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Arcadia

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Arcadia Cover

ISBN13: 9781401341909
ISBN10: 140134190x
Condition: Standard
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Awards

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the bestselling author of The Monsters of Templeton comes a lyrical and gripping story of a great American dream.

In the fields of western New York State in the 1970s, a few dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding what would become a commune centered on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House. Arcadia follows this romantic, rollicking, and tragic utopian dream from its hopeful start through its heyday and after.

Arcadia's inhabitants include Handy, a musician and the group's charismatic leader; Astrid, a midwife; Abe, a master carpenter; Hannah, a baker and historian; and Abe and Hannah's only child, the book's protagonist, Bit, who is born soon after the commune is created.

While Arcadia rises and falls, Bit, too, ages and changes. If he remains in love with the peaceful agrarian life in Arcadia and deeply attached to its residents — including Handy and Astrid's lithe and deeply troubled daughter, Helle — how can Bit become his own man? How will he make his way through life and the world outside of Arcadia where he must eventually live?

With Arcadia, her first novel since her lauded debut, The Monsters of Templeton, Lauren Groff establishes herself not only as one of the most gifted young fiction writers at work today but also as one of our most accomplished literary artists.

Review:

"[Lauren Groff] has taken a quaint, easily caricatured community and given it true universality. And a book that might have been small, dated and insular winds up feeling timeless and vast. The raw beauty of Ms. Groff's prose is one of the best things about Arcadia. But it is by no means this book's only kind of splendor." Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Review:

"Groff's beautiful prose make this an unforgettable read." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

Review:

"I was constantly torn between wanting to gulp down this book or savor its lines. Even the most incidental details vibrate with life...Arcadia wends a harrowing path back to a fragile, lovely place you can believe in." Ron Charles, The Washington Post

Review:

"A moving look at the value of human connection in a scary, chaotic world." Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Lauren Groff's dazzling new novel brings the flawed visions of a '60s commune to life....At a moment when so much floating anger struggles for articulation, it's Groff's essential human empathy that gives her work its urgency." Vogue

Review:

"One of our best young novelists brings a lost Eden of hippiedom freshly to life....Groff's prismatic prose style lends itself to the darker currents that run beneath the Arcadian dream...both poetic and ambitious." Elle

Review:

"[A] beautifully crafted novel...[it] gives full rein to [Groff's] formidable descriptive powers, as she summons both the beauty of striving for perfection and the inevitable devastation of failing so miserably to achieve it." Booklist, Starred Review

Review:

"An astonishing novel, both in ambition and achievement." Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

Synopsis:

In the fields of western New York State in the 1970s, a few dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding a commune centered on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House. Arcadia follows this romantic utopian dream from its hopeful start through its heyday. Arcadia’s inhabitants include Handy, the charismatic leader; his wife, Astrid, a midwife; Abe, a master carpenter; Hannah, a baker and historian; and Abe and Hannah’s only child, Bit. While Arcadia rises and falls, Bit, too, ages and changes. He falls in love with Helle, Handy’s lovely, troubled daughter. And eventually he must face the world beyond Arcadia.

About the Author

Lauren Groff is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Monsters of Templeton and the critically acclaimed short story collection Delicate Edible Birds. She has won Pushcart and PEN/O. Henry prizes, and has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers. Her stories have appeared in publications including the New Yorker, the Atlantic, One Story, and Ploughshares, and have been anthologized in Best American Short Stories 2007 and 2010, and Best New American Voices 2008. She lives in Gainesville, Florida, with her husband and two sons.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 8 comments:

Mary Akers, January 31, 2013 (view all comments by Mary Akers)
I adored this book and sweeping narrative that spans five decades and yet remains grounded by the clever and kind Bit Stone, the first child to be born on an upstate New York commune the residents call Arcadia. Lauren Groff's prose lifts the story off the page, moving even the tiniest of details into the realm of beauty. It was my favorite book of 2012, by far.
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Danielle M, January 29, 2013 (view all comments by Danielle M)
A lush, intoxicating novel that charts the life of Bit Stone, the first born into the hippie commune of Arcadia, in the mid-sixties. Bit is acutely perceptive and it is this characteristic, along with Groff’s lyrical and heady prose, that make the novel come alive. From the smallest details (a peppermint that looks like a bloodshot eye) to the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in Bit’s life, like the “black dog” of depression that trails his mother’s heels, every experience of Bit’s is keenly felt.

As Bit makes his passage into adulthood, so too does Arcadia suffer from a loss of innocence, falling short of the utopian ideal it set out to create. The plight of the commune and Bit’s own journey, both so intrinsically linked, are immensely satisfying. Even with one foot deeply rooted in the past and another stretching into the near future of 2018, Groff’s novel seems timeless-a swift kick to the heart that will surely resonate for a long time to come.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
LDP, January 6, 2013 (view all comments by LDP)
I am a sucker for anything examining counterculture and would-be utopian communities, so Lauren Goff's Arcadia is right up my alley. What a world she creates, full of complex emotions and relationships that can never live up to the heady aspirations its members share--and the lifelong effect this environment has on a boy who grew up observing it all.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781401341909
Author:
Groff, Lauren
Publisher:
Hyperion Books
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
TradePB
Publication Date:
20121031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8 x 5.1875 in 9.2 oz
Age Level:
from 18

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Arcadia Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Hyperion Books - English 9781401341909 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[Lauren Groff] has taken a quaint, easily caricatured community and given it true universality. And a book that might have been small, dated and insular winds up feeling timeless and vast. The raw beauty of Ms. Groff's prose is one of the best things about Arcadia. But it is by no means this book's only kind of splendor."
"Review" by , "Groff's beautiful prose make this an unforgettable read."
"Review" by , "I was constantly torn between wanting to gulp down this book or savor its lines. Even the most incidental details vibrate with life...Arcadia wends a harrowing path back to a fragile, lovely place you can believe in."
"Review" by , "A moving look at the value of human connection in a scary, chaotic world."
"Review" by , "Lauren Groff's dazzling new novel brings the flawed visions of a '60s commune to life....At a moment when so much floating anger struggles for articulation, it's Groff's essential human empathy that gives her work its urgency."
"Review" by , "One of our best young novelists brings a lost Eden of hippiedom freshly to life....Groff's prismatic prose style lends itself to the darker currents that run beneath the Arcadian dream...both poetic and ambitious."
"Review" by , "[A] beautifully crafted novel...[it] gives full rein to [Groff's] formidable descriptive powers, as she summons both the beauty of striving for perfection and the inevitable devastation of failing so miserably to achieve it."
"Review" by , "An astonishing novel, both in ambition and achievement."
"Synopsis" by , In the fields of western New York State in the 1970s, a few dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding a commune centered on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House. Arcadia follows this romantic utopian dream from its hopeful start through its heyday. Arcadia’s inhabitants include Handy, the charismatic leader; his wife, Astrid, a midwife; Abe, a master carpenter; Hannah, a baker and historian; and Abe and Hannah’s only child, Bit. While Arcadia rises and falls, Bit, too, ages and changes. He falls in love with Helle, Handy’s lovely, troubled daughter. And eventually he must face the world beyond Arcadia.
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