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This title in other editions

The Effect of Living Backwards

by

The Effect of Living Backwards Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"Heidi Julavits's second novel is one of the first truly excellent books to deal with our panicky new age....The Effect of Living Backwards is a canny and morally probing novel, as well as a thrilling ride." Adrienne Miller, Esquire (read the entire Esquire review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Alice and Edith are sisters, soul mates, and archenemies.

Alice, the "good girl," is everything the stunning, wanton, and morally whimsical Edith is not. Except that both are expert manipulators-a power that is tested and exploited when the plane they are on is hijacked.

There's something decidedly strange about Bruno, one of the hijackers, not to mention his inept collaborators. When Alice is chosen to communicate with the hostage negotiator, Edith decides to take matters into her own hands by seducing Bruno. Alice finds herself growing smitten with the hostage negotiator, even as it becomes harder to distinguish her allies from her enemies in this elliptical airborne game show. When the hostages are taken to a hotel in a deserted Moroccan oasis town, Alice must confront the fact that if she wants to save herself, she will be forced to sacrifice someone she loves.

The Effect of Living Backwards is a comic, heartbreaking novel for our new and uncertain age.

Review:

"Julavits has a unique eye for the details that tell a story....[Effect] is the product of a wide-ranging imagination and a prodigious writing talent that converts psychological insights into prose that is nothing short of fun." Robin Vidimos, The Denver Post

Review:

"The Effect of Living Backwards shows off a young novelist with talent to burn and a desire to push beyond the smug posturing of many of her literary peers." Stephen Metcalf, The Los Angeles Times

Review:

"The comic back-and-forth between the fiercely competitive sisters keeps the story interesting....[An] often outrageous book..." Anne Morris, BookPage

Review:

"Alice's self-loathing and her complex relationship with Edith provide the emotional core of a story that is savage and funny. The book is improbable, sure, but so wildly inventive that you hardly care." Taylor Antrim, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"[A] lovely, slightly challenging second novel....Backwards is colorful, bright, funny, and intriguing, and you genuinely care about Alice." Laura Cassidy, Seattle Weekly

Review:

"An absolute tour de force of apparently limitless imaginative ability, deep psychological insight, and astonishing verbal precision. In one fell swoop, Heidi Julavits establishes herself as the Scheherazade of the new Anti-Terror Age. Funny, unnerving, sophisticated, and dazzling in the range of its invention, The Effect of Living Backwards is a terrific and important addition to our literature." George Saunders, author of Pastoralia

Review:

"Is it possible, in this day and age, to write a funny novel about an airplane being hijacked? If you're Heidi Julavits, it is....[B]eautiful, undulating, sometimes stormy..." Kevin Sampsell, Willamette Week (Portland, OR)

Review:

"With astounding intelligence and unceasing acuity, Heidi Julavits fulfills the great promise of her talents, and jumps to the forefront of her generation. This could be the smartest and most challenging book I've read by anyone our age, and beyond that, it's just plain hard to put down. She's raised the bar for all of us." Dave Eggers, author of You Shall Know Our Velocity!

Review:

"A wonderfully absurdist game of chess — Julavits packs her novel full of odd and piercing moral dilemmas, wicked insights, and memorable characters. The Effect of Living Backwards is a delicious feast of case studies gone haywire." Aimee Bender, author of An Invisible Sign of My Own

Synopsis:

Does Alice really hate her sister, or is that love? Was she really enrolled in grad school, or was that an elaborate hoax? Is this really a hijacking, or is it merely the effect of living backwards?

Following her acclaimed debut, The Mineral Palace, Heidi Julavits presents a quirky, compelling new novel about two sisters, a bizarre event, and the elusive nature of truth.

Synopsis:

Alice and Edith are sisters, soul mates, and archenemies. Alice, the "good girl, " is everything the stunning, wanton, and morally whimsical Edith is not. Except that both are expert manipulators--a power that is tested and exploited when the plane they are on is hijacked. There's something decidedly strange about Bruno, one of the hijackers, not to mention his inept collaborators. When Alice is chosen to communicate with the hostage negotiator, Edith decides to take matters into her own hands by seducing Bruno. Alice finds herself growing smitten with the hostage negotiator, even as it becomes harder to distinguish her allies from her enemies in this elliptical airborne game show. When the hostages are taken to a hotel in a deserted Moroccan oasis town, Alice must confront the fact that if she wants to save herself, she will be forced to sacrifice someone she loves. The Effect of Living Backwards is a comic, heartbreaking novel for our new and uncertain age.

About the Author

Heidi Julavits has published fiction and nonfiction in Esquire, The Best American Short Stories 1999, Story, Zoetrope, McSweeney's, Harper's Bazaar, and Time. Her first novel, The Mineral Palace, was a Los Angeles Times Best Book, and was published in ten countries.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780425198179
Author:
Julavits, Heidi
Publisher:
Berkley Books
Subject:
Psychological
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Sisters
Subject:
Air travel
Subject:
Identity (psychology)
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20040931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8.04x5.20x.99 in. .68 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Effect of Living Backwards Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Berkley Publishing Group - English 9780425198179 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "Heidi Julavits's second novel is one of the first truly excellent books to deal with our panicky new age....The Effect of Living Backwards is a canny and morally probing novel, as well as a thrilling ride." (read the entire Esquire review)
"Review" by , "Julavits has a unique eye for the details that tell a story....[Effect] is the product of a wide-ranging imagination and a prodigious writing talent that converts psychological insights into prose that is nothing short of fun."
"Review" by , "The Effect of Living Backwards shows off a young novelist with talent to burn and a desire to push beyond the smug posturing of many of her literary peers."
"Review" by , "The comic back-and-forth between the fiercely competitive sisters keeps the story interesting....[An] often outrageous book..."
"Review" by , "Alice's self-loathing and her complex relationship with Edith provide the emotional core of a story that is savage and funny. The book is improbable, sure, but so wildly inventive that you hardly care."
"Review" by , "[A] lovely, slightly challenging second novel....Backwards is colorful, bright, funny, and intriguing, and you genuinely care about Alice."
"Review" by , "An absolute tour de force of apparently limitless imaginative ability, deep psychological insight, and astonishing verbal precision. In one fell swoop, Heidi Julavits establishes herself as the Scheherazade of the new Anti-Terror Age. Funny, unnerving, sophisticated, and dazzling in the range of its invention, The Effect of Living Backwards is a terrific and important addition to our literature."
"Review" by , "Is it possible, in this day and age, to write a funny novel about an airplane being hijacked? If you're Heidi Julavits, it is....[B]eautiful, undulating, sometimes stormy..."
"Review" by , "With astounding intelligence and unceasing acuity, Heidi Julavits fulfills the great promise of her talents, and jumps to the forefront of her generation. This could be the smartest and most challenging book I've read by anyone our age, and beyond that, it's just plain hard to put down. She's raised the bar for all of us."
"Review" by , "A wonderfully absurdist game of chess — Julavits packs her novel full of odd and piercing moral dilemmas, wicked insights, and memorable characters. The Effect of Living Backwards is a delicious feast of case studies gone haywire."
"Synopsis" by ,
Does Alice really hate her sister, or is that love? Was she really enrolled in grad school, or was that an elaborate hoax? Is this really a hijacking, or is it merely the effect of living backwards?

Following her acclaimed debut, The Mineral Palace, Heidi Julavits presents a quirky, compelling new novel about two sisters, a bizarre event, and the elusive nature of truth.

"Synopsis" by , Alice and Edith are sisters, soul mates, and archenemies. Alice, the "good girl, " is everything the stunning, wanton, and morally whimsical Edith is not. Except that both are expert manipulators--a power that is tested and exploited when the plane they are on is hijacked. There's something decidedly strange about Bruno, one of the hijackers, not to mention his inept collaborators. When Alice is chosen to communicate with the hostage negotiator, Edith decides to take matters into her own hands by seducing Bruno. Alice finds herself growing smitten with the hostage negotiator, even as it becomes harder to distinguish her allies from her enemies in this elliptical airborne game show. When the hostages are taken to a hotel in a deserted Moroccan oasis town, Alice must confront the fact that if she wants to save herself, she will be forced to sacrifice someone she loves. The Effect of Living Backwards is a comic, heartbreaking novel for our new and uncertain age.
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