Air & Fire

Overview

In the 1890s, 'Lower California' is a land adrift, peopled by Indians and half-breeds, and now by the French as well. The Indians are indifferent to Western notions of time and industry. The French, on the other hand, are sufficiently meticulous to import 2,348 pieces of cast iron to the desolate mining town of Santa Sofia, there to be assembled into a church under the supervision of a disciple of the renowned Gustave Eiffel.
Read More Show Less ...
See more details below
Paperback (REPRINT)
$13.81
BN.com price
(Save 13%)$16.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (18) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $9.15   
  • Used (11) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

In the 1890s, 'Lower California' is a land adrift, peopled by Indians and half-breeds, and now by the French as well. The Indians are indifferent to Western notions of time and industry. The French, on the other hand, are sufficiently meticulous to import 2,348 pieces of cast iron to the desolate mining town of Santa Sofia, there to be assembled into a church under the supervision of a disciple of the renowned Gustave Eiffel.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Wonderful...utterly engaging, full of adventure and excess, and 130 degrees in the shade."

-- Washington Post Book World

In the 1890s, "Lower California" is a land adrift, peopled by Indians and half-breeds, and now by the French as well. The Indians are indifferent to Western notions of time and industry The French, on the other hand, are sufficiently meticulous to import 2,348 pieces of cast iron to the desolate mining town of Santa Sofia, there to be assembled into a church under the supervision of a disciple of the renowned Gustave Eiffel.

This wildly impractical venture is the starting premise for this new novel by the author of The Five Gates of Hell, a writer the Washington Post has called "a virtuoso of the hallucinatory." As Theophile Valence attempts to re-create Paris in an outpost of hell -- and his wife, Suzanne, arouses the doomed passions of an American prospector anti a Mexican army officer -- Air & Fire fuses adventure and romance into a magnificent tale of conflicting passions and cultures.

"Absorbing.... More than anything else, it is the prose in which Thomson evokes [his character's] mental life that, with the concentration of a magnifying glass, kindles this novel's fire." -- The New Yorker

"In the tradition of Heart of Darkness, this is a very well-researched novel, with lovely descriptions of flora and fauna, of lava fields and basalt plains, of bats winging about at dusk. Thomson vividly evokes the atmosphere of colonial society." -- New York Newsday

"The brilliance of Air & Fire comes from the intelligence and insight with which Thomson constructs his story." -- Christian Science Monitor

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set in 19th-century Baja California, an associate of Gustav Eiffel and his wife are sent to a copper-mining town in Mexico to set up a prefabricated iron church. (June)
Library Journal
Thomson's lyrical new work opens at sea as Suzanne Valence travels with her husband, Theopile, to Santa Sofia, Mexico. There Theopile, a protege of A.G. Eiffel, is directing the construction of a church. Much younger than her husband, who neglects her for his work, and unconventional without quite realizing it, Suzanne creates quite a stir in Santa Sofia: the French community doesn't know what to make of her, and she is relentlessly pursued by Captain Montoya. The one person who truly appreciates her is an American prospector named Wilson Pharaoh, who eventually risks his life to save hers--without, however, winning her love. Suzanne's growing alienation from those around her is paralleled by native resistance to outside domination, directed as much at the Mexican government as the Europeans, though the church is eventually destroyed in an uprising. Celebrating dignity in the face of disillusion, Thomson's exquisite tale boasts finely detailed settings, rich and apt characterization, and a flood of beautiful writing. His ability to get inside a woman's skin without turning her into a cause is particularly impressive. Recommended for most collections.-- Barbara Hoffert, ``Library Journal''
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679747307
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/30/1995
  • Series: Vintage Contemporaries Series
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)