Harry Mathews Cigarettes

ISBN 13: 9781555840921

Cigarettes

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Cigarettes is a novel about the rich and powerful, tracing their complicated relationships from the 1930s to the 1960s, from New York City to Upper New York State. Though nothing is as simple as it might appear to be, we could describe this as a story about Allen, who is married to Maud but having an affair with Elizabeth, who lives with Maud. Or say it is a story about fraud in the art world, horse racing, and sexual intrigues. Or, as one critic did, compare it to a Jane Austen creation, or to an Aldous Huxley novel - and be right and wrong on both counts.

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Review:

"Cigarettes" has the delicate yet rigorous architecture of latticework: if we concentrate on the light streaming through its apertures we are still attentive to its carpentry; if we focus on its geometry the light is, of needs, a constant presence. It is a triumph of the imagination.--Gilbert Sorrentino

A brilliant Jane Austen-like social comedy on the unfathomable nature of human relationships.--Lanie Goodman "Washington Post Book World "

A brilliant and unsettling book.... Mathews weaves into each of his several story-threads more unexpected twists than you'll find in the average multi-volume Victorian novel.--Tom Clark "Los Angeles Times Book Review "

In "Cigarettes", Mathews takes us more interestingly than ever into that unfinished work of art, the self, exposing powerful dependencies and subtleties in a cast of characters distinct and poised yet half-goping toward others and themselves. The plot, the tale, the laying bare, are intriguingly staged and timed in a novel as imaginative as it is disturbing.--Joseph McElroy

In "Cigarettes," Mathews takes us more interestingly than ever into that unfinished work of art, the self, exposing powerful dependencies and subtleties in a cast of characters distinct and poised yet half-goping toward others and themselves. The plot, the tale, the laying bare, are intriguingly staged and timed in a novel as imaginative as it is disturbing.--Joseph McElroy

"Cigarettes" has the delicate yet rigorous architecture of latticework: if we concentrate on the light streaming through its apertures we are still attentive to its carpentry; if we focus on its geometry the light is, of needs, a constant presence. It is a triumph of the imagination.--Gilbert Sorrentino

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Mathews, Harry
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Harry Mathews
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