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Remarkably Bright Creatures: A Read with…
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Remarkably Bright Creatures: A Read with Jenna Pick (edição 2022)

por Shelby Van Pelt (Autor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
2,5961675,680 (4.25)136
"For fans of A Man Called Ove, a luminous debut novel about a widow's unlikely friendship with a giant Pacific octopus reluctantly residing at the local aquarium-and the truths she finally uncovers about her son's disappearance 30 years ago"-- After Tova Sullivan's husband died, she began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she's been doing since her eighteen-year-old son, Erik, mysteriously vanished on a boat in Puget Sound over thirty years ago. Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn't dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors--until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova. Ever the detective, Marcellus deduces what happened the night Tova's son disappeared. And now Marcellus must use every trick his old invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for her before it's too late.… (mais)
Membro:FeliciaCarbone
Título:Remarkably Bright Creatures: A Read with Jenna Pick
Autores:Shelby Van Pelt (Autor)
Informação:Ecco (2022), 368 pages
Coleções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

Informação Sobre a Obra

Remarkably Bright Creatures por Shelby Van Pelt

  1. 10
    A Man Called Ove por Fredrik Backman (dawnlovesbooks)
    dawnlovesbooks: widows finding happiness
  2. 10
    The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness por Sy Montgomery (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: Marcellus, the octopus, is not as fictional as you might think.
  3. 00
    The Ways of Water: A Novel por janssenteresah (Utilizador anónimo)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 159 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I listened to this one and the narrators were great, especially the one for Marcellus. This was a very sweet story about grief and how we move forward through it. ( )
  ehoustonmyatt | May 19, 2024 |
This is very different from the books I normally read, but I enjoyed it a lot.
  ohheybrian | Apr 27, 2024 |
"Who am I, you ask? My name is Marcellus, but most humans do not call me that. Typically, they call me that guy. For example: Look at that guy—there he is—you can just see his tentacles behind the rock."


Van Pelt conducted a great deal of research, and yet this opening salvo is the only time that the word "tentacle" should have appeared in this book. Why? Because the wonderful character and device Marcellus is a massively intelligent giant Pacific octopus, and octopuses do not have tentacles. It makes sense that the average Joe or Jane aquarium visitor would not know that, and it's a shame that the information plaque next Marcellus' enclosure doesn't mention this along with the other facts about his diet, "penchant for cleverness," and camouflage abilities. But the author even has Marcellus quip, "On occasion I have wondered whether I might have more intelligence in a single tentacle than a human does in its entire skull." Well, poop Marcellus. I thought you were smarter than that. Tentacles are mentioned at least 20 times more.

However, marine biological nomenclature is not what set me on the opposing side of all those many readers charmed by this purportedly feel-good tale. For the record, I loved Marcellus's little monologues and his interactions with Tova and company. The small town setting also felt appropriate because it puts the reader into the midst of everyone's business. Unfortunately, I didn't find everyone's business of very interesting.

Tova is not the easiest character with whom to identify, but I could kind of relate to her given my own curmudgeonly ways. I sympathized with her life losses and her anxieties about the future given the uptick of her age and not wanting to impose herself on her similarly aged friends despite their claiming her as chosen family. I also related to her grief though I've never had (nor wanted, so don't cry for me) children. But I have lost family, so the feelings aren't foreign. Frankly, I loved her relationship with Marcellus for providing a balm for her, and it seemed fitting that she would more easily give herself to him than an any human person around her, at least until Cameron enters the picture.

While Cameron's immaturity is purposeful to the story, it's a bit grating. Actually, his constant sniveling about having been abandoned is not the biggest issue for me with this character. I don't know what that would feel like, but he's 32 and also was taken in by an aunt who deeply cares for him, so his endless self-pity is off-putting. While his character growth is inevitable, the getting there was a chore and that was my main grievance with him. He's also presented as being pretty smart. He quotes Shakespeare, figures out how to change a serpentine belt in the middle of nowhere (pretty sure I would not be able to do that even with YouTube in hand), and knows that the clematis is a member of the buttercup family, but he can't figure out the clues of his own life. Nor can Tova, which made me at times low-key hate this book.

Even a reader who's only half paying attention will have figured out the familial connections long before the main characters do. Once Marcellus provides the Tova with the key from the sea, we've a massive hint, and once Marcellus states what he's observed about the human gait, we're just waiting for the humans to figure out what the octopus knows. But my god, the getting there is so tedious! With less than 40 pages (or 10% of the book to go), even Marcellus' last appearance is titled "Oh, Let Us Cut the Shit, Shall We?" Yes, indeed.

Ultimately, I didn't find the plot all that riveting. I wanted to care, but I didn't, although I did appreciate how Marcellus' story resolves. I didn't find the mysteries all that mysterious. The peripheral characters were okay (Ethan; the Knit-Wits, which was funny the first time I read that and eyeroll provoking all the successive times; Avery, etc.) That leaves the writing, which to me was competent but pedestrian. This book is not quite mediocre but was far from a satisfying. ( )
  mpho3 | Apr 26, 2024 |
I cried. I knew I would. The story deals with grief and loss but also with hope and love. The picture in my head of Tova pulling a scrub bucket with an octopus in it down to the sea will always be with me. I will never forget Marcellus. ( )
  juju2cat | Apr 25, 2024 |
“Then, with a twitch, my limbs awaken, and I am alive again. I do not say this to give you false hope. My death is imminent. But I am not dead yet. I have time enough to bask in the vastness of the sea” (349).

No matter the tragic events of your past or the bleak resoluteness of your future, there is always room for hope, even when you think all is lost. Like a sunken treasure sitting in the darkest depths of the cold sea, there’s always something bright to be discovered in the dark. This is what grieving widow Tova and wandering orphan Cameron come to understand when their paths serendipitously cross—and then stay crossed and connected by meddling Marcellus, a remarkably bright creature.

In this book about family and home, loss and misunderstandings, there’s so much to love: the magical realism of a communicative giant Pacific octopus with a sardonic voice, the connections between broken and lost characters in a small town, and the unfolding mysteries of loved ones who disappeared decades ago somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.

While this is a solid 4.5 for me, there are some things I didn’t love: I’m not a fan of dramatic irony, but I know how frustrated Marcellus felt. For me, it took awhile for the book to gain speed (not until after the first 100 pages), but that’s certainly how bogged down in the mire grief can be—much like what the characters are experiencing. And while I was instantly drawn to Cameron and Ethan and Jeanne and Avery, it took me awhile to feel that same magnetism towards Tova—much like the veneer of her stoic Swedish stock. So, even with elements that I didn’t love, in the end, I really appreciated how purposeful and seamless all pieces intertwined. This is one I’d certainly recommend diving into—you won’t be disappointed with the treasure you uncover. ( )
  lizallenknapp | Apr 20, 2024 |
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Van Pelt, Shelbyautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Ireland, MarinNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Urie, MichaelNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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He rises and inspects the refereshment table in the corner of the lobby, which, inexplicably, offers coffee, but not tea. All this leather and ivy, and they can't even furnish a spot of Early Grey? What rubbish! (p. 70)
What sort of treasures comprise my Collection, you ask? Well, where to begin? Three glass marbles, two plastic superheroes, one emerald solitaire ring. Four credit cards and a driver's license. One jeweled barrette. One human tooth. Why that look of disgust? I did not remove it myself. The former owner wiggled it our on a school field trip then proceeded to lose track of it.

What else? Two devices for which I do not know the human word. I suppose they are...plugs? Humans stick them in the orifices of their youngest children to quiet them. (p. 95)
"How do you, like, go on?" He looks down at her and swallows hard. "I mean, he was here one day and gone the next. How do you recover from something like that?"

Tova hesitates. "You don't recover. Not all the way. But you do move on. You have to." (p. 346)
Humans. For the most part, you are dull and blundering. But occasionally, you can be remarkably bright creatures. (p. 350)
...Puget Sound shivers like a great gray ghost beyond the pier. (p. 354)
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"For fans of A Man Called Ove, a luminous debut novel about a widow's unlikely friendship with a giant Pacific octopus reluctantly residing at the local aquarium-and the truths she finally uncovers about her son's disappearance 30 years ago"-- After Tova Sullivan's husband died, she began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she's been doing since her eighteen-year-old son, Erik, mysteriously vanished on a boat in Puget Sound over thirty years ago. Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn't dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors--until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova. Ever the detective, Marcellus deduces what happened the night Tova's son disappeared. And now Marcellus must use every trick his old invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for her before it's too late.

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