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by Jonathan Raban

Download Waxwings eBook
ISBN:
0330480502
Author:
Jonathan Raban
Category:
Contemporary
Language:
English
Publisher:
Picador (May 7, 2004)
Pages:
320 pages
EPUB book:
1845 kb
FB2 book:
1920 kb
DJVU:
1261 kb
Other formats
txt azw mobi docx
Rating:
4.4
Votes:
824


Waxwings 2003 is the second novel by Jonathan Raban. Raban muses over the idea for a Seattle-based novel near the end of his American road trip in Hunting Mister Heartbreak.

Waxwings 2003 is the second novel by Jonathan Raban. Whilst sailing on Lake Union, he portrays himself as a fictional writer called Rainbird who, in toying with the idea for a novel, invents a character called Woon Soo Rhee.

FREE shipping on qualifying offers. Jonathan Raban’s powerful novel is set in Seattle in 1999, at the height of its infatuation with the virtual. It’s a place that attracts immigrants. One of these is Tom Janeway.

Waxwings is a masterwork. Exquisitely written, moving, funny and hugely entertaining, it brilliantly captures the landscape and life of contemporary America, and it confirms Jonathan Raban as one of our very finest writers. At the turn of the millennium, two immigrants are drawn to the United States by their own versions of the American Dream. For Tom Janeway - a Hungarian-born English intellectual most at home with his books - it's the family he thought he'd never have. For Chick - an illegal alien newly escaped from a cargo container - it's the land of plenty he imagined back in China.

Waxwings by Jonathan Raban Picador £1. 9, pp320. Jonathan Raban moved to America more than a decade ago and he described the creeping sense of liberation that he encountered in a travel book, Hunting Mr Heartbreak, which saw him meander from East to West Coast and finally settle, to his surprise, in Seattle.

Jonathan Raban is the author of the novels Surveillance and Waxwings; his nonfiction works include Passage to Juneau, Bad Land, and Driving Home: An American Journey. His honors include the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/West Creative Nonfiction Award, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Award, and the Governor’. ore about Jonathan Raban.

Moving, exquisitely written and hugely entertaining, Waxwings captures the landscape and life of contemporary America, confirming Jonathan Raban as one of our very finest writers.

Jonathan Raban's Waxwings is a canticle for the late 1990s told through the intertwined lives of several Seattlites

Jonathan Raban's powerful novel is set in Seattle in 1999, at the height of its infatuation with the virtual. It's a place that attracts immigrants.

Read unlimited books and audiobooks on the web, iPad, iPhone and Android.

Put Jonathan Raban on a boat and the results will be fascinating, and never more so than when he's sailing around the serpentine, 2,000-mile coast of his native England.

The author of Bad Land realizes a lifelong dream as he navigates the waters of the Mississippi River in a spartan sixteen-foot motorboat, producing yet another masterpiece of contemporary American travel writing. In the course of his voyage, Raban records the mercurial caprices of the river and the astonishingly varied lives of the people who live along its banks. Put Jonathan Raban on a boat and the results will be fascinating, and never more so than when he's sailing around the serpentine, 2,000-mile coast of his native England.

At the turn of the millennium, two immigrants are drawn to the United States by their own versions of the American Dream. For Tom Janeway - a Hungarian-born English intellectual most at home with his books - it's the family he thought he'd never have. For Chick - an illegal alien newly escaped from a cargo container - it's the land of plenty he imagined back in China. But as the stock market hits a new high, anti-globalist riots break out in the streets, a terrorist is arrested and a child disappears, the two men's dreams collide in a way neither could have anticipated. Unjustly accused of a horrific crime, estranged from his wife and his beloved young son, Tom's life is rapidly unravelling. Chick, meanwhile, has a burgeoning business by day but no safe place to lay his bed at night. For both, the New World proves surprisingly full of old ways. Waxwings is a masterwork. Exquisitely written, moving, funny and hugely entertaining, it brilliantly captures the landscape and life of contemporary America, and it confirms Jonathan Raban as one of our very finest writers.
  • Nikobar
Did not like this one, depressing.....
  • Hudora
Found this book wildly interesting considering I've grown up in the Pacific Northwest. Loved the author's occasional snark and witty snips at NW life. Enjoyed the descriptive nature of the writing and found myself vividly picturing the scenes as they came about. Enjoyable read.
  • Ventelone
Marvelous book set in Seattle that incorporates humor and irony in the tale of characters facing current issue and problems.
A professor, his techie wife and precocious son,and the illegal Chinese immigrant who manages to figure out and conquer his new surroundings. Very good read! Our book club loved it.
  • Honeirsil
JR is a capable travelogue writer. However this is a novel. He wrote this as therapy, I feel. The plot is telegraphed and there are no surprises. A good light read but a somewhat frustrating story.
  • Golkree
I ran into Waxwings by pure blazing chance while wandering through the library. Raban is a lovely writer, and Waxwings is an empathetically keen commentary on the teetering height of the dot-com era and on the stumbling longings of the human heart.

Waxwings takes place in Seattle, where the high-tech population pushes hard against the boundaries of the Northwest wilderness, oblivious to the feral forces displaced. (My sister in nearby Spokane tells of a suburban neighbor who strolled out to fetch the mail, only to discover a hungry-eyed cougar crouched on her front porch, patiently looking out for the next chubby toddler on a slow-movin’ trike to wobble down the sidewalk. This is exactly the frisson Raban catches.) Through stories of a perilously self-absorbed NPR commentator and a desperately resourceful illegal Chinese immigrant, Raban paints a moment in Seattle's history that is compelling from both a cultural and personal perspective. One of Raban's gifts is his ability to walk us along with his characters through understandably chance circumstances. When unforeseen consequences avalanche into the narrative trail, we are as startlingly appalled as his characters. Raban writes with humor, moments of ravishing insight, and a gentleness that holds me as much as his unexpected twists of plot and sympathetically drawn characters. I was sorry I had not found this book when it was written, while I was still coming to terms with the post 9-11 sea change. In the back of my mind, I kept waiting for the raison d’être for the "Waxwings" title to appear. When it did, the revelation left me stunned with admiration for this writer's talents.

I'll be reading more of Raban.
  • virus
Waxwings is set in Seattle in 1999-2000, at the height of the dot-com boom. Beth and Tom are a couple whose marriage is slowly disintegrating. Beth is a writer and editor working for an online real estate company; Tom is a literature professor at the University of Washington (UW). Their four-year-old son Finn figures prominently in the story of Beth and Tom's breakup, an ongoing theme being his misbehavior at preschool and his parents' disagreements about what he should eat or watch on television. Another key figure is Chick, an illegal Chinese immigrant who's trying to save enough money to pay off the debt to the men who brought him to the U.S. His path crosses Tom's when he offers to replace the roof on his Queen Anne Victorian home, using a crew of illegal Mexican immigrants.

I was unfamiliar with Mr. Raban's work before reading Waxwings. He's a travel writer and novelist with 18 books to his credit. His writing is very good and the plot drew me along as he developed several subplots. One of the subplots involved a young girl who disappeared from a trail on the same day that Tom was hiking there. After his and Beth's separation he was falling apart, not taking care of himself and smoking. His hike helped him to develop an idea for a new novel, but also put him in the place where a crime was committed, and his disheveled appearance and the fact that he was smoking, made him the most memorable character to everyone hiking that day. He quickly becomes a "person of interest," causing UW to put him on paid leave and his wife to begin to doubt him. As he struggles with this problem as well as his wife's departure and Chick's work on his house, he begins to realize that he can survive these problems and begins to make his way back into a semblance of normalcy.

This book is funny and well-written. The main characters: Tom, Beth, Finn, and Chick are well-developed and believable. Seattle and the dot-com boom around the turn of the 21st century are also very well described. The bust that follows the boom is subtly hinted at, and Beth's new financial "security" due to her stock options is clearly at risk. Not stated explicitly, her new wealthy status was certainly a factor in her decision to leave Tom. The title of the book refers to a species of birds that light upon a bush or tree and eat everything possible before moving on, paralleling the dot-com boom and its impact on Seattle. The book leaves the reader with a feeling that Tom will survive all of his crises and Chick will flourish; Beth's future is really questionable. Recommended.