During finals week at a fictional southern university, a gunman opens fire in the library, killing 12 people. Bloomland explores both the origin and the aftermath of the shooting through the eyes of a student, a professor, and the shooter.
This book had many raves for its thoughtful, empathetic, and poetic portrayals of grief and disillusionment. Unfortunately, I couldn't get past the second person narrative. It seemed the narrator was a person who was present at the college, but at 25% in, I still had no notion of who that was or why they were telling the story. The endless stream of "you" became distracting and I had to put it down.
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Bloomland opens during finals week at a fictional southern university, when a student walks into the library with his roommate’s semi-automatic rifle and opens fire. When he stops shooting, twelve people are dead.
In this richly textured debut, John Englehardt explores how the origin and aftermath of the shooting impacts the lives of three characters: a disillusioned student, a grieving professor, and a young man whose valuation of fear and disconnection funnels him into the role of the aggressor. As the community wrestles with the fallout, Bloomland interrogates social and cultural dysfunction in a nation where mass violence has become all too familiar.
Profound and deeply nuanced, Bloomland is a dazzling debut for fans of Denis Johnson and We Need to Talk About Kevin.