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& Sons - David Gilbert
& Sons
by: (author)
3.25 80
A literary masterwork for readers of The Art of Fielding, The Emperor’s Children, and Wonder Boys—the panoramic, deeply affecting story of two interconnected families, an iconic novelist, and the heartbreaking truths that fiction can hide   The funeral of Charles Henry Topping on Manhattan’s... show more
A literary masterwork for readers of The Art of Fielding, The Emperor’s Children, and Wonder Boys—the panoramic, deeply affecting story of two interconnected families, an iconic novelist, and the heartbreaking truths that fiction can hide   The funeral of Charles Henry Topping on Manhattan’s Upper East Side would have been a minor affair (his two-hundred-word obit in The New York Times notwithstanding) but for the presence of one particular mourner: the notoriously reclusive author A. N. Dyer, whose novel Ampersand stands as a classic of American teenage angst. But as Andrew Newbold Dyer delivers the eulogy for his oldest friend, he suffers a breakdown over the life he’s led and the people he’s hurt and the novel that will forever endure as his legacy. He must gather his three sons for the first time in many years—before it’s too late.   So begins a wild, transformative, heartbreaking week, as witnessed by Philip Topping, who, like his late father, finds himself caught up in the swirl of the Dyer family. First there’s son Richard, a struggling screenwriter and father, returning from self-imposed exile in California. In the middle lingers Jamie, settled in Brooklyn after his twenty-year mission of making documentaries about human suffering. And last is Andy, the half brother whose mysterious birth tore the Dyers apart seventeen years ago, now in New York on spring break, determined to lose his virginity before returning to the prestigious New England boarding school that inspired Ampersand. But only when the real purpose of this reunion comes to light do these sons realize just how much is at stake, not only for their father but for themselves and three generations of their family.   In this daring feat of fiction, David Gilbert establishes himself as one of our most original, entertaining, and insightful authors. & Sons is that rarest of treasures: a startlingly imaginative novel about families and how they define us, and the choices we make when faced with our own mortality.Advance praise for & Sons   “David Gilbert’s & Sons is that novel you’ve been waiting for without knowing you were waiting. Big, brilliant, and terrifically funny, it’s a moving story about fathers and sons and success, a dead-on, deadpan retelling of our American literary myth.”—Jess Walter   “I like novels about novelists, and surely everyone is a sucker for a story that begins at the funeral of a childhood friend—especially a funeral with such a sense of foreboding (‘we would all return to this church’). & Sons is not an easy novel to describe without giving too much of the story away. Why would the first-person narrator need to defend himself from ‘charges of narrative fraud’? Why is a seventeen-year-old Exeter student—the product, we are told, of an affair that ended the novelist’s marriage and estranged the writer from his older sons—likened to ‘a small boy overboard, possibly drowning’? Yes, the writing is gorgeous—not only the prose but the power of David Gilbert’s observations. ‘All things have a second birth,’ Gilbert writes, and later, ‘We all have something to steal.’ And have I mentioned, without giving it away, that this is a terrific story?”—John Irving   “Informed by observation and memory rather than aspiration and fantasy, & Sons is a New York novel written by an actual New Yorker. David Gilbert is smart, funny, and empathetic, but most important, possessed of a true literary sensibility that is seasoned, not seasonal.”—Fran Lebowitz
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Format: hardcover
ISBN: 9780812993967 (0812993969)
Publisher: Random House, Inc.
Pages no: 448
Edition language: English
Community Reviews
msleighm books
msleighm books rated it
4.5 - 5 stars. Brilliantly written. Tragic. Intertwining of generations and decades narrated in the present day. Perhaps I need to stick to Victorian and Gothic writing. This book was emotionally draining, in a good way...?
Memories From Books on Booklikes
Memories From Books on Booklikes rated it
2.0 And Sons: A Novel
& Sons is the story of reclusive author A N Dyer as he comes to terms with his own age and looks back at the decisions he has made that led him to this point of his life. It is also the story of his relationship with his three sons, their relationships with each other, and the relationship of this c...
Candlefox rated it
Gave up after a hundred something pages. I tried, I really really tried to like this book. The premise is great, a book about a book and it's reclusive author. Add to that the story of a couple of dads and their sons. It's an ambitious book and a bit lengthy and that's what I think failed. Davi...
Chris Blocker
Chris Blocker rated it
4.0 & Sons
At its best, & Sons is amazing. Not only does David Gilbert write prose with beautiful construction, but he crafts excellent scenes and interesting characters. Along the way, he travels unexpected avenues, adding twists and turns that may be jarring for some readers; personally I found them to be cr...
River City Reading
River City Reading rated it
Reclusive novelist A.N. Dyer, author of the American classic Ampersand, makes his first public appearance in years at the funeral of his lifelong friend Charles Topping. Overcome by the task of eulogizing Topping and recognizing his own mortality, Dyer seeks out the presence of his three sons, all l...
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