Bloomland: Book summary and reviews of Bloomland by John Englehardt

Bloomland

by John Englehardt

Bloomland by John Englehardt X
Bloomland by John Englehardt
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2019
    192 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Bloomland opens during finals week at a fictional southern university, when a student walks into the library with his roommate's semi-automatic rifle and opens fire. When he stops shooting, twelve people are dead.

In this richly textured debut, John Englehardt explores how the origin and aftermath of the shooting impacts the lives of three characters: a disillusioned student, a grieving professor, and a young man whose valuation of fear and disconnection funnels him into the role of the aggressor. As the community wrestles with the fallout, Bloomland interrogates social and cultural dysfunction in a nation where mass violence has become all too familiar.

Profound and deeply nuanced, Bloomland is a dazzling debut for fans of Denis Johnson and We Need to Talk About Kevin.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Englehardt's brilliant and insanely brave debut is a culturally diagnostic achievement ... Hugely important, hauntingly brutal—Englehardt has just announced himself as one of America's most talented emerging writers." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"In beautifully wrought prose, John Englehardt paints a searing portrait of violence and its aftermath, a haunting reckoning with death that shimmers and pulses with life." - Emily Geminder, author of Dead Girls and Other Stories

"Englehardt boldly encourages readers to recognize the humanity of both victims and perpetrators. Bloomland ultimately offers a profound meditation on individual and collective grief and an arresting portrait of a society that refuses to countenance the complex causes and devastating human toll of gun violence." - Alice Hatcher, author of The Wonder That Was Ours

"Openhearted yet cold-eyed, alive with carnage and deep caring, Bloomland treats its central tragedy, a mass shooting, in a way that reveals its entire ragged, bleeding scope...A handful of brave novels have tried to count the toll taken by by such slaughters, but none match Bloomland for portraying the monster of mass violence as so irredeemably American." -John Domini, author of Movieola!

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Author Information

John Englehardt

John Englehardt won the Dzanc Books Prize in Fiction. His work has appeared in Vol.1 Brooklyn, Sycamore Review, The Stranger, Seattle Review of Books, Conium Review, Monkeybicycle, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from the University of Arkansas, and currently teaches writing classes at Hugo House in Seattle.

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