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White Apples


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About the Author

Jonathan Carroll has written 13 novels, a short story collection, and a number of film scripts. He has won the World Fantasy award, British Fantasy award, French Fantasy award (twice), and the Bram Stoker award. He has lived in Vienna, Austria for three decades with his wife Beverly and immortal bullterrier, Jack the Idiot.


Vincent Ettrich returns from the dead, brought back to life by his lover, Isabelle, who needs him to remember what he learned in death in order to teach it to their unborn child. As Ettrich struggles to recapture the lost memories of his past, he finds that he has both allies to help him in his endeavor and enemies to prevent him from remembering information vital to preserving the cosmic order of the world. Carroll (The Wooden Sea) infuses the modern world with a sense of the supernatural, using coincidence and surrealism as his tools. The author's simple yet powerful prose and his talent for creating characters that seem both unique and familiar make this novel a good selection for most fantasy and general fiction collections. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

God is a tile mosaic, chaos is a fat man in a cheap blue suit and death is a learning experience for the deceased in this glib metaphysical fantasy from the author of The Wooden Sea. Vincent Ettrich, a likable rogue and womanizer, is shocked out of his daily routine one day by the memory that he died a short time before. With the help of a guardian angel, Vincent discovers that he has been summoned back to existence by the spirit of his unborn child with lover Isabelle Neukor. Vincent's death has inculcated him with information crucial to the harmonious ordering of life, and he spends most of the novel desperately trying to recall what he learned and avoiding avatars of chaos determined to stop him. The story is a classic Carroll romp in which personified states of mind achieve independent life, characters interact with quirky incarnations of aspects of themselves, and bizarre metaphors ("When you're dead they teach you how to make a water sandwich") are illuminatingly literalized. But Vincent's puzzlement over his quest and the iconic roles others play in it demands talky explanations that interrupt the spontaneous flow of fantasy and suggest the author has overreached in his stabs at inventive symbolism. The novel boasts its share of the fresh perspectives on life and love that Carroll's fans have come to expect, but readers may finish it feeling a bit like Vincent, more instructed than entertained. (Oct. 2) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

"Reading Jonathan Carroll is like watching the X-Files or The Twilight Zone if the episodes were written by Dostoevski or Italo Calvino." --Pat Conroy "Jonathan Carroll is a master of sunlit surrealism." --Jonathan Lethem "Jonathan Carroll creates contemporary romances in the literary tradition of Hawthorne and other masters of the form. Fete him, read his books. See him for what he is--one of our most gifted and intelligent entertainers." --The Washington Post

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