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The Great Night


The Great Night Cover




One night in the middle of June three broken-hearted people walked into Buena Vista Park at nearly the same time, just after dark. One came from the north, out of the Haight, another climbed up out of the Castro from the east, and the last came from the west, out of the Sunset and Cole Valley: this one was already going in the wrong direction, and shortly all three of them would be lost. They were going to a seasonal party of the famously convivial Jordan Sasscock, at his home at 88 Buena Vista West (Molly was headed, mistakenly, to 88 Buena Vista East.) Jordans parties were as famously convivial as he was, and the invitations, while prized, were not exactly exclusive, because it was in the nature of his conviviality never to leave anyone feeling left out. There were swarms of people who trudged up the hill in the middle of every summer to drink Jordans beer and wine and stand on his roof and dance in his expansive garden. He was a lowly resident at the hospital nearby, but his grandmother had died five years before when he was still a medical student, leaving him the house and the garden and all the treasures and garbage she had stuffed into it in the eighty-nine years she had lived there: ruined priceless furniture and money under the mattresses and case after case of fancy cat food in the basement, and fifteen cats, only five of which were still alive on the night of the party, because affable as he was, Jordan didnt much like cats, and he didnt take very good care of them.

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Linda Schreiber, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by Linda Schreiber)
This book is an exquisite balance of almosts: an elegant balance between almost total despair and brief moments of almost ecstasy; almost real and almost absurd; and almost evil and almost godly. Although I could not see myself in either the mortals, who were braver and more ridiculous than I can imagine, or the gods, who were brazen in their hedonism and intensely passionate or intensely indifferent in even the smallest matters. But I can see that as often as I was annoyed or repulsed, I was far more delighted that I was able to go on their journey and share their adventures.
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Product Details

A Novel
Adrian, Chris
Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends
Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology
Literature-A to Z
Mythology-Folklore and Storytelling
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
8.25 x 5.5 in

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Humanities » Mythology » Folklore and Storytelling

The Great Night
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 384 pages Farrar, Straus and Giroux - English 9780374166410 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Chris Adrian's inimitable flair for creating fantastic worlds just around the corner from our everyday routines is on full display in this modern adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream. No one is better at mingling such searing emotion with whimsical flights of fancy, making The Great Night an utterly captivating read.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Adrian follows his masterful The Children's Hospital with a disappointing and decidedly less ambitious effort, a flabby retelling of A Midsummer Night's Dream that finds a heartbroken Titania loosening a demonic Puck on San Francisco's Buena Vista Park. Caught up in the mayhem are Henry, a neurotic gay man whose affair has just ended; Molly, a young woman turned inward after the suicide of her boyfriend; Will, a lovelorn tree doctor trying to get his lady back; and a group staging a musical remake of Soylent Green to explain the decline of San Francisco's homeless population. Adrian liberally applies surreal sex jokes and populates his adventure with bizarre fairies, impossible events, and extensive backstories, but this investigation into love's labors never ignites. Adrian occasionally channels the wayward, winsome feel of millennial San Francisco, but his characters remains wispy and his plot fails to develop satisfying turns. The book contains flashes of what makes this writer great, but he has better work in him. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , The Great Night — by turns brilliant, cruel, tenderhearted, visionary, poetic, and profane — is Adrian’s ambitious attempt to fetch from his own imagination what Shakespeare referred to as ‘jewels from the deep.’”
"Review" by , “William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream deals with illusion — in particular, the illusion that things can be set aright, as if by magic. This riff by New Yorker 20 Under 40 author Adrian (A Better Angel) is a whole lot darker, declaring that no magic can take away the memory of suffering and that in our self-serving scramble we disdain the pain (and indeed the goodness) of others.....Inventive and scarily is an extraordinary novel.” (starred review)
"Synopsis" by ,

Acclaimed as a “gifted, courageous writer”(The New York Times), Chris Adrian brings all his extraordinary talents to bear in The Great Night—a brilliant and mesmerizing retelling of Shakespeares “A Midsummer Nights Dream.”

On Midsummer Eve 2008, three people, each on the run from a failed relationship, become trapped in San Franciscos Buena Vista Park, the secret home of Titania, Oberon, and their court. On this night, something awful is happening in the faerie kingdom: in a fit of sadness over the end of her marriage, which broke up in the wake of the death of her adopted son, Titania has set loose an ancient menace, and the chaos that ensues will threaten the lives of immortals and mortals alike.

Selected by The New Yorker as one the best young writers in America, Adrian has created a singularly playful, heartbreaking, and humorous novel—a story that charts the borders between reality and dreams, love and magic, and mortality and immortality.

"Synopsis" by ,
Chris Adrians magical third novel is a mesmerizing reworking of Shakespeares A Midsummer Nights Dream. On Midsummers Eve 2008, three brokenhearted people become lost in San Franciscos Buena Vista Park, the secret home of Titania, Oberon, and their court. On this night, something awful is happening in the faerie kingdom: in a fit of sadness over the end of her marriage and the death of her adopted son, Titania has set loose an ancient menace, and the chaos that ensues upends the lives of immortals and mortals alike in a story that is playful, darkly funny, and poignant.
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