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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

Adverbs: A Novel

by

Adverbs: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9780060724412
ISBN10: 0060724412
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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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

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 4 comments:

Laurie Blum, November 27, 2006 (view all comments by Laurie Blum)
"Adverbs" is a novel about love & I know you will love it, I did!! You'll read about all kinds of people who are in & out of love. In the beginning, Andrea is in love with David -- or is it Joe, etc. At the end of the book, it's Joe who's in the taxi, falling in love with Andrea, or it might not be Andrea... get it? "Adverbs" by David Handler has to be read to believe its uniqueness - don't miss it!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(29 of 54 readers found this comment helpful)
Jena, November 23, 2006 (view all comments by Jena)
Daniel Handler has a way with words. And characters. I love how, in this book, no character is ever the same from one chapter to the next. Once you get over trying to make sense out of that part, it's fantastic. The characters are at once fantastic and real. You're bound to connect with two or three of them. Actually, this reminded me of Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried in the sense that the stories get retold, but are never the same twice. Brilliant.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(25 of 53 readers found this comment helpful)
andy1000, June 16, 2006 (view all comments by andy1000)
i loved this book. usually if a book grips me i can't put it down, but with this one i wanted to read two pages a day for ever. but now it's over. i've tried to read other novels since but they're just not the same. i just keep wishing they were Adverbs. by Daniel Handler.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(38 of 74 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 4 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060724412
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Handler, Daniel
Author:
by Daniel Handler
Publisher:
Ecco
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Love
Subject:
New york (n.y.)
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
May 2006
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.52x5.80x1.07 in. .95 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Adverbs: A Novel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Ecco - English 9780060724412 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."
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