Master your Minecraft
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    What I'm Giving | December 2, 2014

    Cary Elwes: IMG Cary Elwes: What I'm Giving



    At Powell's, we feel the holidays are the perfect time to share our love of books with those close to us. For this special blog series, we reached... Continue »

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$1.00
Sale Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
5 Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z

Waxwings

by

Waxwings Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"If tackling the giant social novels of Jonathan Franzen or Tom Wolfe makes you wish for a book that isn't quite so full, Waxwings may be just the corrective you're after. Raban captures this exuberant era with striking efficiency. He prods us to consider that we're living in a period that makes us all somehow foreigners, desperate for residency." Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire CSM review)

"The big themes of Waxwings are those abstract notions which have preoccupied Raban the travel writer — nomadism, wandering and dwelling. But the novel also critically examines the ideas that have preoccupied Raban the journalist — the ethics of a society, and self-fashioning in present-day America....Waxwings is in part an exploration of contemporary America's marred relationship with its habitat." Robert Macfarlane, Times Literary Supplement (read the entire Times Literary Supplement review)

Synopses & Reviews

From Powells.com:

Jonathan Raban, a British expat living in Seattle, won a round-up of awards, including the National Book Award for Bad Land, his eloquent depiction of the homestead rush in Montana and the Dakotas. His next book, Passage to Juneau, was hailed in both England and America as one of the most original and poignant histories of the Inside Passage along the Alaskan coast. Now, in Waxwings, his first novel since 1985, Raban retains his themes of place and exile. Chronicling the end of the dot-com boom, Raban details the rather asymmetrical experiences of two immigrants in Seattle at the end of the twentieth century, one firmly cushioned in his life as a writing professor and oblivious to his dissolving marriage, the other recently smuggled in from China on a cargo ship. Raban's characters are marvelous, complex, and realistic, and his prose is graceful and clear. Kirkus Reviews sums up succinctly: "[Waxwings] may be one of the best accounts ever written of an American era." Jill, Powells.com

From Powells.com:

Jonathan Raban, a British expat living in Seattle, won a round-up of awards, including the National Book Award for Bad Land, his eloquent depiction of the homestead rush in Montana and the Dakotas. His next book, Passage to Juneau, was hailed in both England and America as one of the most original and poignant histories of the Inside Passage along the Alaskan coast. Now, in Waxwings, his first novel since 1985, Raban retains his themes of place and exile. Chronicling the end of the dot-com boom, Raban details the rather asymmetrical experiences of two immigrants in Seattle at the end of the twentieth century, one firmly cushioned in his life as a writing professor and oblivious to his dissolving marriage, the other recently smuggled in from China on a cargo ship. Raban's characters are marvelous, complex, and realistic, and his prose is graceful and clear. Kirkus Reviews sums up succinctly: "[Waxwings] may be one of the best accounts ever written of an American era." Jill, Powells.com

Publisher Comments:

From the best-selling author of Passage to Juneau—“Raban at his best,” wrote Ian McEwan—an unsettling, tender, and always surprising novel set in Seattle at the turn of the millennium, when the high-tech Gold Rush threatens to overwhelm the actual world with its myriad virtual alternatives.

Two immigrants, though, are drawn here by more traditional versions of the American Dream. For Tom Janeway—a Hungarian-born Englishman—it is the wife and son he thought he’d never have. For an illegal alien—Chick, as he comes to call himself—it is the land of opportunity he’d imagined back in Fujian province. Given the overheated service economy, mutual need introduces the writer–professor–NPR-commentator to this enterprising handyman, and each soon finds himself strangely dependent on the other. Because meanwhile, all around them, people are busily charting futures that are obscure to, or exclude, anyone else.

Waxwings masterfully depicts the social realities of a boomtown in flux, as well as the illusions that distract its inhabitants from the most basic human impulse: to create a place we can call home. This is what Chick dreams of achieving, and what Tom must suddenly struggle to preserve. As the NASDAQ index spirals upward, street riots break out, a terrorist is arrested, a child disappears, a jetliner goes down—and the city, rimmed with feral countryside, begins to emerge in its true colors.

The Washington Post proclaimed of Foreign Land that “Jonathan Raban’s achievements in this novel are nothing short of awesome,” and with Waxwings—exquisitely written and hugely entertaining—he demonstrates more powerfully than ever before that he “invests his characters with such freshness and warmth, writes prose of such Wordsworth-like beauty, and does it all with such effortless mastery that he takes the reader’s breath away.”

Review:

"[A] witty account of America at the turn of the millennium....Sharper (and a lot faster) than The Bonfire of the Vanities, may well be one of the best accounts ever written of an American era." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[An] inspired jumble of a novel....[A] wry paean to the cluttered, freewheeling lives led by the motley residents of an immigrant nation." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Raban is a canny writer, and not one to let his characters be swamped by 'ideas.' Nevertheless he's concerned with notions of migration and exile....[A]generous, affirming novel..." Geoff Nicholson, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"The appearance of a new book by Jonathan Raban is a bit like the arrival of an unheralded comet. The heavens gently part and suddenly, here in orbit, shimmering with novelty, is a distinguished newcomer from an unimagined world." Michael Thompson-Noel, Financial Times

Review:

"Waxwings succeeds as a sharply observed satire of the Internet boom and as a bittersweet meditation on the American dream but is somewhat less successful as a Dickensian portrait of Seattle. Recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"As devotees of his travel writing will know, Raban is good at people....His views, ironic and humane, are always acute; always illuminating. His prose — agile, musky, particular — is a treasure." Colin Greenland, The Guardian (UK)

About the Author

The author of ten previous books, Jonathan Raban was born in England and since 1990 has lived in Seattle. His honors include the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Heinemann Award of the Royal Society of Literature, the PEN/West Creative Nonfiction Award, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers? Award, and the Governor?s Award of the State of Washington.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Wendy in Port Townsend, September 13, 2011 (view all comments by Wendy in Port Townsend)
Having recently moved to the Pacific Northwest, one way I'm learning about my new surroundings is through literature. Waxwings is a joyful and painful book that tells the tale of one moment in Seattle's recent history. Jonathan Raban moved from England to settle in Seattle, and his description of the dot-com boom and the perspective of two immigrants is fascinating. The flawed characters and the details about Seattle's neighborhoods are very real, and the interwoven elements of the plot and relationships among the characters are hilarious.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375410086
Author:
Raban, Jonathan
Publisher:
Random House
Author:
Raban, Jonathan
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Authors
Subject:
British
Subject:
Immigrants
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Humorous fiction
Subject:
Illegal aliens
Subject:
Seattle
Subject:
Repairing trades.
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st American ed.
Series Volume:
[PR 1366]
Publication Date:
September 30, 2003
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9.48x6.58x1.03 in. 1.29 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. Our Lady of the Forest Used Trade Paper $3.95
  2. Peace Like a River
    Used Trade Paper $4.95
  3. The Jane Austen Book Club
    Used Trade Paper $4.50
  4. Lost Used Trade Paper $3.50
  5. White Doves at Morning Used Mass Market $5.50
  6. The Body Artist
    Used Trade Paper $1.95

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Waxwings Sale Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$1.00 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Pantheon Books - English 9780375410086 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "If tackling the giant social novels of Jonathan Franzen or Tom Wolfe makes you wish for a book that isn't quite so full, Waxwings may be just the corrective you're after. Raban captures this exuberant era with striking efficiency. He prods us to consider that we're living in a period that makes us all somehow foreigners, desperate for residency." (read the entire CSM review)
"Review A Day" by , "The big themes of Waxwings are those abstract notions which have preoccupied Raban the travel writer — nomadism, wandering and dwelling. But the novel also critically examines the ideas that have preoccupied Raban the journalist — the ethics of a society, and self-fashioning in present-day America....Waxwings is in part an exploration of contemporary America's marred relationship with its habitat." (read the entire Times Literary Supplement review)
"Review" by , "[A] witty account of America at the turn of the millennium....Sharper (and a lot faster) than The Bonfire of the Vanities, may well be one of the best accounts ever written of an American era."
"Review" by , "[An] inspired jumble of a novel....[A] wry paean to the cluttered, freewheeling lives led by the motley residents of an immigrant nation."
"Review" by , "Raban is a canny writer, and not one to let his characters be swamped by 'ideas.' Nevertheless he's concerned with notions of migration and exile....[A]generous, affirming novel..."
"Review" by , "The appearance of a new book by Jonathan Raban is a bit like the arrival of an unheralded comet. The heavens gently part and suddenly, here in orbit, shimmering with novelty, is a distinguished newcomer from an unimagined world."
"Review" by , "Waxwings succeeds as a sharply observed satire of the Internet boom and as a bittersweet meditation on the American dream but is somewhat less successful as a Dickensian portrait of Seattle. Recommended."
"Review" by , "As devotees of his travel writing will know, Raban is good at people....His views, ironic and humane, are always acute; always illuminating. His prose — agile, musky, particular — is a treasure."
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.