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Raptureby Susan Minot
Synopses & Reviews
Susan Minot's audacious new novel builds on the achievement of Monkeys and the bestselling Evening to explore the multiple nuances of a single sexual act.
The setting is a New York apartment where two long-estranged lovers try to resuscitate their passion. Kate is old enough to be skeptical about men — this man in particular — but still alert to the possibility of the big romance. Benjamin is a filmmaker with an appealing waywardness and a conveniently disappearing fiancee. As Minot deftly interweaves their disparate memories and sensations, Rapture becomes a brilliant, disquieting meditation on the power of sex: to exalt or deceive, to bring two people together or make them terrifyingly aware of their loneliness. Honest and unflinching, the result is a hypnotic reading experience.
"Minot has a great ear for the callow way people talk, scrupulously mimicking their groping thoughts and at times making a poetry of their inarticulateness." Publishers Weekly
"Minot reaches a new level in her career....Brimming with stylistic and emotional intelligence." San Francisco Chronicle
"A loose and discursive novella by Minot, who manages here to ramble on a pretty good ways in remarkably few pages." Kirkus Reviews
"Sex and the single girl have seldom been absent from Susan Minot's fiction. Her second collection, let's recall, was titled Lust & Other Stories (1989), and even her 1992 period piece, Folly, included the odd glimpse of Edwardian canoodling. Still, Minot has raised the erotic ante with Rapture, structuring this short novel around a single act of fellatio....Rapture, in fact, would make an excellent argument for abstinence, were it not for the genuine allure of Minot's prose. Her ruminations on modern romance have an old-fashioned glow to them, while the graphic bits manage to evoke James Salter's sublimely lyrical French postcard, A Sport and a Pastime. And despite her half-ironic title, sex in Minot's fiction is at least a temporary sacrament?and anything but safe." James Marcus, The Atlantic (read the entire Atlantic Montly review)
"Rapture is a provacative and sensuous novella, a 114-page literary flourish...[Minot's] language has a muscular swagger uncommon in fiction by women, and her characters have peculiar opacities more typical of novels of another era. What makes Rapture utterly contemporary is the absence of true romance at its cold, cold heart." Vogue
"A disconcerting examination of love and war between the sexes." The New Yorker
"Minot's story...is timeless, and she makes you feel its pure, raw ache....Rapture is erotic, but more: it's romantic in the true sense of the word." Miami Herald
"Explores a tragic irony of love and sex: how one partner can reach the heights of devotion at the very instant the other is dumped into the pits of despair." Time Out New York
"Mesmerizing...provocative." Harpe's Bazaar
"In Minot's writing, one is often reminded of Henry James. Like James, she pursues the filaments of emotion that almost escape language....Minot's writing [is] beautiful, evocative, and self-assured." O, The Oprah Magazine
"A splendid piece of narrative sleight-of-hand...that further confirms Minot's place among our finest novelists." Minneapolis Star Tribune
"I would challenge any reader to read this and not find moments of gut-wrenching truth, as if Minot had looked straight into each of our hearts." The Providence Journal
"In language simultaneously rich and spare....[Rapture] has a muscular swagger uncommon in fiction by women." Vogue
"Minot takes an insightful, intelligent, humorous look at the tangled mess of modern love." The Toronto Star
"[Minot] draws the reader in with subtle strokes of mood and atmosphere and with her ability to express so much in so few words." The Oakland Press
"You get the sense that Minot has lived every moment, spoken every syllable, felt every emotion. The weird thing is: so have you." The Baltimore City Paper
Minot's audacious new novel builds on the achievement of Monkeys and the bestselling Evening to explore the multiple nuances of a single sexual act. Honest and unflinching, the result is a hypnotic reading experience.
The setting is a New York apartment where two long-estranged lovers try to resuscitate their passion. Kay is old enough to be skeptical about men-this man in particular-but still alert to the possibility of true love. Benjamin is a filmmaker with an appealing waywardness and a conveniently disappearing fiancée. As the two lie entwined in bed, Susan Minot ushers readers across an entire landscape of memory and sensation to reveal the infinite nuances of sex: its power to exalt and deceive, to connect two separate selves or make them fully aware of their solitude. Honest and unflinching, the result is a hypnotic reading experience.
About the Author
Susan Minot lives in New York City and Maine.
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