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Eustace Chisholm and the Works Paperback – Bargain Price, January 9, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf (January 9, 2005)
  • ISBN-10: 0786715022
  • ASIN: B000CEXTTS
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,740,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"James Purdy is the outlaw of American fiction." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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A compelling tale of unrequited love,self loathing, and horror.
"mariposalily"
Younger authors like Easton Ellis and the likes of him are simply looking bleak and lifeless compared with Purdy, although i also liked reading them.
"kokwim"
Read it with an open mind and you'll find it will go straight to an open heart, with frequent forays into your funny bone and social awareness.
Allen Smalling

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "mariposalily" on April 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
I find it hard to believe that James Purdy is so neglected when he is so good. If you're a fan of Flannery O'Conner, I urge you to read Purdy - you will not be disappointed. "Eustace Chisholm" is a stunning achievement. A compelling tale of unrequited love,self loathing, and horror. This is a great train wreck of a book, filled with charcaters and situations you may wish you'd never encountered, and yet you are compelled by forces ungovernable to continue reading. Yes, the material is dark. The characters fail to come together in any positive ways - quite the contrary. Purdy has populated his tale with emotional illiterates; people who most assuredly feel that God has forgotten them. The story of Amos and Daniel is rife with symbolism - innocence corrupted, love demonized, self flagellation - it's all here. The conclusion is quite stunning, horrible and real. Purdy is a true American original, a Gay author who wrote about gay people long before it was fashionable to do so. DO NOT LET THIS ONE GET AWAY UNREAD.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Allen Smalling TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
. .
and top-notch all the way! EUSTACHE CHISHOLM AND THE WORKS doesn't fit into easy subgenre or marketing categorizations because its era (bottom of the Depression ca. 1931), setting (the incredibly diverse Hyde Park district of South Side Chicago, near the U. of Chicago campus) and cast of characters (de facto leader Eustace Chisholm and his "works," a bunch of guys semi-squatting in a tax-overdue house) are difficult to type after seventy years of New Deal, Joseph McCarthy, Vietnam, and Televangelism. Taken strictly on its own terms, EUSTACE comes across as a work of 1930s social realism (although written in the 1960s), a masterfully wrought work, nicely nuanced yet accessible . . . and great fun.
Principal players are title character Eustace Chisholm and his "works," a kind of rough-hewn rat pack who rely on their de facto leader's one-day-at-a-time problem-solving as they face the ironic stresses that the rest of the USA also faced during the early 1930s--living in a capitalist economy without capital. Their situation was hardly unique. From farm to town to metropolis, one-third of a nation found itself unemployed and--most trying of all--the Hoover administration, following pre-Keynesian economic policy, paradoxically pulled back on the federal money supply, upwardly sucking the currency from use, recovery and hope. (Think of Studs Terkel's *HARD TIMES* and other oral accounts of the Great Depression, the common refrain: "All of a sudden there was no money!") A great deal of this novel's comic tension lies between the conditional sympathy many readers will feel toward the lead characters and their demi-monde and the automatic fellow-feeling wired in the American DNA toward their economic plight as mass casualties of the Great Depression's fiscal meltdown.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "kokwim" on August 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
No better way to start this short little review with one of the most beautiful titles ever found (by Purdy): Color of Darkness. Almost all of Purdy's work can be characterized by this metaphor. His most famous works (Eustace Chisholm, Malcolm, Narrow Rooms, In A Shallow Grave) belong to the most mysteriously beautiful American novels ever and the literature of the whole Western World. Truly American in characters, truly universal in themata, truly disturbing in effect. He reminded me of those other greatgreatgreat American authors, Flannery o'Connor, Faulkner and Poe. Younger authors like Easton Ellis and the likes of him are simply looking bleak and lifeless compared with Purdy, although i also liked reading them.
Purdy's work is really about Love and the disturbing effects of it on humans and the human society. Never was there an American author who understood so deeply the fundamental qualities and nature of Human Love, clearifying it, to make the reader understand, to feel the fundamental and terrible force of it. I can't even begin to tell about the beauty of his work. I read Eustace Chisholm, Narrow Rooms, In A Shallow Grave years and years ago, I don't even know whether Purdy lives or is dead, but the effect of his work is there, again and again, never to leave anymore. I can only wish there was more of such work.
I am so glad that there are still Americans who also appreciate his work, and that they write so highly regarding of him. People all over the world should read it, especially in these days when the ultimate form of love seems primarily to be transformed into the Love For...Homeland ...
Read it, for God's sake.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jerzy E. Henisz on September 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not too much more to say. Well written fiction but did not survive the test of time. More of interest to scholars than to fiction readers. The construction of the story is very interesting.
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