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Solo

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Solo Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Solo is a wonder—an exploration of memory, a window on a country and region mysterious to the West even in the twentieth century, a keen study of human love and failure.”—Elizabeth Kostova, author of The Historian

With imaginative audacity and lyrical brilliance, Rana Dasgupta paints a portrait of a century through the story of a hundred-year-old blind Bulgarian man in this remarkable and dazzling debut novel.

In the first movement of Solo we meet Ulrich, the son of a railroad engineer. His passion for chemistry leads him to Berlin, but his studies are cut short when he must return to Sofia to look after his parents. He never leaves Bulgaria again. Except in his daydreams—and it is those dreams we enter in the volatile second half of the book. In a radical leap from past to present, from life lived to life imagined, Dasgupta follows Ulrichs fantasy children, born of communism but making their way into a post-communist world of celebrity and violence.

Intertwining science and heartbreak, the old world and the new, Solo is a virtuoso work.

“A novel utterly refreshing in its blunt acknowledgment that thoroughgoing realism involves escaping reality as much as constructing it . . . What makes Mr. Dasguptas adventurous storytelling especially rewarding is the way he carefully integrates tiny details from Ulrichs drab life into his fantasy, transfiguring them like hay spun into gold . . . Invigorating.”—Wall Street Journal

Review:

"Winner of the U.K.'s Commonwealth Prize, Dasgupta's second book (after Tokyo Canceled) is bold, enigmatic, and thought-provoking. After his pragmatic father crushes Ulrich's passion for music, he turns to chemistry, a subject that takes him to Berlin, 'the capital of world science,' during the ebb of the Ottoman Empire. He works alongside researchers on the forefront of discovery and shares the halls with Albert Einstein. But WWI forces him back home to Bulgaria and into a bookkeeping job at a chemical plant, where years of political upheavals leading to communism drive Ulrich into a private world of experimentation that ends decades later when he's blinded in an accident. Yet his mind remains very much alive, and the 'second movement' of the book reveals a richly imagined world involving a Bulgarian musical prodigy, an American executive, and Georgian siblings whose lives all intersect in New York. With this ambitious structure, Dasgupta's subtle architecture gives rise to questions of modernity, memory, and human failures. Lucid prose and a narrative scheme both demanding and inchoate reveal a writer beginning to deploy his considerable powers. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Synopsis:

A kaleidoscopic novel about the life and daydreams of Ulrich, a one hundred-year-old man from Bulgaria.

Synopsis:

With an imaginative audacity and lyrical brilliance that puts him in the company of David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon, Rana Dasgupta paints a portrait of a century though the story of a hundred-year-old blind Bulgarian man in a first novel that announces the arrival of an exhilarating new voice in fiction.

In the first movement of Solo we meet Ulrich, the son of a railroad engineer, who has two great passions: the violin and chemistry. Denied the first by his father, he leaves for the Berlin of Einstein and Fritz Haber to study the latter. His studies are cut short when his fathers fortune evaporates, and he must return to Sofia to look after his parents. He never leaves Bulgaria again. Except in his daydreams—and it is those dreams we enter in the volatile second half of the book. In a radical leap from past to present, from life lived to life imagined, Dasgupta follows Ulrichs fantasy children, born of communism but making their way into a post-communist world of celebrity and violence.

Intertwining science and heartbreak, the old world and the new, the real and imagined, Solo is a virtuoso work.

“Utterly unforgettable in its humanity.” —The Guardian

Product Details

ISBN:
9780547397085
Author:
Dasgupta, Rana
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)
Author:
DasGupta, Rana
Subject:
Older men
Subject:
Reminiscing in old age.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20110231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1.18 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Solo Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$2.50 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) - English 9780547397085 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Winner of the U.K.'s Commonwealth Prize, Dasgupta's second book (after Tokyo Canceled) is bold, enigmatic, and thought-provoking. After his pragmatic father crushes Ulrich's passion for music, he turns to chemistry, a subject that takes him to Berlin, 'the capital of world science,' during the ebb of the Ottoman Empire. He works alongside researchers on the forefront of discovery and shares the halls with Albert Einstein. But WWI forces him back home to Bulgaria and into a bookkeeping job at a chemical plant, where years of political upheavals leading to communism drive Ulrich into a private world of experimentation that ends decades later when he's blinded in an accident. Yet his mind remains very much alive, and the 'second movement' of the book reveals a richly imagined world involving a Bulgarian musical prodigy, an American executive, and Georgian siblings whose lives all intersect in New York. With this ambitious structure, Dasgupta's subtle architecture gives rise to questions of modernity, memory, and human failures. Lucid prose and a narrative scheme both demanding and inchoate reveal a writer beginning to deploy his considerable powers. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Synopsis" by ,
A kaleidoscopic novel about the life and daydreams of Ulrich, a one hundred-year-old man from Bulgaria.
"Synopsis" by , With an imaginative audacity and lyrical brilliance that puts him in the company of David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon, Rana Dasgupta paints a portrait of a century though the story of a hundred-year-old blind Bulgarian man in a first novel that announces the arrival of an exhilarating new voice in fiction.

In the first movement of Solo we meet Ulrich, the son of a railroad engineer, who has two great passions: the violin and chemistry. Denied the first by his father, he leaves for the Berlin of Einstein and Fritz Haber to study the latter. His studies are cut short when his fathers fortune evaporates, and he must return to Sofia to look after his parents. He never leaves Bulgaria again. Except in his daydreams—and it is those dreams we enter in the volatile second half of the book. In a radical leap from past to present, from life lived to life imagined, Dasgupta follows Ulrichs fantasy children, born of communism but making their way into a post-communist world of celebrity and violence.

Intertwining science and heartbreak, the old world and the new, the real and imagined, Solo is a virtuoso work.

“Utterly unforgettable in its humanity.” —The Guardian

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