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The God of Nightmares Paperback – June 17, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (June 17, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393322874
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393322873
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #595,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fox's prose flows as clearly and gracefully as clear water in a stream--but there is a dark current underneath: "the implacable forces of time and loss." From a hardscrabble existence with her relentlessly cheerful mother in rural upstate New York, narrator Helen Bynum goes to New Orleans in search of her aunt, a former Ziegfeld girl and has-been actress. Aunt Lulu proves to be an irascible alcoholic, but Helen stays on in the warm-scented, langorous city, so different from the gray, frozen atmosphere of Poughkeepsie. Here Helen feels free for the first time to pursue the potentials of her own life. Enveloped in the affection of her new friends--her landlord, a poet, and his mistress; a seductive young man with silver hair who is the son of a rabbi and with whom she falls in love; another woman from the North who becomes her best friend; an elegant homosexual of Creole descent--Helen at first feels safe and contented. But as she gradually becomes aware of the imminence of WW II in Europe, the injustice of race relations in the South and the dark secrets in her friends' lives, she is suffused with apprehension about "the black wall of death" that seems to loom everywhere. In a poignant chapter set years later, Helen finally realizes the implications of those long-ago events. Fox ( A Servant's Tale ) is a highly gifted writer whose insightful novels resonate with subtle truths.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Haunting, lyrical....A coming-of-age outing stamped with a mastery that less mature writers can only hope to eventually achieve. -- Atlanta Journal-Constitution

One of our most intelligent...contemporary novelists. -- The Nation

Vividly rendered...haunting. -- Newsday

Wonderfully rich. -- New York Times Book Review

[Fox] knows how to pace a story, how to use the richest language to portray the barest of scenes. And she knows how to create a character. -- Vogue

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By E Mark on August 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Because Paula Fox's oeuvre is limited to a handful of novels, I savor each one, and this one, like all the others, doesn't fail to amaze the sensitive reader.
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By Verily VINE VOICE on February 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is so good and so well written. It amazes me that Fox is not better known. This is the fourth book of hers I have read now, and while they are somewhat autobiographical, they are not in the least repetitive. She has a sharp eye for detail, character and setting. This book plunks you right down in New Orleans before WWII. The dialogue is superb, the observations keen. I read Desperate Characters first -- for some reason, it is the best known, but not the best, imo. Don't miss this book!! I am only sorry I didn't find her sooner!!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ms. M. J. Hyland on October 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
Fox is a great writer and The God of Nightmares is a masterpiece. I loved everything about it.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Rosenberg on November 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed Fox's memoire "Borrowed Finery" very much. This book, written before the memoire, covers much of the same territory, but the effort to turn what clearly are parts of Fox's own life into fiction doesn't work all that well. I had to laugh when I discovered Fox giving her own childhood to one of the characters.
All of the characters in "The God of Nightmares" are weird in one way or another, except the main character, Helen, who tells the story. She seems pretty ordinary until the last chapter when Fox tries to show us Helen isn't so nice after all. I didn't like this last chapter, which takes place more than 25 years after the main story. Fox tries too hard to tie things up and tell us what happened to each of her characters. I was especially irritated by the way she changed the husband -- but I won't say more about that as it comes as something of a surprise.
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