Guided Tours of Hell: Novellas

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9780060080853: Guided Tours of Hell: Novellas

The less-than-innocents abroad in these short novels are Americans in Europe, involved in what turn out to be pleasure tours of hell: shocking, bewildering trips that change forever their ideas about history, reality, politics, sex - their entire lives.

In the title novella, a third-rate American playwright named Landau attends a literary conference in Prague, where an organized group excursion to a former concentration camp degenerates into a battle of wills and an exercise in egomania and public humiliation. Nina, the heroine of the second novella, "Three Pigs in Five Days," is sent to Paris to write an article for her lover's travel journal - a dizzying, erotic pilgrimage that forces her to see how sex has distorted her view of the world.

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Review:

These two novellas about Americans abroad combine to create one wallop of a book. As they confront the legacy of history and their own shortcomings, Prose's characters are obsessively self-aware, even narcissistically petty--just like we are. In the title story, Landau, a struggling playwright, engages in a vanity-laden struggle of wills with a charismatic Holocaust-survivor in the cafeteria of a death camp-turned-tourist-attraction during a Kafka symposium. In the second novella "Three Pigs in Five Days," Nina is sent to Paris by her boss and ex-lover to write an article about a whorehouse-turned-hotel. While there, she is plagued by the demons of her erotic past as well as the romantic ghosts of the dysfunctional relationships of dead Parisian artists and their mistresses. Always harrowing, occasionally baroque, and tinged with hilarity, Guided Tours of Hell is an early candidate for the best fiction of the year.

About the Author:

Francine Prose is the critically acclaimed author of nineteen novels, including the National Book Award Finalist Blue Angel and My New American Life. She has written three other novels for young adults: After, winner of the California Young Reader Medal, an IRA/CBC Young Adults' Choice, and a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age; Bullyville, a PW Best Book and Book Sense Children's Pick; and her most recent, Touch. She is also the author of two picture books, Leopold, the Liar of Leipzig and Rhino, Rhino, Sweet Potato. The recipient of numerous grants and honors, including a Guggenheim and a Fulbright, Francine Prose was Director's Fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. She lives in New York City.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 203 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The less-than-innocents abroad in these short novels are Americans in Europe, involved in what turn out to be pleasure tours of hell: shocking, bewildering trips that change forever their ideas about history, reality, politics, sex -- their entire lives.In the title novella, a third-rate American playwright named Landau attends a literary conference in Prague, where an organized group excursion to a former concentration camp degenerates into a battle of wills and an exercise in egomania and public humiliation. Nina, the heroine of the second novella, Three Pigs in Five Days, is sent to Paris to write an article for her lover s travel journal -- a dizzying, erotic pilgrimage that forces her to see how sex has distorted her view of the world. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060080853

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 203 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The less-than-innocents abroad in these short novels are Americans in Europe, involved in what turn out to be pleasure tours of hell: shocking, bewildering trips that change forever their ideas about history, reality, politics, sex -- their entire lives.In the title novella, a third-rate American playwright named Landau attends a literary conference in Prague, where an organized group excursion to a former concentration camp degenerates into a battle of wills and an exercise in egomania and public humiliation. Nina, the heroine of the second novella, Three Pigs in Five Days, is sent to Paris to write an article for her lover s travel journal -- a dizzying, erotic pilgrimage that forces her to see how sex has distorted her view of the world. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060080853

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