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From the acclaimed Booker Prize-winning author comes a dazzling novel of family, love, and love's disappointments
Anna's aged mother is dying. Condemned by her children's pity to living, subjected to increasingly desperate medical interventions, she turns her focus to her hospital window, through which she escapes into visions of horror and delight. When Anna's finger vanishes and a few months later her knee disappears, Anna, too, feels the pull of the window. She begins to see that all around her, others are similarly vanishing, yet no one else notices. All Anna can do is keep her mother alive. But the window keeps opening wider, taking Anna and the listener ever deeper into an eerily beautiful story of grief and possibility, of loss and love and orange-bellied parrots.
Hailed on publication in Australia as Richard Flanagan's greatest novel yet, The Living Sea of Waking Dreams is a rising ember storm illuminating what remains when the inferno beckons: one part elegy, one part dream, one part hope.
"Like Richard Powers’s The Overstory, this is a timely, unforgettable work of climate fiction.” (Booklist)
“Gorgeous, mesmerizing ... Reading Flanagan is like watching Federer at Wimbledon: he can do pretty much anything on the page and make it look easy, elegant ... Flanagan never misses a beat. His language is drum-tight, his ear for prose rhythms impeccable .... Flanagan has given us a novel that’s inventive and lyrical, a dark meditation on where we are and where we may be headed. The Living Sea of Waking Dreams is his finest work yet." (Hamilton Cain, Harvard Review)
"Unforgettable...Flanagan shines in his fierce, surrealistic look at a family’s dissolution in a recognizable if dystopian Australia that’s ravaged by wildfires.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
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Darkness Inside a Cavern with Tar Thrown on It
My god I hated this book! The irony is that I agree with all the premises that the book is founded on. Social media shutting us down to the world falling apart around us and our detachment from the earth, so I had great hopes. The author did not do a good job of even tying that in. The main character was a horrible person who seems more caught up in her problems outside of social media and modern life for that to even matter. The book never gets better, never makes more sense, and is profoundly dark to the point of ridiculousness. Don't expect light, insight or any answers from this one!
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- Catherine C. Kramer
This book was a standout in every way. I was mesmerized and sometimes brought to tears. A masterpiece for the times,