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Butterfly Stories (Signed First Edition)

Vollmann, William T.

577 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0802115020 / ISBN 13: 9780802115027
Published by Grove, New York, 1993
Hardcover
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About this Item

First American Edition. SIGNED by the author on the half title. Near Fine in a Near Fine dust jacket. Jacket lightly rubbed overall. Bookseller Inventory # 117487

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Butterfly Stories (Signed First Edition)

Publisher: Grove, New York

Publication Date: 1993

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

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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