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Butterfly Stories: A Novel

Vollmann, William T.

Published by Grove/Atlantic Monthly Press, New York, 1993
ISBN 10: 0802115020 / ISBN 13: 9780802115027
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Bibliographic Details


Title: Butterfly Stories: A Novel

Publisher: Grove/Atlantic Monthly Press, New York

Publication Date: 1993

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: Very Good +

Edition: First Edition

Book Type: Advanced Reading Copy (ARC)

Description:

Uncorrected advance proof, in illustrated wraps. First state, without the front panel sticker. Book is unmarked; slightly cocked; spine uncreased; some creasing to front wrap. Sleeve protected. Bookseller Inventory # 004188

About this title:

Book ratings provided by GoodReads:
3.71 avg rating
(548 ratings)

Synopsis: A cradle-to-grave search for love takes a suburban kid as far away as the killing fields of Cambodia, where he falls in love with Vanna, a hooker from Phnom Penh. By the author of Fathers and Crows. 17,500 first printing. National ad/promo. Tour.

From Kirkus Reviews: The prolific Vollmann, fresh from a sadomasochistic survey in Thirteen Stories and Thirteen Epitaphs (p. 258), makes another savage thrust into society's sexual fringes with this fractured tale of Southeast Asian prostitutes and a journalist who couldn't say no. The ``Butterfly boy,'' first seen at school, has no friends among his male peers, instead being terrorized by them and by a bully until he is saved by a girl admirer. Ever the outcast, as an adult he travels with a photographer to Thailand and Cambodia on assignment, but the two spend far more time with the prostitutes than gathering material for a story. Unlike the photographer who uses his women without becoming interested in them, the journalist approaches them sympathetically, with an earnestness that both attracts and embarrasses them. By the time he returns to San Francisco, he's fallen in love with a Cambodian woman and become HIV-positive; he wants only to divorce his wife, however, and bring Vanna and her child to America. Unable to locate her from a distance, he begs another assignment, eventually reaching Bangkok and crossing clandestinely into Cambodia, but language difficulties and social differences keep him from achieving his goal. Under the corrosive influence of his callous fellow traveller, he allows himself to be tempted by other flesh--but in the fevered state brought on by various sexually transmitted diseases, a bottle of Benadryl is ultimately his only consolation. The flesh-peddling and sensory overload of Southeast Asia fill every page, but they're given such a weak lead that the story has nowhere to go: scenes of decay and corruption rule in unchallenged succession. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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