In a tiny village in Finland, Esko Vaananen is at the brink of despair -- he loves a woman he can never have. Suddenly, in the magical light of the aurora borealis, he has a vision of an impossibly tall building rising gracefully from the frozen lake and disappearing into the clouds above him. This pilvenpiirtaja -- "cloud sketcher" or skyscraper -- sparks a lifelong quest for beauty in Esko. He will pursue and protect these two passions -- his vision and his love -- no matter how great the cost, for the rest of his life. It is a journey that leads him into the Bolshevik revolution and the Jazz Age nightclubs of New York City and to strike a Faustian bargain with a ruthless gangster -- all in the pursuit of artistic perfection and impossible, unattainable love.
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Born in England, Richard Rayner now lives in Los Angeles. His previous books include the memoir The Blue Suit and the novels The Cloud Sketcher, L.A. Without a Map, and Murder Book. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, and many other publications.From AudioFile:
Spanning over thirty years of time, Rayner's tale of love and war builds to a smashing finale as the characters move through the world of New York architecture. The story follows Esko Vaananen from an impoverished childhood in Finland at the turn of the century to financial and professional success in New York at the end of the Roaring Twenties. The story can only be described as epic, with politics and intrigue cropping up around every bend. Actor Simon Jones reads this abridgment with the same passion the lead character shows toward life and provides distinct, varied voices for each character. Although the abridgment seems choppy at times, Jones reads with such an easy pace, the gaps go almost unnoticed. The combination of a good story and a great performance makes the production fly. H.L.S. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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