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The Ice Queen: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, January 3, 2006
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Hoffman's story advances with a feline economy of language and movement--not a word spared for the color of the sky, unless the color of the sky factors into the narrative. Among the authors who have played with the fairy tale's harsh mercies (e.g. Margaret Atwood, Angela Carter), Hoffman has the closest understanding of the primal fears that drive the genre, and why, perhaps, we never outgrow fairy stories, but only learn to substitute dull, wholesome qualities like personal initiative or good timing for the elements that raise the hairs on our neck and send us scrambling for the light switch. --Regina Marler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Hoffman's first novel, Property Of, was written at the age of twenty-one, while she was studying at Stanford, and published shortly thereafter by Farrar Straus and Giroux. She credits her mentor, professor and writer Albert J. Guerard, and his wife, the writer Maclin Bocock Guerard, for helping her to publish her first short story in the magazine Fiction. Editor Ted Solotaroff then contacted her to ask if she had a novel, at which point she quickly began to write what was to become Property Of, a section of which was published in Mr. Solotaroff's magazine, American Review.
Since that remarkable beginning, Alice Hoffman has become one of our most distinguished novelists. She has published a total of eighteen novels, two books of short fiction, and eight books for children and young adults. Her novel, Here on Earth, an Oprah Book Club choice, was a modern reworking of some of the themes of Emily Bronte's masterpiece Wuthering Heights. Practical Magic was made into a Warner film starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Her novel, At Risk, which concerns a family dealing with AIDS, can be found on the reading lists of many universities, colleges and secondary schools. Her advance from Local Girls, a collection of inter-related fictions about love and loss on Long Island, was donated to help create the Hoffman (Women's Cancer) Center at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA. Blackbird House is a book of stories centering around an old farm on Cape Cod. Hoffman's recent books include Aquamarine and Indigo, novels for pre-teens, and The New York Times bestsellers The River King, Blue Diary, The Probable Future, and The Ice Queen. Green Angel, a post-apocalyptic fairy tale about loss and love, was published by Scholastic and The Foretelling, a book about an Amazon girl in the Bronze Age, was published by Little Brown. In 2007 Little Brown published the teen novel Incantation, a story about hidden Jews during the Spanish Inquisition, which Publishers Weekly has chosen as one of the best books of the year. In January 2007, Skylight Confessions, a novel about one family's secret history, was released on the 30th anniversary of the publication of Her first novel. Her most recent novel is The Story Sisters (2009), published by Shaye Areheart Books.
Hoffman's work has been published in more than twenty translations and more than one hundred foreign editions. Her novels have received mention as notable books of the year by The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, Library Journal, and People Magazine. She has also worked as a screenwriter and is the author of the original screenplay "Independence Day" a film starring Kathleen Quinlan and Diane Wiest. Her short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine, Kenyon Review, Redbook, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, Self, and other magazines. Her teen novel Aquamarine was recently made into a film starring Emma Roberts.
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Top Customer Reviews
An almost invisible librarian from New Jersey lives an almost invisible life, carefully removing herself from any emotional attachments after the death of her mother when she was a young girl.
Her older brother, Ned, is her portal to the outside world. When their grandmother dies, Ned moves her to Florida, where's he's a married professor.
On a particulary hot day, the librarian (whose name is never given) survives a direct hit by lightning. She reluctantly agrees to become part of a study with other lightning strike survivors. She hears of a man named Lazarus Jones . . . nicknamed so because he was apparently dead for 40 minutes after a lightning strike, woke up, and simply walked out the hospital.
Our ice queen is compelled to find Lazarus Jones and hear his side of the story. Jones, it seems, is still burning (literally) from the strike, while our heroine's world has gone cold and gray (literally).
One of the wonderful things about reading anything Hoffman writes is that you must suspend your traditional beliefs and abandon universal truths to completely "get" her stories.
I read the book in one sitting. Mystical. Intriguing. Thought-provoking. Ultimately satisfying.
Yep. That's Hoffman at her best.
Later, when the woman's brother, Ned, moves his sister to Florida from New Jersey, the thirty-something woman remains as frozen and isolated as a princess in a fairy tale. Carelessly, she makes another fateful wish, to be struck by lightning. Viola! Once more her wish is granted. Now a survivor of a lightning strike, like others gathered for a scientific study, the woman has great difficulty returning to a normal life. But this lady has already marked herself, believing she has the ability to wish away life or bring on a lightning strike.
Through her meetings with other survivors, the woman, like a turtle, gradually pokes her head out to notice the others who inhabit the world, even in this bizarre situation. Piqued by curiosity about a man who is dead for forty minutes before returning to life, she follows an impulse to meet Lazarus Jones. They are opposites, he fire and she ice. They meet in the dark, igniting each other, a combustible romance that cannot last but is impossible to resist.
The woman's long, slow awakening is the theme of the novel, her quest to understand death and free herself from the restraints that have turned her life into a hollow shell: "The way to trick death. Breathe in. Breathe out.Read more ›
After the loss of her mother when she was a child, a loss she blames herself for as one could think only a child could, the protagonist becomes rigid and emotionally devoid. Her reaction is understandably modern response as many today insulate themselves into not feeling anything rather than feeling both pleasure and pain. It is also the response found often in traumatized children. However some of the themes of this book actually harken back to the works of the ancient Greeks.
Her brother becomes a meteorologist in contrast to "the ice queen" and here we have two approaches to our lives: the logical and the mystical.
However her wishes again become reality as an adult when she is struck by lightening. So is the ice queen omnipotent or hounded by the Furies?
First believing she caused a death, then as an adult surviving death she find herself seeking out a man nicknamed "Lazerus" who was also struck by lightening. Ah, the Gods!
Through it all the ice queen journeys on a path of enlightenment.
This is my first exposure to Alice Hoffman's work and I find it both enchanting and intellectually satisfying. A Jungian fairy tale that I recommend.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wow! Although this book centers around death, it is really a lovely fairy tale. Hoffman can create such sensual books, and this is one of her best! Just beautiful!Published 1 month ago by Shafer
And the author tells you in intimate detail. Some of it seems overwhelming and unlikely in the beginning. A sad story perhaps taken too far. But stick with her! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Robo-reader
Here you learn the effects of being struck by lightning. However, that
is intensified when you have a troubled childhood. Enlightening.
I really enjoyed this book and it is my first Alice Hoffman read. The plot was quiet but heartfelt and there was enough going on to pique my interest and it was hard to put down. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Elise
I think this was more 4 1/2 stars then 5 but I felt generous. I did enjoy it though. It was told in a kind of poetic way I don't see very often and that made it beautiful. Read morePublished 7 months ago by becky
Normally, I love everything Hoffman writes, but this time, I was a bit disappointed. The plot revolves around the life of a woman after her mother dies. Read morePublished 8 months ago by JS