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For Kings and Planets

by

For Kings and Planets Cover

 

Awards

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
One of National Public Radio's "Fresh Air's" Top Ten Books of the Year

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the celebrated author of The Palace Thief and Emperor of the Air, comes this stunning novel about the relationship between two very different men. Orno Tarcher travels from a small town in Missouri to New York City to attend Columbia University, where he begins a new life feeling unsophisticated and insecure. He soon strikes up a friendship with Marshall Emerson, a seductive and brilliant New Yorker whose sophistication dazzles Orno. As time passes, Marshall is revealed to be bent on destruction, and Orno's involvment with Marshall's worldly sister further complicates their friendship.

Carefully crafted and skillfully informed by the works of Fitzgerald and Waugh, For Kings and Planets is a remarkable novel. A New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, and Minneapolis Star-Tribune bestseller, and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 1998.

Review:

"To this year's list of outstanding American novels, we must now add Ethan Canin's For Kings and Planets. Never before has Canin been so surehanded a storyteller. Given the achievement of For Kings and Planets, Scott Fitzgerald himself would have been honored by his company. Canin's novel speaks with a hard-earned grace worthy of the master." Newsday

Review:

"Brilliant...richly lyrical...reads at times like an homage to the golden age of American romanticism." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Canin's new novel...will surely please those who are already fans of his work, and it deserves a reading by anyone interested in watching an earnest and gifted young author as he develops his craft....This new book suggests that the short story remains the genre that best exploits his particular gifts as a writer....Although Ethan Canin seems still to be searching for his own artistic character, he is likely to attract an ever-growing readership along the way." Greg Johnson, The Washington Post

Review:

"Canin recognizes that selling out to the devil is old hat as themes go and that the truly interesting version of this story focuses on the pitting of integrity against charisma....To Canin's credit, the love affairs, drinking and one-upmanship of Marshall's set are not the primary charms of the story. Equal time and affection are lavished on describing Orno's academic struggles. A midterm in dental school, where Orno winds up after a less-than-brilliant undergraduate career, is unaccountably riveting....For Kings and Planets is clearly intended as a paean to the beauty of leading an ordinary life. Unfortunately, Orno's sturdiness is so overdrawn that it sometimes feels like a put-on (which, alas, it isn't). Arriving in New York with 'hopes of deeds and glory,' he remembered thinking, 'I am no longer among my own.' Such B-movie lines undercut the novel's force and complexity. Canin pretends that the fate of Orno's soul is up for grabs, when no one — not even the world's biggest hayseed — could mistake which way the wind is blowing. Apparently, the moral of For Kings and Planets is not that nice guys finish first or last, but that they speak in clichés and graduate at the middle of their dental school class." Elizabeth Judd, Salon.com

Review:

"Shimmering....[Canin] has fulfilled the rich promise of his two collections of stories, Emperor of the Air and The Palace Thief. This novel leaves you wounded and healed." Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times

Review:

"[E]legantly rendered....[W]hile the narrative is deft, it isn't terribly deep; many of the characters seeming lurid and unsurprising, and the upheavals predictable. As the story of a dangerous friendship, not on the level of, say, A Separate Peace. But it does feature vigorous prose, a memorably affectionate portrait of Manhattan, and, in Orno, a thoroughly engaging protagonist." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Masterful....A classic parable of the human condition." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Canin's opening line is a great hook: 'Years later, Orno Tarcher would think of his days in New York as a seduction.' However, there is little about the story that follows that will seduce the reader....[T]his novel has so little inside it that rises above cliche." Brad Hooper, Booklist

Review:

"The most mature and accomplished novelist of his generation. For Kings and Planets stands head and shoulders above the crowd." Alan Cheuse, NPR's "All Things Considered"

Review:

"For Kings and Planets is a greedy monster of a novel that swallows up its creator's virtues and leaves only weaknesses on display.....[It has a] discomfort with form: a welter of narrative summary; important characters who exist solely as props for the protagoist; a bland and pedantic narrative voice." Rand Richards Cooper, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"[Orno and Marshall] make this a psychologically intricate and satisfying novel....[Canin's] earlier novel, Blue River, is not his finest work, but with this rich narrative Canin shows he can sustain the longer form. More than that, he triumphs in it." Randall Curb, BookPage

Synopsis:

From the celebrated author of The Palace Thief and Emperor of the Air, comes this stunning novel about the relationship between two very different men. Orno Tarcher travels from a small town in Missouri to New York City to attend Columbia University, where he begins a new life feeling unsophisticated and insecure. He soon strikes up a friendship with Marshall Emerson, a seductive and brilliant New Yorker whose sophistication dazzles Orno. As time passes, Marshall is revealed to be bent on destruction, and Orno's involvment with Marshall's worldly sister further complicates their friendship. Carefully crafted and skillfully informed by the works of Fitzgerald and Waugh, For Kings and Planets is a remarkable novel. A New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, and Minneapolis StarTribune bestseller, and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 1998.

Ethan Canin is the author of Emperor of the Air, Blue River, and The Palace Thief. A physician, he is also on the faculty of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He divides his time between California and Iowa.

A Publishers Weekly Best Book

One of "Fresh Air's" Top Ten Books of the Year

From the celebrated author of The Palace Thief and Emperor of the Air comes this novel about the relationship between two very different men. Orno Tarcher travels from a small town in Missouri to New York City to attend Columbia University, where he begins a new life feeling unsophisticated and insecure. He soon strikes up a friendship with Marshall Emerson, a seductive and brilliant New Yorker whose sophistication dazzles Orno. As time passes, Marshall is revealed to be bent on destruction, and Orno's involvment with Marshall's worldly sister further complicates their friendship. Carefully crafted and skillfully informed by the works of Fitzgerald and Waugh, For Kings and Planets is a remarkable novel.

"Shimmering . . . luminous . . . For Kings and Planets leaves you wounded and healed."Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times

"Breathtaking . . . Moves with a smooth, almost stately assurance . . . Never before has Canin been so sure-handed a storyteller."Dan Cryer, Newsday

"A sympathetic, finely detailed novel evoking the perils of friendship and the necessary pain of self-discovery."Greg Johnson, The Washington Post Book World

"Stands quite beautifully on its own, exploring Canin's provocative take on the themes of Fitzgerald and Wolfe with fully realized characters."David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

"Wide and deep, intelligent, subtle but clear, and profoundly satisfying. A wonderful book by a major American writer."Beth Gutcheon, San Jose Mercury News

"[For Kings and Planets] is made substantial by Canin's gift for describing the secret wonderment of everyday experience, a quality that gives his writing strength and beauty."Mary Gaitskill, Harper's Bazaar

"Classic . . . Ethan Canin is one of those amazing people who, with no apparent effort, turns out one thoughtful, well-crafted book after another."Irene Rawlings, Rocky Mountain News

"Canin establishes his characters seductively and in rewarding depth, with layers of detail and compelling atmosphere."Lindsay Heinsen, Houston Chronicle

About the Author

Ethan Canin lives in Iowa City and San Francisco.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312241254
Author:
Canin, Ethan
Publisher:
Picador USA
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Science fiction
Subject:
New york (n.y.)
Subject:
Fathers and sons
Subject:
Young men
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
New York
Subject:
Male friendship
Subject:
Bildungsromane.
Subject:
Bildungsromans
Copyright:
Edition Number:
2
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
October 1999
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
334
Dimensions:
8.25x5.53x.96 in. .83 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

For Kings and Planets Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 334 pages Libri - English 9780312241254 Reviews:
"Review" by , "To this year's list of outstanding American novels, we must now add Ethan Canin's For Kings and Planets. Never before has Canin been so surehanded a storyteller. Given the achievement of For Kings and Planets, Scott Fitzgerald himself would have been honored by his company. Canin's novel speaks with a hard-earned grace worthy of the master."
"Review" by , "Brilliant...richly lyrical...reads at times like an homage to the golden age of American romanticism."
"Review" by , "Canin's new novel...will surely please those who are already fans of his work, and it deserves a reading by anyone interested in watching an earnest and gifted young author as he develops his craft....This new book suggests that the short story remains the genre that best exploits his particular gifts as a writer....Although Ethan Canin seems still to be searching for his own artistic character, he is likely to attract an ever-growing readership along the way."
"Review" by , "Canin recognizes that selling out to the devil is old hat as themes go and that the truly interesting version of this story focuses on the pitting of integrity against charisma....To Canin's credit, the love affairs, drinking and one-upmanship of Marshall's set are not the primary charms of the story. Equal time and affection are lavished on describing Orno's academic struggles. A midterm in dental school, where Orno winds up after a less-than-brilliant undergraduate career, is unaccountably riveting....For Kings and Planets is clearly intended as a paean to the beauty of leading an ordinary life. Unfortunately, Orno's sturdiness is so overdrawn that it sometimes feels like a put-on (which, alas, it isn't). Arriving in New York with 'hopes of deeds and glory,' he remembered thinking, 'I am no longer among my own.' Such B-movie lines undercut the novel's force and complexity. Canin pretends that the fate of Orno's soul is up for grabs, when no one — not even the world's biggest hayseed — could mistake which way the wind is blowing. Apparently, the moral of For Kings and Planets is not that nice guys finish first or last, but that they speak in clichés and graduate at the middle of their dental school class."
"Review" by , "Shimmering....[Canin] has fulfilled the rich promise of his two collections of stories, Emperor of the Air and The Palace Thief. This novel leaves you wounded and healed."
"Review" by , "[E]legantly rendered....[W]hile the narrative is deft, it isn't terribly deep; many of the characters seeming lurid and unsurprising, and the upheavals predictable. As the story of a dangerous friendship, not on the level of, say, A Separate Peace. But it does feature vigorous prose, a memorably affectionate portrait of Manhattan, and, in Orno, a thoroughly engaging protagonist."
"Review" by , "Masterful....A classic parable of the human condition."
"Review" by , "Canin's opening line is a great hook: 'Years later, Orno Tarcher would think of his days in New York as a seduction.' However, there is little about the story that follows that will seduce the reader....[T]his novel has so little inside it that rises above cliche."
"Review" by , "The most mature and accomplished novelist of his generation. For Kings and Planets stands head and shoulders above the crowd."
"Review" by , "For Kings and Planets is a greedy monster of a novel that swallows up its creator's virtues and leaves only weaknesses on display.....[It has a] discomfort with form: a welter of narrative summary; important characters who exist solely as props for the protagoist; a bland and pedantic narrative voice."
"Review" by , "[Orno and Marshall] make this a psychologically intricate and satisfying novel....[Canin's] earlier novel, Blue River, is not his finest work, but with this rich narrative Canin shows he can sustain the longer form. More than that, he triumphs in it."
"Synopsis" by ,
From the celebrated author of The Palace Thief and Emperor of the Air, comes this stunning novel about the relationship between two very different men. Orno Tarcher travels from a small town in Missouri to New York City to attend Columbia University, where he begins a new life feeling unsophisticated and insecure. He soon strikes up a friendship with Marshall Emerson, a seductive and brilliant New Yorker whose sophistication dazzles Orno. As time passes, Marshall is revealed to be bent on destruction, and Orno's involvment with Marshall's worldly sister further complicates their friendship. Carefully crafted and skillfully informed by the works of Fitzgerald and Waugh, For Kings and Planets is a remarkable novel. A New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, and Minneapolis StarTribune bestseller, and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 1998.

Ethan Canin is the author of Emperor of the Air, Blue River, and The Palace Thief. A physician, he is also on the faculty of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He divides his time between California and Iowa.

A Publishers Weekly Best Book

One of "Fresh Air's" Top Ten Books of the Year

From the celebrated author of The Palace Thief and Emperor of the Air comes this novel about the relationship between two very different men. Orno Tarcher travels from a small town in Missouri to New York City to attend Columbia University, where he begins a new life feeling unsophisticated and insecure. He soon strikes up a friendship with Marshall Emerson, a seductive and brilliant New Yorker whose sophistication dazzles Orno. As time passes, Marshall is revealed to be bent on destruction, and Orno's involvment with Marshall's worldly sister further complicates their friendship. Carefully crafted and skillfully informed by the works of Fitzgerald and Waugh, For Kings and Planets is a remarkable novel.

"Shimmering . . . luminous . . . For Kings and Planets leaves you wounded and healed."Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times

"Breathtaking . . . Moves with a smooth, almost stately assurance . . . Never before has Canin been so sure-handed a storyteller."Dan Cryer, Newsday

"A sympathetic, finely detailed novel evoking the perils of friendship and the necessary pain of self-discovery."Greg Johnson, The Washington Post Book World

"Stands quite beautifully on its own, exploring Canin's provocative take on the themes of Fitzgerald and Wolfe with fully realized characters."David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

"Wide and deep, intelligent, subtle but clear, and profoundly satisfying. A wonderful book by a major American writer."Beth Gutcheon, San Jose Mercury News

"[For Kings and Planets] is made substantial by Canin's gift for describing the secret wonderment of everyday experience, a quality that gives his writing strength and beauty."Mary Gaitskill, Harper's Bazaar

"Classic . . . Ethan Canin is one of those amazing people who, with no apparent effort, turns out one thoughtful, well-crafted book after another."Irene Rawlings, Rocky Mountain News

"Canin establishes his characters seductively and in rewarding depth, with layers of detail and compelling atmosphere."Lindsay Heinsen, Houston Chronicle

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