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Gould: A Novel in Two Novels Paperback – February 15, 1998

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Gould Bookbinder, the protagonist of Stephen Dixon's novel, Gould: A Novel in Two Novels is not a nice man. When we first meet him, he is an opportunistic college freshman in the process of seducing a girl whom he later impregnates. This is just the first of several pregnancies for which Gould accepts no responsibility. He grows older in the first part of the novel--aptly titled "Abortions"--but wisdom is slow to catch up. Not until near the end of the first section, when Gould is in his 40s, does his attitude change. Then he finds himself trying (unsuccessfully) to convince a pregnant girlfriend to have the child. The second part of Gould, entitled "Evangeline," is a flashback to the long affair between Gould and Evangeline--a relationship that lasts as long as it does mainly because of Gould's affection for Evangeline's son.

With no paragraphs, no page breaks, and precious little attribution of dialogue, Gould is not an easy book to read. The eye tires of words running unrelieved by white space across the page, and Dixon's idiosyncratic prose style can be irritating. Despite it all, Gould is ultimately a remarkable and rewarding read as Stephen Dixon transforms his creepy antihero into someone who, while perhaps not likeable, is at least sympathetic. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Gould Bookbinder is obsessively driven by his desires?initially just for sex, then for children?regardless of consequences for the women in his life: "I left it to her to take care of the rest of it, meaning her own pleasure and the birth control." The first section, "Abortions," touches on five relationships over 40 years. Each includes an abortion or miscarriage. The second, "Evangeline," explores what appears to be a version of one of those stories in greater depth. Although Gould is slightly influenced by the sexual revolution and less so by feminism, he is just too obtuse and selfish to "get it." As in his two most recent novels, Frog (LJ 9/1/93) and Interstate (LJ 5/1/95), both National Book Award finalists, Dixon has created a deeply flawed and fascinating character. Highly recommended for all public and academic libraries.
-?Jim Dwyer, California State Univ. Lib., Chico
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks (February 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080505605X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805056051
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,004,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen Dixon is the author of twenty-seven works of fiction including, most recently, Phone Rings and Old Friends (both published by Melville House). His novels Interstate and Frog were both finalists for the National Book Award. Frog was also a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. His work has received the O. Henry Award, the Best American Short Stories award, the Pushcart Prize, The American Academy Institute of Arts and Letters Prize for Fiction, and he has been a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Gould is great as far as character development, et al. But what becomes apparent is the soullessness of the main character. If I want soullessness, I'll read She's Come Undone.
Still, though, Dixon's the man.
I think he should do something really experimental and, just one time, come up with a new form. This novel would've benefitted greatly from a more conventional structure.
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