Read The Only Harmless Great Thing Online Free - In the early years of the 20th century, a group of female factory workers in Newark, New Jersey slowly died of radiation poisoning. Around the same time, an Indian elephant was deliberately put to death by electricity in Coney Island.
These are the facts.
Now these two tragedies are intertwined in a dark alternate history of rage, radioactivity, and injustice crying out to be righted. Prepare yourself for a wrenching journey that crosses eras, chronicling histories of cruelty both grand and petty in search of meaning and justice.
|Title||:||The Only Harmless Great Thing|
|Number of Pages||:||96 pages|
June 16, 2017
Caveats first: I'm another Tor.com author; I know Brooke Bolander as a friend. The draft I read? One of the earlier versions of the finished product, I'm sure.
But stranger, if you're here, combing through the wilds of Goodreads to see if this book is worth pre-ordering or buying, the answer's...
September 16, 2017
Brooke Bolander's work has been defined to date by a combination of relentlessly precise language and colossal emotion depth and focus. Her short fiction is seared through with images that linger after you've finished reading and turns of phrase that sit on the backs of your eyes like the after i...
January 31, 2018
The Only Harmless Great Thing is one of the most unusual books I've ever read. It's alternate history, and maybe it's even set in an alternate universe, as here elephants can talk with human through sign language.
Its premise is brilliant in its simplicity and weirdness: what if we comb...
January 26, 2018
The Only Harmless Great Thing is a tough one for me to digest, and I'm not quite sure what to say about it. The narrative round-robins its way through multiple points of view: we have, at the book's core, an alternate history take on the Radium Girls, factory girls who were killed by radiation po...
May 15, 2017
Well that was a punch in the gut.
February 11, 2018
The language and emotion are very compelling in this story about injustice, anger and violence. I enjoyed the breathlessness and the imagery, and the way disparate strands were brought together to weave a story. Alas, I also couldn't quite suspend my disbelief for some aspects of the tale that ar...
February 12, 2018
This was an interesting idea - a rewriting/reimagined history combining the female Newark workers affected by radiation in the early 1900s, and the electrocution of an elephant in Coney Island which took place around the same time.
Sounds good on paper but it didn't work for me. The first part was...
January 24, 2018
I feel kind of bad about my rating after seeing so many raving about this, saying how tragically sad this is, but I didn't feel anything at all while reading this.
It's a typical "it's me, not you" case because the writing style wasn't for me at all and had me more confused than anything else. I j...
February 15, 2018
What a wonderful book. What an angry and wonderful book. The Only Harmless Great Thing uchronically weaves together the fates of the women who were cruelly poisoned by radium from painting clock faces, with the fate of Topsy, the circus elephant who was electrocuted as a fun fair spectacle for st...
January 17, 2018
I was fortunate to receive an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
I'm going to need a word count for my 2019 Hugo nominations in order to know whether this is a novelette (as I suspect) or a novella (what so many other people are saying).
This very affecting, slender book was so emotionally powerful...