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Falling to Earth: A Novel Paperback – September 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Firebrand Books; 1ST edition (September 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563411008
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563411007
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,804,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Alice once dreamed of being an artist, but instead became a hard-working and successful manager at a computer-software company, supervising a group of over-educated writers who have decided, like her, to make money rather than do what they love. Her insistence on keeping her work life rigidly separate from her private life means that her private life barely exists. Lovers are sacrifice; needs are deferred. Her lesbian life, she thought, had a "Brigadoon-like quality, a fantasy world that was really nice to visit, but impossible to live in." Only the world of work was "real." What will happen when Alice's red-haired guardian angel, Phoebe, starts visiting her at work, spinning out tales that beg to be written down, and seducing the strait-laced Alice with thoughts of another world entirely? Elizabeth Brownrigg's first novel is absorbing and well written, a series of stories within stories, reminiscent, at times, of early Jeanette Winterson. --Regina Marler

From Publishers Weekly

"This is a story about doppelgangers and angels and the difference between heaven and hell," the opening lines of this fantastical first novel proclaim. The real and the imaginary blur when Alice, the closeted lesbian manager at a computer software company, is visited by her guardian angel, Phoebe. Like the land-lubbering Little Mermaid in the Grimms' fairy tale, Phoebe's desire to feel human emotions causes her to become more corporeal each day. Though she's lost her ability to walk through walls, Phoebe's angelic qualities obtain. She inspires the dejected Alice to write and tell stories about non-conformist characters?like Jo-Jo, a black Catholic boy who grows up to be a gay drag performer?whose self-discoveries prompt Alice to acknowledge her own desire for change. The plot grows more eerie when Alice's fictions suddenly turn real. Brownrigg handles her heavy themes?the awakening of desire, love in the face of homophobia and racism?with a light touch, though the unfortunate consequence is that her characters are underdeveloped and unbelievable. It is the casually frank, confessional voice of Alice ("Being out of the closet on the job was just great.... They wouldn't fire you. They'd just forget to promote you") that is this novel's strongest feature.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DML on September 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
Wonderful novel! The intertwined stories kept me from putting the book down. My favorite characters were the artist who made scenes in boxes, and the working class millworker but the entire novel is full of surprises and thoroughly entertaining.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
The biggest thrill I had from the book was daring to buy it in a bookstore I had went to with my whole family. No one knows I'm gay, so the adrenaline I got from daring myself to the lesbian section, looking around to see no one was following me, paying the cashier and stucking the book in my handbag, could in no way compare to reading the book. It was really a dissapointment, I had read comparisons to Jeannette Winterson that I couldn't see even when I tried to imagine them. The book had potential, the story of the artist who makes boxes could work for a whole novel. I had to force myself to keep reading, whishing in my mind that I would soon get to the interesting part. The beautifully written words of Jeannette Winterson were no where to be found. THis book looked like a good novel, not a cheap lesbian story, where you know the story is completely unbelievable but you are still pulled into it... I would have preffered to spend my money in one of those, because they may not be great literature but you still get pulled into the plot. Anyway, I would sugget you try something else, unless you have to see for yourself.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nori on August 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
Not half as good as it should have been. The comparison to Jeanette Winterson was based solely on the fantastical ideas and symbols she had going (angels, &c.) but had none of the prose that makes Winterson great! This was straight plot. Winterson's excellence is not only her fuzzy line between metaphor and reality, but that her prose is rich with metaphor, is so flowing and beautiful. This had no beauty; it was just hacked-out plot. There was so much symbolic potential, none of which was explored. I'm very disappointed. Also, the whole issue of lesbianism was treated rather oddly--it didn't add anything to the book--nor did it detract, but it seemed like just a gimmick.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "blissengine" on September 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
I can see where the previous reviewers had problems with Brownrigg's style. It could've definitely been elaborated upon in places, but I found her magical-realism style rather invigorating. The book of entwined stories, for me, was about trying to let go and find one's creative self again, as well as finding love. It reminded me in places of Persimmon Blackbridge's "Prozac Highway" and Erika Lopez's "Flaming Iguanas".
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
The biggest thrill I had from the book was daring to buy it in a bookstore I had went to with my whole family. No one knows I'm gay, so the adrenaline I got from daring myself to the lesbian section, looking around to see no one was following me, paying the cashier and stucking the book in my handbag, could in no way compare to reading the book. It was really a dissapointment, I had read comparisons to Jeannette Winterson that I couldn't see even when I tried to imagine them. The book had potential, the story of the artist who makes boxes could work for a whole novel. I had to force myself to keep reading, whishing in my mind that I would soon get to the interesting part. The beautifully written words of Jeannette Winterson were no where to be found. THis book looked like a good novel, not a cheap lesbian story, where you know the story is completely unbelievable but you are still pulled into it... I would have preffered to spend my money in one of those, because they may not be great literature but you still get pulled into the plot. Anyway, I would sugget you try something else, unless you have to see for yourself.
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