DNF: Legend of a Suicide

Legend of a Suicide: Stories
David Vann
256 pages
2008
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Source: TLC Book Tours

My mother gave birth on Adak Island, a small hunk of rock and snow far out on the Aleutian chain, at the edge of the Bering Sea. . .

I didn’t know what I was going to do about this review. You see today my blog is supposed to be a part of the TLC Book tour for Legend of a Suicide. I read a lot of positive reviews for this book and a few that weren’t so positive.  When I heard that Trish and Lisa were going to host a tour, I had to sign up. The problem though? This book dragged for me. I started reading it a few weeks ago but still hadn’t finished. I usually don’t talk about the books I haven’t finished reading but since I agreed to be apart of the tour, I will.

Legend of a Suicide is a collection of stories and a novella. Though the work is fiction, the author uses the stories as an exploration into his father’s suicide. What I loved about the stories I read was the Alaskan setting. I haven’t read any books that use the state as a setting so it was refreshing. While I struggled to read the book, I turned to the back which featured an interview with the author. In the interview, Vann stated how both his sister and mother felt they had signs from his father saying goodbye. According to Vann, “nothing happened for me”.  Legend of a Suicide is a son’s way of trying to connect with his lost father.

About Vasilly

Mother, daughter, sister, college student, bookworm, lover of chocolate and coffee.
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16 Responses to DNF: Legend of a Suicide

  1. bermudaonion says:

    Sorry it didn’t work for you.

  2. trish says:

    Sorry it didn’t work for you. Not every book works for everyone, and you did a fantastic job of stating what you did like.🙂 Maybe you’ll pick it up another time and it will gel better for you…never know! Thanks for being on the tour!

  3. farmlanebooks says:

    I loved this book! Did you get to the end of the novella? I think that the novella is fantastic – I never spotted that twist coming and it really made me stop and think.

    I don’t think you should really classify this book as a series of short stories – they are all interconnected and work really well as a novel. Sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy it.

  4. I haven’t read this yet, but it is on my TBR, and I’m certainly intrigued. Thanks for writing about your experience with it.

  5. bookmagic says:

    Sorry you didn’t like it. I enjoyed it, but not every book is for everyone

  6. I’ve got this one for my Kindle because I’ve only read rave reviews. Thanks for offering your opinion to temper the enthusiasm. I’m not a huge lover of short stories, but I’m most looking forward to the novella.

  7. zibilee says:

    I can understand you not enjoying this book, as it sounds like it would be a hard read for me to get through as well. I am sorry that it was a disappointing read for you, and I hope that your next read is better! Thanks for your honesty in this review though, it is appreciated!

  8. David Vann says:

    Thanks for your comments, everyone. I worked on the book for ten years, and then no agent would send it out for the next 12 years. I finally sent it to a contest (AWP Grace Paley Prize), and that was how it was published. So after thinking for so many years that it would never be published, I’m really happy to have it out now and to see people talking about it. I have a new novel coming out in January, by the way, titled Caribou Island, set in Alaska.
    Best,
    David Vann

  9. Frances says:

    Starting this one soon, and have been surprised by the wide-ranging opinions. Even people whose opinions usually mesh about books have disagreed. Sorry it didn’t work for you. Curious as to whether or not I will like it.

  10. Michelle says:

    I’m sorry you weren’t drawn to this book. Thank you for sharing what worked and what didn’t.

  11. Beth F says:

    The short story format often doesn’t work for me either. I like reading DNF reviews because I always like to see the other side.

  12. kay says:

    Sorry you didn’t enjoy this one much. I’ve been curious about this one but haven’t gotten to read it yet.

  13. Kathleen says:

    Bummer that you didn’t enjoy this one. When reading time is already limited it is frustrating to be stuck reading a book that is just “okay”. I’d love the Alaskan setting too. That is one state I haven’t had the chance to visit and would love to…someday!

  14. winstonsdad says:

    sorry ,you didn’t like this like jackie i loved it and am looking forward to his novel when it comes out ,all the best stu

  15. Sasha says:

    I kind of feel bad that you didn’t like it–because I loved it to little bits and pieces. The first story, “Icthyology,” was a little intro-to-the-story for me, but I’m glad that I stayed with the book.

    It’s clear that it’s not for everyone. I wonder, though, which story, in particular, was problematic for you?

  16. Pingback: Legend of a Suicide – David Vann | A Book Blog. Period.

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