A tour de force – with this book, Rick Moody, in one bound, lands in the very front rank of American writers.
When a dying old woman who is losing her ability to communicate with the outside world is deserted by her husband, it is to her stuttering, alcoholic son that she must look for help.
Purple America arcs perfectly across one long, long day in New England, where, as the local nuclear plant enters meltdown, a smaller, more tragic fission is taking place in the heart of a nuclear family.
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‘Moody is a unique stylist whose beautiful prose weaves helixes of language around the simplest of events… Without that style, Moody’s story might have become mere sentiment. With it, he conjures an altogether rare element of human feeling.’
Stephen Amidon, Sunday Times
‘Powerful and engrossing… Purple America further establishes the author as part of a gifted generation of American writers concerned with crises of masculinity and modernity.’
Paul Quinn, TLS
"Billie Raitliffe is dying of a wasting disease in a grand house that is falling apart-like she is. Her second husband Lou, on his last day as a manager at the nuclear plant, leaves her a note saying he can't take it anymore. Billie gets her son Dexter, known fittingly as Hex (everything he touches goes wrong) to come out from New York. Then she asks him to help her to die…The extraordinary thing about this dense, compelling novel is Moody's technical control…you have to admire the fertility of his imagination, the artistic skill he deploys to sculpt something so gargantuan out of such little, lost lives."
PETER BUCKMAN, 'Sunday Telegraph'
"Powerful and engrossing…Rick Moody's third, and best, novel…further establishes the author as part of a gifted generation of American writers concerned with crises of masculinity and modernity…'Purple America' charts our attempts and failures to communicate, focuses on the wonderful but impelling thing that is language."
PAUL QUINN, 'TLS'
"Rick Moody's densely stylish novel of decay and unfulfilled promise…picks through the debris of lives, diluted by disappointment and wrecked by the failure of bright young dreams, and gives it a kind of dignity. There are moments when perfection sundances. 'Purple America' has an originality and a sense of humour that sails over the polluted sludge of its subject matter…Moody is a master craftsman."
ANGUS WOLFE-MURRAY, 'Scotsman'
"This novel will establish Rick Moody as one of the next generation of important American writers…The passages catching the distinct but parallel attitudes of Lou and Hex are masterful-deft, collusive, frank and keen…It is Moody's style that raises the book beyond the merely good. Not only are his sentences well cadenced but he also succeeds in conveying exact nuances of both mood and scene without becoming either too clinical or too lush. And it's also surprisingly funny…surely one of the books of the year."
EDWARD DOCX, 'Sunday Express'
"This isn't just a hyped novel – it's a great one…searing and brilliant."
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Book Description Flamingo, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0006551025