Tuesday, May 27, 2014

book review: The Lobster Kings by Alexi Zentner

The basics: The Lobster Kings is the story of the Kings family, who have lived and fished off of Loosewood Island, Maine for generations, beginning with Brumfitt King, a famous artist. The current generation of Kings, and the focus of most of the novel, are patriarch Woody and his three daughters, but mostly Cordelia, who loves the sea as much as her father.

My thoughts: There's an ethereal quality to the writing and setting of this novel that captured me from the novel's first pages. Zentner's writing has a calm fluidity that perfectly matches the maritime setting and the novel's pace. Big moments happen in short, unassuming sentences, which I quite enjoyed, but it sets a specific tone for this novel.

Despite the presence of many tragic and depressing events, the novel itself isn't marred by those emotions. Zentner's writing matches the demeanor of the Kings: there's an acceptance of how life is, which might be tragic by many standards, but is the norm for generations of Kings.

The verdict: The Lobster Kings is a gripping and absorbing family saga. The characters haunted me as I read, and they made this novel impossible for me to put down. As I read, I felt like I was living with the Kings on Loosewood Island, and this novel showcases Zentner's gift for writing about places with a strong setting.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Length: 352 pages
Publication date: May 27, 2014
Source: publisher

Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy The Lobster Kings from an independent bookstore, the Book Depository or Amazon (Kindle edition.)

Want more? Visit Alexi Zentner's website, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter.

As an affiliate, I receive a small commission when you make a purchase through any of the above links. Thank you for helping to support my book habits that bring more content to this blog!


  1. This sounds great! I have a feeling I'd find the setting fascinating, and I'm all about ethereal writing!

  2. I'm glad to see you enjoyed this one. It does sound like one I might enjoy as well.

  3. I love Maine and this definitely sounds like my kind of book!

  4. This one sounds really good. It's going on my wish list. Thanks for the great review!


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Happy reading!