Robert Olen Butler They Whisper

ISBN 13: 9780140243932

They Whisper

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In an attempt to make sense of his disappointing life, a thirty-five-year-old man explores his sexual history with the woman of his childhood fantasies, a series of Vietnamese prostitutes, a stranger, and his jealous wife. Reprint.

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From Booklist:

Butler, who won the Pulitzer Prize last year for his tales of Vietnamese in the Louisiana bayou, Good Scent from a Strange Mountain , shifts his attention to sex. His narrator, Ira Holloway, must "wrestle with the profound mystery of [his] attraction to women." The real mystery is why Butler, who delivered such a straightforward tale of homelessness in The Deuce (1989), has suddenly discovered the prose poem and gone gaga over vaginas, nipples, armpits, navels, and--particularly--toes. If there's a story here at all, it's one of obsession: as a schoolboy, Ira sneaks into the girls' restroom after hours. He writes testimonials concerning his sexual prowess (and sensitivity) on the stall doors, attributing them to the various objects of his fantasies. His graffiti is witty and forms a transition into the most interesting aspect of They Whisper: the stream-of-consciousness "I" of Ira that becomes the "I" of various women, yielding a novel told from many points of view. Butler's women are vivid, although they invariably people "the other"; Ira's lover, Fiona, emerges as his most significant other, becoming his wife and a mother to his son. She concludes the novel, { }a la Molly Bloom, in a soliloquy to the spirituality of sex--she is in love with Jesus, a sexual Jesus. There are many such strange and marvelous passages in Butler's novel, but Ira never solves his mystery, and Butler never manages to tell a story. John Mort

From Library Journal:

Butler has already published six novels to subdued response, but his first collection of stories, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain ( LJ 5/1/92), won the Pultizer Prize. This new novel details the rich, erotic life of Ira Holloway, an ordinary 40-year-old guy.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780805019858: They Whisper: A Novel

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0805019855 ISBN 13:  9780805019858
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co, 1994
Hardcover

9780436202100: They Whisper

James ..., 1994
Hardcover

9780099442585: They Whisper

Vintage, 2002
Softcover

9780749396503: They Whisper

Vintage, 1994
Softcover

9780749397913: They Whisper

Minerva, 1995
Softcover

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