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Purple America: A Novel

RICK MOODY

ISBN 10: 0316579254 / ISBN 13: 9780316579254
Published by Little Brown & Co (T) April 1997, 1997
Used Condition: Fine (F) Soft cover
From Don Quixote Book Sellers (Sparta, NJ, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Little Brown, Boston, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. First edition. Signed and dedicated by the author on the title page. A novel of a family in extremis; a son is summoned home to care for his mother, who has long been sick, after she is abandoned by her husband. Over the course of a single weekend night, the son, Hex Raitliffe, sees his good intentions annihilated by a phalanx of opposing forces. Bookseller Inventory # 20091112105603

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Purple America: A Novel

Publisher: Little Brown & Co (T) April 1997

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Paper Back

Book Condition:Fine (F)

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed By Author

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

Having fled his less than perfect home life years ago, Hal Raitcliffe returns to help his ailing mother after his stepfather walks out on her, but over the course of one weekend, Hal's good intentions wear thin as the family airs its grievances. 50,000 first printing. Tour.

Review:

Purple America begins in a bathtub and ends in Long Island Sound. In between, Rick Moody's latest novel explores the landscape of a family in crisis. Dexter (Hex) Raitliffe, a freelance publicist, returns home to care for his mother, Billie, who is dying by inches of a neurological disease that will rob her of motion, of speech, and finally of thought. Billie's second husband has left her--a fact that Hex is unaware of until he comes home--and her only hope for assisted suicide lies in her son. Unfortunately, Hex is barely able to conduct his own life, much less take his mother's. Purple America takes place over the course of a single night; in that night, Hex gives his mother a bath, reconnects with an old love, gets drunk, and goes after his stepfather to confront him, with tragic results.

As Moody weaves his tale of this fateful Friday evening, he juxtaposes themes of aging, obsolescence, and physical decline with an accident at the nuclear power plant where his stepfather works. What lifts this novel above its rather depressing subject matter is Moody's unsentimental storytelling and the soaring language with which he gives his characters voice. Purple America is by turns lyrical, tragic, ferocious, and funny, and Rick Moody is a writer with a brilliant future ahead of him.

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