Book Review: The Thunder of Giants by Joel Fishbane

Posted April 20, 2015 by love2dazzle in Fiction, Reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: The Thunder of Giants by Joel FishbaneThe Thunder of Giants by Joel Fishbane
Published by St. Martin's Press on April 14th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Literary
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: St. Martin's Press
Buy on Amazon

The year is 1937 and Andorra Kelsey - 7'11 and just over 320 pounds - is on her way to Hollywood to become a star. Hoping to escape both poverty and the ghost of her dead husband, she accepts an offer from the wily Rutherford Simone to star in a movie about the life of Anna Swan, the Nova Scotia giantess who toured the world in the 19th century.Told in parallel, Anna Swan's story unfurls. While Andorra is seen as a disgrace by an embarrassed family, Anna Swan is quickly celebrated for her unique size. Drawn to New York, Anna becomes a famed attraction at P.T. Barnum's American Museum even as she falls in love with Gavin Clarke, a veteran of the Civil War. Quickly disenchanted with a life of fame, Anna struggles to prove to Gavin - and the world - that she is more than the sum of her measurements.Both meticulously researched and resounding with the force of myth, Joel Fishbane's The Thunder of Giants blends fact and fiction in a sweeping narrative that spans nearly a hundred years. Against the backdrop of epic events, two extraordinary women become reluctant celebrities in the hopes of surviving a world too small to contain them.

“The Thunder of Giants” by Joel Fishbane is a historical ficiton story about two women that are considered to be giants since they are almost 8 feet tall. These two women are immigrants from Canada. Both of these women have a hard time trying to find normality in their lives. All people do is single them out and make sure that they know that they are different.

Neither one of these woman wanted to live in the limelight an be stars but they were both approached to star in a movie. The journey that these two women go through will cause some raw emotions. It was hard to see what they had to go trhough and how they became who they are. Anna Swan was based off of the real Anna Swan. Some facts were changed to make up the ficiton story. Andorra Kelsey was completely made up by Fishbane. The characters were pretty good. I do wish that they were written a little better because they didn’t seem to be as raw and fleshed out as I would ahve liked.

As the story goes on, the reader gets to know Anna as being a strong woman that wasn’t going to let anyone hold her back. She was going to do what she wanted and be who she wanted to be. Even if she was considered a giant. Andorra ont he other hand always seemed to let something hold ehr back from doing what she really wanted to do. I think for a debut novel that this one isn’t bad. There are a few writing quirks that I would like to see improve but all in all I think the story was great. The reason for the three stars is because there were a decent amount of improvements needed to the writing, the characters and the plot.


About love2dazzle

Ali Kiki is a reader, writer, reviewer, blogger, and photographer in Portland, OR. An avid reader since childhood, you can usually find her devouring a book or stalking the bookstagram hashtag in her lovely apartment surrounded by books. Ali has been blogging since 2006 and she created Dazzled by Books in 2012. Her most recent adventure is making bookish candles for Stub Tail Candle Co., which are sold on Etsy.

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