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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Erudite and Entertaining
I've read this book several times and with each rereading find more to admire. It's rare to find a work that is at once original, erudite and unceasingly entertaining. It succeeds on several levels -- as a contemporary allegory, as a character study of the intelligent, funny and tormented-by-his-bulk Burl, and as a rollicking great yarn. Burl's enormous appetite is a...
Published on Nov. 1 2001

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1.0 out of 5 stars Gluttony and Tedium
When I read the synopsis of this book, it seemed like an intriguing odyssey through the bewildering and often grotesque landscape of modern America. It may be the greatest disappointment I can remember reading in the past decade. Askt's pedestrian prose style and wearily-paced plotting managed to make even as sure-fire a sequence as a gangland slaying seem tiresome,...
Published on Oct. 18 2001


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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Erudite and Entertaining, Nov. 1 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: St. Burl's Obituary (Paperback)
I've read this book several times and with each rereading find more to admire. It's rare to find a work that is at once original, erudite and unceasingly entertaining. It succeeds on several levels -- as a contemporary allegory, as a character study of the intelligent, funny and tormented-by-his-bulk Burl, and as a rollicking great yarn. Burl's enormous appetite is a terrific metaphor of our consumer society; his journeys through a hilariously gothic America and his virtual death and resurrection are the stuff of great literature.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Gluttony and Tedium, Oct. 18 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: St. Burl's Obituary (Paperback)
When I read the synopsis of this book, it seemed like an intriguing odyssey through the bewildering and often grotesque landscape of modern America. It may be the greatest disappointment I can remember reading in the past decade. Askt's pedestrian prose style and wearily-paced plotting managed to make even as sure-fire a sequence as a gangland slaying seem tiresome, while the lovingly-detailed descriptions of every meal the obese protagonist eats become numbingly repetitious and dull. Burl himself is so wretchedly unappealing a character that it seems a penance to have to spend so much time with him (and he appears on virtually every page except for the rare merciful interludes devoted to his detective friend, who appears inexplicably interested in finding the missing Burl after he goes off on his secret cross-country journey. Most people, finding that someone as needy and self-indulgent as Burl had dropped out of their lives, would heave a sigh of relief and just hope that he never reappeared). Gluttony is, of course, one of the seven deadly sins, and Askt has performed the rare feat of making sin seem neither wicked nor intriguing -- simply boring.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book!, Dec 14 2000
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Nicola Mody-Nikoloff (Auckland New Zealand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: St. Burl's Obituary (Paperback)
I selected this book from the library shelf based on its intriguing cover. I read the first couple of pages right there, and was hooked. This is one of those rare books I shall remember all my life, as Burl was so real, quirly and loveable, and his life and views so fascinating, that I was sorry to finish and say goodbye to a new-found friend. Daniel Akst's language is a joy to read, his erudition impressive, and his wit absolutely beguiling.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I don't know why this isn't a more popular book?, Dec 8 2000
This review is from: St. Burl's Obituary (Paperback)
Eventhough at times it seems a bit unrealistic, it is still a great read. I think a lot of people will see a little bit of themselves in Burl even if you are not over weight. My book club read this and everyone thought it was a great book. I probably wouldn't have read it otherwise, but I am sure glad I did. I guess that is one of the benefits of being in a book club.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It was interesting., Jan. 20 2000
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A Well-Read Reader (Constantinople Street) - See all my reviews
This review is from: St. Burl's Obituary (Paperback)
I just finished it. I think Part II was much better than part I, but as a whole it was an okay book. I enjoyed some parts more than others. I wouldn't read it again, though.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sophisticated and entertaining - could one ask for more?, Feb. 10 1999
This review is from: St. Burl's Obituary (Paperback)
Dan Akst sure is one of the brightest authors I've ever come across. Just to start with that statement. I guess one would have to read that marvel of a novel over and over again, just to discover all the literary cross-references he has embedded with such great subtlety. I've read it twice, and I'm sure that there's still loads of hidden treasures. An excessive, a disturbing and a brilliantly talented book. Phew. If we only had writers like that over here.
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5.0 out of 5 stars utterly funny and thought provoking, Oct. 11 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: St. Burl's Obituary (Paperback)
This novel entertained me for as long as I could make the reading last. Please call Joel & Ethan Cohen and have them make a moovie of Burl.
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St. Burl's Obituary
St. Burl's Obituary by Daniel Akst (Paperback - Jan. 18 1997)
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