Synopses & Reviews
Ethan Canin is one of America's finest writers. He has been called "brilliant" by the Los Angeles Times, "a tremendous talent" by the Chicago Sun-Times, and "dazzling" by Walker Percy. The bestselling author of The Palace Thief and Emperor of the Air now gives us this stunning new novel, For Kings and Planets.
"Years later, Orno Tarcher would think of his days in New York as a seduction. A seduction and a near miss, a time when his memory of the world around him --the shining stone stairwells, the taxicabs, the sea of nighttime lights--was glinting and of heroic proportion. Like a dream." So begins this remarkable novel about the lives of two young men and the women they love.
Orno Tarcher arrives in New York City from a small town in Missouri, feeling unsophisticated and disadvantaged by his family's bedrock values. He meets Marshall Emerson, the charismatic gem of a worldly family, a seductive and brilliant New Yorker who is revealed, as time passes, to be bent on destruction. The novel explores with depth and sophistication the conflicts of character at the heart of every life, the desire for grandeur and the lure of normalcy, the tension between rivalry and friendship, fathers and sons, love and betrayal. For Kings and Planets is the story of a man who thinks of himself as moral, who tests his character against power, deception, and seduction. It is also the story of a friendship fractured by love.
For Kings and Planets is a remarkable achievement, another fiction classic by the writer who has been called "a worthy successor to...Philip Roth, Elizabeth Bishop, and Robert Penn Warren."
"Years later, Orno Tarcher would think of his days in New York as a seduction. A seduction and a near miss, a time when his memory of the world around him -- the shining stone stairwells, the taxi cabs, the sea of nighttime lights -- was glinting and of heroic proportions. Like a dream". So begins this stunning novel about two young men, vastly different and from opposite worlds, who meet at Columbia University. Orno Tarcher arrives in New York City from a small town in Missouri, feeling unsophisticated, already behind, and tired of his family's bedrock values. He meets Marshall Emerson, a seductive and brilliant New Yorker from a worldly family, who has a photographic memory and gets straight A's without opening a book yet lives always on the edge. As the novel follows the course of these men's lives, women, and work -- Marshall moves to Hollywood and becomes a screenwriter, while Orno moves steadily along a course of normalcy -- Ethan Canin explores the conflicts of character that mark the heart of every life.
About the Author
Ethan Canin is the author of Emperor of the Air, Blue River, and The Palace Thief. A physician, he is also on the faculty of the Iowa Writer's Workshop. He divides his time between California and Iowa.