Aug 9 - Fog by Kathryn Scanlan

Aug 9 - Fog

A Paris Review Staff Pick, one of Chicago Tribune's 25 Hot Books of Summer, and one of The A.V. Club's 15 Most Anticipated Books of 2019A stark, elegiac account of unexpected pleasures and the progress of seasonsFifteen years ago, Kathryn Scanlan found a stranger's five-year diary at an estate auction in a small town in Illinois. The owner of the diary was eighty-six years old when she began recording the details of her life in the small book, a ...

Details Aug 9 - Fog

TitleAug 9 - Fog
Release DateJun 4th, 2019
GenrePoetry, Fiction, Adult

Reviews Aug 9 - Fog

  • Bandit
    This isn’t really a book, is it? Not in a way that someone would spend money on it, surely. Technically, yes, it’s formatted and published as a book, but realistically speaking it is 128 pages I was easily able to read in just under 15 minutes. This is beyond spare, beyond minimalistic, beyond bare bones even. It might work as a poetry volume, possibly, although it’s sparse even by those standards. Mood wise, again, might work for poetry. O...
  • Paris (parisperusing)
    "Ever where glare of ice. We didn'tsleep too good. My pep has left me.D. & I out to cemetery towardevening. Flowers frozen. We arealone tonite."Kathryn Scanlan’s Aug 9—Fog is a rearrangement of sentences taken from a stranger’s diary she found at an estate auction 15 years ago. Its author is an 86-year-old woman whose annals sweep five years — 1968 to 1972 — and five seasons. From what I deduced of the language, the speaker — let’s ...
  • Richard
    A small, quiet experiment about a life lived. Day to day, storm to storm, death to death. A special artifact. I look forward to Scanlan's collection of brilliant short fiction!
  • Sonia Schoenfield
    I picked this up out of curiosity off the new book shelf in the library. It's small, has a linen cover, and the title is the same day as today. What are the odds?!The author, Kathryn Scanlan, wrote this book using sentences and phrases from a diary she bought at an estate sale. It's one of those five year diaries that has a page for each day divided into five years, with space to write just a few words. The diary belonged to an octogenarian in a ...
  • Cherise Wolas
    110 pages in the tiny hardcover. Scanlan found a diary written by an elderly woman at an estate sale and spent a significant amount of time choosing, arranging and rearranging some of the short entries. It reminds me of artists who rework found objects (someone else's old painting or photograph, etc), into something new. The selected entries, covering the span of four seasons, highlight the mundane and the beauty the unnamed diary keeper sees, as...
  • Margot
    Scanlon found this diary by an 86 year-old woman at an estate sale. Then she refashioned it, keeping the writer's words, but cutting and rearranging her sentences. The diarist records changes in the weather, a friend's illness, making pickles, a humdinger of a jigsaw puzzle. It is sparse and short. It seems simple. It is wise. It attests to the complex beauty that is life. It made me smile. It made me tear up. Buying a copy for my nightstand.
  • Jonathan
    2.5- this was such a smart intriguing idea and it was executed somewhat well for me but still left me desiring a little more. I think some will find what the book is telling and that’s amazing because it truly is a great swift little read but I was personally not a great fan of it, it’s so short and compact maybe I’ll revisit it in the future. Don’t be discouraged by my review not all books are for all people!
  • Kathleen Gray
    This isn't a novel, it isn't a novella, it isn't a lot of things. This is short and reads more like poetry than anything else. Thanks to net galley for the ARC. It's an interesting conceit to take someone else's writing and "collage it" to make it "your own" but it comes out more as an art project than literature.
  • Ben Niespodziany
    This book just wrecked me. Throughout the reading, I found myself jotting down ideas and fragments for my own pieces of flash/poetry. The ending! So minimal and timeless and surreal and moving. Makes you want to walk outside and write about the weather. Unlike anything I've read. Can't wait to read it again once I have the physical copy. Wow.
  • Christopher
    Glad there’s room in the world for something like this. Quiet and small, but beautiful. A perfectly titled experience.
  • Robin
    A strangely wonderful little treasure.
  • Andrew
    I'm not even really sure how to categorize this. It's labeled as fiction, but it's real pieces of an elderly woman's private diary... nonfiction? Honestly, I would have just preferred her transcribed journal. This isn't even really the author's own writing rather than her favorite parts of the mentioned diary.
  • Tom
    Based on entries from an elderly woman’s diary over the course of four years, starting from when the woman was 86, Scanlan condensed and re-arranged entries from this diary to create a fictional year in the life of an unnamed narrator, whose entries are terse and sometimes semi-cryptic, but all in the voice of the original diarist.
  • Lydia Granda
    This book had a great idea, but after reading it the only thing that I can say is it's so disappointing, I can't imagine anyone paying for this, it took 15 minutes to read while I waited to see my doctor and it left me feeling empty, like where was the rest of it. I do not recommend it to anyone
  • Rhys
    I love experimental books, ones that play with format and perspectives and such, so when I read the description of this work, I immediately went and got it from my library. This is a unique collection and rearrangement by the author of a real elderly woman's diary that spans 5 years. From reading other reviews, I'm not the only one who has struggled to classify this. I feel like poetry might feel the closest to it, but I'm not sure even then. Pro...
  • Toni
    This ultra slim volume was oddly compelling to read. The entire book can be read in one sitting while you drink a cup of tea. The ebook is 113 pages, but there is heavy use of white space, so each page contains an average of three or four lines. The book is lyrical and sparse, and it reads like a poem. I found the story of how the book came to be almost more fascinating than the book itself. I listened to a lengthy interview with the author where...
  • Danny
    From what I can tell it's a remix of lines from an actual diary found in an estate sale. It is very short, almost reads like a collection of progressive haiku because the passages are so brief. It's organized by seasons and is broadly atmospheric, but also includes specific details of life that encourage the imagination.The diary was written by an 86-year-old woman, but I think even without knowing that I'd have been picturing my grandmother as I...
  • Chris
    An odd little book of cut ups from an old Midwest diary. It's sort of a poetic movement through the seasons for people who seem either quite old, or very sickly. The design of the book is really cool, but there's sort of an empty feeling throughout.
  • Madeline Jefferies
    This may not have been the best format for this book, but it moved well. I'd like to see it come to life more.
  • Jordan
    Saddest little book I ever did read
  • Simon Sweetman
    Loved reading this mad, weird, charming wee gem of a book. A brilliant idea and experiment. Charming and glorious and odd and perfect.
  • Kassie
    This beautiful slim little volume takes us into the mind and writing of an ordinary woman in Illinois. The author has taken the diary of a stranger found at an estate sale and turned the entries into a free form poetry. It left me wanting to know the characters better.
  • Zach
    Beautiful and inventive but also empty of character and perspective. Strangely missing setting as well, considering how much of the narrative is about weather and seasons.And yet I would recommend it highly.
  • Sam
    This little book contains the beauty of everyday life. Arranging an everyday existence into poetry reminding that everyone contains galaxies.
  • Dave Wheeler
    I’m not usually a fan of these types of experimental writing styles, but the setup of the author buying this diary and taking phrases from it and reconfiguring it to a story intrigued me. Scanlan has something unique here, a short and intimate look at the anonymous diary writers life that is both familiar and foreign. I liked what Scanlan tried to do here, but maybe it could have been done better. This is an easy sit down and read in one sittin...
  • Amanda Clark
    The worst thing about this book is that it ended. I absolutely adore this little book and already plan on buying it for several people that would also love it!
  • Kathleen
    What a bizarre little book! I enjoyed it very much, and even started to feel for the characters. The voice of the original writer still comes through.
  • Lola G.
    The diary is interesting, but the editing is jarring.
  • Ema
    This is gorgeous.
  • Maggie Ignasiak
    If partial stars existed, this would have earned a 2.75. I wouldn't say I liked it, but it was definitely entertaining. It felt like talking to my own grandmother. The mundane brought to the surface. The diarists days move slowly, though it's clear they are full, whether it be of wonder at the beautiful day, or the house down the street burning down. If you want something real, and enjoy and experimental piece of literature, this is a great read.