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The Tide King Paperback – July 23, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"It's likely that this book will finally make Michalski known to the wider world-in a big way. Seriously, if I weren't entirely averse to all attempts to predict the future, I would say this book will be huge. But there's no accounting for people's tastes, so I will say instead, with some certainty, that it will be important." - Baynard Woods, The Baltimore City Paper 

"Michalski may claim to have been a bad poet, but her prose clearly holds the rhythm and beauty of poetry, and her novel is a joy to read. - Andrea Youngman, New Madrid Journal


Though admirably multidimensional, Michalski never fails to tell compelling stories capable of challenging and surprising readers. That readership figures to grow substantially if she continues producing work of this caliber." - Baltimore Magazine

"Jen Michalski's long-awaited novel, winner of the Big Moose Prize, promises to be an important book in the American lexicon." Rosalia Scalia,  The Baltimore Sun 

"The Tide King is a complex book that examines both the evils that people can do to one another, as well as the beauty that is possible." Natalie Sypolt,  Fjords Review


"The best of books challenge us to reexamine our beliefs. As I read The Tide King, I found myself reconsidering death, thinking of it not in the simple terms of negation and loss, but as an integral--and even welcome--function of life." - Curtis Smith,  Prime Number Magazine

"And as pieces fit into this sophisticated and brilliant puzzle of a novel, it is the stories that draw us in, as well as the real problems of characters we come to know through the writer's skill." - Merridawn Duckler, Heavy Feather Review

"Read it--if Jen Michalski doesn't get massive attention and deserving praise as a result of this novel, I'll be the woman in Indiana with her mouth permanently hanging open and a scowl on her face." - Melanie Page, Grab the Lapels

"Michalski, much published and well versed in the narrative arts, gives us a chilling ride through the blasted emotional landscape of life's losers." - Richard Derus, The Small Press Book Review

In the midst of creating this large and momentous story, Michalski manages a truly magnificent feat: I believed every word. - Sierra Troy-Regierer, The Center for Fiction

"Jen Michalski's The Tide King is a vividly told and engrossing debut novel, a profound exploration of mortality." - David Gutowski, Largehearted Boy


"The book defies categorization. It's not purely realistic but neither is it science fiction. Perhaps all you need to know is that it is a good read and will--if you allow it--provoke thoughtful and intense conversations with yourself and others about the use we make of our lives and how we touch and care for others." - Barbara Morrison, author of Innocent

From the Inside Flap

"Jen Michalski has written a prodigiously entertaining novel, whose magical-realistic conceit keeps pushing this unstoppable story to ever more audacious heights." - Madison Smartt Bell
 
"The Tide King is a profoundly compassionate novel about what it means to be a mortal being - or maybe worse to be an immortal one. Part folk tale, part World War II buddy story, part exploration of myriad kinds of love, this is an absolute stunner of a book. Jen Michalski is a writer whose talent seems limitless. The only consolation to finishing these pages is the thought of what more will surely follow."  - Robin Black, If I loved you, I would tell you this
 
"The Tide King, the realm of children's fairy tales--witches, children fending for themselves, and mysterious herbs that bequeath eternal life--collides with the real, adult world of wars, unrequited love, and the daily grind of existence. When a tale like this is in the hands of a gifted storyteller such as Jen Michalski, you know better than to expect a simple, happy-ever-after ending. Instead, expect to read late into the night, as I did, impatient to find out what happens to her memorable characters."  - Susi Wyss, The Civilized World
 
"The Tide King is a boldly conceived novel about immortality, but it doesn't read as fantasy. There's room here for lovers of realism, too. These characters hurt the way all of us mortals do. Jen Michalski has a great ability to describe magical events in plain, relatable language, and to use her exciting premise as a lens through which to explore both the sweep of history and the personal sadness of time passing."  - Justin Kramon, Finny

"The Tide King sweeps from 19th-century Poland to 20th-century America with intimate details and big ideas. It will be hard to forget this beautifully written epic tale." -Jessica Anya Blau, The Wonder Bread Summer 
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 525 pages
  • Publisher: Black Lawrence Press (July 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193785437X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937854379
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,539,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jen Michalski lives in Baltimore, Maryland. She was voted one of the best authors in Maryland by CBS News, one of "50 Women to Watch" by The Baltimore Sun, and "Best Writer" by Baltimore Magazine (Best of Baltimore issue, 2013).

She is the author of the novels THE TIDE KING (Black Lawrence Press, 2013; winner of the Big Moose Prize) and THE SUMMER SHE WAS UNDER WATER (Queens Ferry Press, forthcoming August 2016), of two collections of fiction, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS (So New, 2007) and FROM HERE (Aqueous Books, 2014), and a collection of novellas, COULD YOU BE WITH HER NOW (Dzanc Books, 2013). She also edited the anthology CITY SAGES: BALTIMORE, which Baltimore Magazine called "Best of Baltimore" in 2010. She is the founding editor of the literary quarterly jmww, hosts the monthly reading series Starts Here! in Baltimore, and interviews writers at The Nervous Breakdown.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. S. Atkinson on July 30, 2013
Format: Paperback
Michalski handles the themes of loss and being lost in life wonderfully in this powerful novel. The characters are vivid, the story fills you with the urgent need to know what is going to happen, and the words move the reader. I was fond of Mickalski's writing before this, but this book is something else above and beyond. In short, this book resonates.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Barbara W. Diehl on July 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
The Tide King grabbed my attention from p. 1 and kept me reading pretty much nonstop until the end. Yes, there is the magical element of the herb that gives those who eat it immortality--and I love a bit of magic in a story--but this novel goes far beyond a simple, surface look at the effects of consuming a mythical herb. (I can imagine how this conceit could have been handled by a less capable writer.) I would almost forget about that magical element during long passages, because I was so immersed in the characters' lives; I cared enormously about them. They are alive in their complexity, their suffering and victories.

A tremendous amount of research must have been done to create such vivid and believable historical details across the novel's time periods and locations. I always felt that I was right in the thick of a scene.

Overall, a great read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 20, 2014
Format: Paperback
Baltimore, Maryland Author Jen Michalski won the coveted Black Lawrence Press Big Moose Prize for an unpublished novel. The prize is open to new, emerging, and established writers. The prize won her the publication by Black Lawrence Press for this extraordinary novel THE TIDE KING. This novel and her subsequently published short stories and novellas introduce a sound voice, a writer of distinction and a weaver of spells that cover history, magic, fantasy and the subject of immortality. It shines.

Michalski manages to create credible characters who take on an incredible story but without falling into that ever-growing cavernous crater of comic book heroes/vampires/werewolves/post-apocalyptic tales. She covers centuries-old history, introduces the fascinating herb burnette saxifrage (Pimpinella saxifraga - a resolvent, diaphoretic, stomachic, diuretic, the oil and resin contained are useful to relieve flatulent indigestion. The fresh root chewed is good for toothache and paralysis of the tongue. A decoction has the reputation of removing freckles. It is said to dissolve mucus, and on this account is used as a gargle in hoarseness and some cases of throat affection. It is also prescribed in asthma and dropsy. Small bunches of the leaves and shoots, tied together and suspended in a cask of beer impart to it an agreeable aromatic flavor, and are thought to correct tart or spoiled wines. Cows that feed on this plant have their flow of milk increased.) making it instead a signifier of immorality when placed in the human body.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Scott Michalski on November 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
Red hot up & coming author Jen Michalski has concocted a magical yarn that most certainly establishes her as a force to be reckoned with for the forseeable future! Fueled by a sprawling narrative (& a few mystical tinctures), THE TIDE KING is an epic tale that will leave you wanting more from this talented scribe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Phuong Huynh on November 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not sure why the publisher states that the book is 525 pages, but the novel is closer to 300+ pages, and reads very quickly. The narrative is first-rate thoughout and you almost wish it could continue forever -- my favorite kind of story!
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Format: Paperback
Stanley Polinsky carries a Tom Swift novel in his pack as he marches trough war-torn WII Europe with his companion, Calvin Johnson who constantly ribs him about it. Carrying a book, while simultaneously engaged in combat with the Nazi seems absurd.
When Stanley explains that the book was read to him as a child, and it's about a magical item called The alamantium lamp, an invention that can raise the dead and heal any wound, the Tom Swift novel within this novel reveals itself, and serves as an anchor for this wonderfully written, story about immortality granted by ingestion of a magical lightning struck herb.
After a landmine explodes in the early pages of the book, mortally wounding a soldier, the herb is ingested, and a chain of events is set off, each event more perfectly outlandish than the last.
Absurd. Magic. Adventure. Time spanning. Epic. Me likey.
Jen Michalski has constructed a wonderful world here, that is equal parts magical adventure and beautifully written examination of love, loss and what it means to have a life that can or can't end.
I enjoyed Michalski's back to back novella collection Could You Be With Her Now, and am very impressed by her range as a writer, from the 1st person POV of "I Can Make it to California by Dinnertime" where she writes as a mentally challenged boy, to the accompanying novella in the collection "May-September" where the narrator is a twenty something girl engaged in a relationship with a woman pushing sixty. Tide King is written in third person and recalls the best elements of fairy tale, literary fiction, and even, Tom Swift.
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