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Least Appropriate Summer Reads from Archipelago

For those who hate gossip and sex and crime and intrigue and dogs as central characters…

For those who can’t stand page-turning plots and to-the-point sentences…

For those who’d rather appreciate a well-bound hardcover than sop up tipsy spills of pre-noon drinks with their airport paperback-cum-cocktail napkin…

We, the ARCH INTERNS, have compiled a list of Archipelago Books titles that will keep your summer full of literary brilliance, along with a wildly inappropriate amount of misery for this fine weather.


1. Chukchi Bible by Yuri Rythkeu

In our least imaginative effort, Chukchi Bible is set somewhere cold. Very cold. Lucky for us, Rythkeu picks up the slack in the imagination department (it’s a day of limited mental productivity from your Arch Interns). Shamans, half-whales, and mothers of the human race included.

2. A Dream in Polar Fog by Yuri Rythkeu

Also Rytkheu. Also cold. Less mysticism, more Dances with Wolves/Pocahontas/Avatar, but better, because we here at Archipelago do not support the essentialization of native cultures. Noble savage, no sir. 

3. Georg Letham: Physician and Murderer by Ernst Weiss

Treatise from a sociopathic murderer-physician, and we decided to put a rat on the cover. 

4. Tranquility by Attila Bartis

Some snippets from the inside cover: “Oedipal nightmare”; “suffocating totalitarian embrace”; “maniacal tyranny”; “a Sartrian hell of hatred, lies and appeasement”; “unrepentantly neurotic.” Best read with multiple umbrella-garnished cocktails whilst lolling on some equatorial beach, a metaphorical counterweight to the 292 pages of misery held between your newly tanned hands. (Michael, Intern 2 of 2, can’t in good conscience actually recommend you read this book this summer). Also, incest.

5. Yalo by Elias Khoury

Decidedly different in themes, tone, and featured artists than that annoying Drake song, “YOLO,” (cringe) Yalo is one tragedy after another until you get to the end, where another tragedy happens, but in a sort of sad-yet-uplifting way, so at least there’s that.

6. My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Masculinity and self-loathing and alcoholism in the classic John Cheever/Raymond Carver style, except with a writer who isn’t too insecure to actually use a metaphor. And he’s pretty good at it, too. And did we mention he’s handsome

7. Lenz by Georg Buchner

The author died at 23,  and the subject matter is a playwright’s tragic descent into madness. Any questions?

8. Poems (1945-1971) by Miltos Sachtouris

Emma (Arch Intern 1 of 2) likes these poems a lot, which means they are probably well-written but also grotesque and sad and meander along with no semblance of narrative, because these are the sorts of things she reads.

So there you have it. Did I mention we sell these books? And a few others. Buy them here.

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