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The Curfew (Vintage Contemporaries)

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The Curfew (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover

ISBN13: 9780307739858
ISBN10: 0307739856
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

William and Molly lead a life of small pleasures, riddles at the kitchen table, and games of string and orange peels. All around them a city rages with war. When the uprising began, William's wife was taken, leaving him alone with their young daughter. They keep their heads down and try to remain unnoticed as police patrol the streets, enforcing a curfew and arresting citizens. But when an old friend seeks William out, claiming to know what happened to his wife, William must risk everything. He ventures out after dark, and young Molly is left to play, reconstructing his dangerous voyage, his past, and their future. An astounding portrait of fierce love within a world of random violence, The Curfew is a mesmerizing feat of literary imagination.

Review:

"'GOOD CITIZENS SPEND THEIR NIGHTS ABED.' So goes the edict of Ball's unsettling new novel (after The Way Through Doors). Set in the city of C, a dystopic near-future Chicago, William Drysdale and his mute eight-year-old daughter, Molly, attempt to keep their heads down in a dangerous city of murders, suspicious neighbors, and a network of secret police. The shadowy government imposes a mercurial nightly curfew; musical performances have been outlawed, weekends abolished. Drysdale, a former virtuoso violinist, now works as an epitaphorist, helping others write their epitaphs. Ball divides his slim novel into two parts, the first dealing with William's search for his disappeared wife and a growing counterrevolutionary movement. The second details a phantasmagorical puppet show conducted by Molly that explores her parents' past and future. Written in clipped and brutal prose that shares the page with a lot of white space, the compelling narrative is buoyed by nuanced characters, but ultimiately lacks punch. Still, Ball's ideas and heart make this a very compelling read. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"One of the more dynamic young American writers to emerge in the last few years." The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Review:

"An extraordinary godsend, offering a new gift in every line." The Believer

Review:

"Written with a flawless, compassionate ear." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"There is a hushed and elegiac quality to this nocturne of a nove....Ball possesses a remarkably mythic sensibility, achieving a spare yet merciful mode that brings Borges, Calvino, and Simic to mind. Solemn beauty, beguiling invention, and unnerving insights into insidious tyranny and terror and depthless sorrow make for a haunting dystopian tale." Booklist

About the Author

Jesse Ball is a poet and novelist. His novels include The Way Through Doors (2009) and Samedi the Deafness (2007), which was a finalist for the Believer Book Award. He has published books of poetry and prose, The Village on Horseback (2010), Vera & Linus (2006), March Book (2004). A book of his drawings, Og svo kom nottin, appeared in Iceland in 2006. He won the Paris Review's Plimpton Prize in 2008 for The Early Deaths of Lubeck, Brennan, Harp & Carr. His poetry has appeared in the Best American Poetry series. He is an assistant professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and teaches classes on lying, lucid dreaming and general practice.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

aguess, January 16, 2013 (view all comments by aguess)
An unnamed totalitarian regime, in an unnamed city.
An father and daughter go about life not talking about the
disappearance of wife/ mother. I suspected where this book might be headed early on.
But he had me at "epitaphist".
Ball creates vivid, heartbreaking images one after another -
they sing, they dance and even though I knew they would end in tears it didn't matter.
Like life really...
I loved this book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Thaddeus , January 13, 2012 (view all comments by Thaddeus )
Mysterious and beautiful
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
l.marie.d, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by l.marie.d)
When Minnesota Star-Tribune notes Jesse Ball's capability for, "thoroughly disarming one's narrative expectations," little could be truer. Fans of Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino will be please to notice Ball's playful complexities and serious craftsmanship. The Curfew had me reeling, and puzzling, and excited for its existence. Ball writes the atmosphere and commands the imagery as I have come to expect--brilliantly! This isn't The Way Through Doors or Samedi the Deafness, but a new creation of an Artist pushing his own boundaries and that of his craft.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307739858
Author:
Ball, Jesse
Publisher:
Vintage Contemporaries
Author:
Ball
Author:
Jesse
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries Original
Publication Date:
20110831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8.02 x 5.16 x 0.6 in 0.5 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Curfew (Vintage Contemporaries) Used Trade Paper
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$10.50 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Vintage Contemporaries - English 9780307739858 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'GOOD CITIZENS SPEND THEIR NIGHTS ABED.' So goes the edict of Ball's unsettling new novel (after The Way Through Doors). Set in the city of C, a dystopic near-future Chicago, William Drysdale and his mute eight-year-old daughter, Molly, attempt to keep their heads down in a dangerous city of murders, suspicious neighbors, and a network of secret police. The shadowy government imposes a mercurial nightly curfew; musical performances have been outlawed, weekends abolished. Drysdale, a former virtuoso violinist, now works as an epitaphorist, helping others write their epitaphs. Ball divides his slim novel into two parts, the first dealing with William's search for his disappeared wife and a growing counterrevolutionary movement. The second details a phantasmagorical puppet show conducted by Molly that explores her parents' past and future. Written in clipped and brutal prose that shares the page with a lot of white space, the compelling narrative is buoyed by nuanced characters, but ultimiately lacks punch. Still, Ball's ideas and heart make this a very compelling read. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "One of the more dynamic young American writers to emerge in the last few years."
"Review" by , "An extraordinary godsend, offering a new gift in every line."
"Review" by , "Written with a flawless, compassionate ear."
"Review" by , "There is a hushed and elegiac quality to this nocturne of a nove....Ball possesses a remarkably mythic sensibility, achieving a spare yet merciful mode that brings Borges, Calvino, and Simic to mind. Solemn beauty, beguiling invention, and unnerving insights into insidious tyranny and terror and depthless sorrow make for a haunting dystopian tale."
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