The Hindenburg Crashes Nightly

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9780380977413: The Hindenburg Crashes Nightly

A richly textured tapestry woven from undying love and deep-rooted guilt, The Hindenburg Crashes Nightly captures the intimacy and intensity of an emotionally and sexually trubulent relationship. In remarkably vivid and lyrical prose, award-winning novelist Greg Hrbek makes an astonishing debut with this story of two lovers bound by secrets from their shared past.

It is the summer of 1974 and the solid world of ten-year-old Thomas Markham is crumbling after his mother dies giving birth to another son. Unable to turn to his grief-stricken father for comfort, Tom surrenders himself to the warm embrace of college-bound Lindsey Paris, who is all too familiar with pain, isolation and loneliness. This powerful bond unites them in a time of tragedy and links them through the years that lie ahead.

Fifteen years later, Thomas, a promising claymation filmmaker in San Francisco, enters into an adulterous relationship with the now-married Lindsey-an affair that is the fulfillment of the love that Tom has always felt for her. In spite of their fierce pangs of guilt, neither one of them has the strength, or desire, to put an end to their liaison. But during their heated summer of love, Tom finds himself drawn to an exotic-looking and sexually voracious named Nile, Lindsey's former lover, and is encouraged in the new dalliance by Lindsey's unsuspecting husband Phillip.

Swept up in a torrent of conflicting feelings, Tom's life comes to a head with the arrival of his runaway younger brother Matthew. As the chaotic teenager desperately attempts to make sense of his broken life, his fragile mental status threatens to unravel the skein of silence and lies surrounding his emotionally reclusive older brother.

A literary tour de force, The Hindenburg Crashes Nightly takes the readers into the heart and soul of romantic need--its consequences, punishments and unexpected redemptions. This moving novel dares us to question our assumptions

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About the Author:

Greg Hrbek is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He was the recipient of an Iowa Arts Fellowship, a James Michener Fellowship, and the 1996 James Jones First Novel Award for The Hindenberg Crashes Nightly. He has taught at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, and currently lives in northern California.

From Publishers Weekly:

With sensuous prose and vital characters, this first novel by James Jones Award--winner Hrbek fearlessly explores the wracking entanglements of two lovers in flux. Tom Markham meets Lindsey Paris in Connecticut in 1974, when he is seven and she 15. The deep bond they form includes their shared loss of innocence and the secrets of a criminal act: Tom's mother dies giving birth to his brother, and Lindsey is raped by Tom's cousin. Years later, when they meet again in California, Lindsey is a famous journalist about to marry nature photographer Phil Davenport, whose renown equals hers. A promising tele-animator, Tom has always loved Lindsey, and his passion for her forces him to examine the darker secrets of their shared youth as they embark on a painful affair. Unaware of his wife's past, Phil unwittingly encourages the lovers' "friendship," and, in an attempt to improve Tom's love life, introduces him to Nile Treadway, a glamourous, black ex-lover of Lindsey's. Bisexual Nile embroils herself in their lives, and it seems that both Tom and Lindsey are fated to bring pain to each other. The levels of betrayal and emotional torture escalate for everyone. Hrbek's meditation on love and suffering twists along exquisitely: Phil exempts himself from feeling jealous, considering Tom a "brother" to Lindsey and Nile a "tepid" experiment; Lindsey is frazzled and distraught, ricocheting back and forth between Nile and Tom. Exclusive focus on the turbulent quadrangle is fractured when Tom's 16-year-old brother, a runaway, arrives with his own formidable chaos. Though the writing sometimes leans toward the precious, particularly in moments of Tom's introspection, Hrbek builds scenes with a tight economy of timing and detail, so that a tension resonates well beyond their conclusion. In the end the characters find equilibrium, and mellow into a hard-earned serenity Hrbek's portrait of the heart is magnetic, difficult, strange andAdespite a disquieting endingAwell worth the read. (July)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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