The Resource Frog music : a novel, Emma Donoghue

Frog music : a novel, Emma Donoghue

Label
Frog music : a novel
Title
Frog music
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Emma Donoghue
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"Emma Donoghue's explosive new novel, based on an unsolved murder in 1876 San Francisco. Summer of 1876: San Francisco is in the fierce grip of a record-breaking heatwave and a smallpox epidemic. Through the window of a railroad saloon, a young woman called Jenny Bonnet is shot dead. The survivor, her friend Blanche Beunon, is a French burlesque dancer. Over the next three days, she will risk everything to bring Jenny's murderer to justice--if he doesn't track her down first. The story Blanche struggles to piece together is one of free-love bohemians, desperate paupers and arrogant millionaires; of jealous men, icy women and damaged children. It's the secret life of Jenny herself, a notorious character who breaks the law every morning by getting dressed: a charmer as slippery as the frogs she hunts. In thrilling, cinematic style, FROG MUSIC digs up a long-forgotten, never-solved crime. Full of songs that migrated across the world, Emma Donoghue's lyrical tale of love and bloodshed among lowlifes captures the pulse of a boomtown like no other"--
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Award
  • Booklist Editors' Choice, 2014.
  • LibraryReads Favorites, 2014
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Donoghue flawlessly combines literary eloquence and vigorous plotting in her first full-fledged mystery, a work as original and multifaceted as its young murder victim. During the scorching summer of 1876, Jenny Bonnet, an enigmatic cross-dressing bicyclist who traps frogs for San Francisco’s restaurants, meets her death in a railroad saloon on the city’s outskirts. Exotic dancer Blanche Beunon, a French immigrant living in Chinatown, thinks she knows who shot her friend and why, but has no leverage to prove it and doesn’t know if she herself was the intended target. A compulsive pleasure-seeker estranged from her “fancy man,” Blanche searches desperately for her missing son while pursuing justice for Jenny, but finds her two goals sit in conflict. In language spiced with musical interludes and raunchy French slang, Donoghue brings to teeming life the nasty, naughty side of this ethnically diverse metropolis, with its brothels, gaming halls, smallpox-infested boardinghouses, and rampant child abuse. Most of her seedy, damaged characters really lived, and she not only posits a clever solution to a historical crime that was never adequately solved but also crafts around Blanche and Jenny an engrossing and suspenseful tale about moral growth, unlikely friendship, and breaking free from the past. -- Johnson, Sarah (Reviewed 02-01-2014) (Booklist, vol 110, number 11, p29)
  • Donoghue returns to historical fiction in this latest offering, based on the unsolved murder of Jenny Bonnet, a cross-dressing frog catcher with a mysterious past. Set in 1870s San Francisco, this brilliant book includes impeccable historical details, from a smallpox epidemic to period songs. -- Diane Scholl, Batavia Public Library, IL. (LibraryReads, April 2014)
  • /* Starred Review */ Donoghue’s first literary crime novel is a departure from her bestselling Room, but it’s just as dark and just as gripping as the latter. Based on the circumstances surrounding the grizzly real-life murder of Jenny Bonnet, a law-flouting, pants-wearing frog catcher who lived in San Francisco in the mid-1870s, this investigation into who pulled the trigger is told in episodic flashbacks from the point of view of Blanche Beunon. Blanche is a raunchy, self-absorbed burlesque dancer and French émigré who befriended the alluring Bonnet and was with her on the night she was killed. Also woven into the plot is Blanche’s sordid relationship with Albert Deneve, an ex–tightrope walker, and his minion Ernest, who may have had a hand in the murder while swindling Blanche out of house, home, and one-year-old baby. Aside from the obvious whodunit factor, the book is filled with period song lyrics and other historic details, expertly researched and flushed out. The sweltering heat wave and smallpox epidemic that afflicted thousands in 1876, the Sinophobic takedown of Chinese businesses, and the proliferation of baby farms—glorified dumping grounds for unwanted babies—are all integrated into the story of Bonnet’s tragic end. Donoghue’s signature talent for setting tone and mood elevates the book from common cliffhanger to a true chef d’oeuvre. (Apr.) --Staff (Reviewed December 16, 2013) (Publishers Weekly, vol 260, issue 50, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Clothes make the man, it's said, but don't tell that to Jenny Bonnet, the cross-dressing, frog-catching, gun-toting antiheroine of Donoghue's genre-defying new novel, set in late 1800s California. When the inimitable Jenny loses control of her high-wheel bicycle, riding smack into prostitute and exotic dancer Blanche Beunon, something extraordinary happens: Blanche discovers female friendship. Viewing her life through Jenny's lens, Blanche finds her fantasy world evaporating. Her lover Arthur Deneve, a gambler and a dandy, is nothing more than her pimp. And where, Blanche wonders, did he really take the little boy she gave birth to a year ago? Donoghue's evocative language invades the senses with the sights and smells of Chinatown, the frying food, boisterous saloons, even the sickrooms of victims of the smallpox epidemic. Readers won't quickly forget this rollicking, fast-paced novel, which is based on a true story and displays fine bits of humor with underlying themes of female autonomy and the right to own one's sexual identity. VERDICT A murder mystery, a feminist manifesto, and a human interest story, this will likely be compared to Donoghue's well-received Slammerkin , but it was her blockbuster, Room , soon to be a major motion picture, that made Donoghue a book group darling. Expect lots of requests. [See Prepub Alert, 10/4/13.]— Sally Bissell, Fort Myers, FL --Sally Bissell (Reviewed January 1, 2014) (Library Journal, vol 139, issue 1, p94)
  • In the sweltering fall of 1876, a San Francisco prostitute tracks a killer and searches for her stolen baby. Donoghue returns here to the historical fiction genre in which she first made her international mark (Slammerkin, 2000, etc.), but she's blended in the suspense craft she acquired writing her contemporary mega-seller Room (2010). Who fired the shotgun blasts that blew away Jenny Bonnet while her friend Blanche bent down to take off her boots? Blanche believes it was her lover Arthur or his sidekick, Ernest, who have been living on her earnings as a high-priced erotic dancer/whore. They weren't happy when Jenny goaded Blanche into retrieving her 1-year-old son, P'tit, from the ghastly holding pen for unwanted children where Arthur dumped him while Blanche was ill. And Jenny is killed while Blanche is hiding out in the countryside with her after an ugly scene with Arthur and Ernest that led Blanche to flee their apartment without P'tit. The men blame Jenny for Blanche's newfound, unwelcome independence, but there are plenty of other people in San Francisco who dislike the defiant, cross-dressing frog-catcher, who presents herself as an untamed free spirit. There's far more to Jenny's story, we learn, as Donoghue cuts between Blanche's hunt for her son in mid-September and the events of August, when her collision with bicycle-riding Jenny led to their unlikely friendship. By the time the murderer is revealed, we understand why Jenny knows so much about abandoned children, and we've seen how Blanche has been changed by her hesitant commitment to motherhood. (Some of the book's funniest, most touching moments depict her early struggles to care for "this terrible visitor," her baby.) Donoghue's vivid rendering of Gilded Age San Francisco is notable for her atmospheric use of popular songs and slang in Blanche's native French, but the book's emotional punch comes from its portrait of a woman growing into self-respect as she takes responsibility for the infant life she's created. More fine work from one of popular fiction's most talented practitioners.(Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2013)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10282066
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1969-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Donoghue, Emma
Dewey number
823/.914
Index
no index present
LC call number
PR6054.O547
LC item number
F76 2014
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Women dancers
  • Murder
  • San Francisco (Calif.)
Label
Frog music : a novel, Emma Donoghue
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1008669
Extent
pages cm
Isbn
9780316324687
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Lccn
2014000840
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780316324687
  • (OCoLC)855905294
Label
Frog music : a novel, Emma Donoghue
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1008669
Extent
pages cm
Isbn
9780316324687
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Lccn
2014000840
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780316324687
  • (OCoLC)855905294

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