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The Rehearsal

by

The Rehearsal Cover

ISBN13: 9780316074322
ISBN10: 0316074322
Condition: Standard
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Review-A-Day

"When I was looking for plane reading over the last month, The Rehearsal, a debut novel by New Zealander Eleanor Catton, caught my eye. (Well, actually, what caught my eye were the extremely flattering blurbs on the back by Joshua Ferris and Kate Atkinson, two authors I love, and the fact that it's published by Reagan Arthur Books, an imprint I trust.) This is not, in any way, the best book for typical plane reading. It's a hyper-intelligent, occasionally mindbending, Russian doll of a novel — plots nest within plays within fantasies within philosophy. But The Rehearsal is also page-turning enough that I couldn't put it down, through thunderstorms, turbulence, and one plane actually diverting to another airport." Jill Owens, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

All the world’s a stage — and nowhere more than at an all-girls high school, particularly one where a scandal has just erupted. When news spreads of a high school teacher’s relationship with his underage student, participants and observers alike soon take part in an elaborate show of concern and dismay. But beneath the surface of the teenage girls’ display, there simmers a new awareness of their own power. They obsessively examine the details of the affair with the curiosity, jealousy and approbation native to any adolescent girl, under the watchful eye of their stern and enigmatic saxophone teacher, whose focus may not be as strictly on their upcoming recital as she implies.

Shortlisted for The Guardian First Book Award, The Rehearsal is an exhilarating, darkly funny, provocative novel about the complications of human desire, a tender portrait of teenage yearning and adult regret. It marks the arrival of a boldly inventive new voice in contemporary fiction.

Review:

“Astonishing...smart, playful, and self-possessed, it has the glitter and mystery of the true literary original." The Guardian

Review:

"This is a mesmerizing, labyrinthine, intricately patterned and astonishingly original novel. It's really something else entirely. I suppose if you need a point of reference, you might say it's as if Miss Jean Brodie got lost in Barth's funhouse. But really it has no comparison. With The Rehearsal you get the style, the sophistication, the boundless possibility and the narrative pleasures that make up any good novel, but you get a bonus, too: a glimpse into the future of the novel itself." Joshua Ferris

Review:

"A wonderful debut by a truly exciting new writer — The Rehearsal is compulsively good and while at the same time being immensely readable it also continually calls into question the relationship between so-called 'reality' and fiction, and the very nature of truth itself." Kate Atkinson

Review:

"Uncommonly witty and bold....[The Rehearsal has] a real knack for narrative and a cast of painfully familiar teenage characters who are all desperate to be as confident, cool, charismatic and funny as possible. These are qualities that the extraordinary Eleanor Catton has in spades." The Times of London

Synopsis:

A teacher's affair with his underage student jolts a group of teenage girls into a new awareness of their own power. Their nascent desires surprise even themselves as they find the practice room where they rehearse with their saxophone teacher is the safe place where they can test out their abilities to attract and manipulate. It seems their every act is a performance, every platform a stage.

But when the local drama school turns the story into their year-end show, the real world and the world of the theater are forced to meet. With the dates of the performances — the musicians' and the acting students' — approaching, the dramas, real and staged, begin to resemble each other, until they merge in a climax worthy of both life and art.

Synopsis:

All the world's a stage — and nowhere more than at an all-girls high school, particularly one where a scandal has just erupted. When news spreads of a high school teacher's relationship with his underage student, participants and observers alike soon take part in an elaborate show of concern and dismay. But beneath the surface of the teenage girls' display, there simmers a new awareness of their own power. They obsessively examine the details of the affair with the curiosity, jealousy and approbation native to any adolescent girl, under the watchful eye of their stern and enigmatic saxophone teacher, whose focus may not be as strictly on their upcoming recital as she implies.

Shortlisted for The Guardian First Book Award, The Rehearsal is an exhilarating, darkly funny, provocative novel about the complications of human desire, a tender portrait of teenage yearning and adult regret. It marks the arrival of a boldly inventive new voice in contemporary fiction.

About the Author

Eleanor Catton was born in 1985 in Canada, grew up in New Zealand, and is currently attending the Iowa Writers Workshop. Her highly acclaimed first novel, The Rehearsal, has been sold in 10 countries and will appear in the summer of 2010.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

kayeanna77, January 9, 2012 (view all comments by kayeanna77)
I can honestly say that the only thing that kept me reading and allowed me to finish this book was my pride. I hate to start a book and not finish, having felt like I didn't give it a chance. I may rethink my stance on this for future books since I just endured what can only be described as an arduous, lackluster and confusing character study which was not pleasurable or enlightening in the least.

I had high hopes for this book, given that the author is a current student at the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop, but was let down tremendously by a plot that never went anywhere, a constant question of what was real or imagined and characters that simply weren't likeable on their best day. I feel like the author should have spent a little more time fleshing things out and had a lot more advice in the editorial process before submitting this story for publication. I'm still confused at how events such as sexual abuse, loss of innoncence and the journey to find oneself can come across as trite, numb and manufactured, but this novel manages to do just this.

In short, this is one that won't stay on my bookshelf to be read again, nor will I try to resale it. This one is destined for the donation pile.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Reader Eternal, October 3, 2011 (view all comments by Reader Eternal)
Reading this book is pure pleasure. A unique, wonderfully labyrinthine plot and well-fleshed characters make this an immensely satisfying read that I was unable to put down! By turns funny and sweet, dark and light, this jewel of a novel will delight most any audience.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780316074322
Author:
Catton, Eleanor
Publisher:
Reagan Arthur Books
Subject:
Literature-Urban Life
Publication Date:
20110831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Coming of Age
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Urban Life

The Rehearsal Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.50 In Stock
Product details pages Reagan Arthur Books - English 9780316074322 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "When I was looking for plane reading over the last month, The Rehearsal, a debut novel by New Zealander Eleanor Catton, caught my eye. (Well, actually, what caught my eye were the extremely flattering blurbs on the back by Joshua Ferris and Kate Atkinson, two authors I love, and the fact that it's published by Reagan Arthur Books, an imprint I trust.) This is not, in any way, the best book for typical plane reading. It's a hyper-intelligent, occasionally mindbending, Russian doll of a novel — plots nest within plays within fantasies within philosophy. But The Rehearsal is also page-turning enough that I couldn't put it down, through thunderstorms, turbulence, and one plane actually diverting to another airport." Jill Owens, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)
"Review" by , “Astonishing...smart, playful, and self-possessed, it has the glitter and mystery of the true literary original."
"Review" by , "This is a mesmerizing, labyrinthine, intricately patterned and astonishingly original novel. It's really something else entirely. I suppose if you need a point of reference, you might say it's as if Miss Jean Brodie got lost in Barth's funhouse. But really it has no comparison. With The Rehearsal you get the style, the sophistication, the boundless possibility and the narrative pleasures that make up any good novel, but you get a bonus, too: a glimpse into the future of the novel itself."
"Review" by , "A wonderful debut by a truly exciting new writer — The Rehearsal is compulsively good and while at the same time being immensely readable it also continually calls into question the relationship between so-called 'reality' and fiction, and the very nature of truth itself."
"Review" by , "Uncommonly witty and bold....[The Rehearsal has] a real knack for narrative and a cast of painfully familiar teenage characters who are all desperate to be as confident, cool, charismatic and funny as possible. These are qualities that the extraordinary Eleanor Catton has in spades."
"Synopsis" by , A teacher's affair with his underage student jolts a group of teenage girls into a new awareness of their own power. Their nascent desires surprise even themselves as they find the practice room where they rehearse with their saxophone teacher is the safe place where they can test out their abilities to attract and manipulate. It seems their every act is a performance, every platform a stage.

But when the local drama school turns the story into their year-end show, the real world and the world of the theater are forced to meet. With the dates of the performances — the musicians' and the acting students' — approaching, the dramas, real and staged, begin to resemble each other, until they merge in a climax worthy of both life and art.

"Synopsis" by , All the world's a stage — and nowhere more than at an all-girls high school, particularly one where a scandal has just erupted. When news spreads of a high school teacher's relationship with his underage student, participants and observers alike soon take part in an elaborate show of concern and dismay. But beneath the surface of the teenage girls' display, there simmers a new awareness of their own power. They obsessively examine the details of the affair with the curiosity, jealousy and approbation native to any adolescent girl, under the watchful eye of their stern and enigmatic saxophone teacher, whose focus may not be as strictly on their upcoming recital as she implies.

Shortlisted for The Guardian First Book Award, The Rehearsal is an exhilarating, darkly funny, provocative novel about the complications of human desire, a tender portrait of teenage yearning and adult regret. It marks the arrival of a boldly inventive new voice in contemporary fiction.

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