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The Cottagers: A Novel

by

The Cottagers: A Novel Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"The Cottagers is a book wise to human foibles, rich with precise and amusing observations of its characters. It cannot truly be called suspenseful — despite the murder mystery plot, it is too cluttered with literary devices, ideas about what it is to know and be known by others, and the personal histories of minor characters. But then, what else do we read for?" Anna Godbersen, Esquire (read the entire Esquire review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A debut novel of literary suspense — when a man disappears, people are not who they seem and everyone is a suspect.

Cyrus Coddington, age nineteen, suspects that he may be a genius without a calling. He is a year-round resident of East Sooke, Vancouver Island, and has a natural resentment for the summer cottagers who descend on its rocky beaches. When two vacationing American couples arrive — old friends with a complicated history — they become his obsession. Greg and Nicholas are engaged in an academic collaboration that looks more like competition; Samina and Laurel are old friends who have grown apart and developed a strange jealousy. Cyrus spies on the cottagers through their windows, then begins to insinuate himself into their lives. When one of the cottagers goes missing, no one will look at any of the others the same way again.

Combining the eerie suspense of Patricia Highsmith and the literary fortitude of Ian McEwan, The Cottagers is about the discrepancy between the lives we live and the versions of those lives that trail behind us.

Review:

"Cyrus Collingwood, 19, a lifelong resident of Vancouver Island, spends most of his time spying on the vacationers in their East Sooke holiday cottages with a mix of curiosity and resentment . He becomes fixated on Brooklynites Samina, Nicholas and their three-year-old daughter, Hilda, and their friends Laurel and Greg from St. Louis. Cyrus insinuates himself into their lives, acting the proud local eager to share the island with the visitors, and begins picking at their insecurities, including the professional jealousy among Nicholas, a successful historian; Greg, a struggling biographer; and tenure-track English professor Laurel. Only Samina, with her exotic beauty and reserved manner, remains a puzzle to him. One day Nicholas does not return from a walk along a secluded beach, and everyone becomes suspicious of everyone else. Using an omniscient narrator who unevenly reveals his characters, debut novelist Klimasewiski illustrates the who-really-knows-anyone? angles nicely, but they overwhelm the narrative voice, making the book feel idea-driven." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A subplot about Cyrus' father...seems unnaturally melded to the main plot...but it's not enough of a distraction to kill the eerie mood, which is the main attraction here. This definitely fits snugly into the Ruth Rendell and Minette Walters camp." Booklist

Review:

"The role of Cyrus will never become public knowledge in a story that withholds both suspense and catharsis. A limp first novel, shallow in its characterizations and lacking narrative energy." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"This is both a suspense story and a coming-of-age novel that evaluates friendship and the consequences of isolation." Library Journal

Review:

"Brilliant, spooky, and wise. It has the page-turning suspense of a thriller." Joan Silber, author of Household Words

Review:

"A mesmerizing, psychologically exacting, performance, it's hard to imagine a stronger debut novel this year." Peter Ho Davies, author of Equal Love

Review:

"Almost impossible to put down...shiveringly good. This is not a book you will easily forget." Susan Fromberg Schaeffer, author of The Snow Fox

Review:

"An unusual and slyly surprising novel. Nasty and mesmerizing." Joy Williams, author of Honored Guest

Synopsis:

A debut novel of literary suspensewhen a man disappears, people are not who they seem and everyone is a suspect.

Synopsis:

Cyrus Coddington, age nineteen, suspects that he may be a genius without a calling. He is a year-round resident of East Sooke, Vancouver Island, and has a natural resentment for the summer cottagers who descend on its rocky beaches. When two vacationing American couples arriveold friends with a complicated historythey become his obsession. Greg and Nicholas are engaged in an academic collaboration that looks more like competition; Samina and Laurel are old friends who have grown apart and developed a strange jealousy. Cyrus spies on the cottagers through their windows, then begins to insinuate himself into their lives. When one of the cottagers goes missing, no one will look at any of the others the same way again.

Combining the eerie suspense of Patricia Highsmith and the literary fortitude of Ian McEwan, The Cottagers is about the discrepancy between the lives we live and the versions of those lives that trail behind us.

About the Author

Marshall N. Klimasewiski’s short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Tri-Quarterly, and Best American Short Stories. He teaches creative writing at Washington University in St. Louis.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393060775
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Klimasewiski, Marshall N.
Author:
Klimasewiski, Marshall N.
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Subject:
General
Subject:
Vancouver (b.c.)
Subject:
Suspense
Subject:
Missing persons
Subject:
Suspense fiction
Subject:
Popular Fiction-Suspense
Copyright:
Publication Date:
May 15, 2006
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.5 x 6.5 x 1.1 in 1.3 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Suspense

The Cottagers: A Novel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393060775 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Cyrus Collingwood, 19, a lifelong resident of Vancouver Island, spends most of his time spying on the vacationers in their East Sooke holiday cottages with a mix of curiosity and resentment . He becomes fixated on Brooklynites Samina, Nicholas and their three-year-old daughter, Hilda, and their friends Laurel and Greg from St. Louis. Cyrus insinuates himself into their lives, acting the proud local eager to share the island with the visitors, and begins picking at their insecurities, including the professional jealousy among Nicholas, a successful historian; Greg, a struggling biographer; and tenure-track English professor Laurel. Only Samina, with her exotic beauty and reserved manner, remains a puzzle to him. One day Nicholas does not return from a walk along a secluded beach, and everyone becomes suspicious of everyone else. Using an omniscient narrator who unevenly reveals his characters, debut novelist Klimasewiski illustrates the who-really-knows-anyone? angles nicely, but they overwhelm the narrative voice, making the book feel idea-driven." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "The Cottagers is a book wise to human foibles, rich with precise and amusing observations of its characters. It cannot truly be called suspenseful — despite the murder mystery plot, it is too cluttered with literary devices, ideas about what it is to know and be known by others, and the personal histories of minor characters. But then, what else do we read for?" (read the entire Esquire review)
"Review" by , "A subplot about Cyrus' father...seems unnaturally melded to the main plot...but it's not enough of a distraction to kill the eerie mood, which is the main attraction here. This definitely fits snugly into the Ruth Rendell and Minette Walters camp."
"Review" by , "The role of Cyrus will never become public knowledge in a story that withholds both suspense and catharsis. A limp first novel, shallow in its characterizations and lacking narrative energy."
"Review" by , "This is both a suspense story and a coming-of-age novel that evaluates friendship and the consequences of isolation."
"Review" by , "Brilliant, spooky, and wise. It has the page-turning suspense of a thriller."
"Review" by , "A mesmerizing, psychologically exacting, performance, it's hard to imagine a stronger debut novel this year."
"Review" by , "Almost impossible to put down...shiveringly good. This is not a book you will easily forget."
"Review" by , "An unusual and slyly surprising novel. Nasty and mesmerizing."
"Synopsis" by , A debut novel of literary suspensewhen a man disappears, people are not who they seem and everyone is a suspect.
"Synopsis" by , Cyrus Coddington, age nineteen, suspects that he may be a genius without a calling. He is a year-round resident of East Sooke, Vancouver Island, and has a natural resentment for the summer cottagers who descend on its rocky beaches. When two vacationing American couples arriveold friends with a complicated historythey become his obsession. Greg and Nicholas are engaged in an academic collaboration that looks more like competition; Samina and Laurel are old friends who have grown apart and developed a strange jealousy. Cyrus spies on the cottagers through their windows, then begins to insinuate himself into their lives. When one of the cottagers goes missing, no one will look at any of the others the same way again.

Combining the eerie suspense of Patricia Highsmith and the literary fortitude of Ian McEwan, The Cottagers is about the discrepancy between the lives we live and the versions of those lives that trail behind us.
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