Barnaby Gaitlin has less in life than he once had. His ex-wife Natalie left him and their native Baltimore several years ago, taking their baby daughter Opal with her. He acquired an unalterably fixed position as the black sheep of the family. And this family isn't one where black sheep are tolerated. The Gaitlins are rich and worthy, supposedly guided by their own special angel to do the right thing... OVER A MILLION ANNE TYLER BOOKS SOLD `She's changed my perception on life' Anna Chancellor `One of my favourite authors ' Liane Moriarty `She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan `Anne Tyler has no peer' Anita Shreve `My favourite writer, and the best line-and-length novelist in the world' Nick Hornby `A masterly author' Sebastian Faulks `Tyler is not merely good, she is wickedly good' John Updike `I love Anne Tyler' Anita Brookner `Her fiction has strength of vision, originality, freshness, unconquerable humour' Eudora Welty
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Barnaby Gaitlin is one of Anne Tyler's most promising unpromising characters. At 30, he has yet to graduate from college, is already divorced, and is used to defeat. His mother thrives on reminding him of his adolescent delinquency and debt to his family, and even his daughter is fed up with his fecklessness. Still, attuned as he is to "the normal quota for misfortune," Barney is one of the star employees of Baltimore's Rent-a-Back, Inc., which pays him an hourly wage to help old people (and one young agoraphobe) run errands and sort out their basements and attics. Anne Tyler makes you admire most of these mothball eccentrics (though they're far from idealized) and hope that they can stave off nursing homes and death. There is, for example, "the unstoppable little black grandma whose children phoned us on an emergency basis whenever she threatened to overdo." And then there's Barnaby's new girlfriend's aunt, who will eventually accuse him of theft--"Over her forearm she carried a Yorkshire terrier, neatly folded like a waiter's napkin. 'This is my doorbell,' she said, thrusting him toward me. 'I'd never have known you were out here if not for Tatters.'" These people are wonderful creations, but their lives are more brittle than cuddly, Barnaby knows better than to think of them as friends, because they'll only die on him. Yet his job offers at least glimpses of roots and affection. Helping an old lady set up her Christmas tree (on New Year's Eve!) gives him the chance to hang a singular ornament--a snowflake "pancake-sized, slightly crumpled, snipped from gift wrap so old that the Santas were smoking cigarettes." And Barnaby himself is sharp and impatient at painful--and painfully funny--family dinners, apparently unable to keep his finger off the auto-self-destruct button every time his life improves. As much as his superb creator, he is a poet of disappointment, resignation, and minute transformation. --Kerry FriedFrom the Back Cover:
"Anne Tyler writes like an angel....One of those books that readers close at the end and recognize the truth they contain."
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK
"A PERFECT GEM...TYLER'S BOOKS GET WISER, FUNNIER AND RICHER AS THEY GO."
--The Seattle Times
"SO WONDERFULLY READABLE THAT ONE SWALLOWS IT IN A SINGLE GULP...What makes this novel so irresistible is the main character and narrator Barnaby Gaitlin, a 30-year-old misfit, a renegade who is actually a kind-hearted man struggling to find his place in the world."
"IF WE BELIEVE THAT SERIOUS NOVELS ARE ABOUT THE SEARCH FOR A TRUE HOME, THEN A PATCHWORK PLANET IS A NOVEL THAT REPAYS OUR ALWAYS DELIGHTED ATTENTION."
--Carol Shields, The New York Times Book Review
"POSSESSES A TENDERNESS REMINISCENT OF BREATHING LESSONS...[Tyler] is beloved not just for her three-dimensional Baltimore or her quirkily intimate characters, but also for the small, heroic struggles they encounter in the course of a day."
--The Boston Sunday Globe
"VINTAGE TYLER...A PATCHWORK PLANET TELLS THE HEART-TUGGING STORY OF THE SINS OF THE BOY BEING VISITED ON THE MAN."
"FRESH AND ENGAGING."
"Filled with insight and compassion, Anne Tyler's 14th novel chronicles a year in the life of a 30-year-old 'loser' named Barnaby Gaitlin....Tyler has crafted a remarkably lovable character, a young man as endearing as Macon Leary, the memorable protagonist of her 1985 bestseller, The Accidental Tourist."
--Minneapolis Star Tribune
"What resonates throughout the novel is Tyler's gentle wisdom. Her understanding of the complexities of human nature comes across beautifully, making this book a singular treat....She endows the tale of Barnaby's eventual self-discovery and redemption with charm, quiet humor and many bittersweet observations on the meaning of emotional connectedness with those around us, the aging process and the ability we all possess to start afresh."
--The Miami Herald
"This could only be Tyler territory, where losers are treated with a tenderness that encourages them to consider winning in the world. In her 14th novel, the persuasive storyteller with the beautiful, unforced style works her familiar ground--family, connection, the quirks of humans--with ease."
"A Patchwork Planet is filled with descriptions that summarize an entire way of life in a single image....[Tyler's] genius lies in making quotidian events extraordinarily poignant."
--San Francisco Chronicle
"In an uncertain world, it's reassuring to know for an absolute fact that Anne Tyler's next novel (and the one after that and the one after that) will cause me to shiver at truths that I recognize but have never heard voiced, pinch me sharply with its poignancy and catch me off guard with funny moments that make me laugh so hard I have to put the book down until I get a grip on myself. Tyler's 14th novel, A Patchwork Planet, does all that."
--San Diego Union Tribune
Tyler's many admirers are sure to number this among her very best work....[Her] appealing warmth and flair for eccentric comedy are abundantly displayed in her superb 14th novel."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"It is Tyler's great talent to involves us thoroughly with her characters. With a keen eye for detail and the sense of humanity that she displayed in her 1985 novel The Accidental Tourist, Tyler brilliantly portrays their foibles, their disappointments and their hopes. Barnaby Gaitlin is one of her most sympathetic creations."
"A Patchwork Planet, Pulitzer Prize-winning Anne Tyler's 14th novel, finds the black-sheep son of an old Baltimore family attempting to get his life on track....Recalls Tyler's early works, such as Celestial Navigation and Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, which...are peopled by genuine eccentrics whose grip on the world is charmingly, but definitely, precarious...Anne Tyler lovingly captures that world."
--The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Writing with humor and pathos worthy of her previous works, Tyler continues to make distinctive observations about the quirks and peculiarities of domestic life and the struggle of some lost souls to be part of a world where everyone else seems focused on the beaten path."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"I adore Anne Tyler...It's hard to imagine any other writer...whom you can read with such unalloyed pleasure."
--San Jose Mercury News
"This is a wonderful novel--don't miss it!...A Patchwork Planet is like a crazy quilt with familiar fabrics which, when assembled, becomes unique."
"THIS IS A BOOK YOU CAN TRUST. . . .
Tyler understands this modest world, both its frustrations and its rewards. With each funny, painful novel, she adds another square to her tapestry of redemption."
--The Christian Science Monitor
"Always entertaining...Anne Tyler once again creates characters that are believable, funny and true....In Barnaby Gaitlin, Tyler has created a character who looks into the mirror of self-revelation and finds not only flaws but redeeming qualities as well."
"A sophisticated, poignant and carefully crafted chart of the vicissitudes of trust."
--Time Out New York
"I don't know whether anyone has called Tyler a fin-de-siècle Jane Austen. I guess I'll do it here. Like Austen's, Tyler's books are full of life's little lessons, closely observed and compassionately recounted....A Patchwork Planet is filled with pleasure and pain. That the pleasure triumphs is [Tyler's] final kindness to us, her readers."
--Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
"The novel is wise and funny....Not only a colorful snapshot of youth but a compassionate picture of old age...With exquisite description and flawless dialogue, Tyler dignifies the lives of miraculously ordinary characters."
--New York Daily News
"Alternately comedic and tragic...With A Patchwork Planet, Tyler has once again served up literary comfort food for the soul."
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Book Description Vintage, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Dispatched, from the UK, within 48 hours of ordering. This book is in Brand New condition. Bookseller Inventory # CHL2382332
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Book Description Trafalgar Square. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0099272687 Clean, unmarked copy. In great shape! I can send expedited rate if you chose; otherwise it will promptly be sent via media rate. Got any questions? Email me; I'm happy to help!Select Expedited Shipping (just $2 more) to get your book as fast as possible!. Bookseller Inventory # DAN37-101241515
Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Barnaby Gaitlin has less in life than he once had. His ex-wife Natalie left him and their native Baltimore several years ago, taking their baby daughter Opal with her. He acquired an unalterably fixed position as the black sheep of the family. And this family isn t one where black sheep are tolerated. The Gaitlins are rich and worthy, supposedly guided by their own special angel to do the right thing. OVER A MILLION ANNE TYLER BOOKS SOLD `She s changed my perception on life Anna Chancellor `One of my favourite authors Liane Moriarty `She spins gold Elizabeth Buchan `Anne Tyler has no peer Anita Shreve `My favourite writer, and the best line-and-length novelist in the world Nick Hornby `A masterly author Sebastian Faulks `Tyler is not merely good, she is wickedly good John Updike `I love Anne Tyler Anita Brookner `Her fiction has strength of vision, originality, freshness, unconquerable humour Eudora Welty. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099272687
Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Barnaby Gaitlin has less in life than he once had. His ex-wife Natalie left him and their native Baltimore several years ago, taking their baby daughter Opal with her. He acquired an unalterably fixed position as the black sheep of the family. And this family isn t one where black sheep are tolerated. The Gaitlins are rich and worthy, supposedly guided by their own special angel to do the right thing. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099272687
Book Description Vintage 2007-03-01, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # NU-BER-00015141
Book Description Vintage 2007-03-01, 2007. Book Condition: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Bookseller Inventory # NU-GRD-00407366
Book Description Vintage, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. BRAND NEW ** SUPER FAST SHIPPING FROM UK WAREHOUSE ** 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000190038
Book Description Vintage, 1999. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # EH9780099272687