Ethan Canin The Palace Thief: Stories

ISBN 13: 9780312307318

The Palace Thief: Stories

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9780312307318: The Palace Thief: Stories
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Academy Award winner Kevin Kline stars in the adaptation of the title story in this collection in a Universal Pictures release directed by Michael Hoffman (Restoration)

The Palace Thief is the story of a dedicated and inspiring classics professor at an elite prep school where an encounter with a student, the son of a powerful senator, inexorably alters his life. Forty-one years later at a reunion of his students, he is faced with the fear that he may have failed the most important challenge of his life—to have been a great teacher.

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About the Author:

Ethan Canin is the author of Emperor of the Air, For Kings and Planets,and Carry Me Across the Water, among other books. A former physician, he is now on the faculty of the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Canin's return to short fiction should be a cause for welcome- -yet isn't, disappointingly. In four adipose, rhetorical, quite forced long stories, he continues--as in his unfortunate last book, the novel Blue River (1991)--to strive for ``wise'' adult tonalities. But these rich, deep voices all but neglect the small flashes of humaneness and helpless knowledge that made Canin's debut collection, Emperor of the Air (1988), remarkable--turning him into a writer who builds high, fussy, false ceilings without walls to support them. Upon an unstartling theme--that we repeat as adults what we do as children- -each story here plays out a variation. In the baldest, the title piece, a powerful captain of industry still is moved to impress his elderly prep-school teacher with his temerity and moral sleaze. In ``Accountant,'' an old friend's later-life success throws a careful man to the edge of his rectitude. In ``City of Broken Hearts,'' a middle-aged father learns something about trust and love from his college-aged son. And in ``Batorsag and Szerelem,'' a boy observes in his elder genius brother what seem like signs of schizophrenia but are instead sexual misapprehensions. It's here that the book is most ragged but also most genuine-seeming: the younger boy has available to him an X-raying psychology no grown-up character in Canin ever does (Canin must be the ultimate ``kid-brother'' writer)--and it's frustrating that this quicksilver perceptiveness is given so little play in the stories, which are bulked-up instead with grown-up characters that are invariably slow, large, and overwide. The stories thus always seem to be wearing their parent's clothes--an effect that reaches into the prose itself, a simulacrum of Cheeverian and Peter Tayloresque modulation that in Canin's hands is just pomp and circumstance. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780812976175: The Palace Thief: Stories

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ISBN 10:  0812976177 ISBN 13:  9780812976175
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2006
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Hardcover

9780747516828: Palace Thief, The

Blooms..., 1994
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9780312119300: The Palace Thief: Stories

Picador, 1994
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9781408882702: Palace Thief

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