry by Thomas King. He remains one of my very favorite novelists.