BKMT READING GUIDES

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead: A Novel
by Olga Tokarczuk

Published: 2019-08-13
Hardcover : 288 pages
5 members reading this now
28 clubs reading this now
0 members have read this book
FINALIST FOR THE 2019 MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE

"A brilliant literary murder mystery." -Chicago Tribune

"Extraordinary. Tokarczuk's novel is funny, vivid, dangerous, and disturbing, and it raises some fierce questions about human behavior. My sincere admiration for her brilliant work." ...
No other editions available.
Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
Jump to

Introduction

FINALIST FOR THE 2019 MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE

"A brilliant literary murder mystery." -Chicago Tribune

"Extraordinary. Tokarczuk's novel is funny, vivid, dangerous, and disturbing, and it raises some fierce questions about human behavior. My sincere admiration for her brilliant work." -Annie Proulx

In a remote Polish village, Janina devotes the dark winter days to studying astrology, translating the poetry of William Blake, and taking care of the summer homes of wealthy Warsaw residents. Her reputation as a crank and a recluse is amplified by her not-so-secret preference for the company of animals over humans. Then a neighbor, Big Foot, turns up dead. Soon other bodies are discovered, in increasingly strange circumstances. As suspicions mount, Janina inserts herself into the investigation, certain that she knows whodunit. If only anyone would pay her mind . . .

A deeply satisfying thriller cum fairy tale, Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead is a provocative exploration of the murky borderland between sanity and madness, justice and tradition, autonomy and fate. Whom do we deem sane? it asks. Who is worthy of a voice?

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of August 2019: Janina Duszejko, the book’s solitary, 60-something main character, is earnest bordering on kooky. She writes long, unanswered letters to the police department about animal rights issues. (Hunting is popular in the remote Polish village where she lives and cares for part-time residents’ summer houses.) When she’s not preparing simple meals for herself and a former student with whom she translates William Blake on Friday nights, she’s weathering her ”Ailments” or looking for correlations between what’s on TV and the configuration of “the Planets.” Thinking that names don’t match the person (including her own), she refers to those around her by their defining characteristics: Oddball, Bigfoot, Dizzy, Good News. And it’s through her eyes that we watch the body count rise in this most unusual literary murder mystery.

The book opens with a widely disliked neighbor found dead in his home. As more local figures are murdered, Janina develops a peculiar theory that brings her closer and closer to the truth. Between the indelible first-person voice and the pitch-perfect translation of author Olga Tokarczuk’s original Polish, it’s easy to forget that this engaging portrait of small town life is also a devilishly well-plotted crime novel. —Katy Ball

Excerpt

No Excerpt Currently Available

Discussion Questions

No discussion questions at this time.

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by Melissa S. (see profile) 04/21/23

 
by Rachel F. (see profile) 05/15/21

 
by Beverly S. (see profile) 09/09/20

Rate this book
MEMBER LOGIN
Remember me
BECOME A MEMBER it's free

Now serving over 80,000 book clubs & ready to welcome yours. Join us and get the Top Book Club Picks of 2022 (so far).

SEARCH OUR READING GUIDES Search
Search


FEATURED EVENTS
PAST AUTHOR CHATS
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...