+612 9045 4394
 
CHECKOUT
Burial Rites : Shortlisted for the 2014 Stella Prize - Hannah Kent

Burial Rites

Shortlisted for the 2014 Stella Prize

Paperback

Published: 1st March 2014
In Stock. Ships in 1-2 business days from Australia
RRP $19.99
$16.95
15%
OFF

eBook View Product

Published: 1st May 2013
Format: ePUB
$9.99

Winner Of The 2014 Indie Awards Debut Fiction Of The Year
Winner Of The Victorian Premier's Literary Award People's Choice Award 2014
Winner Of The Faw Christina Stead Award 2014
Winner Of The Aba Nielson Bookdata Booksellers' Choice Award 2014
Shortlisted For The Stella Prize 2014
Shortlisted For The Baileys Women's Prize For Fiction 2014
Shortlisted For The Victorian Premier's Literary Award For Fiction 2014
Shortlisted For The Abia Literary Fiction Book Of The Year 2014
Shortlisted For The Als Gold Medal 2014
Shortlisted For The Guardian First Book Award 2013
Shortlisted For The Nib Waverley Award For Literature 2013


In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnusdottir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men.

Agnes is sent to wait out the time leading to her execution on the farm of District Officer Jon Jonsson, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderess in their midst, the family avoids speaking with Agnes. Only Toti, the young assistant reverend appointed as Agnes' spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her, as he attempts to salvage her soul. As the summer months fall away to winter and the hardships of rural life force the household to work side by side, Agnes' ill-fated tale of longing and betrayal begins to emerge. And as the days to her execution draw closer, the question burns: did she or didn't she?

Based on a true story, Burial Rites is a deeply moving novel about personal freedom: who we are seen to be versus who we believe ourselves to be, and the ways in which we will risk everything for love. In beautiful, cut-glass prose, Hannah Kent portrays Iceland's formidable landscape, where every day is a battle for survival, and asks, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

Read Caroline Baum's Review:

This book stinks, in a good way. Of fish and blood and guts and unwashed bodies and earth and death.

In fact, it reeks of those things and more. This austere love letter to Iceland takes a true story of murder as its foundation. Based on records from the trial of the two women and one man convicted of killing and burning two men on a remote farm this is richly and darkly imagined in prose thick with atmospherics.

Kent is a precocious talent who understands how to animate research and transform it into compelling narrative. She shows mature prowess in creating the life of her central character, Agnes, one of the accused, a fierce woman with pale blue eyes who spends the last few weeks of her life re-examining the circumstances that brought her to her fate.

The assistant priest who comes to give her counsel is soon tormented by the spectre of Agnes' execution, as are the family she lives with in her final weeks. A scene in which they all make sausages together, up to their elbows in blood and guts, is particularly visceral and vivid.

This book comes with heavy industry hype, having earned an unusually high advance for a first novel. So many books burdened with extreme expectations fizzle out and are soon forgotten, fated to be embarrassing items on their publisher's balance sheet. I doubt this will happen to Burial Rites, which delivers a chilly story of brutality steeped in authentic detail that fills every sense. After reading it, you'll be extra grateful for that hot bath and nice cup of tea.

About the Author

Hannah Kent was born in Adelaide in 1985. As a teenager she travelled to Iceland on a Rotary Exchange, where she first heard the story of Agnes Magnusdottir. Hannah is the co-founder and deputy editor of Australian literary journal Kill Your Darlings, and is completing her PhD at Flinders University. In 2011 she won the inaugural Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award. Burial Rites is her first novel.

BOOKTOPIA INTERVIEW: HANNAH KENT ANSWERS BOOKTOPIA'S TEN TERRIFYING QUESTIONS - CLICK HERE

WRITE A REVIEW

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Burial Rites
 
4.6

(based on 25 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (18)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well written (21)
  • Engaging characters (16)
  • Page turner (16)
  • Suspenseful (10)
  • Deserves multiple readings (8)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Gift (12)
  • Older readers (8)
  • Travel reading (7)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Everyday reader (12), Bookworm (9), Casual reader (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

ICELANDIC GOTHIC

I found this book fascinating: it's based on true events centuries back in Iceland and although somewhat gloomy it's a real pageturner and very well written by a young Melbourne woman.

The...Read complete review

I found this book fascinating: it's based on true events centuries back in Iceland and although somewhat gloomy it's a real pageturner and very well written by a young Melbourne woman.

The main character, while tragic, is a strong and unusual woman trapped by her life circumstances
in a hideous situation. Whether or not the portrayal of Icelandic society at that time is accurate I do not know, but it's haunting: one of those books you'll never forget once you've read it.

I'm waiting to see what she writes next: I'd read it once before I bought it, have read it twice since and it's now been loaned out to a family member with my strong recommendations.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Slow, mediocre, unappealing

After the rave reviews I was looking forward to reading this book but I was very disappointed. It felt like it was cashing in on the Scandinavian crime craze but also pitching itself as...Read complete review

After the rave reviews I was looking forward to reading this book but I was very disappointed. It felt like it was cashing in on the Scandinavian crime craze but also pitching itself as high literature. If dreary purply prose and half-cooked characters are your thing, go for it. This book is guaranteed to thrill the pretentious "book club" crowd but for an entertaining read, forget it.

Reviewed by 25 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

Back to top

Previous | Next »

 
5.0

Excellent read, well researched and written.

By 

from Swan Bay, Tas

About Me Everyday Reader

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Page Turner
  • Well Written
  • You can "see" the landscape, "feel" the cold

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift
    • Suitable for all ages over 30
    • Travel Reading

    Comments about Burial Rites:

    One of the best books I have ever read. Kept me engrossed and I did not skip a word!

     
    5.0

    Worth the read!

    By 

    from Granite Belt, Queensland.

    About Me Bookworm

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Engaging Characters
    • Page Turner
    • Well Written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Gift
      • Older Readers

      Comments about Burial Rites:

      I heard about Hannah Kent's books on ABC Radio National. The books sounded fascinating and I'd been wanting to read them for awhile, so I bought both books. I'm about 2/3 way through Burial Rites and while I currently don't manage to read every night, sadly, I'm really liking the book. It's not a cheerful or easy read, but it's a worthwhile read!

       
      5.0

      Brilliant book. Booktopia delivered on time as promised

      By 

      from Scarborough 6019

      About Me Casual Reader

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Engaging Characters
      • Page Turner

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Older Readers
        • Travel Reading

        Comments about Burial Rites:

        I always buy books when Im about to leave on a holiday

         
        4.0

        Emotional reads

        By 

        from Australia

        About Me Casual Reader

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Deserves Multiple Readings
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Burial Rites:

            Usually read at night. This story kept me going for more than I should. I like the plot.

             
            5.0

            Fantastic service

            By 

            from Gold Coast,Queensland Australia

            About Me Everyday Reader

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Gift

                Comments about Burial Rites:

                I have read this book some time ago and bought it for my 17 year old granddaughter. Service from Booktopia was great with prompt arrival even through the busy Xmas/New Year period. New packaging protected the book extremely well.

                 
                5.0

                A very original idea by a first time author, a must read.

                By 

                from Sydney Australia

                About Me Bookworm

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Well Written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Gift
                  • Older Readers

                  Comments about Burial Rites:

                  A great story idea, a very honest representation of a true story which immerses the reader into the character's experiences. Very earthy a real and sometimes unpleasant rendering of rural life in Iceland.

                   
                  5.0

                  This book is totally captivating!

                  By 

                  from Sydney

                  About Me Bookworm

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Deserves Multiple Readings
                  • Engaging Characters
                  • Suspenseful
                  • Well Written

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Burial Rites:

                      I have read this book and I wanted a copy for a gift.

                       
                      5.0

                      Gripping

                      By 

                      from Melbourne

                      About Me Casual Reader

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Deserves Multiple Readings
                      • Engaging Characters
                      • Page Turner
                      • Suspenseful
                      • Well Written

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Gift
                        • Travel Reading

                        Comments about Burial Rites:

                        I loved this book. It had me from the first page and I couldn't read it fast enough. You could feel the cold and miserable conditions and what the characters were facing. Enthralling.

                         
                        5.0

                        Recommended reading

                        By 

                        from Adelaide

                        About Me Bookworm

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Page Turner
                        • Suspenseful
                        • Well Written

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Mature Readers

                          Comments about Burial Rites:

                          Haunting story and well written. All the more haunting as it is based on true events so even though you are hoping for a happy ending the eventual outcome is unavoidable. Make sure you have a box of tissues handy!

                           
                          5.0

                          Changed my life

                          By 

                          from Melbourne, AU

                          About Me Bookworm

                          Pros

                          • Deserves Multiple Readings
                          • Engaging Characters
                          • Page Turner
                          • Suspenseful
                          • Well Written

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Gift
                            • Reference

                            Comments about Burial Rites:

                            amazing book. the more you read it, the better it gets. it's beautifully poetic, and really takes you away. i can hardly read another book without comparing it to burial rites. a must read.

                            Displaying reviews 1-10

                            Back to top

                            Previous | Next »

                            Hannah Kent

                            Hannah Kent is a Melbourne-based writer, born in Adelaide in 1985. Her first novel, Burial Rites, has been translated into over twenty languages and was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize) and the Guardian First Book Award. It won the ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year, the Indie Awards Debut Fiction Book of the Year and the Victorian Premier's People's Choice Award, and has most recently been longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

                            Her second novel, The Good People, is set in pre-famine rural Ireland.

                            Hannah is also the co-founder and publishing director of Australian literary journal Kill Your Darlings.

                            Visit Hannah Kent's Booktopia Author Page


                            ISBN: 9781743516966
                            ISBN-10: 1743516967
                            Audience: General
                            Format: Paperback
                            Language: English
                            Number Of Pages: 352
                            Published: 1st March 2014
                            Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
                            Country of Publication: AU
                            Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.0  x 2.2
                            Weight (kg): 0.27