Fiction Paul West Terrestrials

ISBN 13 : 9780879518912

Terrestrials

Note moyenne 3,18
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9780879518912: Terrestrials

"Paul West remains, in the old phrase, his own man" ―The New York Times

When their plane is shot down over Africa, two American military pilots endure encounters with bushmen, scorpions, heat, and thirst. But their greatest challenges come after they return to civilian life in the United States, as they attempt to cope with psychological and physical aftershock. Using flight motifs as metaphors for everything from the end to the Cold War to the volatile friendships between men, Terrestrials is vintage Paul West - a majestic novel brimming with profound insights about history, culture, technology, and the nature of human relations.

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About the Author :

After 17 novels Paul West has earned a reputation as "possibly our finest living stylist in English" (Vance Bourjaily, Chicago Tribune). He is the recipient of many prestigious awards including the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. The French Government recently decorated him Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.

From Kirkus Reviews :

As usual, West (Sporting With Amaryllis, 1996, etc.) offers erudite commentary and provocative insights into the human predicament, this time in a tale told by an extraterrestrial about two American pilots bound by friendship and history. West's novice novelist, One Eighth Humbly--who writes the novel one reads here--is a kind of extraterrestrial Gulliver who describes a world quite unlike his own, and in doing so implicitly tries to understand life on his own star as well as on Earth. Like earthlings, he looks for, but doesn't find, proof of an almighty being's existence amid the enormous amount of information he and fellow aliens have assembled. But the story he tells of Clegg and Booth, American military pilots, does afford him a chance to observe humans--intelligent beings for the most part--as they try to understand themselves and the situations that confront them. The novelist doesn't quite get how everything works on earth--the notion of seasons confuses him, his pilots are preternaturally literary--but he gets better as the story picks up momentum. As they fly their high altitude spy-plane Cyrano on its daily sweep above the earth, Clegg and his superior officer, Booth, develop a symbiotic relationship based on flying and on Clegg's fascination with what makes Booth tick. When Cyrano is attacked over Africa, the two men parachute into the Ethiopian desert, where Clegg is caught on a rocky ledge and Booth falls in with a band of cruel salt-miners. As challenging as these experiences are, they're not as difficult as life after their rescue. Finding their debriefings increasingly incomprehensible, even threatening, the two escape, adopt new identities, and go into business as charter pilots. But freedom has its own challenges. Haunted by their heroic pasts, they discover, tragically, that they can't adjust to the prosaic realities of their lives. A splendid assembly of ideas, language, and allusions, though sometimes the sheer intellectual exuberance overwhelms the story, however conceptually brilliant. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Description du livre Overlook Press, United States, 1999. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In the beginning are two United States Air Force spy-plane pilots. Booth and Clegg, the elite of an elite men confident of their skills, men who know each other as well as they know themselves. Or so they think. When their spy plane plummets from the sky over Saharan Africa, the two find themselves thrust into a journey to the far poles of late-twentieth-century human experience, to places where all comfortable givens - like friendship and duty - quickly fall away. Booth and Clegg, it turns out, have not the slightest idea who they are, much less who the other is, but as we watch them struggle with their own contingency with disorienting shifts in the pressurization of time and space, we learn an astonishing amount about who we are, as Americans, as terrestrials. Along the way we are brought by one of our greatest living writers into the embrace of his most magnificent and tender dream so far, a majestic account of the trials and ceaselessly surprising consolations of two extraordinary, ordinary men. N° de réf. du libraire BTE9780879518912

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