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Like Nabokov's Lolita, Allan Stein depicts human sexuality in a way that is as captivating as it is disturbing. But the pedophiliac element--and its graphic manifestations--should not necessarily frighten readers away. Matthew Stadler's ornate, twisting sentences show strong sensitivity to place and setting, whether he's describing the streets of Paris, the French countryside, or a cluttered bar in Seattle. There's also a strong undercurrent of ironic humor, particularly in the exchanges between the narrator and the real Herbert and in the narrator's memories of adventures shared as a boy with his mother. Allan Stein is a book (and Matthew Stadler an author) one might be tempted to ignore as "difficult." In doing so, however, one would be overlooking a unique gem. --Ron Hogan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." This concept comes to mind after having read this but not because it applies but because it doesn't apply! Read morePublished 3 months ago by S. C. Matthews
Since I started reading about Ernest Hemingway's time in Paris, I've been intrigued with all the folks he knew, including Picasso, Gertude Stein, and Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Read morePublished on September 14, 2012 by RSRS
The comparisons of Allan Stein to Lolita are inevitable:
The obsession with the adolescent, the furtive criminal
inevitability, the bathetic conclusion all call one to... Read more
Startlingly intelligent, 'Allan Stein' is a literary novel rich in descriptive detail, imagery and flowing prose which merges the past and the present in a simultaneously witty and... Read morePublished on October 16, 2006 by Elliot
"...I'm threatened by the boy as a site of divinity and spiritual deliverance." -Matthew Stadler
This is not only "a haunting testament to unfulfilled desire" but to... Read more
I agree that this a just another version of "Lolita". But in contrast to "Lolita", the descriptions are much more subtule and less confusing. Read morePublished on December 1, 2004 by Yuki Shinobu
This novel mixes art history with the fictional present. Matthew, a young teacher in a private school, is accused of molesting one of his students. Read morePublished on August 10, 2002 by John Rice
By the end of Allan Stein, you get the feeling that if Stadler was not so apt at words, he'd have made an excellent weatherman. Read morePublished on July 30, 2001 by KIR
Notwithstanding the linguistic pyrotechnics that Matthew Stadler employs to lift this book towards a higher literary plane, "Allan Stein" is nothing more than a lame... Read morePublished on July 15, 2001 by Bernard