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The Centaur

by

The Centaur Cover

ISBN13: 9780449912164
ISBN10: 0449912167
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD AND THE PRIX DU MEILLEUR LIVRE ÉTRANGER

 

The Centaur is a modern retelling of the legend of Chiron, the noblest and wisest of the centaurs, who, painfully wounded yet unable to die, gave up his immortality on behalf of Prometheus. In the retelling, Olympus becomes small-town Olinger High School; Chiron is George Caldwell, a science teacher there; and Prometheus is Caldwell’s fifteen-year-old son, Peter. Brilliantly conflating the author’s remembered past with tales from Greek mythology, John Updike translates Chiron’s agonized search for relief into the incidents and accidents of three winter days spent in rural Pennsylvania in 1947. The result, said the judges of the National Book Award, is “a courageous and brilliant account of a conflict in gifts between an inarticulate American father and his highly articulate son.”

Synopsis:

In a small Pennsylvania town in the late 1940s, schoolteacher George Caldwell yearns to find some meaning in his life. Alone with his teenage son for three days in a blizzard, Caldwell sees his son grow and change as he himself begins to lost touch with his life. Interwoven with the myth of Chiron, the noblest centaur, and his own relationship to Prometheus, The Centaur one of John Updike's most brilliant and unusual novels.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

412Scott, January 27, 2014 (view all comments by 412Scott)
Would this work today? An allegory about public high school teachers as Roman gods? The blunt, jarring sex scenes with a lecherous principal (Zimmerman/Zeus) forcefully groping high school girls? Updike's prose is deliberate, challenging, and often times bordering on morose. Makes sense, considering the mythological and tragic source material. But I simply couldn't shake how much our modern world had changed since this novel won acclaim in the 1960's. The setting so often seems very distant, even though Updike is aiming for realism at times. A worthwhile read for Updike fans, a curious exercise for writers, but not the best Updike choice for the novice or for most readers simply seeking a rewarding experience with a novel.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780449912164
Author:
Updike, John
Publisher:
Random House Trade
Location:
New York
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
American
Subject:
Literature
Subject:
American fiction (fictional works by one author)
Subject:
American fiction (fictional works by one auth
Subject:
Father and child -- Fiction.
Subject:
Pennsylvania Fiction.
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
1
Publication Date:
19960831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.26x5.52x.83 in. .64 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Centaur New Trade Paper
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Product details 304 pages Fawcett Books - English 9780449912164 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In a small Pennsylvania town in the late 1940s, schoolteacher George Caldwell yearns to find some meaning in his life. Alone with his teenage son for three days in a blizzard, Caldwell sees his son grow and change as he himself begins to lost touch with his life. Interwoven with the myth of Chiron, the noblest centaur, and his own relationship to Prometheus, The Centaur one of John Updike's most brilliant and unusual novels.
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