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There Will Never Be Another You: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Carolyn See
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.95
Kindle Price: $7.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

“Carolyn See has written a novel alive with wit and love and energy–a book about things falling apart that turns out to be a day at the beach. . . . Pure joy.”–Joan Didion

Accomplished author Carolyn See triumphantly returns to fiction–seven years after her last novel was published–with this provocative, vibrantly written new novel. Set in a security-obsessed world that eerily mirrors our own, There Will Never Be Another You captures the paranoia and propaganda of a volatile time and place in which humanity’s divisions run deep and society sits on edge–and one Southern California family faces profound crises from within and without.

It is a moment in the near future when the global threat of terror has cultivated rage, apathy, and panic across the country. People fear that “anybody could be armed, or have a bomb. Or a disease. Or all three.” For Phil, a dermatologist at the UCLA hospital, it is a time of unease and uncertainty, in stark contrast to the days when he coasted through life on his good looks, a modicum of charm, and only haphazard effort. Now Phil must deal with his mother, Edith, who’s been grieving over the death of her husband for several years and only recently has thought to reconnect with a family that seems to have other priorities. Phil’s energies are already divvied up among his belligerent children, his wayward wife, and his unreliable mistress.

Then Phil’s life takes a dramatic turn: He is recruited for a top-secret team whose task is to act quickly in the event of a biological or chemical attack. The assignment just may provide him with a renewed sense of purpose. Yet dire circumstances force Phil to make profound decisions that will affect not just himself and his loved ones but the entire country. It is a chance for an ordinary man to rise from mediocrity to heroism–and at which failure would prove to be catastrophic.

Foreboding and all too plausible, There Will Never Be Another You is a cautionary novel of family and society, where a naïve past is replaced by a menacing future in which distinguishing between reality and imagination proves to be more challenging than ever.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set in Los Angeles of the immediate future and infused with the anxieties of the present, See's potent new novel articulates the instinctive, human impulse toward connection in the face of mortality. The story centers on the UCLA medical center, where cosmopolitan, twice-widowed Edith volunteers, and where her bewildered dermatologist son, Phil, has his practice. Phil is unhappily married to the disgruntled Felicia and clueless about how to help their troubled prepubescent son or relate to their imperious teenage daughter. Edith tries repeatedly to begin her life again, but despairs of new relationships with "death all around." See also follows the love story of UCLA students Andrea Barclay, whose father's kidney is failing (and whose mother is Edith's confidant), and Danny Lee, whose large Chinese-American family gathers to support a dying uncle. Andrea and Danny's headlong romance contrasts with Phil and Felicia's unraveling marriage; the former's cultural differences become part of the point. And Phil becomes part of a bioterrorism response team; the fracturing and coalescing relationships mirror the drama of a possible epidemic as See's utterly believable characters fumble for love and meaning. (May 16)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* This novel starts out as a curiosity, takes a turn into something perplexing, but ends as an artistic and soulful master achievement. The well-respected author sets her tale in the near future, and "the war" in which the U.S. has been involved for several years continues to be waged (which war is no mystery despite being unidentified). Terrorism against the U.S. eventually assumes the form of environmental disaster. But, unusual for a "forecast" novel, this one eschews any what-will-technology-come-to-look-like gimmickry; emphatically, this is no spy thriller. Phil Fuchs is a physician affiliated with UCLA hospital; his wife is unhappy, and his kids are a mess. He seems to be just surfing through his life. His mother is recently widowed and unsettled. But Phil has to snap-to when, first, he is called on to participate in a top-secret emergency-response unit and then must face the breakup of his marriage. A secondary storyline seems unattached to the main one at first, but soon See's tight control over all the plot elements becomes obvious. The novel's deep resonance lies in her imaginative yet meaningful juxtaposition of global issues and domestic ones: crises in the former can connect with, influence, and even determine the outcome of crises in the latter. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 552 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (September 25, 2007)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000W7KNKI
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #558,972 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Magic May 21, 2006
See can write about LA like no other writer. The layering of lives and the magic of living in an insane place like LA is central to this book. If you read Golden Days and liked it then you will love this one too. She is at the top of her form here. Her books always give me the feeling, that no matter how hard life is, that something really wonderful can always happen. Full of craziness and end of the world dread and most of all....hope. You will love this book. Clancy
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There has never been another Carolyn See May 22, 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is up there with the late Carol Shields "Unless." I just got it, the day it came out, and have read it three times and all my friends love it as well.

Why so great? It's pace is pitch perfect, the various voices work wonders and the ending is so gorgeous it blew me, a writer too, away. In addition, See is hilarious, generous, and writes as if it is easy, which we authors know is not so.

I don't think anyone here wouldn't simply LOVE this book. Go, Carolyn See, may you have great success with this masterpiece filled with love, prophecy, sadness and most of all, somehow you managed to be hilarious all the way thru.

You are my ideal writer. Thank you so much.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There Will Never Be Another Now September 14, 2006
Smart, sophisticated and true-to-life in its treatment of characters' inner voices, See's narrative is a model of brevity and concision. There is a mood of wistfulness evident, for life in general and for these lives in particular. The opening's nostalgic mood reminds of Chris Isherwood's great A Single Man, while the story line of an epidemic that never quite arrives can't help but bring back a few flashes of DeLillo's White Noise.

But the tour-de-force is the linking together of the very sensitive scenes with kids, grandkids, couples both young and not so young, of characters of all ages in fruitless struggle and showing hopeless strength against the slow but inevitable pace of existence. What is past has really passed, See is saying. The foreboding sense of a passing plague, the sense of a passing end to things, these characters' angst embodying their sensitivities as each one must decide what to save of his/her life, what to try and take as each passes through the present.

As a father, I couldn't help but make my hero Edith's son Phil. That choice for me made Carolyn See's There Will Never Be Another You the perfect story of a father's responsibility--a "guy" book even. No matter age or gender, this book is a gift.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There Will Never Be Another You July 9, 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This was an unexpectedly good book. Once I started it I couldn't put it down. I finished it in a couple of hours. It was a very real story with a strange twist. I thought about it a lot after I finished it. I am surprised it isn't on a best seller list. If Oprah was still doing her old book club it would be an Oprah pick for sure.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "What is it that we did? As a country, I mean?" August 17, 2006
By A Customer
Centering on a group of characters all connected to the UCLA Medical Center, in Westwood, There Will Never Be Another You is a lingering and admonitory tale about people living on the edge, unhappy in their relationships and marriages, lonely for connection, yet also having to live with a post 9/11 mentality, the threat of further terrorist attacks - biological, chemical and even nuclear - never very far away.

Told in alternative voices, the novel begins on 9/11 with a confessional by the sixty-four-year-old Edith, who is lamenting the loss of her second husband Charlie after an extended illness. Edith volunteers at the Medical Center where her only son Phil works as a seasoned dermatologist. Phil is unhappy in his marriage to the stunningly self-absorbed Felicia, and whilst the couple is outwardly united in their care for their two children, Eloise and Vern, petty squabbling and bickering ultimately define their marriage.

Anxious to escape, but unable to figure out how, Phil finds solace in his vintage wine collection and drinking with his best buddy Jack, whilst the world around him steadily falls apart. A deadly virus or bacteria is breaking out in Los Angeles, purported to have started with monkeys, at first it only affected cats, and their carcasses have started appearing all over Phil's Westwood neighborhood.

Later, certain people are affected and in the eventuality of a catastrophic calamitous breakout, Phil being a trained dermatologist, is ordered to participate in bio-terrorism experiments and tests designed to evaluate and improve this city's response to medical emergencies from radical threats.

Meanwhile, Andrea, a sophomore at UCLA meets and falls in love with Danny, an Asian American, who is at the hospital to visit his father.
Read more ›
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shallow characters, rediculous plot! February 5, 2008
By P. Post
I find myself wondering if maybe the previous reviewers were relatives of the author or work at her publishing house.
I did not find this novel interesting or engaging. And yes, I did finish it. The characters were all shallow, self centered cliches, and the "plot" revolves loosely around some completely unbelievable espionage thread relating to biological terrorism. None of the characters seems able to engage with the world or with anyone in it in any meaningful way, they just drift off into thier own lonely, selfish, self imposed exiles. I found it sad and depressing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 4 months ago by Jim
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
I couldn't put it down. The ending was a real surprise! I have always enjoyed her work, and I was happy this book was no different.
Published 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars There Will Never Be Another You
Good read! I recommend it. I would read more of Carolyn See's books. I'm now reading several (not at once) Pulitzer Prize books that I missed over the years. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Luise
1.0 out of 5 stars There will never be another book as bad as this
I guess I can't complain since I didn't actually spend money on this but borrowed it from the local library. I guess I'll never get my time back. Read more
Published on October 2, 2009 by A. Armstrong
1.0 out of 5 stars Not See's best work. Not by a long shot.
Carolyn See's "The Handyman" is one of my favorite novels. As one Amazon reviewer put it, if you're an artist and/or seeking an authentic life you'll like it. Read more
Published on June 1, 2008 by Traveler
2.0 out of 5 stars joan didion, no she is not!
This is not a great book and it's barely a good book. The first chapter is captivating: a widow re-emerging from the shock and just trying to live day to day. Read more
Published on January 3, 2008 by MK
4.0 out of 5 stars Carolyn See Classic
A beautiful book and a heartfelt message to us from one of the most generous of writers. I gulped it down and I will go back and read it over again. Read more
Published on July 17, 2006 by Dovie
5.0 out of 5 stars A riveting and intriguing read
When Edith's husband Charlie dies in 2001, she has been deep in caretaker mode. Now, she awakes to the world in a jolt when her son commands her to turn the television on the... Read more
Published on July 17, 2006 by Bookreporter
1.0 out of 5 stars Cliche and then some
If she is teaching people to write its a sad day for anyone who takes writing seriously.The book reads like a bad cliche. Well..I didn't exactly finish it, but as far as I got. Read more
Published on June 18, 2006 by A Serious Reader and want to be writer!
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