Hummingbirds and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$11.80
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by AZ_Fulfillment
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: [Lightly Used Hardcover. Possible light wear to cover. No markings in text but may be name or dedication inside cover. Expedited Shipping Available]
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Hummingbirds: A Novel Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 6, 2009


See all 13 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover, Bargain Price, October 6, 2009
$12.43 $11.80

This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but could include a small mark from the publisher and an Amazon.com price sticker identifying them as such. Details

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Introducing The Amazon Book Review, our editors' fresh new blog featuring interviews with authors, book reviews, quirky essays on book trends, and regular columns by our editors. Explore now

Special Offers and Product Promotions

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061769010
  • ASIN: B0046LUF90
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,533,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Carmine-Casey prep school girls flutter through Gaylord's debut, but they're not alone; their teachers are insecure flirts and cheats amid divorces and trysts. One such teacher is Leo Binhammer, whose wife, Sarah Lewis, had a brief affair two years ago with Carmine-Casey's newest teacher, the charismatic Ted Hughes. When Binhammer realizes the connection, he keeps it to himself, and before long, Ted, a reckless romantic, charms Binhammer into an unusual friendship. Meanwhile, student Dixie Doyle and her peers lounge outside the school in their pleated skirts, emanating Lolita-like accidental sexuality. Binhammer, who is unapologetic about his attraction to the students, tries to connect with Liz Warren, the playwright in his class, before Ted charms her. Similarly competitive, Liz and Dixie vie for attention from the few adult men around the school, and the complicated web of loyalties, attraction, competition and camaraderie provides much tension as things play out—but not in an expected way. While the narration takes some getting used to—there are many personalities and points-of-view at play—Gaylord's tale of overeducated men and the teenage students who exhibit the finesse and understanding their teachers lack hits all the right notes. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Provocative and well written." (People StyleWatch )

"Hummingbirds positively glistens with erudition and insight. Whether writing about prep school girls or the adult men who walk among them, Gaylord's stunning writing elevates his subject matter with equal parts humanity and elegance." (Jonathan Tropper, author of This Is Where I Leave You )

"HUMMINGBIRDS is a sly, charming novel about the students at a Manhattan girls' school and the adults who sometimes remember to teach them. Joshua Gaylord's winning debut." (Brock Clarke, author of An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England )

"The complicated web of loyalties, attraction, competition and camaraderie [in HUMMINGBIRDS] provides much tension as things play out-but not in an expected way. . . . Gaylord's tale of overeducated men and the teenage students who exhibit the finesse and understanding their teachers lack hits all the right notes." (Publishers Weekly )

"Keenly plotted and psychologically acute, this novel thrums with deceptions great and small-what we don't tell each other, and what we won't admit to ourselves." (Ed Park, author of Personal Days )

"[A] winning debut . . . Lush language . . . A very grown-up novel about adolescence and the folly of adults, by an impressive new voice in American fiction." (Kirkus Reviews (starred) )

"Gaylord has delivered a story that's ripe with acute and wry observations on men and women, competition, sexuality, and secrets." (Library Journal )

Customer Reviews

It was very fluid and engaging, and in addition, most of the writing was very witty and humorous.
zibilee
This is a story of women and the men who love and seek to understand them, who watch them flutter and dream, and really, truly LIKE women.
Bonnie Brody
He has some great sentences in the book and he has descriptions of things that are thoughtful but it's not a page turner...
kathleen medders

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Brody TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This debut novel takes place in the backdrop of an elite girls' day school in Manhattan, the Carmine-Casey School for Girls. Here we find a heated and flurrying mixture of adolescent girls, the men and women who teach them, and the occasional visitors from the local boys school.

As in every school, there are stars. The star students here are Dixie Doyle, the lollipop sucking, pigtail wearing popular student with her cadre of followers. There is also Liz Warren, the studious, non-smiling student who always gets 'A's', and is a playwright. There are two male teachers who the young women adore, Mr. Binhammer and Ted Huges (with the unfortunate name of a dead poet). Binhammer has been in the school much longer than Mr. Hughes and they have a competitive relationship for popularity and adoration. As Binhammer says, "Carmine-Casey, of course, is the right place for him. Women to the left of him, women to the right of him. Like Alfred Lord Tennyson in a sorority house. That is, until the new teacher came along".

Binhammer is married and we find out early in the book that Sara, his wife, has been unfaithful to him at a conference. Incredibly, the young man she has her short-lived affair with is none other than Ted Hughes, the new teacher at Carmine-Casey. Binhammer attended this conference with his wife and shortly after they returned home Sara confessed her infidelity. He recognizes Ted Hughes when he first makes his entrance into Carmine-Casey. However, he chooses to keep his connection with Hughes a secret from Sara. How long can he do this without Sara finding out as their are a lot of events at Carmine-Casey that take place in the evenings where wives are expected to attend?
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Nazare on January 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Hummingbirds reads like a modern American version of a Dickens novel, with its omniscient narration encompassing a broad cast of characters from different walks of life (i.e. teachers and students). And like the best literature, Gaylord's novel immerses the reader in another world--in this case, the world of the upper-crust Manhattan prep school. The Carmine-Casey School for Girls is so richly described, it feels more like a central character than a mere setting. Gaylord obviously possesses an intimate knowledge of the world of which he writes, but even more impressively, he exhibits a firm grasp of human nature. Hummingbirds is at once poignant and slyly humorous (a scene late in the novel involving spray-painted graffiti is ourageously funny). This is an amazing work of literary fiction, one that I cannot recommend highly enough--to teachers, high school/college students, and anyone interested in delving into the mystery and wonder of male-female relationship. But hey, don't take my word for it. Click on the "Look Inside" button above, and read Gaylord's opening chapter for yourself. I defy you not to get hooked by the novel's seductive prose.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Griswold on October 15, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The characters in Hummingbirds are as wonderful and reprehensible as real people. By the end of the novel I had many reasons to love and a few reasons to hate every major character, from the seemingly shallow Dixie, who is constantly observing the world around her and trying to make it more interesting, to the reckless and beautiful Ted Hughes, a man whose mistakes are almost as endearing as his poetic sensibilities.

The social environment of the school in which the characters interact takes on a complexity rarely seen in literature, and it is wonderful. Too many authors demean and belittle the experiences of high school, those formative years where small things feel big and big things feel enormous. Joshua Gaylord, however, portrays the school and the girls inhabiting it with the perfect balance of straight-faced seriousness and affectionate laughter, exactly what you would expect from a teacher who loves working at a school for all the right reasons.

Reading Hummingbirds was a wonderful experience, one of the best I've had in the last several years. I highly recommend this beautiful, powerful novel.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By techmannn on October 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What is most striking to me about Hummingbirds is how irrepressibly witty it is. Reading it was a continual pleasure as the author's narrator alternates between the tumultuous thoughts and desires of girls finishing their senior year of private high school and the more world-experienced minds of their male and female teachers. All of the characters sing off the page. I have a special fondness for the teacher named Sybil because she always seems to have a handle on things, even when others barely notice what she says. The author clearly loves all of his characters, and he never uses his formidable wit at the expense of them.

I cannot stress enough how well-written the novel is. If you already enjoy the writing of Tom Perrotta (Election) or the young Philip Roth, you will most certainly enjoy this novel. Anyone who likes smart writing would be remiss not to read it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ti on August 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
Carmine-Casey is a swank, all-girl prep school in Manhattan. There, girls like Dixie Doyle and Liz Warren walk the hallways, somewhat innocent of the effect they have on others but at the same time, aware that somewhere within them, lies the power to take grown men down.

Enter Leo Binhammer. Binhammer, as he is affectionately called, is the only male teacher in the English department and prides himself on the fact that nearly every female he encounters finds him fascinating in some way. His position as stud is challenged when Ted Hughes joins the staff. Ted is also witty with the ladies. So much so, that years ago he had an affair with Binhammer's wife, Sarah. Although Binhammer keeps this info to himself, the two find themselves jockeying for a favorable position and the result is entertaining and amusing.

This is not your typical prep-school fare. The girls are blown-up stereotypes of what we know popular girls to be, but these girls are innocently charming as well as dangerously sexual and bright. Extremely bright. Young and green but on the verge of becoming something else. They possessed a freshness that I found so appealing.

The men, although full of testosterone and practically strutting the halls, had a vulnerability to them that I found wildly attractive. I could easily see myself as one of their students hanging on their every word. As I was reading, I recalled my middle school days when I had a huge crush on Mr. Taylor, my history teacher. I gazed at him every chance I could and when I had him again as a professor in college, imagine my surprise! College meant I was older and not jail bait. Get my drift? Of course nothing happened but my point is that Gaylord's depiction of such a formative period was spot on.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Joshua Gaylord lives in New York. For the past decade, he has taught high school English at an Upper East Side prep school (a modern orthodox co-educational Yeshiva). Since 2002, he has also taught literature and cultural studies courses as an adjunct professor at the New School. Prior to coming to New York, he grew up in the heart of Orange County: Anaheim, home of Disneyland. He graduated from Berkeley with a degree in English and a minor in creative writing, where his instructors included Bharati Mukherjee, Leonard Michaels and Maxine Hong Kingston. In 2000, he received his Master's and Ph.D. in English at New York University, specializing in twentieth-century American and British literature.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?