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The Earthquake Machine Paperback – September 29, 2011
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Intrusion: A Novel
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
"Mary's agent didn't want to send out The Earthquake Machine to editors. The book was perhaps too edgy. Editors would be afraid to take a chance on such a wild ride. And so Mary decided to give readers a chance to find her."
There are so many things to say about this disclaimer. First...how courageous is she? To be able to understand how different your book is from mainstream fiction and to take a chance on readers finding the book is inspiring. I love that she does not want to conform to what is mainstream or politically correct. And the disclaimer is absolutely true. This book is extremely edgy and I could see many people not understanding how to take this book in or appreciate what Lowry has written. I appreciate that Lowry decided to go a different route with this novel and I'm extremely grateful it fell into my hands.
The Good: The Earthquake Machine is a dirty novel. Really, I'm not lying. It's dirty in the sense that it gets into your skin, deep down inside, scrubs all the clean out of you and then replaces everything with grit and dirt. Lowry strips away all conventions in this novel. Rhonda is not your typical girl nor will she ever be.Read more ›
I LOVED this book. I was so happy to finally read another book with Hispanic culture in it! I was raised Hispanic even though I was born here; my parents were born in Chile. We've had many Mexican friends, and it was so refreshing and nice to read about their beautiful culture. I was entranced by this book from the first page. I knew it was going to be different when I read the description, and my expectations were not only met but surpassed.
Mary hits on so many labels and categories we take for granted in this book. Through Rhonda, the main character, she explores the tightly knit connections between sexism, racism, and classism. She explores gender and gender roles, the patriarchal institution of religion, and how a woman can gain power if she finds her inner voice. In the beginning of the novel, Rhonda is a young fourteen year old, but by the end of the novel she has gone through so many experiences and hardships that it would be foolish to call her a mere girl. She has matured from a doubting girl who is unsure of herself and afraid of the world to a mature person, one who has stepped between that shadowy line of young girl and young woman.
I was very pleased and surprised by the feminist tone of this novel. In this day and age, feminism is still under attack even though sexism continues to hurt women everywhere. One of the things I really admired about this novel was how Mary shows that life can be good or bad on either side of the border, especially for women. Rhonda's father is an excellent example of how a man can suppress a woman, change her drastically to a shell of a person.Read more ›
On a side note, I was so interested in the woman behind this book that I even went to the author's website to find out more about her (I never do that) and was quite taken with her blog post about "Alien She" by Bikini Kill. Come on now, how much cooler can this lady get? It's really no wonder why I liked her book so much. Everyone should read it.
Reviewed by Brittany for Book Sake.
"The Earthquake Machine" is the coming-of-age story of a fourteen-year-old girl. Rhonda's family life seems perfect on the surface, but her mother has mental health issues which her pharmacist father tries to solve by force-feeding her psych meds that kill her personality. The only person she feels like she can really talk to is Jesus, the Mexican gardener. Rhonda's world is shattered when her mother commits suicide and Jesus is deported by the INS. Rhonda goes on a camping trip with her friends to try to take her mind off of everything and ends up getting molested by one of the guides. She runs away to Mexico and begins an intrepid journey of self-discovery as she begins to examine her faith, her sexuality, and her future. She struggles to accept her changing body and to find her place in the world.
When I initially read the synopsis that the author sent me, I wasn't sure what to expect. It sounded as if the book would either be very good or very bad; luckily, I enjoyed it tremendously!
Rhonda's adventures in Mexico were a pleasure to read, from her encounters with a peyote-tripping bartender to being kidnapped by a gang of female banditos. While some of Rhonda's experiences seem a bit over the top, I don't find them outside the realm of believability. This is in part due to some of my own travel adventures which sound more like fiction than reality. I enjoyed the way that the author handled the contrast between the superficiality of Rhonda's family in the US with the authenticity of Jesus' family in Mexico, because she did so in such a way as to highlight the fact that neither world was perfect.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
YA with some very adult themes, coming of age, magical realism
Note: Despite finding this on several lgbt lists... Read more
Enjoyed the read but was not able to suspend disbelief. The main character's ability to get others to help so quickly and at a high level of commitment is a little unbelievable. Read morePublished 10 months ago by KayMac
Rhonda lives a privileged, but very unhappy, life as a teenager in a home with two parents who have a chasm between them. Read morePublished on August 15, 2012 by nfmgirl
I had high hopes for The Earthquake Machine. The author has led what seemed an unconventionally interesting life, and the premise of a young girl adventure, a girl learning... Read morePublished on August 2, 2012 by Cat
The book will appeal to some readers, however it just wasn't for me. At all. And the synopsis doesn't really represent what this book is focused on. Read morePublished on July 31, 2012 by Turning the Pages
This book, let me start off by saying is one that will leave a lasting impact on you. I know when I finished this book and walked away from it, all I could think about was this... Read morePublished on July 29, 2012 by ChayseBWB
I have really mixed feelings about this book. On one hand I loved it. It is an interesting coming-of-age tale that is well-written, has sympathetic characters, and is honest and... Read morePublished on July 7, 2012 by Olga J.
Overall, I liked this book okay. I really felt for the main character, Rhonda. She really defines the idea of lost. Read morePublished on June 15, 2012 by Meg @ A Bookish Affair