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9780330480505

Waxwings

Raban, Jonathan

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9780330480505: Waxwings

At the turn of the millennium, two immigrants are drawn to the United States by their own versions of the American Dream. For Tom Janeway - a Hungarian-born English intellectual most at home with his books - it's the family he thought he'd never have. For Chick - an illegal alien newly escaped from a cargo container - it's the land of plenty he imagined back in China. But as the stock market hits a new high, anti-globalist riots break out in the streets, a terrorist is arrested and a child disappears, the two men's dreams collide in a way neither could have anticipated. Unjustly accused of a horrific crime, estranged from his wife and his beloved young son, Tom's life is rapidly unravelling. Chick, meanwhile, has a burgeoning business by day but no safe place to lay his bed at night. For both, the New World proves surprisingly full of old ways. Waxwings is a masterwork. Exquisitely written, moving, funny and hugely entertaining, it brilliantly captures the landscape and life of contemporary America, and it confirms Jonathan Raban as one of our very finest writers.

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Jonathan Raban's Waxwings is a canticle for the late 1990s told through the intertwined lives of several Seattlites. In the novel, the city becomes a microcosm of America at the turn of the millennium, and Raban's characters--all in some way tragic "tourists" in the world--are rendered with a compassion that redeems their personal failings.

Thomas Janeway is a British novelist and professor of literature at the University of Washington whose life is coming apart in his adopted home. He deeply loves his four-year-old son, Finn, but his wife, Beth, is caught up in the dot-com explosion, and the couple has grown apart. As Seattle erupts in the WTO riots and terrorist plots, Janeway's life crumbles around him. His wife leaves him, his house becomes a shambles of half-completed reconstruction, and his son is caught fighting in school. When he becomes a "person of interest" in the abduction and possible murder of a local girl, he is put on leave with pay from the university. Yet, Raban does not let Janeway--or any of his characters--wallow in self-pity. They all try to move forward with life, and even Janeway "the suspect" finds sympathetic allies in surprising places.

At one point in the novel, Janeway lectures his students on the "generosity" of V.S. Pritchett, saying that the writer believed "in a general redistribution of verbal wealth, in taking good lines from the haves, and giving them to the have-nots." This "liberal realism" also characterizes Raban's work. Raban treats all of his characters, from Janeway to Finn, with patience and balance. He fully inhabits each and tells fragments of the story from the perspective of Beth, Tom, Finn, and even Tom's illegal-immigrant contractor, Chick. One narrative infuses another, lending the novel a Dickensian universality. Together the disparate voices perfectly capture the particulars of a place, Seattle, at a unique moment in American history. --Patrick O'Kelley

From the Back Cover:

"A tour de force. . . . In its comedy and melancholy appreciation of the human predicament in the new millenium, this novel goes a long way toward making it bearable." -- The Washington Post Book World

"A generous, affirming novel. . . . Terrific." --The New York Times Book Review
"A keenly observant, ironic, yet at heart sympathetic exploration of what America has promised and provided." -- Chicago Tribune
"[D]exterously tacks between tragedy and comedy. [Raban's] representations of materialism and the dot.com working environment are dead-on, and his descriptions of the hopes and fears of parents and spouses are heart-rending." -- St. Louis Post Dispatch
"Stylishly smooth, descriptively compelling and tragically funny. . . . This is Seattle as Dickens might describe it" -- The Seattle Times
" Waxwings . . . is hugely satisfying; buzzing with life from Seattle's dotcom industry, sharpened by domestic intrigue and then alarm as the protagonist's life begins to fall apart." - Independent on Sunday

"The best novel yet about the dot-com era. . . . Raban's snapshots . . . are fall-over funny. [He] nails our short-lived intoxication and hints at the hangover to follow." - Time Out NewYork

"Raban's pages . . . sing with dazzling phrases and fresh insights." - Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Sharper (and a lot faster) than The Bonfire of the Vanities, [ Waxwings] may well be one of the best accounts ever written of an American era" - Kirkus Reviews (starred)

"It's a testament to Raban's control that he can integrate personal and public catastrophes so deftly in this witty novel... He prods us to consider that we're living in a period that makes us all somehow foreigners." - Christian Science Monitor

"Raban's views, ironic and humane, are always acute; always illuminating. His prose - agile, musky, particular - is a treasure." - The Guardian

"Marvelous... As with [Tom] Wolfe's extravaganzas, Waxwings teems with juicy, funny characters emblematic of their time and place...but, unlike Wolfe, Raban knows how to bridge the gap between the broad social canvas of satire and the interior life of delicate rounded characters" - Entertainment Weekly

" Waxwings has great amplitude and intelligence... a wide-ranging, pungent, sharply observed novel" - Raleigh News Observer

"A delicious social comedy, . . . Waxwings is also an elegant meditation on immigrant
America." - Boston Globe

"Generous, funny and beautifully written... Waxwings is extraordinarily rich and expertly paced and arranged. The social range of the novel is enormous; the characterizations acute. Every character, however incidental, has a voice." - Columbus Dispatch

"Raban's specialty is the sly, unsparing metaphor and jarring observation, and he's at the top of his form in Waxwings. Yet he perceives his adopted homeland without American Beauty-style snarkiness or intellectual dispassion à la DeLillo, displaying instead the compassion and bracing honesty of an ambivalent lover." - Village Voice Literary Supplement

" Waxwings stimulates the reader both emotionally and intellectually, gently tapping at the funny bone while giving us characters we care about. . . . It is a solid example of contemporary literature: entertainment with a message about modern society and the modern individual." - The Orlando Sun-Sentinel

"Imagine Evelyn Waugh with a social conscience and, perhaps, a tad more humanity. . . . Enormously pleasing. . . . Wonderful fun, as lively as anything out there." - The Hartford Courant

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Raban, Jonathan Author
Published by Pan MacMillan, United Kingdom (2004)
ISBN 10: 0330480502 ISBN 13: 9780330480505
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Book Description Pan MacMillan, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 192 x 130 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. At the turn of the millennium, two immigrants are drawn to the United States by their own versions of the American Dream. For Tom Janeway - a Hungarian-born English intellectual most at home with his books - it s the family he thought he d never have. For Chick - an illegal alien newly escaped from a cargo container - it s the land of plenty he imagined back in China. But as the stock market hits a new high, anti-globalist riots break out in the streets, a terrorist is arrested and a child disappears, the two men s dreams collide in a way neither could have anticipated. Unjustly accused of a horrific crime, estranged from his wife and his beloved young son, Tom s life is rapidly unravelling. Chick, meanwhile, has a burgeoning business by day but no safe place to lay his bed at night. For both, the New World proves surprisingly full of old ways. Waxwings is a masterwork. Exquisitely written, moving, funny and hugely entertaining, it brilliantly captures the landscape and life of contemporary America, and it confirms Jonathan Raban as one of our very finest writers. Bookseller Inventory # AA79780330480505

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Raban, Jonathan Author
Published by Pan MacMillan, United Kingdom (2004)
ISBN 10: 0330480502 ISBN 13: 9780330480505
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Book Description Pan MacMillan, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 192 x 130 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. At the turn of the millennium, two immigrants are drawn to the United States by their own versions of the American Dream. For Tom Janeway - a Hungarian-born English intellectual most at home with his books - it s the family he thought he d never have. For Chick - an illegal alien newly escaped from a cargo container - it s the land of plenty he imagined back in China. But as the stock market hits a new high, anti-globalist riots break out in the streets, a terrorist is arrested and a child disappears, the two men s dreams collide in a way neither could have anticipated. Unjustly accused of a horrific crime, estranged from his wife and his beloved young son, Tom s life is rapidly unravelling. Chick, meanwhile, has a burgeoning business by day but no safe place to lay his bed at night. For both, the New World proves surprisingly full of old ways. Waxwings is a masterwork. Exquisitely written, moving, funny and hugely entertaining, it brilliantly captures the landscape and life of contemporary America, and it confirms Jonathan Raban as one of our very finest writers. Bookseller Inventory # AA79780330480505

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Book Description 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 1st. 130mm x 197mm x 19mm. Paperback. At the turn of the millennium, two immigrants are drawn to the United States by their own versions of the American Dream. For Tom Janeway - a Hungarian-born English intellectual most at ho.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 320 pages. 0.212. Bookseller Inventory # 9780330480505

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Book Description Pan Macmillan. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Waxwings, Jonathan Raban, At the turn of the millennium, two immigrants are drawn to the United States by their own versions of the American Dream. For Tom Janeway - a Hungarian-born English intellectual most at home with his books - it's the family he thought he'd never have. For Chick - an illegal alien newly escaped from a cargo container - it's the land of plenty he imagined back in China. But as the stock market hits a new high, anti-globalist riots break out in the streets, a terrorist is arrested and a child disappears, the two men's dreams collide in a way neither could have anticipated. Unjustly accused of a horrific crime, estranged from his wife and his beloved young son, Tom's life is rapidly unravelling. Chick, meanwhile, has a burgeoning business by day but no safe place to lay his bed at night. For both, the New World proves surprisingly full of old ways. Waxwings is a masterwork. Exquisitely written, moving, funny and hugely entertaining, it brilliantly captures the landscape and life of contemporary America, and it confirms Jonathan Raban as one of our very finest writers. Bookseller Inventory # B9780330480505

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Book Description Pan Macmillan, 2004. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # FV-9780330480505

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Book Description Picador, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 300 pages. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # __0330480502

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Book Description 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 1st. 130mm x 197mm x 19mm. Paperback. At the turn of the millennium, two immigrants are drawn to the United States by their own versions of the American Dream. For Tom Janeway - a Hungarian-born English intellectu.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 320 pages. 0.212. Bookseller Inventory # 9780330480505

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