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Lanceheim: A Novel Hardcover – June 15, 2010

4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the pseudonymous Davys's dithering second novel set in a world populated by stuffed animals (after Amberville), composer Reuben Walrus is weeks away from finishing his new symphonic opus when he discovers that his irreversible hearing loss will be total before he can complete the task. His only hope is to seek the aid of Maximilian, a parable-spouting sage whose growing cult of followers has so alarmed authorities and deacons of the world's orthodox church that they have driven him underground. Davys alternates between the trials and tribulations of Reuben as he copes with his affliction, and the life, times, and persecution of the enigmatic Maximilian, but the two narrative threads converge so belatedly that the plot never coheres. The stuffed animal conceit adds little to a story whose characters are so tritely human that readers may find themselves wondering why the author even bothered to cast it with fantasy surrogates. (June)
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From Booklist

Amberville, the first novel from the pseudonymous Davys, added to the cleverness of its conceit—a crime story where stuffed animals try to solve the mysteries of existence—with humor, heart, and surprise. Lanceheim is billed as a “fast-paced literary mystery,” which would violate truth-in-advertising laws if jacket copy were susceptible to prosecution. This slow-paced story is hardly a mystery, unless you count the walk-on part played by Philip Mouse, PI. No, this concerns a mysterious stuffed animal named Maximilian who can heal and walk through walls and speaks in cryptic pronouncements that would do Chauncey Gardiner proud. Davys has some fun with humanity’s urge to make messiahs, but the story’s emphasis on the persecution faced by the cult of Maximilian overwhelms the more trenchant observation that we tend to turn on our saviors when they don’t tell us what we want to hear. If the question is whether this novel would be anything special were it cast with people instead of stuffed animals, then the answer, unfortunately, is no. With two more books coming in the Mollisan Town quartet, we hope Davys will explore very different neighborhoods. --Keir Graff

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (June 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006179743X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061797439
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,017,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By rehash on October 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Coming off Amberville, I expected a whole different pace and storyline. While I breezed through Amberville, I stopped and started Lanceheim. I'm not one for spoilers, nor am I one to read the last page of a book to test if I would like it but I would highly suggest against it. Despite battling through most of the book, after the ending I was just shocked. Where as its not unpredictable, it still left me in awe and thinking about a reread.

During the book, I felt the pace would pick up at certain parts only to stutter quickly after. Reading reviews of Amberville, I remember someone pointing out that the translation from the original language hurt the book, and where I don't believe that is true for Amberville, I agree 100% in Lanceheim.

Maybe I am just surprised that I fought through a book, and ended up liking it, but if you are into religious and spiritual adventures it is a must read. The differences of good and evil in Mollisan Town aren't over by the way, two more books are on their way.
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By Fox on September 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is the first book I have read purely for fun in several years. That being said, I loved this book!

The whole thing was real page-turner, and it kept me in constant suspense. I felt immediately attracted to the two main characters, Wolf Diaz, and Reuben Walrus. The story essentially has two plots and switches back and forth between them, until they finally converge in a very satisfying way.

Sometimes the stuffed animals in this book were a little TOO human (as one reviewer points out) but that hardly warrants a 1-star rating. The important thing is the solid story and intriguing plot!

Despite the logical flaws involving the lack of animal-like behavior from these animals, (which really was a bit distracting at times) I feel like the only fair way to judge this book is by how much I enjoyed it. That's why I must give it 5 stars! I wish it were much longer. I was pretty sad when it ended.
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By carla on April 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Who/what is Maximilian? Author device to let reader interpret is okay to a point, but in Lanceheim Tim Davys gets too cute with withholding information and twisting character Dias at the end. Otherwise, the story is compelling enough to keep reader reading. There is plenty of food for thought--regarding good versus evil and the Messiah. However, Davys does not wrap up the story well. He merely lets some stuffing poke out irritatingly.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By RBG on December 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
A book with a cast made up of intelligent, walking and talking stuffed animals could be interesting and unique. Unfortunately, this isn't. The characters act completely human-- they eat, drink, get drunk, have sex, and have medical problems. Are we supposed to believe that a stuffed animal is having inner-ear problems, described in detail down to the hairs in the ear canal? Other than the names of the characters (Eva Whipoorwill, Ruben Walrus, Wolf Diaz)there's no behavior that suggests they're not human. The book is a clumbsy religious allegory featuring Maximillian, a Christ-like figure that threatens the religious status quo. Early hints that Maximillian might be something other than a regular stuffed animal (nobody can figure out what type of animal he is, and he appears to grow) are never followed up on and seemingly forgotten. None of the characters are particularly sympathedic; of the three main characters Ruben Walrus is a selfish jerk, Maximillian is remote and clueless, and Wolf Diaz is promiscuous and self-serving. So if you're looking for a unique and intelligent fantasy, look elsewhere.
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