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How To Get Into the Twin Palms Paperback – Deckle Edge, August 14, 2012
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Meaningful message: Masked by scenes of schmancy nightlife is a story about an immigrant wanting to belong. Plot notes: Barely getting by in L.A. on bingo-calling, Anya reinvents herself. With hair dye and a push-up bra, she tries to gain entry into the Twin Palms nightclub.
"The premise is comical, but the story is deep, as Anya bumps up against the world in an attempt to define her identity as both an immigrant and a woman." - Flavorpill, 10 Novellas Perfect for Literary Lounging
"How to Get Into the Twin Palms presents a vividly drawn portrait of Los Angeles inhabited by alienated immigrants, Russian Gangsters, and sex-starved bingo-addicted octogenarians - all enveloped by smoldering fires that threaten to burn the city down."
"Sex-crazed, surreal, dreamy, violent, escapist, and always searching for some kind of truth. The book makes me think of questions I ask myself all the time."
- Sara Finnerty, HTML Giant
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Top Customer Reviews
First, the subject matter is unique -- you are entrenched in the Russian/Polish community in Los Angeles, given a glimpse into a world most of us are completely unfamiliar with. Every detail seems to be a fascinating little surprise. But this story is more than just an intriguing world. Anya is SUCH A RARE main character -- a young woman who isn't afraid to put herself out there in a brazen attempt to find herself. To make mistakes. She isn't slight; she can handle it.
The other thing I love about this book is the questions it raises about intimacy -- what are you owed when you love? What are you allowed to ask for in return? What does what you ask for say about who you are? Does where you come from factor into the equation?
But you don't even realize all these questions are roiling around in your head until you've read the last sentence, because you are completely engrossed and inside Anya's head every step of the way.
I also love how so much of the story is revealed to us through the little things. Like how Anya analyzes old hair balls. Or scrutinizes the way someone eats borscht.
This is a beautiful, cathartic, svelte novel. Equally funny and tragic with a refreshing voice. I look forward to future works from the author.
Karolina also perfectly got the tone and mood of Los Angeles. It's not surprising that reading through her bio she lived there for over 10 years. This is the real Los Angeles - a melting pot of cultures that live block to block next to each other. It's a very unique community that Karolina captures so well - especially the old Fairfax - Santa Monica district that is quickly disappearing. It's a novel as much about the unique disconnection in Los Angeles as it is about the loneliness of the main character Ania.
Ania's roaming and needs were so vivid to me that this book has made me think about it's themes for days. It's a must read and definitely belongs in the pantheon of incredible Los Angeles novels.
Such is the premise of Karolina Waclawiak`s weird debut novel, "How to Get Into The twin Palms." Unconventional in form with two-three page chapters, "Twin Palms" is a wry story about the costs of fitting into American society. Anka left Poland as a child navigating adolescence in an immigrant `assimilation camp` in Texas. Now in her twenties, Anka still feels adrift, no longer Polish, not quite American. She moves to the most generic place she can, LA. She envies her neighbors, those recent arrivals from the disemboweled Soviet Union who feel as comfortable as they did in Vladivostok or Kharkov. Bereft of identity and a `someone` to fill the void, she naturally becomes enthralled with the enigmatic stranger who loiters in front of her apartment.
Waclawiak`s prose is both understated and quirky. Details and character motivations are often guesswork. Her sentences rattle out clipped of wing and deceptively simple. This less-is-more format is both intriguing and annoying. Anka is prone to waxing cryptic about the travails of her solitude. "This was me making it work." Anka appears as vague and oddly tantalizing as the `Palms` she so hungers to enter. A myriad of wounds and hurts no doubt simmer below the surface but are never brought before the harsh California sun.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First off, I love books that take place in Los Angeles and I think that the best part of this is that it doesn't just show the glitzy, pretty places that we see on television and... Read morePublished 3 months ago by natasha
Waclawiak draws the reader into her world. You will want to get in to the Twin Palms, too!Published 13 months ago by Frances Lynch
This book is an easy, entertaining read that ultimately doesn't satisfy. The writer shifted gears in the last quarter of the book and it lost credibility for me. Read morePublished 14 months ago by K.F.
Well written novel told by a flawed and engaging narrator. A story of immigration, family values, old world culture, loss, and hurt. Read it and see where the story takes you. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Pat
Overall, this novel appears to be well written but left the reader with some questions regarding the main characters behavior. Read morePublished on December 6, 2012 by MARY ANN MORGAN