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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

The Perfect Man

by

The Perfect Man Cover

ISBN13: 9780812977011
ISBN10: 0812977017
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Europe and South Asia.

Identity, friendship, and a long-hidden crime lie at the heart of Naeem Murr's captivating novel about five friends growing up in a small 1950s Missouri river town. A contender for the Man Booker Prize, this exhilarating story beautifully evokes the extreme joys, as well as the dark and shameful desires, of childhood.

Young Rajiv Travers hasn't had much luck fitting in anywhere. Born to an Indian mother who was sold to his English father for £20, Raj is abandoned by his relatives into the reluctant care of Ruth, an American romance writer living in Pisgah, Missouri. While his skin color unsettles most of the townsfolk, who are used to seeing things in black and white, the quick-witted Raj soon finds his place among a group of children his own age.

While the friends remain loyal to one another through the years, it becomes clear that their paths will veer in markedly different directions. But breaking free of the demands of their families and their community, as well as one another, comes at a devastating price: As the chilling secrets of Pisgah's residents surface, the madness that erupts will cost Raj his closest friend even as it offers him the life he always dreamed of.

Taking us into the intimate life of small-town America, The Perfect Man explores both the power of the secrets that shape us and the capacity of love in all its guises to heal even the most damaged of souls.

Review:

"Murr elegantly explores smalltown insularity and secrecy in this Commonwealth Award — winning third novel, following The Boy and The Genius of the Sea. Abandoned by his white father and his absent Indian mother, rejected by his intolerant London relatives, Rajiv Travers, 12 years old in 1954, is sent to stay with his father's other brother, Oliver, who has recently followed the love of his life, romance novelist Ruth, from New York City to tiny Pisgah, Mo. In short order, Oliver commits suicide, and Ruth becomes an uneasy guardian to this curious young boy, who shields himself from pain and prejudice with his quick wit and shrewd impersonations. Peerwise, Raj is quickly taken under the wing of Annie Celli, already a striking beauty, joining a group that also includes Annie's soul mate, the delicate and emotionally fragile Lewis. As the friends grow into young men and women, Annie finds herself torn between her devotion to the increasingly unstable Lewis (who witnessed his younger brother's murder) and her undeniable feelings for Raj. Murr takes a Faulknerian approach to his portrait of Pisgah, peopling it with minor characters whose eccentricities provide local color and shrouded gothic elements — one of which reverberates menacingly. Murr poignantly dramatizes love's capacity to effect change." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"'Heartland Gothic' is the quickest way to describe Naeem Murr's new book, but it is as inaccurate as any shorthand for so defiantly unclassifiable a novel. 'The Perfect Man' sits uncomfortably in its time period — the 1950s — and is not as Gothic as Murr encourages readers to expect. It isn't quite a coming-of-age story or an immigration saga, either, although the author seems to be attempting to... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"In Pisgah, [Murr] has created a fully fledged, self-contained world, with a vast array of characters, each quixotic and authentically flawed....The Perfect Man succeeds because it's so impeccably well written." Lionel Shriver, author of We Need to Talk About Kevin

Review:

"[The Perfect Man] succeeds in re-creating an entire world with a full spectrum of human emotions in a small Missouri town, as Faulkner did in the imaginary Yoknapatawpha County in Mississippi." The Times Literary Supplement (London)

Review:

"Murr becomes almost playful in a dizzying carousel of dualisms: youth and maturity, intensity and detachment, sanity and madness, aggression and passivity, male and female, life and death, helplessness and power.....This title will appeal to a wide range of readers." School Library Journal

Review:

"This is the best novel I have read in many years, captivating for its beautifully crafted prose, its haunting dynamics and the author's complex evocation of a place and time through organic storytelling." Seattle Times

Review:

"Well-wrought characters and refreshingly clear prose are sufficient reasons to pick this one up." New York Times

Synopsis:

Set in 1950s Missouri, this stunning novel evokes the intimate life of small-town America and beautifully renders the transformation of a cast-off boy from India into a profoundly decent man.

About the Author

Naeem Murr is the author of The Genius of the Sea and The Boy, a New York Times Notable Book. A recipient of numerous awards and scholarships for his writing, he has published many acclaimed stories, novellas, and nonfiction pieces in literary journals. He was a Stanford University Creative Writing Fellow, and was recently awarded a Lannan Residency Fellowship. He has been a writer-in-residence at the University of Missouri, Western Michigan University, and Northwestern University. Born and raised in London, he has lived in America since his early twenties, and currently resides in Chicago. Visit the author's website at www.naeemmurr.com.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Jena, October 18, 2007 (view all comments by Jena)
This is a book driven by characters (and what an array!) more than plot. All of them carefully planned--including the apparent protagonist, who never really fully develops; he acts more as a catalyst for other characters. And I really enjoyed how much I didn't like most of the characters--horrible people, most of them. It made for such interesting reading. The ending feels a bit rushed (hence four stars instead of five), but getting to the end is a strange, intense journey well worth your time.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780812977011
Author:
Murr, Naeem
Publisher:
Random House Trade
Subject:
General
Subject:
United states
Subject:
East Indians
Subject:
Bildungsromans
Subject:
East Indians -- United States.
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20070431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
468
Dimensions:
8.50x5.58x1.00 in. .85 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

The Perfect Man Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 468 pages Random House Trade - English 9780812977011 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Murr elegantly explores smalltown insularity and secrecy in this Commonwealth Award — winning third novel, following The Boy and The Genius of the Sea. Abandoned by his white father and his absent Indian mother, rejected by his intolerant London relatives, Rajiv Travers, 12 years old in 1954, is sent to stay with his father's other brother, Oliver, who has recently followed the love of his life, romance novelist Ruth, from New York City to tiny Pisgah, Mo. In short order, Oliver commits suicide, and Ruth becomes an uneasy guardian to this curious young boy, who shields himself from pain and prejudice with his quick wit and shrewd impersonations. Peerwise, Raj is quickly taken under the wing of Annie Celli, already a striking beauty, joining a group that also includes Annie's soul mate, the delicate and emotionally fragile Lewis. As the friends grow into young men and women, Annie finds herself torn between her devotion to the increasingly unstable Lewis (who witnessed his younger brother's murder) and her undeniable feelings for Raj. Murr takes a Faulknerian approach to his portrait of Pisgah, peopling it with minor characters whose eccentricities provide local color and shrouded gothic elements — one of which reverberates menacingly. Murr poignantly dramatizes love's capacity to effect change." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "In Pisgah, [Murr] has created a fully fledged, self-contained world, with a vast array of characters, each quixotic and authentically flawed....The Perfect Man succeeds because it's so impeccably well written."
"Review" by , "[The Perfect Man] succeeds in re-creating an entire world with a full spectrum of human emotions in a small Missouri town, as Faulkner did in the imaginary Yoknapatawpha County in Mississippi."
"Review" by , "Murr becomes almost playful in a dizzying carousel of dualisms: youth and maturity, intensity and detachment, sanity and madness, aggression and passivity, male and female, life and death, helplessness and power.....This title will appeal to a wide range of readers."
"Review" by , "This is the best novel I have read in many years, captivating for its beautifully crafted prose, its haunting dynamics and the author's complex evocation of a place and time through organic storytelling."
"Review" by , "Well-wrought characters and refreshingly clear prose are sufficient reasons to pick this one up."
"Synopsis" by , Set in 1950s Missouri, this stunning novel evokes the intimate life of small-town America and beautifully renders the transformation of a cast-off boy from India into a profoundly decent man.
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