The Convalescent #2020

The Convalescent By Jessica Anthony The Convalescent The Convalescent is the story of a small bearded man selling meat out of a bus parked next to a stream in suburban Virginiad also somehow the story of ten thousand years of Hungarian history Jessic
  • Title: The Convalescent
  • Author: Jessica Anthony
  • ISBN: 9781934781104
  • Page: 280
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Convalescent By Jessica Anthony
    The Convalescent By Jessica Anthony The Convalescent is the story of a small, bearded man selling meat out of a bus parked next to a stream in suburban Virginiad also, somehow, the story of ten thousand years of Hungarian history Jessica Anthony, the inaugural winner of the Amanda Davis Highwire Fiction Award, makes an unforgettable debut with an unforgettable hero Rovar kos Pfliegmand unlikely bandThe Convalescent is the story of a small, bearded man selling meat out of a bus parked next to a stream in suburban Virginiad also, somehow, the story of ten thousand years of Hungarian history Jessica Anthony, the inaugural winner of the Amanda Davis Highwire Fiction Award, makes an unforgettable debut with an unforgettable hero Rovar kos Pfliegmand unlikely bandit, unloved lover, and historian of the unimportant.
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      Jessica Anthony

    About “Jessica Anthony

    • Jessica Anthony

      Anthony s short stories can be found in Best New American Voices, Best American Nonrequired Reading, New American Writing and elsewhere She has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony, the Ucross Foundation, and the Maine Arts Commission Her books have been published in a dozen countries and reviewed in The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe and The San Francisco Chronicle She will be serving as one of four Bridge Guard artists in Sturovo, Slovakia in 2015.

    618 thoughts on “The Convalescent

    • This is the most inventive novel by a female writer that I have ever read Huge kudos to Anthony for breaking the mold on what a woman should write about Here, we have the story of the Hungarian small person Rovar Pfliegman, an outcast that lives in a bus along a highway in Virgina, selling meat Woven into his sad story is the sardonic history of the Pfliegman s, from just after the death of Christ Add an unlikely attraction, the impending cresting of the river Rovar lives next to, the certain do [...]


    • So, it appears that Jessica Anthony was having so much fun writing her first novel, a zany tale about a sickly Hungarian midget who sells meat out of a bus in field, that she forgot that she would eventually have to end it And when she realized the 200 plus page error of her rambling ways, she said to herself Yeah I guess I m just going to have to make it real weird And apparently, she d been reading Kafka The initial description of the character seems kitschy with a pretentious bent, meant main [...]


    • What we have here is a strange twisted dwarf like man who does not speak and sells meat outside of his bus Being a full blooded Hungarian myself, I admit that regardless of my biased opinion, this is really an interesting story We get an eccentric history of his family origins, a tribe of foul, savage, Hungarian outcasts A little cannibalism and a lot of failure, this novel makes you a tad twitchy with disgust for Rovar and all his medical maladies The strange thing is, you warm to the little cr [...]


    • This is one of the most surprising reads in years It s the story about a near midget Rovar kos Pfliegman who sells meat out of a bus in Virginia He is sick with all sorts of strange illnesses, so he goes to see a pediatrician Dr Monica, who asks him to write how he feels This is the essence of the novel Since his parents died in a car accident, he has not only buried his voice but his emotions We are not allowed to relate to Rovar in the same way that Rovar cannot relate with us yet by the end, [...]


    • On the one hand, fantastic In the literal and lateral definitions of the word Mythmaking on a Vonnegut scale, meaning squirrelly and capricious and where the bizarre alt history of the world actually seems a heap likely than the histories we re given On the other hand, the ending lost me completely Had it stuck the landing and not just written Kafka on post it notes, I d be singing praises right now 3.675 stars.


    • I had this book under my arm during a job interview this week, catching the eye of the HR manager, who casually asked what I was reading I hesitated It s pretty hard to explain in a way that doesn t make you sound insane The story bounces between two narratives, one being the adventures of a sad sack, hairy, mute dwarf who sells meat out of a bus The other covers the origins of a disgusting ancient Hungarian tribe who sacrifices people for no reason, of which our meat selling hero is the last re [...]


    • the plot is summarized elsewhere, and i will leave it there what i want to say is that i think jessica anthony has done something even amazing than i realize with this book i couldn t see the ending coming together until about thirty pages from it, and even after it arrived it was still somehow in the future, mine to hope for and daydream about, like a perfect gift that includes a card promising a forthcoming gift that will somehow be even better i don t mean anthony s next book i have read too [...]


    • Just minor spoilers follow I don t give away anything important Fascinating Well, it definitely doesn t remind me of anything else I ve ever read, that s for sure I really enjoyed this book so much Jessica Anthony s writing is fabulously creative and strange, and I love it I laughed out loud at a couple parts of this book, and cringed during others The protagonist is very different than most I think I sympathized with him Actually, that ambiguity, that do I really care about that thing feeling i [...]


    • A wonderful book about a non verbal Hungarian midget named Rovar who sells meat out of a school bus in Virginia The novel is structured in a fashion that reminds me of Everything is Illuminated chapters in the present alternating with chapters in the past The chapters dealing with the past in The Convalescent focus on the lost, forgotten, and neglected 11th tribe of Hungary This 11th tribe is a clan of deformed butchers and a giant monk who revolutionizes mounted combat archery.Like Everything i [...]


    • It seems like this book would be right up my alley, full of surreal jaunts into the personal and family history of the unreliable narrator at its core And I did enjoy it as I was reading it for the most part The narration becomes a bit repetitive at times though, and occasionally I wished that this filthy little man selling meat out of a bus would do something the least bit unexpected Alas, he did not The ending was odd , but quite what I thought it might be, just as I assumed that his personal [...]


    • Violated my own rule, which is if the book is not at least average, why finish it I wanted this one to rise above, but it failed me finally The author took a pretty good premise, that we fail to take proper notice of the small things, the marginal among us, etc and just beat it to death As much as I like the idea of a mute lame Hungarian American midget as the protagonist, I couldn t hang with him I did finish the book out of stubbornness, but it was a hard slog between the clever sections.


    • This book left me in awe, breathless and confused So many forces combine to make us who we are The main character reminds me of a homeless person I knew briefly, years ago, who roamed the streets coated in motor oil and feces, his protection I wonder if anyone was able to care or connect long enough to discover protection from what I admire Rovar He was a survivor of extraordinary measure, who loved fiercely.Found even gems on this second reading.


    • I ve said four stars here, but it could have been anything from two to five at different points in the book Even now, I m not totally convinced by the emotional centre of The Convalescent But the ideas are brilliant, the prose is absolutely sparkling, and Anthony s confidence soars through the two strands of the plot.


    • an attempt at a Middlesex type narrative, but full of really repulsive and repetitive descriptions of physical decay a bit boring and full of forced weirdness.


    • This is one quirky, bizarre, almost disturbing book I found the Hungarian history readable than the main plot In an odd way I liked the book, but wish that I hadn t read it.


    • So good, especially if you like books about dwarves who steal meat and live in vans mixed with Hungarian mythos.


    • An amazing book I picked up because at some point after it came out, Chuck Palahniuk recommended it on his page blog or in an article or something somewhere It certainly calls to mind the writing style of Palahniuk but it s content spans between engaging history, and unlikely protagonist who is a ball of pity while still incredibly interesting and undertones and passages reminiscent of Kafka specifically Metamorphosis.



    • I can t decide how I feel about The Convalescent It s 90% perfect a darkly comic, quasi surreal joy to read that left me sitting on the couch sad that I had finished it and had no to read But there s that other 10%, wiggling around in my mind and hiding behind the 90% when I try and get a good look at it I think my minor concerns are clear at times, Jessica Anthony falls back on cleverness and some of the heart is lost, especially in the historic sections I am a tad allergic to novels featuring [...]


    • The Convalescent is diligent store brand magical realism, which sticks to the rules an individual life story gradually unfolds through layers of unreliable narration, while a fantastic historical parallel narrative punctuates and annotates the narrative, sort of like a biblical typology.I found it occasionally hard to stick with the story, which has some slow stretches and seems sometimes too fascinated with its own grotesqueness But maybe that should really be accounted for by the first person [...]


    • I love the world created in The Convalescent Although I don t want to detract from the unique voice Jess Anthony has in this story by comparing her to a lot of other writers, I will say I wouldn t be surprised to see a Kilgore Trout or T.S Garp standing in line to purchase some of Rovar s steaks It is a world of melancholy, humor, and the sublime And although I m hardly a sickly midget of Hungarian descent, Rovar s world became my world while I was reading this A pretty nifty trick.It is a diffi [...]


    • This book is published by McSweeney s, a publisher known for their ability to find quirky talent and fearlessly publish even the truly bizarre This book falls squarely in their fold a sprawling, surreal Hungarian history mixed with the minutiae of the life of a hairy little man selling meat out of a bus It s not the sort of premise that makes the average reader think Heavens, how fascinating However, I am a sucker for quirky stories and this one quickly drew me in.Anthony s writing is peppered w [...]


    • Anthony has successfully created a surrealist landscape that, within only a few pages, a reader feels utterly comfortable inside, empathetic with its protagonist, without fully understanding him, awed by his story and his history, trusting that the author will bring it all together, and she does Rovar is perhaps one of the most memorable characters I ve encountered in fiction recently I know him so well, maybe because there s a little bit of him inside of me that I recognize, and still he holds [...]


    • A beautifully written novel so much so that the reader becomes the protagonist, Rovar Pfliegman, and his alienation from society, obsession with an unattainable love family baggage echo personal revelations far deeper than one will ever admit or possibly explain While his ailments and ultimate transformation seemed over exaggerated and beyond the scope of any modern medicine, I could not help but smile as he metamorphosed from his sheltered cocoon into a beautiful butterfly with the guidance of [...]


    • Anthony s book is ultimately about identity She gives us parallel visions of the Pfliegman tribe s Magyar era foundation myth on the one hand, and the arc of her narrator s modern day life in life in Virgina as the last surviving member of the tribe on the other.The gradually revealed horror of the narrator s life certainly resonates, but it also jars with the medieval depictions That said, the metaphysics of the latter ultimately bind with the brutal reality of the former However, the anachroni [...]


    • The ConvalescentAuthor Jessica Anthony5 out of 5 stars.This book completes the male main character and my own choice on the bingo board.This was a fantastic book about a little old mute dwarf who sells meat in a broken down flat tired bus his home He doesn t seem to have a great life, but he has problems than that He has a dozen skin diseases, hearing problems, a concerning leg and is the last of his race of people, as well as social problems because of all the above.I really enjoyed this book [...]


    • Half set in present day Virginia, half set in a farcical 9th Century Hungary, The Convalescent follows the life and history of a peculiar Gollum reminiscent Hungarian man named Rovar Pfliegman Rovar is a non verbal, short, troll like man who has a rare skin disorder who lives in Virginia and sells meat out of a bus He is also the only living Pfliegman in the world It focuses on his self pity, his misery, the negativity of human nature, yet it is not meant to evoke sympathy or pity from the reade [...]


    • Admittedly I bought this book because I thought the cover was incredibly beautiful and tragic My instincts, while rather simple, were spot on How can you even describe the story A hairy mute dwarf sells meat out of a bus in a field Look that might be the truth, or an amusing conversation starter, but Jessica Anthony weaves together something far vast and brilliant I read this book everywhere on the metro, in my car, over and under sushi, next to my cat and through all of that I was giggling, ca [...]


    • Wow I love when two separate but related stories are intertwined to show how they inexplicably have affected each other So good Rovar s story is gooey and oozing with tiny details that allow you to enter into his strange way of looking at life and the way he deals with the world around him in spite of the way the world rejects him day by day I love his friends and the myriad ways he gets by and survives when everything is stacked against him Being inside of Rovar s head is like pulling a dead an [...]


    • Short Review Good writing that, at times, suffered from annoying quirks Excellent characterization Moments of real and vivid magic incredible birth scene Though the ending was lovely, I felt let down, sort of abandoned by the character as the writer took her ongoing metaphor to the point of completion personally, I think the metaphor is a cliche I won t give it away here though I think if she d stayed with the character a little longer, it would have been satisfying We leave him too early The c [...]


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