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Dancer

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Katemacetak, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Katemacetak)
I completely fell in love with the book, with Colum McCann, and with Rudolf Nureyev after I read this. I picked it up in the first place because I was curious about Nureyev but too lazy to read nonfiction, but that was mere mild interest compared to what came after I finished this book. McCann's writing style inspired me as well, too. He has an amazing ability to write from multiple character's points of view.
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Jennifer Northington, January 29, 2007 (view all comments by Jennifer Northington)
The language itself is a dance, leaping from one narrator to the next, from correspondence to notes to lottery auctions and back to narrative again. dancer burns its images into your brain, both beautiful and sordid. After reading this and ZOLI, Colum McCann is my new go-to author.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780312423186
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
McCann, Colum
Publisher:
Picador
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Russia
Subject:
Ballet dancers
Subject:
Biographical fiction
Subject:
Male dancers.
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
FIC041000
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Sports
Subject:
Biographical
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
108-405
Publication Date:
20040201
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
5 1/2 x 8 1/4

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Dancer Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Picador USA - English 9780312423186 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Faithfully capturing the pathos and grim poverty of the Soviet Union at mid-century, McCann also reveals a splashy tabloid affinity for the excesses and effects of fame and notoriety. Though the focus here is narrower than that of McCann's previous works, the novel is a lovely showcase for his fluid prose and storytelling skill."
"Review" by , "Both the Soviet Union of the war-torn 1940s and the displacement and hopefulness of an exile's life are perfectly evoked, and Nureyev — impossible, erratic, and brilliant — is a golden flame that sets everything ablaze."
"Review" by , "Only a novelist as deep, intelligent, and intuitive as Colum McCann could have written such a book. "
"Review" by , "Reading Dancer is like awakening a ghost ? a painfully beautiful ghost of a life that is more than a life ? a symbol of the hope and the hunger of our times."
"Review" by , "It is not Nureyev himself that concerns McCann as a novelist but the impact that one person can have on the lives of others. In fiction, as in life, the story of an individual is created from the stories told by those he has touched."
"Review" by , "McCann has taken genuine risks. At every turn he has risen grandly to the occasion."
"Review" by , "McCann dances Nureyev alive again..."
"Review" by , "McCann, with utterly self-assured prose and a wealth of perfectly placed detail, has breathed life into every anecdote and each pirouette."
"Review" by , "Dancer is bigger than the dance, bigger than biography, too, its flights of fancy and poignancy beautifully showcased in McCann's satisfying and touching conclusion."
"Review" by , "In his sensitivity and understanding McCann moves beyond the often clunky historical novel form to true literature."
"Review" by , "Dancer is rich with voices and characters who orbit one sun: Nureyev.... Each description is an exquisite solo performance that both reveals and obscures Nureyev's fierce personality.... McCann displays a dazzling, inventive talent."
"Review" by , "Dancer may well bring readers closer to the real Nureyev than any other book to date."
"Review" by , "McCann has done an awesome amount of homework, not merely about the backstage world of ballet but also about a long list of other Nureyev-related topics ranging from life in wartime Russia to how one picks up men in gay bathhouses."
"Review" by , "The goal of a book like this is to catch the spirit of the person and his age. It's a tall order, and one that Dancer pulls off brilliantly."
"Review" by , "It is glorious in every way, a gift of language to be savored."
"Review" by , "In the fictional reimagining of Dancer, McCann's fluid lyricism brilliantly conveys Nureyev's towering professional achievement and the wasteland of his personal life....Above all, the novel is a triumph of voice."
"Review" by , "A beautiful, floating novel about Nureyev's life and art."
"Review" by , "A monumental life...Stylistically, Dancer is a leap itself."
"Review" by , "The goal of a book like this is to catch the spirit of the person and his age. It's a tall order, and one that Dancer pulls off brilliantly."
"Synopsis" by , Taking his inspiration from the biographical facts of Rudolf Nureyev's life, McCann tells the story of a famous dancer through a chorus of voices. Spanning four decades and many worlds, Dancer is peopled by a large cast of characters, obscure and famous. The result is a monumental story of love, art, and exile.
"Synopsis" by ,
Taking his inspiration from biographical facts, novelist Colum McCann tells the erotically charged story of the Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev through the cast of those who knew him: there is Anna Vasileva, Rudi's first ballet teacher, who rescues her protégé from the stunted life of his provincial town; Yulia, whose sexual and artistic ambitions are thwarted by her Soviet-sanctioned marriage; and Victor, the Venezuelan street hustler, who reveals the lurid underside of the gay celebrity set. Spanning four decades and many worlds, from the horrors of the Second World War to the wild abandon of New York in the eighties, Dancer is peopled by a large cast of characters, obscure and famous: doormen and shoemakers, nurses and translators, Margot Fonteyn, Eric Bruhn and John Lennon. And at the heart of the spectacle stands the artist himself, willful, lustful, and driven by a never-to-be-met need for perfection.

Colum McCann is the author of the novels This Side of Brightness and Songdogs, as well as the story collections Everything in This Country Must and Fishing the Sloe-Black River. A contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, and GQ, he has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, the Rooney Prize, the Hennessy Award, the 2002 Princess Grace Memorial Literary Award, as well as being nominated as finalist to the IMPAC Prize. Born in Dublin, Ireland, he currently lives with his wife and children in New York City.

A Russian peasant who became an international legend, a Cold War exile who inspired the adoration of millions, an artist whose name was a byword for genius, sex, and excess. The magnificence of Rudolf Nureyev's life and work is known, but now Colum McCann, in his most ambitious and daring novel to date, reinvents this erotically charged figure through the light he shed on the lives of those who knew him.

Boldly embellishing the biographical facts, McCann tells the story through a chorus of voices. There is Anna Vasileva, Rudi's first ballet teacher, who, banished from St. Petersburg, rescues her preternaturally talented protégé from the stunted life of his town; Yulia, whose sexual and artistic ambitions are thwarted by her Soviet-sanctioned marriage; Victor, a decadent Venezuelan, who revels in the hedonism of the gay celebrity set; Odile, the legendary cook, who finds love at middle age while feeding the great and their hangers-on. Spanning four decades and many worlds, from the killing fields of World War II to the wild abandon of New York's gaudy eighties, Dancer is peopled by a large cast of characters, obscure and famous, real and imagined. Shoemakers, nurses, translators, and hustlers take the stage alongside Margot Fonteyn, Erik Bruhn, and Andy Warhol. At the heart of this lavish spectacle stands the artist himself, willful, lustful, ambitious, and driven by a never-to-be-met need for perfection.

Writing in ecstatic prose, as if inhabited by the spirit of his extraordinary subject, Colum McCann evokes the distinct consciousness of the man and the glittering reflection of the myth. The result is a monumental twentieth-century story of love, art, fame, and exile.

"Exuberant and exhilarating . . . A brilliant leap of imagination."—San Francisco Chronicle

"The goal of a book like this is to catch the spirit of the person and his age. It's a tall order, and one that Dancer pulls off brilliantly."—The Seattle Times

"A beautiful, floating novel about Nureyev's life and art."—The New York Times Book Review

"Fascinating . . . A triumph of voice . . . McCann's fluid lyricism brilliantly conveys Nureyev's towering professional achievement and the wasteland of his personal life."—Newsday

"Breathtaking . . . Every sentence sounds new and beautiful, no matter how often it's read."—USA Today

"McCann writes as if the fate of the world depends on it. Worry not, the world is saved: Dancer is a masterpiece."—Aleksandar Hemon, author of Nowhere Man

"Nureyev took a leap from Soviet Russia to Paris and the postwar New York of Andy Warhol—a vertiginous leap. The reader follows, entering lives lived at the opposite poles of human experience and feeling, as in childhood, the extraordinary and terrible largeness of the world: blood and dancing, massive choirs and solitary monologues. Colum McCann is a precise and uncanny listener. And so an unforgettable storyteller."—John Berger, author of The Shape of a Packet

"Dancer has the wingspan of a great Russian novel, which is only fitting for an imagined life of Rudolf Nureyev. This is the book you'll want to take on a long plane ride; you'll be so seduced you'll sip the wine and eschew the dinner. And you'll admire Colum McCann for taking big chances—war, Russia, ballet, life in three continents, the pursuit of beauty. The writing issues from a knowing and compassionate heart: hard, when necessary, as the frozen ground of wartime Leningrad; supple and liturgical as Nureyev raising Fonteyn to heaven."—Frank McCourt, author of 'Tis

"Dazzling . . . an intimate portrait . . . Dancer is bigger than the dance, bigger than biography, too. . . . Relish McCann's dizzy, fascinating glimpse."—The Miami Herald

"Rudolf Nureyev was an extremely complex person, yet Colum McCann has admirably captured the essence of this great man."—Maria Tallchief, prima ballerina

"An engrossing portrait of a man so complex that no mere biography could possibly convey more than a sliver of his personality . . . The Nureyev who strides impatiently through its pages seems entirely convincing." —Terry Teachout, The Baltimore Sun

"I finished Dancer several days ago and am still spinning. This is a beautiful book, layered with all the nuance and sweat and disciple that accompanied Nureyev's genius. In the purity of the storytelling, in its flawless narrative construction, this is prose that is itself a dance."—Jeffrey Lent, author of Lost Nation

"McCann is a consummate stylist who nonetheless imbues his fiction with the cold stamp of reality."—The Boston Globe

"An impressive evocation of life on three continents in the last half of the twentieth century . . . McCann's talent lies in imagining a life staged so publicly by creating the intimate lives and stories of those only watching from the wings."—Houston Chronicle

"Colum McCann has written a most generous book. Compassionate and at the same time restrained in all the best ways, Dancer is suffused with both energy and grief, liberation and loss."—Anne Michaels, author hFugitive Pieces

"Remarkable: What McCann imagines so beautifully is the way a hero walks through life somewhat differently from the rest of us, the mere breeze of his passing setting off a thousand ripples of change, both good and bad."—Salon.com

"The melancholy, sparkle, sinew and temperament of Dancer are as great as its hero's. Colum McCann's lyrically powerful prose creates, expands, and reveals life upon life, making truth out of myth and heart out of history."—Amy Bloom, author of A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You

"A vibrant, imaginative patchwork of a novel . . . a lovely showcase for McCann's fluid prose and storytelling skill."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Synopsis" by ,
Taking his inspiration from biographical facts, novelist Colum McCann tells the erotically charged story of the Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev through the cast of those who knew him: there is Anna Vasileva, Rudi's first ballet teacher, who rescues her protégé from the stunted life of his provincial town; Yulia, whose sexual and artistic ambitions are thwarted by her Soviet-sanctioned marriage; and Victor, the Venezuelan street hustler, who reveals the lurid underside of the gay celebrity set. Spanning four decades and many worlds, from the horrors of the Second World War to the wild abandon of New York in the eighties, Dancer is peopled by a large cast of characters, obscure and famous: doormen and shoemakers, nurses and translators, Margot Fonteyn, Eric Bruhn and John Lennon. And at the heart of the spectacle stands the artist himself, willful, lustful, and driven by a never-to-be-met need for perfection.

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