Anita, September 28, 2010 (view all comments by Anita)
While I loved the writing and by no means am a person needing concrete, tied in pretty bow endings I was let down by this story. Loose ends and plot lines that, while intriguing, go nowhere.
I spent big bucks to buy in hdbk based on fantastic reviews. Meh... C+
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Larry Robinson, March 23, 2010 (view all comments by Larry Robinson)
This book left me conflicted. While it is pretty well written, much of it seems very flip. The comments made by some of the characters are just plain silly at times. Some of the plot twists are pretty obvious, and sometimes strain cerdulity.
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LJ_Moore, February 9, 2010 (view all comments by LJ_Moore)
In her novel, A Gate at the Stairs, Lorrie Moore illustrates that, contrary to accusations that this book is one, there is no such thing as a coming of age story. In her dense, simile-loving style, Moore flings metaphor after witty observation after poignant epiphany after acerbic comment after social criticism after chilling irony after droll smackdown out of the mouths and minds of her characters with a kind of Jackson Pollock precision, creating her story in the same way real people become their own stories: by accumulation. The end result: a portrait of human beings as smorgasbords of different preparations of love spiked with pain. Contrary to our tidy hopes, life is messy, grown people do stupid and insensitive things, college and/or high school aren’t necessarily “the best years of our lives,” even the psychologically self-aware still act out in absurdly self-destructive ways, and no one “gets over” a tragedy, they simply find a new normal...
Read more: http://tinyurl.com/yh8bmwm
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Knopf Publishing Group -
by Jill Owens,
Lorrie Moore has long been one of my favorite writers, and her first novel in years does not disappoint. With unique, full characters, an incredible level of emotional detail, and her trademark psychological wit, A Gate at the Stairs is a graceful, funny, powerful read.
by Jill Owens
"Review A Day"
by Holloway McCandless, Identity Theory,
"No one who is a fan of Lorrie Moore, or of coming-of-age novels rich in wit and specificity, should resist reading A Gate At The Stairs. It contains patented Moore delights: mordant humor in shades of gray to charcoal, a quirky, self-deprecating heroine who notices both too much and not enough about the people in her life, a bushel of laugh-out-loud depictions of contemporary American mores and fripperies, and finally, a double examination of the fragility of love's intent." (read the entire Identity Theory review)
by Jonathan Lethem, New York Times Book Review,
"Moore may be the most irresistible contemporary American writer....On finishing A Gate at the Stairs, I turned to the reader nearest to me and made her swear to read it immediately."
by Vanity Fair,
"With dizzying wit and acute intelligence...A Gate at the Stairs features a Midwestern coed turned part-time nanny drawn into the full-time drama of a family who all demand babysitting."
by Vince Passaro, O, The Oprah Magazine,
"The ending of this book is a miracle of lyric force, beautiful and beautifully constructed."
by Booklist (starred),
"The unique vision and exquisite writing cast a spell."
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