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Ducks, Newburyport Reviews

Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann

Ducks, Newburyport

Lucy Ellmann

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Galley Beggar Press
Publisher: Galley Beggar Press
Publication date: 4 Jul 2019
ISBN: 9781910296967

A scorching indictment of America's barbarity, past and present, and a lament for the way we are sleepwalking into environmental disaster, Ducks, Newburyport is a heresy, a wonder - and a revolution in the novel.

  • The GuardianBook of the Day
5 stars out of 5
Ian Sansom
4 Jul 2019

"an unabashed triumph"

In many ways, the book reads like a culmination. This is partly because of its extraordinary length and bold rhetorical devices, but also because it brings together elements from all Ellmann’s previous books: her great love of lists; the endless references to popular culture; the roarings and forebodings and glorious meanderings. I could tell you the significance of the ducks of the title, but that would cheat you of one of the great pleasures of the novel, which is just sticking with it and allowing the author to determine the pace and rhythm at which you read. “This book will either be a success or a failure,” remarks one character. “Nobody wants to hear that,” responds the narrator. Fair enough. Success? Failure? Triumph.


5 stars out of 5
6 Jul 2019

"Lucy Ellmann has produced one of the outstanding books of the century so far"

There’s so much more to this amazing novel. Undoubtedly it’s a long read, but it is never less than rewarding to engage with the observations of this companionable narrator. The fact that the writing has a beautiful cadence and rhythm. The fact that I haven’t even mentioned all the hilarious, salty comments about Trump (“Super callous fragile racist sexist Nazi Potus”). The fact that this isn’t just one of the outstanding books of 2019, it’s one of the outstanding books of the century, so far.