Alice Hoffman is at her haunting, thought-provoking best with these interconnected stories about a Long Island family, the Samuelsons, and the lessons in survival and transformation that life brings to every family...
"Pulls the reader in effortlessly...Hoffman has the power to make you really laugh and really cry." --USA Today
"Moving and deadpan funny...Epiphanies about passion, pain, and resiliency induce smiles and shivers in equal measure." --Entertainment Weekly
Hoffman's chosen form of a novelistic group of short storiesAall of which share the same family charactersAlends itself nicely to the abridged audio format, in which the fragmentation seems a willful form of stylized narration. The audio's producers have augmented this effect: two narrators, the airy Merlington and the pragmatic Vigesaa, play off against each other in tone as they trade stories. In the opener, Gretel Samuelson tells of her family's troubles in confidential, diarylike schoolgirl terms. In later offerings, omniscient descriptions are given of mother Franny's fight against cancer and brother Jason's disintegration as a heroin addict. Though dysfunctional family fiction seems standard fare these days, Hoffman's highly individual knack for creating a sense of specific atmosphere is uncanny and unique, a quality that translates especially well in spoken form. Based on the 1999 Putnam hardcover.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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April 30, 2000
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