I rarely review a book I haven’t finished reading. I believe I’ve made only one other exception with the book, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Woa. Excellent book by a brilliant writer. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.
I have another mid-read review for you today. Swallow Savannah by Ken Burger is one of those rare books where you find yourself reading passages out loud to friends and family because they are so skillfully written. The prose and story are simple. Burger’s style, on the other hand, is a literary revelation. I have been caught completely off guard by a few of the passages, and I like to think that I can see a plot unfolding a couple of chapters ahead. I can’t tell you how many times I have actually uttered the word “whoa” to myself while reading this book.
The story is a southern tale of a northern sociopath, Frank Finklea, who pitches his crooked tent in Bluff County, South Carolina and rises through the state legislative ranks by wielding a platform of charming greed and slime. In his quest for power, Finklea beguiles and brutalizes everyone in his life. You can see the deceit, sweat, and humidity deeply embedded on every page of this book. If Harper Lee and Cormac McCarthy had a son, his name would be Ken Burger.
The one thing that upsets me about this book is that more people aren’t talking about it. In my humble opinion, this is National Book Award and Pulitzer material. Burger is an award winning journalist and columnist, so the notion that he and this book deserves greater recognition is not too farfetched. Help undo this injustice. Buy this book and recommend it to your friends.