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Original Essays | September 4, 2014

Edward E. Baptist: IMG The Two Bodies of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism

My new book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, is the story of two bodies. The first body was the new... Continue »
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The Lovely Bones: Deluxe Edition


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JMehlhoff, December 2, 2011 (view all comments by JMehlhoff)
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is a wonderful novel to read. When you first read this novel you may not understand what happened or why some things happen. Reading the detail in the book at first might have you a bit disgusted, but you are glad Alice Sebold described to you as she did. On to the actual book, Susie Salmon, yes like the fish, is a girl that was murdered at fourteen years of age in a little town in Connecticut. Susie has one sister, Lindsey, and one brother, Buckley; being the oldest of her siblings she has the most responsibilities. Walking home one day from school is when the tragedy of her death happened, she was returning a bit late and decided to take a shortcut through a cornfield; little did she know that would be her last few moments on Earth.
After being murdered her family faces many hardships, the children do not want to even acknowledge that their sister will never be returning home to them. Susie, who is now in heaven, can still see everything that happens on Earth. She witnesses her family growing up and changing without her. Everything from the police looking for her to what her murderer was doing in the comfort of his house. The Christmas after her death a lot happened to the family, they told Buckley her sister would not be returning, Lindsey started to have a relationship with a fellow classmate, and their grandma came into town and gave everybody tips like she usually does. Her sister, who nothing bad has happened to, led the “perfect” life that her sister would have loved to experience. In later years, Lindsey made the boys varsity soccer team and was a better player then most of the boys themselves. The police still have no idea who killed her and how it happened; all they have is her elbow that a neighborhood dog found in the cornfield.
Without a doubt Alice Sebold wrote an excellent novel. This book portrays what seems to happen in everyday life in some part of the world. For anybody seeking a romantic horror genre novel this would be the book for them.
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cimmydavey, December 2, 2011 (view all comments by cimmydavey)
Susie was just a 14-year old girl that lived a normal life and had a normal family. She went to school got good grades and had a love. She was popular, had many friends and two best friends. She had a sister and brother, which she cared for deeply. One day though Susie just takes the wrong path to get back home and ends up being raped and killed. Susie has to “live” with the struggle of her family from her death as she’s in heaven. She does make friends in heaven and watches over her family everyday to see how they are doing. Her family struggles and finds more about the murderer and who did it. Susie then has to let go in a special way and so does her family. I felt that The Lovely Bones was an okay book. But, the book dragged along. There was no excitement or thrill it was bland and not enjoyful. I enjoy books that are thrilling which I thoroughly thought that this book would’ve been because it was about modern day events and a mystery. The Lovely Bones was one of the books you think would be good and it ends up just being boring a lot of the time. This book just needed more events and interesting sub-plots because the ongoing in depth reading of it took away from what was actually happening in the book. The Lovely Bones I believe was worse than the movie because in the movie there’s more action and in this book it just doesn’t happen. This book was definitely only okay just because of the fact that it didn’t catch my attention as I read further. I was disappointed and was expecting a lot of potential and totally got saddened. The plot was wavering and it made me want to stop reading. But don’t get me wrong there was still a lot of very interesting events. Just I think they should’ve carried those interesting events on not just drop them out and make us forget about them. All in all The Lovely Bones is a good read for people that don’t care for really thrilling books. Otherwise, if you like thrilling books this most likely shouldn’t be your first choice. Somtimes there's things you don't expect to happen.
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jessgates, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by jessgates)
I am not very good with book reviews, but I was so moved by the telling of how a dead girl manages to "come of age." The framework is horrific and tragic. I read this book before I had children of my own but it still managed to strike a chord with me. I found myself between sympathy for how failed and human everyone is and a maternal drive to somehow protect the characters in the novel. I generally avoid books that could be seen as depressing for the sake of art, but this was a beautiful telling of layers of grief and the grieving process, satisfaction, growth and the muddy mess that is life.
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tabber53, February 14, 2008 (view all comments by tabber53)
This book is a stunner.

I particularly relate to her conception of heaven and the nearly imperceptible nudges of the residents to those of us still on Earth.
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(1 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
anvant, November 7, 2007 (view all comments by anvant)
I was amazed that such a topic could grab such a hold on me. I was on vacation when I read this and I could not put the book down. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. It was incredibly well written. It even managed to have me in tears at times.

I have reccomended it already to numerous people. This book is a must read.

This book is for all the children that didn't get to tell their story.
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(7 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

Sebold, Alice
Back Bay Books
Teenage girls
Crimes against
Domestic fiction
Psychological fiction
Literature-A to Z
General Fiction
Teenage girls; Rape-murders; Family tragedy; Grief; Loss; First loves; Life changes; Hope
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
8.52x5.35x1.02 in. .73 lbs.

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Lovely Bones: Deluxe Edition New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.99 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Back Bay Books - English 9780316001823 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

By the time The Lovely Bones landed on bookstore shelves it had become the most highly anticipated book of the season. Then came the astonishingly enthusiastic critical response. Within two months, a million copies were in print. Still, readers encountering a simple plot summary might be tempted to turn away. Newspapers offer enough tragedy these days; do we really have time and energy for dark, tragic fiction? Consider those apprehensions dismissed: Sebold's debut fiction is an unflinching, graceful gift of a novel, an invigorating, expansive work of storytelling that should not work, but magically does.

"Review" by , "Sebold has given us a fantasy-fable of great authority, charm, and daring. She's a one-of-a-kind writer."
"Review" by , "[A] keenly observed portrait of familial love....[A] deeply affecting meditation on the ways in which terrible pain and loss can be redeemed through love and acceptance."
"Review" by , "[P]ainfully funny, terribly sad, it is a feat of imagination and a tribute to the healing power of grief."
"Review" by , "Almost everything that makes The Lovely Bones the breakout fiction debut of the year — the sweetness, the humor, the kicky rhythm, the deadpan suburban gothic — is...packed into [the] first two lines, under pressure and waiting to explode....Sebold...imagines the unimaginable and in doing so reminds us that...missing girls aren't just tabloid icons or martyred innocents but real human beings..."
"Synopsis" by , Alice Sebold's luminous first novel — one of the most celebrated literary debuts of recent seasons — that builds out of a family's grief the most hopeful and joyful of stories.
"Synopsis" by , Sebolds mesmerizing and luminous first novel--a #1 national bestseller--builds a tale filled with hope, humor, suspense, and even joy, following an unspeakable tragedy.
"Synopsis" by , This deluxe trade paperback edition of Alice Sebold's modern classic features French flaps and rough-cut pages.

Once in a generation a novel comes along that taps a vein of universal human experience, resonating with readers of all ages. The Lovely Bones is such a book - a phenomenal #1 bestseller celebrated at once for its narrative artistry, its luminous clarity of emotion, and its astoniishing power to lay claim to the hearts of millions of readers around the world.

My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.

So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on eath continue without her - her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling.

Out of unspeakable traged and loss, The Lovely Bones succeeds, miraculously, in building a tale filled with hope, humor, suspense, even joy

A stunning achievement. -The New Yorker

Deeply affecting. . . . A keenly observed portrait of familial love and how it endures and changes over time. -New York Times

A triumphant novel. . . . It's a knockout. -Time

Destined to become a classic in the vein of To Kill a Mockingbird. . . . I loved it. -Anna Quindlen

A novel that is painfully fine and accomplished. -Los Angeles Times

The Lovely Bones seems to be saying there are more important things in life on earth than retribution. Like forgiveness, like love. -Chicago Tribune

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