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Adverbs (P.S.)

by

Adverbs (P.S.) Cover

ISBN13: 9780060724429
ISBN10: 0060724420
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Hello.

I am Daniel Handler, the author of this book. Did you know that authors often write the summaries that appear on their book's dust jacket? You might want to think about that the next time you read something like, "A dazzling page-turner, this novel shows an internationally acclaimed storyteller at the height of his astonishing powers."

Adverbs is a novel about love — a bunch of different people, in and out of different kinds of love. At the start of the novel, Andrea is in love with David — or maybe it's Joe — who instead falls in love with Peter in a taxi. At the end of the novel, it's Joe who's in the taxi, falling in love with Andrea, although it might not be Andrea, or in any case it might not be the same Andrea, as Andrea is a very common name. So is Allison, who is married to Adrian in the middle of the novel, although in the middle of the ocean she considers a fling with Keith and also with Steve, whom she meets in an automobile, unless it's not the same Allison who meets the Snow Queen in a casino, or the same Steve who meets Eddie in the middle of the forest....

It might sound confusing, but that's love, and as the author — me — says, It is not the nouns. The miracle is the adverbs, the way things are done. This novel is about people trying to find love in the ways it is done before the volcano erupts and the miracle ends. Yes, there's a volcano in the novel. In my opinion a volcano automatically makes a story more interesting.

Review:

"The qualities that draw millions to Lemony Snicket — absurdity, wicked humor, a love of wordplay — get adulterated in this elegant exploration of love. Handler brings linguistic pyrotechnics to a set of encounters: gay, straight, platonic and all degrees of dysfunctional. Amid the deadpan ('Character description: Appropriately tall. Could dress better.') and the exhausting ('Love was in the air, so both of us walked through love on our way to the corner.') are moments of blithe poignancy: quoth a lone golfer, 'Love is this sudden crash in your path, quick and to the point, and nearly always it leaves someone slain on the green.' In 'Obviously,' a teenage boy pines for his co-worker at the multiplex while they both tear tickets for Kickass: The Movie. In 'Briefly,' the narrator, now married, recounts being 14 and infatuated with his big sister's boyfriend, Keith. 'Truly' begins 'This part's true,' and features a character named Daniel Handler, who has an exchange about miracles with a novelist named Paula Sharp. Handler began his career with the coming-of-age novel The Basic Eight; this lovely, lilting book is a kind of After School Special for adults that dramatizes love's cross-purposes with panache: 'Surely somebody will arrive, in a taxi perhaps, attractively, artfully, aggressively, or any other way it is done.' (May)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"In 'Soundly,' perhaps the most emotionally resonant of the 17 adverbially titled pieces that make up Daniel Handler's 'Adverbs,' the narrator remembers what her driver's ed teacher once said a car horn should convey: 'Not Move along, buddy or I am displeased but I am here. I am here, I am here, I am here!' That teacher has inadvertently offered up the theme of this jigsaw puzzle of a... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[A] narrative ingenuity that should delight readers interested in exploring the possibilities of fiction....Handler's prose is warm, funny, smart and addictively readable....Experimental fiction is rarely this emotionally engaging." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[W]itty — but ultimately wearying....Handler can certainly turn a phrase, but his prose is so overloaded with linguistic acrobatics...it's likely to leave some readers a bit bent out of shape, especially if they were expecting Lemony Snicket for grown-ups." Booklist

Review:

"Adverbs has implausibilities, indulgences and a track list that drags on a few cuts too long. But what stays with you is the music: the elegantly rendered emotion, the linguistic somersaults, the brilliantly turned reminders that there are a million ways to describe love and none of them will ever be the last word." James Poniewozik, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"In every technical sense...this is an impeccable creation, from start to finish and top to bottom....But Adverbs, unfortunately, while easy to admire, is hard to love quite as much as one should." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Although he oozes wit and he's an astute social observer, [Handler's] voice can feel intrusive in spots, coming between the reader and the story....In the end, despite its quirks, the book's offbeat sweetness charms." Charlotte Observer

Review:

"[C]lever, unsettling, confusing, and often brilliantly moving." Library Journal

Review:

"Adverbs is not an unequivocal success. It makes a valiant case for the indispensability of style, but all the quirky stylistic connections in the world...will not rescue a narrative when it fails to connect emotionally with the reader." Los Angeles Times

Synopsis:

Can Joe help it if he falls in love with people who don't make him happy? And what about Helena—she's in love, but somehow this isn't enough. Shouldn't it be? And if it isn't enough, does this mean she's not really in love? It certainly seems to be spoiling the love she's in. And let's say there's a volcano underneath the city—doesn't that make things more urgent? Does urgency mean that you should keep the person you're with, or search for the best possible person? And what if the best possible person loves someone else—like the Snow Queen, for instance?

This novel may not answer these questions, but nevertheless the author and publisher hope it will be of interest.

About the Author

Daniel Handler is the author of the novels The Basic Eight and Watch Your Mouth, and as Lemony Snicket, a sequence of novels for children collectively entitled A Series of Unfortunate Events.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Christy Valentine, July 28, 2009 (view all comments by Christy Valentine)
Daniel Handler is one of the most inventive contemporary novelists currently writing. That much was apparent from "A Series of Unfortunate Events," written under his pseudonym, but he really gets a chance to shine when writing for adults. Each of his earlier novels addresses the narrative in a new way, and "Adverbs" is no difference.

It's easier to classify the book as a series of connected short stories, all about a group of assorted people in the way in which they fall in love. Though Handler offers that the characters are not necessarily constant, many of the names are repeated and characters seem to know the same people, so it's arguable that they are simply being presented in separate circumstances. As in his previous books, the narrators should be considered unreliable, as the information of different stories is not always constant. This pendulous nature should not be seen as a deterrent, however. Instead, it is demonstrative of the nature of the emotions Handler chooses to present. The love of his stories does not always make sense, but it is consistently honest and representative of the love of the young.

Those of appreciate the ironic tone of "A Series of Unfortunate Events" will probably enjoy the book, though it should be said that Handler's novels deal with decidedly adult issues. Although a subtext of sexual menace is present in his fiction for younger readers, "Adverbs"- and his other novels- address sexuality in far more fluid terms than his previous series. Labels of "gay" or "straight" do not apply in this book. Instead, the role of orientation further expresses Handler's sense of new and contemporary love in our modern age of disorientation and disconnect.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780060724429
Author:
Handler, Daniel
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Author:
Ha
Author:
ndler, Daniel
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series:
P.S.
Publication Date:
20070431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
7.99x5.36x.73 in. .55 lbs.

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Related Subjects

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Adverbs (P.S.) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 288 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780060724429 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The qualities that draw millions to Lemony Snicket — absurdity, wicked humor, a love of wordplay — get adulterated in this elegant exploration of love. Handler brings linguistic pyrotechnics to a set of encounters: gay, straight, platonic and all degrees of dysfunctional. Amid the deadpan ('Character description: Appropriately tall. Could dress better.') and the exhausting ('Love was in the air, so both of us walked through love on our way to the corner.') are moments of blithe poignancy: quoth a lone golfer, 'Love is this sudden crash in your path, quick and to the point, and nearly always it leaves someone slain on the green.' In 'Obviously,' a teenage boy pines for his co-worker at the multiplex while they both tear tickets for Kickass: The Movie. In 'Briefly,' the narrator, now married, recounts being 14 and infatuated with his big sister's boyfriend, Keith. 'Truly' begins 'This part's true,' and features a character named Daniel Handler, who has an exchange about miracles with a novelist named Paula Sharp. Handler began his career with the coming-of-age novel The Basic Eight; this lovely, lilting book is a kind of After School Special for adults that dramatizes love's cross-purposes with panache: 'Surely somebody will arrive, in a taxi perhaps, attractively, artfully, aggressively, or any other way it is done.' (May)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[A] narrative ingenuity that should delight readers interested in exploring the possibilities of fiction....Handler's prose is warm, funny, smart and addictively readable....Experimental fiction is rarely this emotionally engaging."
"Review" by , "[W]itty — but ultimately wearying....Handler can certainly turn a phrase, but his prose is so overloaded with linguistic acrobatics...it's likely to leave some readers a bit bent out of shape, especially if they were expecting Lemony Snicket for grown-ups."
"Review" by , "Adverbs has implausibilities, indulgences and a track list that drags on a few cuts too long. But what stays with you is the music: the elegantly rendered emotion, the linguistic somersaults, the brilliantly turned reminders that there are a million ways to describe love and none of them will ever be the last word."
"Review" by , "In every technical sense...this is an impeccable creation, from start to finish and top to bottom....But Adverbs, unfortunately, while easy to admire, is hard to love quite as much as one should."
"Review" by , "Although he oozes wit and he's an astute social observer, [Handler's] voice can feel intrusive in spots, coming between the reader and the story....In the end, despite its quirks, the book's offbeat sweetness charms."
"Review" by , "[C]lever, unsettling, confusing, and often brilliantly moving."
"Review" by , "Adverbs is not an unequivocal success. It makes a valiant case for the indispensability of style, but all the quirky stylistic connections in the world...will not rescue a narrative when it fails to connect emotionally with the reader."
"Synopsis" by , Can Joe help it if he falls in love with people who don't make him happy? And what about Helena—she's in love, but somehow this isn't enough. Shouldn't it be? And if it isn't enough, does this mean she's not really in love? It certainly seems to be spoiling the love she's in. And let's say there's a volcano underneath the city—doesn't that make things more urgent? Does urgency mean that you should keep the person you're with, or search for the best possible person? And what if the best possible person loves someone else—like the Snow Queen, for instance?

This novel may not answer these questions, but nevertheless the author and publisher hope it will be of interest.

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