Read Idaho Winter by Tony Burgess Online


?Idaho Winter begins as the story of a boy with an extraordinarily painful existence. He is, through no fault of his own, loathed by everyone in the town where he lives. His father, Early Winter, feeds him roadkill for breakfast. The crossing guard steers cars toward him as he crosses the road. Parents encourage their children to plot cruelly against him. One morning Idaho?Idaho Winter begins as the story of a boy with an extraordinarily painful existence. He is, through no fault of his own, loathed by everyone in the town where he lives. His father, Early Winter, feeds him roadkill for breakfast. The crossing guard steers cars toward him as he crosses the road. Parents encourage their children to plot cruelly against him. One morning Idaho finds it too much to bear and hides down by the river where he meets Madison. Madison, astonishingly, is as hurt by how he’s treated as he is. For the first time in his life Idaho experiences someone’s empathy and it opens a terrible world of pain in him. He dotes on Madison, in awe of her, and he cleans her muddy feet in the river, drying them with his shirt. Suddenly, hunting dogs descend on the scene and, trained to attack the smell of Idaho, set their jaws on Madison’s feet. Then Idaho does something that changes everything. He gets up and runs home. Not so strange until the author realizes that this part was never written. Idaho becomes enraged upon learning that his suffering has been cruelly designed by a clumsy writer who confesses that he made his book meaner than all the others so it would stand out. Idaho locks the author in a closet and runs off, armed with the knowledge that the entire world is invented and that he has the power now to imagine it differently. When the author emerges from the closet he finds that his novel is now unrecognizable. Phantoms and monsters, beasts from the boy’s angry thoughts now dominate the streets. Beneath the earth there is a resistance movement of secondary characters, including the poor Madison who is now bedridden and what’s more: anyone who comes within 50 feet of her is paralyzed with sadness and cannot move or be moved. The author sets out with these characters to cure the novel, to find a way to bring its mind and heart together as they embark on a journey as perilous and paradoxical as anything HG Wells or Lewis Carroll ever imagined....

Title : Idaho Winter
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781550229349
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 150 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Idaho Winter Reviews

  • karen
    2019-05-18 02:48

    CARIS CARIS CARIS CARISi am recommending this book to you. it is so meta and insane, you are sure to love it. for the rest of you, i don't know what to say. it starts out telling the story of a boy named idaho winter, hated by all. people can't even help themselves when he is around, they need to hurt him both physically and emotionally. his parents make him eat the carcass of a raccoon the dog dragged home, his schoolmates beat him up before school to try to prevent him ever making it there, the crossing guard tries to time idaho's crossing to best coincide with a speedily approaching car. poor idaho. (view spoiler)[this is like the story of greg's childhood. it is not actually a spoiler, but it is something secret and mean to say - ha!(hide spoiler)]but there is one girl.and then.well, idaho takes over the book, surprising the author and drawing him into a world he thought he had created only to find it changed and under new management. it gets... wild. the chapter titles change, the narrative loops back on itself, things get a little surreal and... well, i don't know. you decide. i read this whole thing sitting on a bench waiting for connor and when i looked up, the whole world seemed changed somehow. i began to be suspicious of every person walking by. and then connor came over and ate a cookie and the feeling passed. but it was an affecting read. and mostly fun. but also eerie and thought-provoking. read it.

  • Greg
    2019-04-24 05:50

    This is what "St. Elsewhere" could have been if the TV show had dinosaurs and pop-punk musicians (note to author, if Lint or the other guy in Rancid who was also in Operation Ivy had gotten eaten by a dinosaur I would have given up the fifth star (Tim Armstrong because, well look at him; and whatever that other guy's name who plays bass because he got angry!!! at me and threatened to hang up on me while we were doing an interview. I just had questions, jeez)), and had been meta-created by a very bitter and angry child rather than whatever it was that dreamed up the whole hospital world of "St. Elsewhere" (should I have stuck that in a spoiler? Jeez, I hope I didn't ruin a thirty year old show for the one person who's still cares and is holding off on watching the whole series ((oh for fuck's sake Greg, do you really think you're being clever? Fuck, you are lame, and just call him fucking Tim Armstrong, is that Lint shit supposed to earn you some punk points or something).....(maybe, no, fuck, you're right I'm lame, but in 1995 I was at a party that the other mohawk guy from Rancid was at, does that count for anything?) (No, and neither does writing a review where you enter yourself into the narrative flow as some kind of 'oh look at me, i'm being like the book i'm reviewing (but why aren't you using capitals there? Are you supposed to be Karen?) (no. this is the kind of shit you hate when other people do it, it's so fucking british of you) (oh, that's rich, making vaguely veiled references ) (vaguely veiled vaguely veiled vaguely veiled vaguely veiled vaguely veiled you alliterative asshole ) (alliterative asshole alliterative asshole alliterative asshole alliterative asshole ) ((this is really mature, yes?)) (fuck off)).Oh, I liked the book and enjoyed reading it in one sitting out on my buildings steps in the middle of the night. And I'm looking forward to reading more of Tony Burgess (hey, hey, hey!! You wanna now how stupid I am? It just dawned on me like five seconds before writing, hey, hey, hey!! that the authors name is Anthony Burgess. I'm fucking dim.).

  • Jen
    2019-05-04 02:48

    Something in me wanted desperately to put this book down after chapter three. I was angry about the way the Idaho was treated. Wrapping a main character in tarpaper so that his skin fuses with it in the sun's heat is just wrong, and Tony, I wanted to punch you in the balls at this point. Because, look, you wrote this: "'Okay, my dear. I know it's hard for you to understand. You have such little experience with people. But the Potato is treated badly for a reason.' Madison shakes her ringlet from the woman's palm. She doesn't look up. 'The Potato is an awful boy. He smells like rotten fish. He is dressed in filth and, why, even his parents can't stand the sight of him'...'Some people find this difficult to understand, Maddie, but here it is: some people are born in a very foul state and stay that way. We should never feel sorry for them. We should avoid them until their own rot, one day, swallows them whole.'" But I think the author wanted that- not the punch in the balls, I don't know about that- but to so deliberately play with my sympathies that I had to recognize the deliberate manipulation in it and begin to hate the meddling, thereby transferring maybe a tiny bit of that annoyance and seed of hate towards Idaho himself. I don't know. I'm maybe wrong, but this is what happened and it is what I did.I kept reading (karen, it was all your fault at this point) and just when I could hardly stand the absurdity of it all, the strange and unnecessariness of the hate bordering on the comedic for Idaho, in enters young girl, most definitely not mistreated, who has pretty much everything going for her, everyone's understanding-including mine, and, AND, she has concern for poor Idaho. And her name is Madison. Madison Beach. Idaho Winter. Hahahahaha. Funny. Clever. You got me, author. There is too much to read in between the lines here now, which is so DFW of you , because the lines and words themselves are enough to mess with the mind, especially since they seem so simple and unassuming.And now enters the sea change in the book. The reader begins to be addressed point blank, the author states that he's lost control of the book, wants you as a reader to go along with that and think this, that the book has been taken from him by Idaho. And I winced. Cringed even, like I had gone to an amusement park and waited in line to board this ride because I was curious and thought the whole thing was gonna be fun and maybe a little bit scary but mostly fun, the suspense of all that clanking and ratcheting up to the top before the biggest drop now makes me wonder about the ride's structure, the qualifications of the writer-builder, do I trust him/her enough, is there insurance for this, and am I covered?And there's no time to think this, because the drop is there, you're going down and worrying takes time away from steeling your stomach muscles against puking your guts out while your body is screaming in protest. And it's a book, only a book. Words on a page. Like my little book report of this book. So, I don't know. I liked it. I didn't like it. It was bizarre, maybe allegorical, hell, I don't know. Parts of me were messed with, and gravity pulled at me in the wrong places. And, thinking about it now, I'm smiling but nervous that maybe someone took a picture of me during the ride, and if I look at that picture I'll see my true self. And I don't know if I can trust myself to see my true self. So I'm going to hide this review away and hope it doesn't surface until I feel better and more sure about what I read. But that doesn't mean that I won't think about getting back in line for this ride, hoping that another read will help me figure all of this, all of me out. Plus, there will be more pictures and maybe I can get a better picture of my truer self because the next time around I'll know where the camera's going to be. What a poser.

  • Lea
    2019-05-15 06:50

    Reading this book made me feel the same way I felt when my kids were younger and invented all these horrible scenarios that put their SIMS in danger just so they could make them into ghosts. Like, I understand that these characters aren't REAL, but jeez . . . what if they WERE??So Idaho Winter is this poor, luckless kid, hated -- for seemingly no reason -- by virtually everyone in his town, even his parents, who dress him in tar paper and feed him roadkill for breakfast. The kindly crossing guard encourages cars to run Idaho over on his way to school, the teachers plot his demise, and the other kids plan all the horrible ways they can torment him.The twist is that Idaho realizes -- after a tragic incident involving the ONE person who sees him as a human being, rather than the community punching bag -- that, as a character in a book, someone is actually MAKING terrible things happen to him, and that he himself is able to affect the story he's in.Okay -- whoah. Stop right there because I LOVE THAT! It is a great story, and I like the bigger message -- if one would choose to see a bigger message -- that we can ALL affect our own personal stories. It all gets slightly haywire and bananas after that point, but the author pulls it all together in an interesting way.I'm going to ding the author on the laziness of casting the "vicious pitbull" in a pivotal role early on --it's just too easy to set up an already maligned "breed", as well as, come on, wouldn't poodles or yorkies have been funnier??I'm not familiar with Burgess' other works, other than seeing titles/synopses, but I do believe he drops in some references to his other books. I just think that's kind of fun.Short, fast read -- that seems to be a common theme in my 2017 reading choices -- and lots of (weird) fun.

  • Kelly
    2019-05-20 01:12

    Pretty much the epitome of a mind-screw of a book. No one likes Idaho Winter. This includes the crossing guard who wants to make sure he crosses the street when a car is coming, his classmates who want to beat him up, and even the school janitor who has saved a couple of hatchets for just the right time to knock him off. Doesn't really matter why no one likes Idaho. It's just the way it goes.Then one day Madison decides she's going to be nice to him so he doesn't feel alone any more. Except, things aren't going to be that nice or clean. Remember, no one likes Idaho. It's about here I have to stop explaining what happens because basically, it's at this point where Idaho decides he's sick of the author writing the book. Idaho's going to take things into his own hands.This is a very meta book about writing and reading and expectations of authors and characters and story and audience. Most of it makes no sense at all, and yet at the same time, the book makes absolute perfect sense. The story's assembled with pieces of Jurassic Park, as well as cameos by Billie Joe of Green Day and Green Day's drummer Tre Cool. There's also bats that are pretty vicious and a girl who causes your emotions to get stronger the closer you get to her (no, really, they have to build a rope to drag the poor girl through the story because if they got closer than 50 feet to her it would be end game). Also, characters change names and genders. Suddenly the author is at the will of the character who decided it was time to offer no good solutions and no sense whatsoever. Basically, it's Idaho giving Burgess the big middle finger. Except it's also Burgess giving Idaho the big middle finger and then both giving the same middle finger to the conventions of story telling. I'd say they're doing the same thing to the reader except I found this so funny I thought they were giving me a gift more than anything else. I will say this went on a tad too long. It's 150 pages, and I think it could have been cut down even more to be more effective. But overall, it's the kind of book that readers who are okay with absurd stories will enjoy, and I think it's the kind of book that readers and writers will appreciate for the boundary breaking elements. It's meant to be fun. And it totally delivers on that. But poor Idaho Winter. Even in the end, your life isn't any better. (view spoiler)[ Why? Oh, just because it's exactly what the reader would want to happen -- it's a happily ever after. Or IS it?(hide spoiler)]

  • RubyTombstone [With A Vengeance]
    2019-05-17 01:53

    I cannot even BEGIN to describe this book.... but I'll try. Ever wondered what would happen if Lemony Snickett met Clive Barker and they took acid together inside Salvador Dali's brain? Me either, but I suspect the result would be something similar to this short novel. It's dark, surreal and humorous, and the sudden bizarre twists are guaranteed to take you by surprise, no matter how well prepared you think you are. My only criticisms of this books would be that it gets slightly too self conscious for me in parts, and that I would have enjoyed a slightly higher proportion of the wonderful lyrical style of prose that Tony Burgess does so well, and in which the book begins. These really are minor criticisms though, and completely a matter of personal taste. Saying anything more about this book is bound to give something way, completely mystify people or both, so I'll leave it at this: READ. THIS. BOOK. And while you're at it, read everything by Tony Burgess.

  • Monique
    2019-04-28 02:57

    Idaho Winter is one of those books that is going to mess with your mind. The cover makes it seem like it’s a reprint of a book published in the 40s or 50s. The opening scene is reminiscent of Harry Potter, in that Idaho is the boy cramped in a tiny room and unloved by his family, and Back to the Future, where McFly is bullied by Biff. Like Harry Potter, the reader learns what’s happening at the same as Harry does. In this case, the reader learns what’s happening at the same time as the author, who is our narrator and main protagonist, that is once it switches from Idaho. Very post modern. Like Back to the Future, Marty McFly can mess things up and prevent his parents from getting together. In this case, the author, or any character, could, and has, messed things up.Confused? Let me tell you a little about the story.Idaho gets beaten up, flees to the river, where he finds Madison, who wants to be his friend, but the kids, dogs and adults of the town chase him down and sic the dogs on him. But the dogs get Madison instead. Then Idaho becomes a giant and there are Mom-bats and secret caves and people turn into chocolate. Not kidding.Idaho Winter is one of the most bizarre books I’ve ever read. I don’t mean that critically either. Do you know how dream stories are bizarre when told in the light of day? Well, that’s Idaho Winter. Characters morph into other characters. Perspective changes. Landscape shifts and changes. Things that are unexplainable make perfect sense, at the time.

  • Rose
    2019-05-19 04:09

    Tony Burgess, whose psychedelic, careening novel Pontypool Changes Everything prompted the Toronto Star to call him a “dark genius”, has written a new book that will further entrench him as a conjuror of disturbing and imaginative tales.Idaho Winter is about a ninth-grade boy who attracts abuse like manure draws flies. His father makes him eat roadkill for breakfast, his classmates beat him every day while neighbors look on with approval, and one town resident even raises vicious pit bulls specifically to kill him. Just as Idaho is on the verge of making his first friend, a young girl named Madison, the two children are separated and the book’s narrator suddenly becomes a character in a bizarre, malevolent world controlled by a vengeful Idaho. Realizing that the only way to calm the bitter boy is to reunite him with Madison, the narrator and a handful of other characters embark on a quest that exposes them to all kinds of dangers from Idaho’s imagination: dinosaurs, Mom-bats (ferocious killers whose heads resemble Idaho’s mother), and a floating, child-snatching preacher. Like Pontypool Changes Everything, this new offering from Burgess is a train wreck that careens along at breakneck speed. The characters and storyline combine Franz Kafka with the Brothers Grimm, making Idaho Winter an adult fairy tale with cautionary undertones. This type of book is an acquired taste that’s definitely worth the effort to develop.

  • Alexander Miles
    2019-04-24 00:08

    Now this was a quick read. I think less than two hours in an airport lobby. I was excited to read some Tony Burgess after seeing Pontypool, the film based upon his later book, which I liked quite a lot. Given the film, it wasn't too surprising that this book has a novel, if not gimmicky, premise, but whereas the film excelled in execution, this book is stymied by nonsensical transitions and what felt like an incredibly rushed ending (the oh-shit-it's-due-tomorrow syndrome). The premise is interesting enough to excuse some of the frustrating parts, but there's enough meta-fiction out there to show it can be done better. If you're a die-hard Burgess fan, or lover of meta-fiction in general, e.g. House of Leaves, a good number of Borges stories, and many others, the small time investment may well make Idaho Winter worth the read. Otherwise, I can't recommend it too highly to fiction readers in general. That all said, I may well read more Burgess in the future, as I've been told this is one of his earliest works, and his writing improves significantly in later works.

  • Angie
    2019-04-21 06:08

    Hands down the most bizarre book I’ve ever read. It’s like taking one of your dreams and trying to make it into a novel. Except instead of filling in the blanks, you just tell it like it is. Even the bits that make no sense at all. It’s brilliant and I really enjoyed it! Go read it, because there’s no way I can accurately describe it.

  • Elsa
    2019-05-18 05:50

    What a sad, strange little story.

  • Stephanie
    2019-04-23 08:12

    ...“It's strange to sleep. Sleep is a mysterious thing even in the simplest of people. When you're sleepy, you seem to be getting sick, losing energy, losing clear thought, lying down out of weakness. Then you succumb to the weakness and what happens next resembles death. And then you dream. You abide in a world whose rules are hidden even from you ¬¬– you who create it.”...Have you ever woken up from a crazy fun dream that you quickly discovered was inexplicable? In fact, upon trying to explain it, you realize this fantastical dream was more of a horror story. Idaho Winter is such a book.In the beginning, it is hard to wrap your head around the plot line, let alone the main character: Idaho Winter. You have been already been lead astray by the cover of the book. The front looks like a beaten worn copy of a book written/illustrated back in the 1950’s. It almost looks like a scene from “It’s a Wonderful Life”- a boy is rescuing another boy who has fallen through the ice on a lake. The cover looks heartwarming and inspiring. A book you want to share with your young sons.The back cover is just as misleading as the front. The back is just a picture of the back of the ‘supposed’ 1950’s front cover. Nevertheless, the synopsis on the back is simple and just as inspiring as the front. This is supposed to be a book about a boy who discovers he has the power to not only overcome persecution of his classmates, but the power to destroy everything. Typical. Normal. A standard for today’s juvenile literature. Right? Wrong! The opening scene is reminiscent of Harry Potter. I was immediately unimpressed. I never heard of Tony Burgess and thought maybe he was “ripping off” J.K. Rowling. The scenes grew more horrific and disgusting. Maybe Burgess was just taking Harry Potter to a depth of repugnance and revulsion that I can barely stand. I was getting confused and more disgusted as each sentence passed. As a reader with some morals, I was beyond horrified at the cruelty to the main character, a young boy. I was about ready to throw the book in the trash and not finish it....“Maybe I went a bit too far, but that’s what people want now. There’s an expectation that children be treated poorly in their literature. Everyone wants to see children treated badly. So that … well, so that when they triumph over evil we all feel lifted up. It’s inspirational.”...Then a change occurred. The narrator spoke. I mean the narrator was all of a sudden a character. Confessions were made, explanations given for the storyline, things changed. ...“If I told you that everything about you had been just made up by someone, that all of your thoughts, all of your memories, even the things you chose to say had been invented and that they weren’t real, that you weren’t real, would you believe me? I don’t think so.”...Soon the main character, Idaho Winter, was in control of the story plot. Things soon took a turn for the craziest plotline I have read. I began to accept the direction of the story as I would my dreams. I was soon sucked into the plot and began to see the creative genius in the madness of it all. By the end, I was ready to have it end; as I would many of my own dreams. But I had to skim back through and see the creative ingenuity of the writing and plot.I’m still thinking about it. It is almost like a guide on how to write a good, interesting, solid, book. This may hold the key elements necessary in writing; aspects that are essential in a story writing. Because without them you end up with craziness; like this book or like our brain when it produces dreams....“It’s my job really, to help you, my reader, in accepting things as real that aren’t. Most books try to get you to accept things that, at the very least, could be real – and that’s difficult enough, goodness knows – but here, in this book, nothing seems to be even trying to be real. Except, I would say, me. I’m here, I’m real. And to be honest, I’ve never been here before. I don’t know where I am, I don’t know what I’m doing. In some ways, I’m afraid this is the most real story I’ve ever written.”...If this book isn’t a guide to writing a book, or a warning example to be careful when you write, then it may just be that Tony Burgess is an avant-gardist who knows how to step to the edge and still keep his readers from falling into absolute confusion or disinterest! ...“They stay like this, in silence, both aware that they have created something together. Defiance. A pushing back of a darkness that no one has ever pushed at before. A wonderful, criminal liberty to love that which has been so viciously called unlovable.”...----I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.----

  • Morgan
    2019-05-09 08:10

    I got this book from the library because I wasn't sure whether it would be interestingly experimental, or too-clever-by-half experimental. It turned out to be kind of awesome, and I will probably buy a copy, because I think I might like to read it again sometime.It's a metafictional novel about a boy named Idaho Winter who lives an unspeakably terrible life. Then he discovers that he's a character in a novel, and that he has the power to make the world into anything he wants it to be. I'll leave the summary at that, because that was about as much information on it as I had going in, and I would hate to spoil anyone else for the surprising places the story ends up going.I'll keep the review relatively short for the same reason. A handful of criticisms:- The primary thing that keeps me from giving this book five stars is that it was not well copyedited. I've been doing a lot of copyediting and proofreading myself lately, so it's entirely possible that that wouldn't bother other people as much as it did me. But there were enough errors that I found myself getting snapped out of the story by them on a regular basis, and that annoyed me.- The initial references to punk bands felt dated and sloppy. If you're going to reference a modern genre of music in a book set in the present, at least make sure you're referencing bands that have put out an album in the last five years. (To be fair, punk and its offshoots are my favourite musical (sub)genres, so again, I am probably more sensitive to this than the average reader.) On the other hand, I liked the cameo Billie Joe Armstrong, Tré Cool and Brody Dalle later on (and I hate to think what must have happened to Mike Dirnt...), which made up for being slightly rankled earlier.- The last few chapters of the book got a little too self-conscious for me. I liked the device used in theory, but as it was used, I didn't feel like it really added anything to the story. It was a case of too little, really. I think it would have been more effectively to use it frequently or leave it out altogether. Throwing it in at the end felt like it was pushing the "remember, this is metafiction!" trope a little too hard.But those are all, in the end, minor criticisms of what was on the whole a very enjoyable book. It's a quick read, but not overly surface-level for that: the author knew when to stop, and I wouldn't really have wanted more than he gives us. This isn't his first dip into experimental writing, and it shows.This is one of the better dark fantasy/horror novels I've read in some time -- I'd put it up there next to Neil Gaiman, Tanith Lee, Gahan Wilson, and their ilk. A caveat to anyone who's squeamish about horror: there is a fair bit of gore here. I'm a horror fan, so it didn't put me off, but I was initially surprised by it, since despite catching a couple references, I didn't realize connect Tony Burgess as the author of a couple books published by ChiZine Publications (a horror publisher) until after I'd finished the story. For those of you who do like horror -- reading Idaho Winter has made me want to read Burgess' ChiZine books that much more.

  • sonicbooming
    2019-05-16 02:45

    Pretty sure I’ve just finished reading my new favourite book. Tony Burgess’s Idaho Winter. How to describe this book. Characters recognize that they are characters in a book, the author/writer soon loses the ability to control the story and becomes a character himself. Dinosaurs, weird creatures called Mom-Bats, a crossing-guard who turns into something else. The book is a blend of multiple genre: YA-fiction, fantasy, horror, misery-memoir, and my favourite - ‘Choose your own adventure!’Idaho Winter is a boy who has had the worst luck in the world. His father feeds him roadkill, his mother is in an abusive relationship and afraid to look up from the kitchen table. Everyone in town thinks he deserves to die and would be better off dead, the crossing-guard tries to direct traffic towards him.The book reaches this boiling point where everything is at its worst for young Idaho, and then the narrator/writer/author realizes what he’s done and stops. He steps away from the reader and into the book, chases after a young Idaho and confronts him.I won’t say anymore, it would only spoil and further confuse you. This book is very trippy and I’m not sure it’s best suited for young adults. As I’m struggling to comprehend the ending myself. The book becomes this meta-thing-poetry-art. I’ve re-read the last 20 pages twice now and sort of have an idea of what happened, and it’s beautiful, something that is hard to describe unless you read it yourself. It’s also short. I purchased this yesterday and finished it just now. You could easily read this in a single sitting.Also, find Tony Burgess’s Pontypool Changes Everything, one of the most terrifying zombie novels I’ve ever read. Burgess is an Ontario writer, so know that you’ll be supporting not only a local author but a small time press (ECW).

  • Corey
    2019-05-10 00:48

    Tony Burgess is a madman. A lovely madman, fun to talk to, kind and gentle, but a madman nonetheless, capable of unnerving a reader in a few short sentences. And Idaho Winter is unnerving for many reasons, not the least for being the most unhinged novel written for young adults since Lewis Carroll unleashed his fantasies on poor little Alice. Yet what else could you hope to expect from the author of Pontypool Changes Everything, the definitive Canadian zombie novel (and one freaky great film to boot). Idaho Winter is a mindf#@k of astonishing proportions, an excursion into a world where the rules simply don't apply. I thought I detected a theme of writers block at one point, as the unnamed narrator bemoans the fact that he doesn't have a clue where his character has gone or what he'll do (a sensation I'm sure all authors can relate to). There are breaths of Luigi Pirandello's absurdist masterpiece Six Characters in Search of an Author throughout Burgess' imaginative weirdscape, breaths that intermingle with the surrealism of Luis Buñuel, the paranoia of Franz Kafka and David Lynch, and the dream imagery of Salvador Dali. Idaho Winter is spectacularly peculiar, demanding, funny, gross, and unforgettable. If young adults are looking for tales of Twilight-like romance, stay far away; if they are yearning for real risk and reward in their literature, this should be just the ticket.Read the full review here.

  • Rob
    2019-04-21 02:43

    An interesting book hampered by its concept.This is a short and interesting bit of meta-fiction, and I wanted to like it more than I did. The cover and blurb present this a "boy's-own" sort of children's book with a hint of something sinister. That's a pretty accurate description, until it gets really strange.I can't not give too much away. Suffice to say, this is a poorly written kid's book wherein the none-too-talented author somehow gets trapped into his own fiction and beholden to the adolescent character he had created, whose powers become unexpectedly greater than the author's slim words.That's what really tore me away from the book, because after that point it becomes very formalist. You start with the original text, which then breaks down. After that we have to play another game with the author, which is now two steps away from the original story. It's a fun game, and I won't spoil the end for you, but it's a cold game with almost purely logical aims.Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this book. It has got some pretty rarified pleasures, but they are stepped upon by design.If you're looking for a quick bit of gonzo literature, check this out. It succeeds in its aims. Unfortunately, its aims also succeed in reducing its goals.Maybe that was the point? Burgess has created a fine confection here that he has also spiked with mediocrity. I can't help but think that was his aim, it just may not be that enjoyable.

  • Harold
    2019-05-05 07:58

    I think I enjoy Tony Burgess more in practice than in theory. He's an Ontario author who combines lyrical prose with dark, surreal subject matter, but I'm still waiting to find a book by him that satisfies as an overall reading experience. Idaho Winter isn't as grotesque as The n-Body Problem (the only other Burgess I've read), but it's even more bizarre. The story opens in a small town where virtually every character is filled with inexplicable murderous rage for one down-on-his-luck little boy. From there, things get seriously meta, with the author getting pulled into the action and the small boy achieving omnipotent self-awareness. Utterly strange and unique.

  • Eric Holmlund
    2019-04-21 00:46

    Idaho Winter is quite simply the strangest book I've read. You are taken from a world where all of humanity and nature hates Idaho with unfounded passion to a strange sequence of events. The author becomes part of the story, and he often speak to you, the reader, as a reader. Explaining how the story isn't going how he planned to write it. He is confused that he is meeting characters he created. This is the least of the confusion. The story takes on an otherworld setting, and Idaho is no where to be seen, but he is everywhere at once. This book messes with your mind. You feel as if you are a part of the story yourself. I recommend Idaho Winter to anyone looking to be taken on a strange and wild ride.

  • Lexyvs
    2019-05-17 02:53

    Tony Burgess’ newest novel Idaho Winter is about a young boy by the name of Idaho Winter. Idaho lives with his parents in a small town and would be an average kid, but for the fact that he is hated by everyone. No, scratch that, Idaho isn’t hated. Idaho is loathed. Loathed by everyone and everything around him, from the sweet crossing guard (who tries to get cars to run Idaho over) to the caterpillar that he tries to rescue from the river (which dies an excruciating death just from being in the palm of young Idaho’s hand). There isn’t a living thing that doesn’t detest Idaho Winter...To read more, follow the link to my blog!

  • Axolotl
    2019-05-02 00:57

    Spoiler: (view spoiler)[The most horrifying thing about Idaho Winter--and it is "horror"--tethered, though it is, to an almost terrifying level of absurdity with regard to plot, general conceit, location and incident--and the feature which makes it such is its much more terrible than life which at least has a partially clear-cut finale. An infinite feedback loop (Samsara) would be pretty fucking awful--particularly the one Burgess has in store for you, Gentle Reader, and the gang.(hide spoiler)]

  • Jr
    2019-05-11 05:12

    i'm thumbing through an Advanced Reading Copy of this. it's . . . starts off one thing, changes gears to another, and then just kind of implodes in fractal madness. i'd describe it but really it won't do it justice. you kind of have to read this for yourself to get just how meta and out of control this book is. it got three stars because for as off balance as it was, it kept pulling me back to see how it could possibly continue. i'm left to wonder what the editing process must have been (continues to be?) like.

  • Yolanda
    2019-04-24 03:59

    This reading experience is thanks to Goodreads giveaways.The author squeezed in a gamut of emotions in a short book. I'm not sure if that was the goal, but it starts very dark and sad about boy that nobody likes. Then just when you are considering putting the book away, relief, a smile and nod, okay, I can finish the story. Finally there was some scratching of the head and wondering where the trail would end. Complete with some very large reptiles and mammals and good old fashion monsters. An interesting tale with plenty of imagination.

  • Michael Poeltl
    2019-04-27 02:54

    Though I thoroughly enjoyed the first few chapters and the direction the book was taking, 1/4 of the way through, I was surprised to find where the story was going.Original story-lines are becoming more and more scarce in the literary world, so something as bizarre and refreshing as Idaho Winter is a welcome reprieve from the rehashed plot-lines of stereotypical YA fiction.A tortured mind of a child can produce some wonderful imagery, albeit dark and unimagined by the reader, it is all at once recognizable and, at times, laughable.Another good read by a master of the macabre.

  • Owen
    2019-05-16 05:58

    Wow. The title and cover are a smokescreen, as are the first few chapters. It begins with a character being abused by the other characters. Think Roald Dahl times ten. You might want to put the book down as the mistreatment becomes bizarre but wait, there is purpose to the madness. That purpose is to turn the story inside out in unexpected directions. Reality is messed with and you have no idea what to expect next. Elements of horror, science fiction and surrealism abound. Weird and wonderful, this guy is a creative writer to watch.

  • Daniel
    2019-04-22 07:06

    What starts out as a simple story about a young boy who is unliked and bullied by everyone quickly turns on its side as the boy takes control... of the book itself. The author quickly becomes confused and enters the story in an attempt to set things right.I thoroughly enjoyed the insanity that played out. Then again, I also loved Shatnerquake, so I may not be the best judge of what makes a great book.

  • Patty
    2019-05-14 00:10

    What if mediocre writers were made to pay for their sins against the characters they write? This is literally grotesque, and probably included every image from every nightmare the author has ever had. When I read the description on the back of the book, I thought it sounded somewhat similar to a couple of other novels. Having read it, I can now say that it is like nothing else.

  • Katie Cooper
    2019-05-09 04:57

    I have no clue how to rate this book. It's the weirdest thing I've ever read, like reading a drug trip (or so I guess, having never been on one). I don't think it's possible to do anything normal with it like rate it using a star system, so I just closed my eyes and clicked. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 stars - any and all of them are accurate. So incredibly weird.

  • Newton the newt
    2019-05-02 08:07

    I haven't read anything else by Tony Burgess, but the meta-fiction style of the book strikes me as a little like Lemony Snicket. I may not have thought of if that way if I hadn't been expecting a YA novel.

  • Joshua W James
    2019-05-10 03:00

    This is one of the strangest books I've ever read. It's bizarre and spoilery to even begin to describe it, but lets say that it draws comparisons to the Neverending Story and Dante's Inferno. And the book is aware that you're reading it.

  • Chantale
    2019-05-10 05:54

    Interesting concept. Definitely an out there literary horror. Reminds me of a more twisted The Regulators by Stephen King as well as his Under the Dome where children's imaginations run amok and terrorize the townspeople in a remote and closed off location. An intriguing and fast read.