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Sparrow Nights Hardcover – April 16, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Counterpoint; 1ST edition (April 16, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582432031
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582432038
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,762,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The "whack, whack, whack" of the flapping flag on his neighbor's property keeps middle-aged college academic Darius Halloway awake at night. So he sneaks out in darkness and cuts the flag's rope. When another neighbor's dogs disturb his concentration, Darius poisons them, and when, at a resort hotel, he's bothered by the noise of a neighbor's air conditioner, he climbs a ladder and stuffs a glue-soaked sock into the machine's works. Self-absorbed, prone to paranoia and obsession, enamored of young women and fine wine, Darius is the brilliantly constructed protagonist and coolly lucid narrator of this new, excellent novel from Canadian writer Gilmour (Lost Between Houses). Darius's extreme responses to life condense into his erotic longing for Emma Carpenter, a young, equally impulsive graduate student whom he carries on with for a few years before she dumps him. The ditching spins Darius into a wallow of self-pity, which he alleviates momentarily via a visit to a massage parlor, where he meets a black woman named Passion, whom he invites to his house. When Passion takes him up on the offer, she robs him; when he later confronts her, he's beaten by her pimp. The next day, the pimp comes calling and Darius shoots him dead, then hacks up the body and burns it in his furnace all this perfectly justifiable to this unbearably pretentious professor of French lit, who, moments after disposing of the body, savors hearing "the opening, almost inquisitive notes of the Concierto de Aranjuez." Like Jerzy Kosinski, Gilmour is able to carry readers deep into the mind of a self-rationalizing madman; it's an exhilarating journey, expertly observed and quite disturbing.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This is the story of one man's descent into obsession. Darius Halloway, a respected professor of French literature, falls in love with an eccentric young woman named Emma Carpenter. Together they explore the limits of passion and desire, but when she breaks off the affair, his life spins out of control. He finds himself conceiving and carrying out a series of revenge fantasies against neighbors and casual acquaintances, culminating in an encounter with a masseuse and her criminal-minded boyfriend that nearly ends in his death. In the macabre conclusion, the book offers a glimpse of redemption for its hero. Gilmour is a Toronto-based writer whose previous novel, Lost Between Houses, was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award. His latest is sure to solidify his reputation as an edgy, intelligent author. This work offers a great deal of mordant wit, and the writing is consistently first-rate, layering memory, inner monolog, and fast-paced action. Recommended for all collections. Philip Santo, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
I am impressed by Gilmour's work here. He does an excellent job at expressing the emotions one would explain if our heart or the person that we so entwine with our selves leaves us. This novel shows how one person deals with this universally experienced scenario. The shortcoming for me was that there is no completeness to this novel. The novel starts with showing how classy our professor is and it shows his decline into something definitely less than the persona he so cherished about himself. The ending how ever does not really pursue or finish pursue any of the themes raised in the earlier parts of the novel. The professor is just left hanging in the middle of his dilemma.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Toby J. Galinkin on August 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
this book is full of self-created misadventures by a love-sick college professor...i am not sure whether or not it is intentionally humorous but i found it to be hilarious in its bleak blackness...one bad thing after another for this poor self-involved creature...well worth reading....slim and captivating.
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By Barbara Paschke on July 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
SPARROW NIGHTS by David Gilmour is the only book I have read in my 78 years that when I read the last word of the book, I instantly turned back to page one and re-read the entire book again. I'm an addicted reader, college English Teacher, Master's in Literature, taught college Literature for years, have read thousands of books. None surpass Gilmour's book.
His intuitive perceptions are phenomenal. It's an original.

I even copied a few quotes which I rarely do. One is "I saw my neighbor's cat with a mouse in its mouth; you could almost hear it's tiny screams. Lord, what a world." p.203 I've always been a little nervous that we animals have to eat each other.

I immediately ordered SPARROW NIGHTS and also a Blu-Ray DVD of Gilmour performing.

And never before have I ever immediately reread a book after I read the last word in it.
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By Chapter Three on August 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I was listening to an interview with the author - David Gilmour. He has two ex-wives, both of whom had read the book - one ex was very toubled by the book and suggested therapy sessions. The other ex believed this to be his "breakthrough novel". Who could resist! I ran out and bought and devoured it that night. I agree with ex number 2 and believe Mr. Gilmour is a unique voice whose time has come.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A T Colquhoun on July 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Very elegant. Very droll. Very Nabokovian.
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