Maria D'Alessandro, January 7, 2013 (view all comments by Maria D'Alessandro)
It was difficult to choose between Chaon's collection Stay Awake and his novel Await Your Reply, both were tremendous accomplishments by a very talented voice in contemporary fiction. Chaon's writing has the suspense of Stephen King, the dark mystery of Joyce Carol Oates and the intricately layered structure of Tim O'Brien. Anyone who loves the suspense of genre fiction but admires the craft of the great literary writers of our generation will be pleasantly surprised by how skillfully Dan Chaon blurs the lines between psychological thriller and character driven fiction. You will read this book in no more than three days, but then you will scan and re-read sections to appreciate the sequence and structure for the rest of the week.
Brooklyn Joe, January 28, 2012 (view all comments by Brooklyn Joe)
I grabbed a copy of this and read it as soon as it was released after being surprised by how much I loved Chaon's short story collection, "Among the Missing". Chaon is a writer I often recommend to others and find that he's not as widely known as he deserves to be (at least amongst the people I know). As the parallel story lines of "Await Your Reply" unravel and the novel's world gets increasingly murky, I was increasingly anxious to find out how Chaon was going to bring it all to a satisfying conclusion but he does and does it quite skillfully.
Matthew Holley, January 26, 2012 (view all comments by Matthew Holley)
This was the best book I read in 2011, for sure. Chaon keeps all three storylines completely engrossing, and I was often "on the edge of my seat", as they say. I plowed through this book because I needed to know what happened next! A masterfully written novel.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Three disparate characters and their oddly interlocking lives propel this intricate novel about lost souls and hidden identities from National Book Award-finalist Chaon (You Remind Me of Me). Eighteen-year-old Lucy Lattimore, her parents dead, flees her stifling hometown with charismatic high school teacher George Orson, soon to find herself enmeshed in a dangerous embezzling scheme. Meanwhile, Miles Chesire is searching for his unstable twin brother, Hayden, a man with many personas who's been missing for 10 years and is possibly responsible for the house fire that killed their mother. Ryan Schuyler is running identity-theft scams for his birth father, Jay Kozelek, after dropping out of college to reconnect with him, dazed and confused after learning he was raised thinking his father was his uncle. Chaon deftly intertwines a trio of story lines, showcasing his characters' individuality by threading subtle connections between and among them with effortless finesse, all the while invoking the complexities of what's real and what's fake with mesmerizing brilliance. This novel's structure echoes that of his well-received debut — also a book of threes — even as it bests that book's elegant prose, haunting plot and knockout literary excellence. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Jonathan Franzen, author of The Corrections,
"I've been waiting for somebody to write the essential identity-theft novel, and I'm very glad Dan Chaon's the one to have done it, because he believes in real story and is faithful to the reader."
by Justin Cronin, author of The Summer Guest,
"The brilliant Dan Chaon has done it again. Both a genre-bending whodunit and a profound meditation on identity, Await Your Reply left me breathless with admiration. The pages turn themselves."
by Peter Straub, author of A Dark Matter,
"This is a stunning and beautiful book. I must have read its final pages half a dozen times, just letting what lay packed and coiled within them settle into me. Out of pure loss, Chaon has created real magnificence. Await Your Reply attains a kind of blurry, bloodstained perfection."
by New York Times,
"Stunning....Mr. Chaon succeeds in both creating suspense and making it pay off, but Await Your Reply also does something even better. Like the finest of his storytelling heroes, Mr. Chaon manages to bridge the gap between literary and pulp fiction with a clever, insinuating book equally satisfying to fans of either genre."
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