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Edgar and Lucy: A Novel Hardcover – March 7, 2017
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"On every page Lodato's prose sings with a robust, openhearted wit, making Edgar & Lucy a delight to read...Lodato keeps us in his thrall because his grip on the tiller stays reassuringly firm. Not to mention the supporting cast he's gathered, a group so eclectic and beguiling that many of them could carry an entire novel of their own. A riveting and exuberant ride." - Cynthia D'Aprix-Sweeney, The New York Times Book Review
"Wonder-filled and magisterial...Lodato's skill as a poet manifests itself on every page, delighting with such elegant similes and incisive descriptions…His skill as a playwright shines in every piece of dialogue…And his skill as a fiction writer displays itself in his virtuoso command of point of view. The book pushes the boundaries of beauty." - Chicago Tribune
"Edgar isn't like other boys and Lucy isn't like other moms, but grandma Florence keeps them tied to reality. And then their lives take a sharp turn...This otherworldly tale will haunt you." - People Magazine
"A stunningly rendered novel" - Entertainment Weekly
"I love this book. At once profoundly spiritual and hilariously specific, Victor Lodato's Edgar and Lucy is an unusual and intimate epic that manages to capture the wonder and terror of both child and parenthood with an uncanny clarity. The surprising prose is a pleasure, and never ceases to remind us how fragile human life is yet how unshakeable the bonds. Edgar and Lucy will have you reading til 4am, then reaching for the closest warm body." – Lena Dunham, bestselling author of Not That Kind of Girl
"This tale gradually exerts a fiendish grip on the reader"―Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
"I tore through the luminous pages of Edgar and Lucy as if possessed. Edgar’s journey from boy to man is that rare tale that’s both epic and intimate, as joyful and startlingly original in its language as it is a pleasure to read. The tender, funny, living immediacy of its characters and what is revealed to us about human nature through their twists of fate took my breath away. What this book has to say about love and truth will stay with me for a very, very long time." - Sophie McManus, author of The Unfortunates
"Edgar and Lucy is a quirky coming-of-age novel that deepens into something dark and strange without losing its heart or its sense of wonder. Victor Lodato writes with lyrical precision and unfailing compassion for his characters." - Tom Perrotta, bestselling author of The Leftovers
"Victor Lodato may be our bard of the sadness, humor, and confusion of loss. He senses the absurdities and elation of mourning and childhood with a capacious precision that brings to mind J.D. Salinger, Lorrie Moore, Karen Russell, even James Joyce. Edgar and Lucy will make you feel things you haven't felt in ages. Go read it right now." - Daniel Torday, author of The Last Flight of Poxl West
"Victor Lodato’s work is complex, elegant, disturbing, beautifully written, and, above all, important. I can say without hesitation that he is a writer who gives me hope for the future of serious literature." - Lynn Freed, author ofThe Servants’ Quarters
Praise for Mathilda Savitch:
A phenomenal debut…Lodato indelibly captures the fragile vulnerability and fearless bravado of adolescence through Mathilda's impeccable voice, one that rages with alienation, frustration, and confusion as much as it aches with hope, wonder, and desire. – Booklist (starred review)
“Compulsively readable…Both mature adolescents and adult readers will find much to love in Lodato’s remarkable creation.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"From page one, the outrageous, pitch-perfect voice of this book grabs you up and won't let go. A bravura Performance." - Mary Kaar, author of The Liars Club
"Engaging and humorous yet grappling with serious issues." – Library Journal (starred review)
About the Author
VICTOR LODATO is a playwright and the author of the novel Mathilda Savitch, winner of the PEN Center USA Award for fiction. His stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Granta, and Best American Short Stories. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Victor was born and raised in New Jersey and currently divides his time between Ashland, Oregon, and Tucson, Arizona.
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Top Customer Reviews
Lucy is not a very good parent, she leaves Edgar and Florence to themselves while she cavorts about town seemingly more interested in booze and men than her son. She is burdened by her husband’s death, and keeps the details to herself. Edgar knows nothing about the accident except his father is dead and his mother has a limp. In Lucy’s absence Edgar and Florence become codependents in their relationship.
The story takes off when Florence dies and Edgar is kidnapped (sort-of) buy a man willing to step in and help Edgar with his incapacitating grief.
Florence’s death affects Lucy far more that she would have anticipated, but when Edgar goes missing Lucy hits rock bottom. The story is told in various viewpoints revealing the details of the accident that killed Edgar’s father, Lucy’s troubled relationship with Florence and Edgar, and the mysterious kidnapper in the green truck.
The story flows nicely, leaving you thinking “just one more page” – it is by turns dark and humorous. Highly recommended
The title of the book refers to Edgar and his mother Lucy. Lucy is widowed and a bit wild. Edgar is a thoughtful child dealing with the ramifications of being an albino.
If I had to come with one word to describe this book it would be relationships. Every relationship is so developed, complicated and intricate like they are in real life. There is Edgar & Lucy, Edgar & Florence, Edgar & Conrad, Edgar & Jackie, Lucy & Florence, Lucy & Frank, Lucy & Ron, and even more smaller relationships. When you finish reading the book, you feel like you know these people, that they are your friends.
While your getting to know all these characters and their relationships you are surrounded by prose so moving. The writing so beautiful. When we sit out on our back porch in the summer, we face an area of woods at the back of the lawn. Sometimes when there is a breeze, all of the leaves are nodding at once. I’ve watched them and wished that I could describe it. Well, Victor Lodato did and much more beautifully than I ever could:
“The congress of leaves shivered and rolled, a voluptuous tossing that culminated in a vigorous nodding, as if all the trees agreed on something. The decision was unanimous; the answer; yes.”
This book has everything: beautiful writing, excellent characters, and a few turns of plot that I didn’t see coming at all. Excellent.
I received an ARC of this book.
This is a long novel, 526 pages in the advanced reader's copy, but it took me only a few days of reading in my spare time to complete it. So compelling, complex and vibrant are the tale and characters that fill its pages that one cannot but read long past bedtime, and not regret the fatigue the next day.
From the acutely sensitive 8-year-old Edgar Allan Fini and his beautiful but wounded and coarse widowed mother Lucy to those with roles so small that others might relegate them to innocuous, walk-on parts---an encouraging teacher, a former lover of Edgar's late grandfather, a class bully, a Jewish dry goods merchant---every person who walks these pages is real and fully formed, a breathing aura to help fill and round out the story that one hopes will never end.
Even the Pine Barrens come to life, complete with the legend of the swamp devil said to inhabit New Jersey's lowland bogs, some of the fantastic species that inhabit that wild place and a character named Billings, presumably for one of the botanists who studied its environment.
In a way, the story doesn't end. Even after the last page, this story lingers with the lesson that love, genuine and deep, is possible in the most unlikely and untenable situations, and that even those one might consider unworthy may have sensitive and soft spots that cause them to give what they themselves never thought possible.
And the language gives them that breath and life, even after death. This novel is a truly astounding accomplishment, full of wonder.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
“Having a life meant having a story. Even at eight, Edgar knew this. What he didn’t know was his own beginning. Newborn brains were mushy.Read more