The Lobster Kings: A Novel

The Lobster Kings: A Novel

by Alexi Zentner


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A mythical family saga steeped in the legends of the sea, The Lobster Kings is a "powerhouse of a novel" (Ben Fountain).

The Kings family has lived on Loosewood Island for three hundred years. Now, Woody Kings, the leader of the island's lobster fishing community and the family patriarch, teeters on the throne, and Cordelia, the oldest of Woody's three daughters, stands to inherit the crown. To do so, however, she must defend her island from meth dealers from the mainland, while navigating sibling rivalry and the vulnerable nature of her own heart when she falls in love with her sternman.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393351071
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 05/18/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 746,275
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 5.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Alexi Zentner is the author of The Lobster Kings and Touch, which was published in a dozen countries. His fiction has been featured in The Atlantic and Tin House. He lives in Ithaca, New York, with his family.

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The Lobster Kings 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Kiribear13 More than 1 year ago
The Lobster Kings is written by Alexi Zentner is a fictional semi-fantastical story about Loosewood Island located between Canada and the US. The book revolves around the history of the Kings family. Cordelia Kings is the daughter of Woody Kings, and comes from a long line of Kings which can trace their ancestry back to the original Lobster fisher of the islands Brumfitt Kings three hundred years earlier. Cordelia’s only wish is to follow in her father’s footsteps, living on the sea which calls to her and fishing for lobster. The Kings live with both a gift and a curse. Brumfit was promised by the sea to always have the bounty of the sea and never want for lobsters. In return the sea will claim the first born son of every Kings family. With so much of her history wrapped up in myth, Cordelia never quite knows the line between truth and fiction. Woody, her father believes every tale of their family ancestry whole- heartedly. He delights in telling them to his family. The story begins with Cordelia as a pre-teen and the oldest of three girls when her little brother is born. Instantly Cordelia as her father’s favorite feels a jealousy in having to share her father, the sea and her inheritance with her little brother who does not feel the call to the sea as she does. The Lobster Kings is a tumultuous tale of both the beauty and the tragedy which is being a part of the sea. There is a roller coaster of emotions as we follow through the story with Cordelia as a young girl and as she enters into adulthood and is finding he own as a hardworking 30 year old with her own lobster boat. Cordelia's challenges range from her fight for inheritance of the sea to keeping meth out of her town. My only complaint was that in the beginning of the book, I wasn’t sure that the narration was still following Cordelia in youth between chapters. However, as the story went on, I found myself so vested into the characters that I felt joy and sorrow with them and even had tears in my eyes in several places. I give this book 5/5 stars. I loved the connection of grandiose description in relation to the Brumfitt paintings. I love the way that myth was interwoven with life in a way that it couldn’t be true… and yet… it just might be. I also loved the way that Zentner created realistic characters, realistic struggle and real growth in the story. I highly recommend this story for anyone interested in the sea, fishing, woman empowering, mythology, fantasy, fiction, adventure, suspense, family, etc. *I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful characters and an exciting story.
MERT99 More than 1 year ago
It was a good novel overall. A little slow at times but the last third of the book pulls you in so you want to keep reading. I would recommend this book as a general read. I was drawn to it because I like anything that brings me into the world of off shore fishing adventures. The book was more than that though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Borrows Heavily from THE FISHER KING by Hayley Kelsey. Zentner's second novel, set on Maine’s fictional Loosewood Island, revolves around a 300-year-old lobsterman’s family, the Kings: Father Woody, eldest daughter Cordelia, and sisters Rena and Carly. Descended from painter Brumfitt, they’re cursed to lose each generation’s first-born son, as occurs when nine-year-old Scotty is swept overboard. Guilty, Cordelia resolves to compensate as an ace lobsterman and avenges off-islanders poaching their waters and drug smuggling by cutting the enemy’s traplines and engaging in a piratical shoot-out.   The novel is uninspired by imagination or emotion. The characters and relationships lack complexity. Author fails to lay groundwork for or build to crises; instead, he springs them on the reader, then handily dispenses with them so they don’t advance the plot, build suspense, or add character depth. Merely violent descriptions, they’re not climactic.  The plot revolves around encroaching on island waters and meth dealing, but the author fails to render a scene that makes them real or provide any evidence that they are, in fact, threats, such as lost revenue or drug-addled adolescents, so nothing is actually at stake. One incident merely follows another with no build-up, no conflict, and no repercussions.  The author’s try for “Literary Greatness” with KING LEAR falls flat. Instead, the novel seems to borrow heavily from THE FISHER KING, by Hayley Kelsey. The similarities, both large and small, are striking: title, family surname, and storyline (threat to fishing rights; waterman family patriarch resists change, return to island), characters (feisty first-person female narrator, tyrannical patriarch, passive male characters), character relationships (rivalry among three siblings), character development (narrator's guilt for abandoning dreamy younger brother to workplace death; aging patriarch falls ill but resists doctors), setting (island), theme (inheritance of watershed and fishing business, woman tries transcend sexism of physical labor), and literary allusions (Grail Knight).  ). But the richly imagined THE FISHER KING is an infinitely better novel by ambitiously addressing big themes: overfishing in an era of global trade, who’s responsible for a commons in a free market economy, competing interests of stewardship v. inheritance, and what connotes possession: who “owns” the sea? The author makes the political personal in the deeply felt and evoked lives of characters as pressure from a punishing summer drought mounts on an island community and family to pit brother against brother, and father against son while the fate of the precarious watershed waits.  The Fisher King Reviewer received an ARC free from the publisher unconditionally based on positive or negative review, and the opinions are his own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
L b,? Pppstone,irving