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The Constellations Hardcover – October 21, 1996


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Hardcover, October 21, 1996
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$123.68 $1.93
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Random House Value Publishing (October 21, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517172569
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517172568
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,390,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Boylan's comic sequel to his 1991 debut, The Planets, offers some delightful scenes, but a lack of narrative structure and a tendency toward excessive silliness skewer his saga about a crew of oddballs and misfits in suburban Philadelphia. The central character in Boylan's group of zanies is Phoebe Harrison, a troubled teenager who abandons a heavy-metal persona to fit in as a preppy at her new school while she tries to deal with madness in her life. Her uncle Pat is having an affair with Isabelle Smuggs, a sculptor with a flair for the macabre, while Phoebe's stepmother, Vicki Ambrasino, is involved in a fling with Duane, the older brother of Phoebe's dense boyfriend Duard. Boylan's characters couple, break up and chase after one another at a dizzying pace, and, although there are several promising subplots, the author hasn't stitched them together into a coherent plot. He does have a gift for comic incidents and absurd dialogue-the better scenes include a canine kidnapping and a local concert that climaxes when a runaway cement mixer plows into a house-but even the comic scenes are uneven; for every entertaining vignette, there's a sequence in which goofy dialogue and non sequiturs get out of control. While the small cult that formed around Boylan's earlier novel may find this effort satisfying, the loose plotting and adolescent humor may try readers' patience.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Boylan's entertaining and humorous sequel to The Planets (Random, 1992) continues the zany adventures of the Harrison family and their friends in Centralia, Pennsylvania, where an underground mine fire has been burning since 1962. Fifteen-year-old Phoebe Harrison is taking a trip to a tattoo parlor with Dominique, Phoebe's punkish role model, and Duard, Dominique's boyfriend. Along the way they stumble upon a sculpted latex brain. So begins an offbeat, satirical view of the lunacy of life through the eyes of a carnival of characters. Boylan succeeds in depicting the poignancy of Phoebe's struggle to fit in, punctuated by dramatic changes in her hair color and style. The action culminates at a school dance where everyone is quixotically brought together in an uproarious sequence. Recommended for fiction collections in all libraries.
Stacie Browne Chandler, Plymouth P.L., Mass.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 10, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Although it's not as funny as Boylan's earlier "The Planets," "The Constellations: has its share of wonderful moments. Characters undergo epiphanies in tatoo parlors and on abandoned railroad bridges. An artist can't get her work taken seriously -- and then her work is taken by an ex-mentor. There's a chase that ends up back in the doomed city of Centralia, which sits above a perpetually burning coal mine. Characters and scenes -- particularly the funny sex scenes -- will stay with your for a long time to come
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By Joshua A. Bradley on October 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
Why isn't this novel rated higher? I thought it was great. It's hard not to compare it to "The Planets" but they're both good in their own seperate ways. Check it out!
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 16, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I found I kept reading this book hoping something would happen. It literally took me weeks to read but I forced myself to continue on. When I reached the end I was very disappointed and felt I had been cheated. I would never recommend this book to anyone.
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