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Crossing California

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Crossing California Cover

ISBN13: 9781594480812
ISBN10: 1594480818
Condition: Standard
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Review-A-Day

"[A] wickedly witty novel. [Langer]'s so good at social satire that it draws him away from what he does even better: the tender portrayal of smart, lonely people struggling to cobble together some meaning. But if the fireworks in this debut drown each other out now and then, they're launched from a storehouse of creative energy that's sure to keep dazzling us for a long time." Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire Christian Science Monitor review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Set in Chicago's Jewish neighborhood of West Rogers Park, this is the story of three families — adults and children alike — coming of age during the tumultuous, turbulent days of the Iran hostage crisis. At the close of the 1970s, the Rovners, the Wasserstroms, and the Wills-Silvermans will have to shed their pasts to cross into that new, shining decade of hope: the 80s.

Review:

"[A] brilliant debut....[Langer's] steely humanism balances the corruptions of ego against an appreciation of the energies of its schemes, putting him firmly in the tradition of such Chicago writers as Bellow and Dybek." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Langer's gift is for layering each page with an almost obsessive level of detail...without ever subsuming the characters, who shine brightly as they rocket into the 1980s. Of epic scope, yet intimate in its accomplishments." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"In his ambitious, irresistible debut, Langer packs in more hilarious and agonizing moments than most writers manage in a lifetime. (Grade: A)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"[F]unny, hyperdetailed, super-sized....Although Langer may have aimed for Philip Roth and landed, instead, beside David Sedaris, his novel is smart, affectionate, and uproariously entertaining." Booklist

Review:

"The novel's themes prove that [Langer] is a writer with a large vision, but all too often Crossing California tries to be a big novel rather than simply being one." Washington Post Book World

Review:

"Like Salinger, Langer captures the sensations and speech of adolescents with consummate skill....Langer's prose soars as he nails down his characters' concerns with a precision that simply stuns....Crossing California is unforgettable." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Review:

"I can think of no other book that so captures the experience of being young just as Reaganism dawned....Langer has taken his astonishing wealth of memory and research and used it to create a whole roster of comic, heartbreaking, convincing characters." Newsday

Review:

"Adam Langer achieves so much in this book....Crossing California is serious and heartfelt; it is also laugh-out-loud funny. Langer has created a tender blend of compassion, amusement and devotion." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Giving [the characters] up — closing the book and breaking the spell — is the worst part of this engrossing debut novel." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"Much about Crossing California is delightful and knowing....In the end, however, too little happens to too many people, and the book is too long to rest on atmosphere alone." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"No special tools are needed to decipher the book's universally appealing themes of growing up, looking for love, and finding one's identity, expressed here with empathy, wit, and irony." School Library Journal

Synopsis:

Poignant, ambitious, and tremendously fun, this bestselling discovery of the season is a novel about two generations of family and friendship in Chicago from November 1979 through January 1981.

About the Author

Adam Langer has been a senior editor of Book magazine and a recipient of a prestigious National Arts Journalism fellowship at Columbia University. He has worked extensively as a print journalist, film producer, and playwright and has been featured on NPR, CNN Headline News, Fox News, and E! Entertainment Television. Crossing California is his first novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

hachlong, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by hachlong)
The title is a reference to California Avenue in Chicago, not California the state. Anyone who's familiar with Chicago, especially the West Rogers Park neighborhood, will recognize a lot of familiar names and places. Why I love this book: first, it's hilarious. Second, it's a growing-up story, and I'm a big fan of those when they're well done (like this one). Third, the characters seem so real you start hoping you'll run into Muley on the street. Fourth, it gives you an impression of what Chicago was like in the late seventies/early eighties. And fifth, it's such a great read that you long for a sequel...and it turns out that Langer wrote one (called "The Washington Story"--again, geographically misleading, because it's not about Washington State or Washington DC).
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jonbonjenny16, August 30, 2006 (view all comments by jonbonjenny16)
oh my gosh.. i am 17 years old and i was browsing through the book store one day... and i saw this book.. i picked it up bought it and fell in love with it its an awesome book with so much about young people . its odd because alot of the feelings they seemed to have related to alot of what young people still go through.. ita an amazing read.. A +++ book
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781594480812
Author:
Langer, Adam
Publisher:
Riverhead Trade
Subject:
General
Subject:
Jews
Subject:
Jewish families
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Historical fiction
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st paperback ed.
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Publication Date:
April 2005
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
512
Dimensions:
8.14x5.08x1.09 in. .84 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

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

Crossing California Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 512 pages Riverhead Books - English 9781594480812 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "[A] wickedly witty novel. [Langer]'s so good at social satire that it draws him away from what he does even better: the tender portrayal of smart, lonely people struggling to cobble together some meaning. But if the fireworks in this debut drown each other out now and then, they're launched from a storehouse of creative energy that's sure to keep dazzling us for a long time." (read the entire Christian Science Monitor review)
"Review" by , "[A] brilliant debut....[Langer's] steely humanism balances the corruptions of ego against an appreciation of the energies of its schemes, putting him firmly in the tradition of such Chicago writers as Bellow and Dybek."
"Review" by , "Langer's gift is for layering each page with an almost obsessive level of detail...without ever subsuming the characters, who shine brightly as they rocket into the 1980s. Of epic scope, yet intimate in its accomplishments."
"Review" by , "In his ambitious, irresistible debut, Langer packs in more hilarious and agonizing moments than most writers manage in a lifetime. (Grade: A)"
"Review" by , "[F]unny, hyperdetailed, super-sized....Although Langer may have aimed for Philip Roth and landed, instead, beside David Sedaris, his novel is smart, affectionate, and uproariously entertaining."
"Review" by , "The novel's themes prove that [Langer] is a writer with a large vision, but all too often Crossing California tries to be a big novel rather than simply being one."
"Review" by , "Like Salinger, Langer captures the sensations and speech of adolescents with consummate skill....Langer's prose soars as he nails down his characters' concerns with a precision that simply stuns....Crossing California is unforgettable."
"Review" by , "I can think of no other book that so captures the experience of being young just as Reaganism dawned....Langer has taken his astonishing wealth of memory and research and used it to create a whole roster of comic, heartbreaking, convincing characters."
"Review" by , "Adam Langer achieves so much in this book....Crossing California is serious and heartfelt; it is also laugh-out-loud funny. Langer has created a tender blend of compassion, amusement and devotion."
"Review" by , "Giving [the characters] up — closing the book and breaking the spell — is the worst part of this engrossing debut novel."
"Review" by , "Much about Crossing California is delightful and knowing....In the end, however, too little happens to too many people, and the book is too long to rest on atmosphere alone."
"Review" by , "No special tools are needed to decipher the book's universally appealing themes of growing up, looking for love, and finding one's identity, expressed here with empathy, wit, and irony."
"Synopsis" by , Poignant, ambitious, and tremendously fun, this bestselling discovery of the season is a novel about two generations of family and friendship in Chicago from November 1979 through January 1981.
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