CARRY ME ACROSS THE WATER.

Canin, Ethan.

ISBN 10: 0679456791 / ISBN 13: 9780679456797
Published by New York: Random House, (2001.) dj, 2001
Hardcover
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SIGNED hardcover first edition - First printing. His third novel, fifth book, SIGNED on the title page. 206 pp. Fine in fine dust jacket. LIMITED TIME SALE: All prices shown have been REDUCED by 25% for the ABEBOOKS SALE. Dust jacketsare protected with archival covers, and books are carefully packed for shipping. Bookseller Inventory # 52723

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Bibliographic Details

Title: CARRY ME ACROSS THE WATER.

Publisher: New York: Random House, (2001.) dj

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

“Take the advice of no one,” August Kleinman’s mother says to him while August is still a young boy in Germany, and with these words to guide him, he escapes Nazi Germany and goes on to build a fortune, a family, and life on his own terms in America. At the defining moments that reveal character and shape fate — a shocking encounter with a Japanese soldier in a cave during World War II, the audacious decision to start a brewery in Pittsburgh and a violent reaction against threats to its independent success, a vacation in Barbados, during which his beloved wife mysteriously wanders off, the birth of his grandson — August’s instincts are determinative in a way that illuminates how lives unfold at the deepest levels. This is a brilliant, suspenseful, surprising novel by one of America’s finest writers. Publisher’s Weekly called Ethan Canin’s For Kings and Planets “Masterful ... a classic parable of the human condition,” and the same can be said about Carry Me Across the Water.

Review:

A truly gifted short-story writer, Ethan Canin faltered when it came to his second novel, the turgid For Kings and Planets. This time around, though, the author has found an ingenious solution to his problems with the longer form. Carry Me Across the Water is essentially a book of short stories posing as a novel, and here's the surprise--it's pretty effective. The protagonist, August Kleinman, is a wealthy old man looking back on the span of his life. He recalls his early youth in Vienna as the son of a cultured Jewish family; his flight to America in the 1930s with his mother; his war years in the Pacific; his career as the beer king of Pittsburgh; his love for his wife and alienation from his children. This may sound relatively straightforward. Yet Canin shatters this portrait into a series of compelling vignettes, each rearing up unexpectedly and without the crude restraints of chronology.

This format of random flashbacks allows the author to handle a sprawling novel--and a complex life. At the same time, these compartmentalized moments are kept from seeming too small by means of an expansive prose style, which sometimes suggest Mark Helprin in high gear: "Downriver he could see the fierce furnaces throwing blue-black smoke into the air, the crude ore of the land being transformed by human ingenuity into girders and beams that were then floated downstream to ports and train yards and trucking depots, a vast delta of commerce that fanned out from there to all the great hubs of the earth." Throughout, Canin tempers his grandiloquence with a short-story writer's sensitivity to the details of character, and accomplishes exactly what he intended: an involving montage of 20th-century life. --Claire Dederer

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