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The Whole World Over Paperback – June 12, 2007
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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.
From The New Yorker
Copyright © 2006 The New Yorker - click here to subscribe. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Never shying away from complex relationships in her novels, Julia Glass writes absorbing tales of domestic choices. Visit Amazon's Julia Glass Page.
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Top Customer Reviews
A. I didn't find Greenie a very interesting or sympathetic character.
B. Story lumbers along very slowly.
C. I could sense the author WRITING the book as I was reading it which makes it very hard to immerse yourself in the story.
D. There are many different story lines in The Whole World Over and everytime I picked up the book it felt like I was reading a completely different novel -- this disjointed sensation never allowed me to get close to the characters or to enter their world.
I hate to write a bad review because I still think Ms. Glass is a brilliant writer. I highly recommend her first book which was utterly gorgeous and truly magical.
The Whole World Over takes place largely on Bank Street in New York City and in Santa Fe, but, with one exception I'll cover later, it's not evocative of either. (I've worked in lower Manhattan for the last 25 years, a friend of mine lives on Bank Street, and I spend a week and a half in Santa Fe every August.) I assume that this is deliberate, and I assume that it's meant to focus us on what matters in this novel: the creation of family.
Many of the characters - and there are many characters - come from families that don't function well. These characters respond by creating their own families, through sex and friendship. In Santa Fe, this doesn't work out, but to focus on Santa Fe would distract our attention from why it doesn't. One of the main characters, Greenie, goes from Bank Street to Santa Fe and back to Bank Street, with excursions to Maine. It doesn't matter where she is; it matters where she can create an enduring family. Both New York and Santa Fe seem strangely under-populated in this book, as if the only characters there are the ones in the novel. The created families become the neighborhoods.
There is one exception to this, I thought. Five years after the fact, I still find it uncomfortable to think of September 11, 2001, in lower Manhattan. Julia Glass does a great job of invoking this discomfort. The attack on the World Trade Center is focused through Saga, another of the many main characters. Saga is recovering from a traumatic brain injury, and at first she can't figure out what was happening.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I picked up this book because the synopsis made me think it was primarily a culinary story. While the main character is indeed a chef, the culinary aspect of the story is a very... Read morePublished 6 months ago by EverydayReader
The Whole World Over seems too full of characters and ideas for one book. I can imagine at least three novels being developed from what was started in this book. Read morePublished 8 months ago by C. Mitchell
Don't bother, boring cartoonish characters, poor plotting and insulting dialog. Finally finished it because I needed a benchmark for lousy contemporary writing, and this book is a... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Chickensoup
Julia Glass does an amazing job of weaving together several related, but separate, narratives in this book and connected somewhat to her earlier book. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Beep
I bought this disc set in order to replace the first disc from the set that I borrowed from my public library. I was not enjoying the book enough to finish listening to it. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Susan C. Braen
This was my least favorite of the 4 Julia Glass novels I've read: Three Junes, Widower's Tale, The Dark Sacred Night, and, of course this one. Read morePublished 9 months ago by adnaper
Very absorbing and good follow-up to Three Junes. Plan to read all of her books.Published 14 months ago by Reader Lady