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The Book of Getting Even

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The Book of Getting Even Cover

ISBN13: 9781586421434
ISBN10: 1586421433
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Son of a rabbi, budding astronomer Gabriel Geismar is on his way from youth to manhood in the 1970s when he falls in love with the esteemed and beguiling Hundert family, different in every way from his own. Over the course of a decade-long drama unfolding in New Orleans, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and the Wisconsin countryside, Gabriel enters more and more passionately and intimately into the world of his elective clan, discovering at the inmost center that he alone must bear the full weight of their tragedies, past and present. Yet The Book of Getting Even is funny and robust, a novel rich in those fundamentals we go to great fiction for: the exploration of what is hidden, the sudden shocks, the feeling at last of life laid bare.

Review:

"In this delightful, character-driven coming-of-age novel, Gabriel Geismar grows up in mid — 20th-century New Orleans as the only son of a rabbi, maturing into a brilliant, homosexual mathematician who is out of sync with his father's values. At Swarthmore in 1970, Gabriel meets the twins Daniel and Marghie Hundert, the children of Nobel Prize — winning physicist Gregor Hundert, one of the so-called Hungarian Eight who emigrated to America and worked with Robert Oppenheimer on the bomb. Fascinated by the stately, Old World professor and his kindly wife, Lilo, and deeply attached to Marghie, a cinema-obsessed vegetarian, and to Daniel, an angry counterculture figure, Gabriel spends the summer with the family at their Wisconsin retreat, which yields cherished conversation and understanding. As Gabriel departs to study astrophysics at the University of Chicago, the tempo of Daniel's activism builds, and Marghie begins running a movie house. When the once great professor sinks into senile dementia, Lilo makes a necessary but terrible decision for them all. The editor of Saul Bellow's forthcoming letters, Taylor turns in a smart, humane look at what Gabriel calls the era's 'intergenerational rancor.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Reading The Book of Getting Even is like first encountering Franny and Zooey or Brideshead Revisited. I never expected to feel quite that way about a book again, and this one even disturbed my dreams two nights running, which doesn't happen unless one is in a very heady realm indeed. What a tour de force, and what a pleasure. Benjamin Taylor is a literary magician." Beth Gutcheon, author of Leeway Cottage

Review:

"What a wonderfully unusual and refreshing novel! From the very first page of The Book of Getting Even, you know you're in the hands of a virtuoso of words and an energetic storyteller. Benjamin Taylor's hero, an astronomer-to-be, and his chosen family are flung about mercilessly by history, and their surprising destinies are played out against nothing less than the physical universe itself — from the farthest stars to the creepy things underfoot. This book is a splendid gift for the mind as well as the heart." Lynn Sharon Schwartz, author The Writing on the Wall

Review:

"The Book of Getting Even is beautiful and beguiling. I especially admire Benjamin Taylor's ability to pack so much complex life into such an elegant package. It seems almost miraculous." Peter Cameron, author of Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You

Review:

"An electric, arresting piece of writing, every bit on par with — and every bit as rich as — its brilliant title." Stacy Schiff, author of Vera: Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov

Review:

"The Book of Getting Even is a deeply satisfying novel, elegant and intellectually complex. I could read Benjamin Taylor forever." Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto and What Now?

Review:

"Finding one's true home at the heart of another family is the theme of this eloquent, highly intelligent novel, a kind of love story not often seen, rendered in beautiful sentences flecked with humor and pain, the front-row report of a young man's great good luck." Amy Hempel

Review:

"The Book of Getting Even is among the most original novels I have read in recent years. The story Taylor tells is a romance of brains — brains working well, then tragically giving out. The book is exuberant and charming and heartbroken by turns; indeed, the jaggedness of the ride is one of the things I liked best, along with Taylor's proceeding by ironies. Add to that lyricism, an ear for dialogue, a strong feel for place, and a highly developed dramatic sense and you begin to have an idea of this novelist’s exceptional gift." Philip Roth

Review:

"[A] novel about friendship, loneliness, and the hazards adults encounter as they make their way in the world." Library Journal

Review:

"A beautifully written and keenly intelligent novel...in turn humorous, almost unbearably moving, and comforting." Booklist

About the Author

Benjamin Taylor is the author of the novel Tales Out of School, which won the 1996 Harold Ribalow Prize and is available in paperback from Zoland Books, an imprint of Steerforth Press. He is editor of The Letters of Saul Bellow, scheduled for publication in 2009. His travel memoir, Naples Declared, will be published in 2010.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

jc, May 21, 2008 (view all comments by jc)
This is the most intelligent and most beautifully written novel I have read for years. Philip Roth's comment, on the book's cover, about its originality, is absolutely on target. When I finished the extraordinarily moving final paragraphs I simply turned to the beginning and started to read again. It's a book that should be savored slowly, sentence by gorgeously crafted sentence. In every way, a brilliant work of art.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781586421434
Subtitle:
A Novel
Publisher:
Steerforth
Author:
Taylor, Benjamin
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Jews
Subject:
Young men
Subject:
Family
Subject:
Bildungsromans
Publication Date:
20080520
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
176
Dimensions:
8.8 x 5.6 x .75 in .75 lb

Related Subjects


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The Book of Getting Even
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 176 pages Steerforth Press - English 9781586421434 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this delightful, character-driven coming-of-age novel, Gabriel Geismar grows up in mid — 20th-century New Orleans as the only son of a rabbi, maturing into a brilliant, homosexual mathematician who is out of sync with his father's values. At Swarthmore in 1970, Gabriel meets the twins Daniel and Marghie Hundert, the children of Nobel Prize — winning physicist Gregor Hundert, one of the so-called Hungarian Eight who emigrated to America and worked with Robert Oppenheimer on the bomb. Fascinated by the stately, Old World professor and his kindly wife, Lilo, and deeply attached to Marghie, a cinema-obsessed vegetarian, and to Daniel, an angry counterculture figure, Gabriel spends the summer with the family at their Wisconsin retreat, which yields cherished conversation and understanding. As Gabriel departs to study astrophysics at the University of Chicago, the tempo of Daniel's activism builds, and Marghie begins running a movie house. When the once great professor sinks into senile dementia, Lilo makes a necessary but terrible decision for them all. The editor of Saul Bellow's forthcoming letters, Taylor turns in a smart, humane look at what Gabriel calls the era's 'intergenerational rancor.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Reading The Book of Getting Even is like first encountering Franny and Zooey or Brideshead Revisited. I never expected to feel quite that way about a book again, and this one even disturbed my dreams two nights running, which doesn't happen unless one is in a very heady realm indeed. What a tour de force, and what a pleasure. Benjamin Taylor is a literary magician."
"Review" by , "What a wonderfully unusual and refreshing novel! From the very first page of The Book of Getting Even, you know you're in the hands of a virtuoso of words and an energetic storyteller. Benjamin Taylor's hero, an astronomer-to-be, and his chosen family are flung about mercilessly by history, and their surprising destinies are played out against nothing less than the physical universe itself — from the farthest stars to the creepy things underfoot. This book is a splendid gift for the mind as well as the heart."
"Review" by , "The Book of Getting Even is beautiful and beguiling. I especially admire Benjamin Taylor's ability to pack so much complex life into such an elegant package. It seems almost miraculous."
"Review" by , "An electric, arresting piece of writing, every bit on par with — and every bit as rich as — its brilliant title."
"Review" by , "The Book of Getting Even is a deeply satisfying novel, elegant and intellectually complex. I could read Benjamin Taylor forever."
"Review" by , "Finding one's true home at the heart of another family is the theme of this eloquent, highly intelligent novel, a kind of love story not often seen, rendered in beautiful sentences flecked with humor and pain, the front-row report of a young man's great good luck."
"Review" by , "The Book of Getting Even is among the most original novels I have read in recent years. The story Taylor tells is a romance of brains — brains working well, then tragically giving out. The book is exuberant and charming and heartbroken by turns; indeed, the jaggedness of the ride is one of the things I liked best, along with Taylor's proceeding by ironies. Add to that lyricism, an ear for dialogue, a strong feel for place, and a highly developed dramatic sense and you begin to have an idea of this novelist’s exceptional gift."
"Review" by , "[A] novel about friendship, loneliness, and the hazards adults encounter as they make their way in the world."
"Review" by , "A beautifully written and keenly intelligent novel...in turn humorous, almost unbearably moving, and comforting."
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