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The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards

by

The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards Cover

ISBN13: 9780670026005
ISBN10: 067002600x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"F. Scott Fitzgerald meets Wes Anderson" (The Village Voice) in this inventive and witty debut about a young man's quest to become a writer and the misadventures in life and love that take him around the globe.

From as early as he can remember, the hopelessly unreliable — yet hopelessly earnest — narrator of this ambitious debut novel has wanted to become a writer.

From the jazz clubs of Manhattan to the villages of Sri Lanka, Kristopher Jansma's irresistible narrator will be inspired and haunted by the success of his greatest friend and rival in writing, the eccentric and brilliantly talented Julian McGann, and endlessly enamored with Julian's enchanting friend, Evelyn, the green-eyed girl who got away. After the trio has a disastrous falling out, desperate to tell the truth in his writing and to figure out who he really is, Jansma's narrator finds himself caught in a never-ending web of lies.

As much a story about a young man and his friends trying to make their way in the world as a profoundly affecting exploration of the nature of truth and storytelling, The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards will appeal to readers of Tom Rachman's The Imperfectionists and Jennifer Egan's Pulitzer Prize–winning A Visit from the Goon Squad with its elegantly constructed exploration of the stories we tell to find out who we really are.

Review:

"Jansma's arresting debut follows the real and imaginary tales of an unnamed narrator whose ambition skyrockets after meeting the wealthy and gifted writer Julian McGann in college. The young men become friends based on a fierce competition to outwrite each other. 'Somewhere, once, I read that the only mind a writer can't see into is the mind of a better writer. When I watched Julian watching the world, I was always reminded of this.' Along the way, the narrator falls desperately in love with Julian's beguiling friend Evelyn, and in the run-up to her wedding begins sleeping with her. As Julian's writing attracts the kind of fervor that happens rarely, the narrator plods along in the man's overpowering shadow until his own behavior, and what it brings out of Julian, wrench the two friends apart. While keeping an eye on Julian from afar, the narrator struggles to develop himself as a separate individual from Julian, an effort that seems all but impossible as the two men would have been formless without the impact of each other. Jansma's characters deftly explore the blurred lines between fact and fiction, discovering the shades of truth that lie in between. Agent: Chelsea Lindman, the Nicholas Ellison Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards is my new exhibit A for the defense of literary fiction. A great read — a must read. Kristopher Jasma is more than the real-deal. He's made himself, with this book, essential.” Darin Strauss, author of More Than It Hurts You

Review:

“Light and airy, The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards is a funhouse of a novel about the outsized ambitions of authors and the sneaky power of storytelling. Kristopher Jansma's debut is a whimsical round-the-world tour that recalls Calvino, Millhauser and The Confidence Man.” Stewart O'Nan, author of Last Night at the Lobster

Review:

"Canny, seductive and utterly transfixing....A first novel with the strength and agility of a great cat leaping through rings of fire." Booklist (starred review)

Review:

"At times, the novel is a string of short stories; at others, it is a set of matroyshka dolls, containing, at one point, a novel within a short story within a novella within a novel....Jansma approaches them with wry humor and a steady hand. The narrator's games never fail to entertain, even if he is constantly changing the rules." The New Yorker

Review:

"[A] tricky picaresque thick with literary allusion from Fitzgerald to Amis....[A] clever, tightly paced novel of ever-upping stakes." Vogue.com

Review:

"Though one might recognize bits of Dickens, Fitzgerald or Hemingway, this is simply a good case of stealing from geniuses. Its a breathless work the celebrates the literary tradition, while making a strong case that its author belongs on the shelf beside his forebears." Time Out New York

Review:

"F. Scott Fitzgerald meets Wes Anderson....[T]he novel strikes a chord on questions of authenticity, love, and ambition, and it reminds us that life is often out of our control, even if were writing it down." The Village Voice

Review:

"[A] slippery and energetic debut novel...rapid in pace, the language and details tightly controlled...Its tremendous fun, this book." San Francisco Journal of Books

Review:

"[T]his mind-blowing spiral of a book will also appeal to anyone who enjoys their fiction as playful as it is intriguing." Book Reporter

Review:

"The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards's intricate narrative game and its carbon-burning escapades add up to a novel that is wise about identity and aspiration, competitive storytelling, romantic obsession and the assertion that 'all these stories are true, only somewhere else.'" Shelf Awareness

Review:

"Captivating....[A] smart, searching debut about art and identity." Library Journal

About the Author

Kristopher Jansma is a lecturer at Manhattanville College and SUNY Purchase and writes a monthly column for Electric Literature’s blog The Outlet. He was selected as a finalist for BOMB Magazine’s 2011 fiction contest, and his work has appeared in the Blue Mesa Review. He lives with his wife in New York City.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

EllenSka, March 21, 2013 (view all comments by EllenSka)
In high school, the narrator learns that lies are entertaining and profitable -- the perfect attitude for an aspiring writer. In college, he meets another promising young writer, and the friendship and tension between the two literary rivals, along with an ascerbic young femme fatale, forms the heart of the book.
The novel travels the globe, but it's a 21st century world, so "the world" is not the vast, separated place it was even in 20th century fiction. While literary allusions abound to delight the serious reader, there's plenty of plot and mystery to please someone who just wants a good story -- as long as they can find some mercy in their heart for the unreliable and rather unlikeable narrator. Despite all the world jaunting, the true journey is interior, and like other top-notch fiction, what it reveals is nothing less than the reader's own heart.
This thrilling and satisfying novel is destined to be a book club favorite. Be an early adopter and earn bragging rights for having read it before the awards start rolling in for this splendid debut.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780670026005
Author:
Jansma, Kristopher
Publisher:
Viking Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20130331
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction

The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Viking Books - English 9780670026005 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Jansma's arresting debut follows the real and imaginary tales of an unnamed narrator whose ambition skyrockets after meeting the wealthy and gifted writer Julian McGann in college. The young men become friends based on a fierce competition to outwrite each other. 'Somewhere, once, I read that the only mind a writer can't see into is the mind of a better writer. When I watched Julian watching the world, I was always reminded of this.' Along the way, the narrator falls desperately in love with Julian's beguiling friend Evelyn, and in the run-up to her wedding begins sleeping with her. As Julian's writing attracts the kind of fervor that happens rarely, the narrator plods along in the man's overpowering shadow until his own behavior, and what it brings out of Julian, wrench the two friends apart. While keeping an eye on Julian from afar, the narrator struggles to develop himself as a separate individual from Julian, an effort that seems all but impossible as the two men would have been formless without the impact of each other. Jansma's characters deftly explore the blurred lines between fact and fiction, discovering the shades of truth that lie in between. Agent: Chelsea Lindman, the Nicholas Ellison Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards is my new exhibit A for the defense of literary fiction. A great read — a must read. Kristopher Jasma is more than the real-deal. He's made himself, with this book, essential.”
"Review" by , “Light and airy, The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards is a funhouse of a novel about the outsized ambitions of authors and the sneaky power of storytelling. Kristopher Jansma's debut is a whimsical round-the-world tour that recalls Calvino, Millhauser and The Confidence Man.”
"Review" by , "Canny, seductive and utterly transfixing....A first novel with the strength and agility of a great cat leaping through rings of fire."
"Review" by , "At times, the novel is a string of short stories; at others, it is a set of matroyshka dolls, containing, at one point, a novel within a short story within a novella within a novel....Jansma approaches them with wry humor and a steady hand. The narrator's games never fail to entertain, even if he is constantly changing the rules."
"Review" by , "[A] tricky picaresque thick with literary allusion from Fitzgerald to Amis....[A] clever, tightly paced novel of ever-upping stakes."
"Review" by , "Though one might recognize bits of Dickens, Fitzgerald or Hemingway, this is simply a good case of stealing from geniuses. Its a breathless work the celebrates the literary tradition, while making a strong case that its author belongs on the shelf beside his forebears."
"Review" by , "F. Scott Fitzgerald meets Wes Anderson....[T]he novel strikes a chord on questions of authenticity, love, and ambition, and it reminds us that life is often out of our control, even if were writing it down."
"Review" by , "[A] slippery and energetic debut novel...rapid in pace, the language and details tightly controlled...Its tremendous fun, this book."
"Review" by , "[T]his mind-blowing spiral of a book will also appeal to anyone who enjoys their fiction as playful as it is intriguing."
"Review" by , "The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards's intricate narrative game and its carbon-burning escapades add up to a novel that is wise about identity and aspiration, competitive storytelling, romantic obsession and the assertion that 'all these stories are true, only somewhere else.'"
"Review" by , "Captivating....[A] smart, searching debut about art and identity."
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