All About Lulu

All About Lulu

4.8 8
by Jonathan Evison
     
 

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Weakness has always been a concern for William Miller: growing up vegetarian in a family of bodybuilders will do that to a person. But William is further weakened by the death of his mother, the arrival of a new step-mother, and his irrepressible crush on his new step-sister, Lulu. As Lulu faces down her own challenges, William watches his life shift into tumult and…  See more details below

Overview

Weakness has always been a concern for William Miller: growing up vegetarian in a family of bodybuilders will do that to a person. But William is further weakened by the death of his mother, the arrival of a new step-mother, and his irrepressible crush on his new step-sister, Lulu. As Lulu faces down her own challenges, William watches his life shift into tumult and despair. Once Lulu departs for college, Will goes into the world to find himself — discovering Western philosophy, a cruel dating world, enduring friendship, and, ultimately, his true calling. Emboldened by his turn as a late-night radio personality, Will rescues himself from the self-image of weakness he'd long wished to escape. This debut novel explores the fundamental difference between where we come from — and the endless possibilities of where we may go.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Evison's debut-of love and loss, growing up, throwing up and moving on-is a stunner. William Miller Jr. is a scrawny loner whose mother dies of cancer when he is seven years old, leaving him an awkward vegetarian with an ominously macho father and idiot twin brothers in mid-1970s Santa Monica. William's father, Big Bill, remarries a grief counselor named Willow, and Will spends the following decades in love with Louisa (Lulu, as she prefers to be called), his new stepsister. They are close throughout adolescence, but after a summer at cheerleading camp, Lulu returns home distant and hostile, leaving Will to pine for her in solitary desperation. Will finally appears to be on the path to normalcy in the early 1990s when he lucks into a radio talk-show hosting gig, but the stroke of good fortune is short-lived, as he discovers things about Lulu he'd rather not know. Evison provides readers a viciously funny and deeply felt portrayal of a blended family and one man's thwarted longing. (July)

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Kirkus Reviews
He loves her obsessively. She's conflicted. The standoff between stepbrother and stepsister lasts throughout Evison's first novel. Will Miller, protagonist and narrator, lives in Santa Monica, Calif., with his brothers, the twins Doug and Ross. Their father, Big Bill, a hippie turned bodybuilder, spends all his time at the gym. Eat meat, the big guy tells his kids; bulk up. Soon the twins are working out too, but Will rebels; when he's seven, in 1974, he announces he's a vegetarian. Not long after, his mother dies and Big Bill remarries. His new wife is another former hippie. Willow, a grief counselor, settles in with her daughter Lulu. The girl's features don't quite fit but she's beautiful anyway and Will is smitten, filling up journal after journal singing her praises; the two become inseparable, communicating in their own private language. Everything goes swimmingly until Lulu returns from a cheerleading camp in Vermont a different person, distant and chilly. It gets worse. She starts mutilating herself and behaving like a mixed-up teenager, though hardly an interesting one. Only at the very end do we learn what happened in Vermont and the good reason for her change. She acquires boyfriends and then dumps them. "I will always settle for less than you," she tells Will cryptically. At university in Seattle she's impregnated by a musician; we're not told what happens to the fetus. Big Bill develops heart problems, the result of steroid use; Evison doesn't make much of this stunning development either. As for Will, a born loser, he stays obsessed with Lulu. His occasional dates are disasters. Even when running a hot-dog stand on the boardwalk with a colorful Russian immigrant, he remainscolorless himself. A low-energy novel about obsession; the sparks never fly. Agent: Mollie Glick/Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency
Seattle Times - Michael Upchurch
“A knockout, . . . a debut novel worth getting excited about.”
—Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times
From the Publisher
All About Lulu hits you right in the place that good music does, with a sharp, heady sweetness.”
Time Out Chicago

“A knockout, . . . a debut novel worth getting excited about.”
—Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times

Time Out New York
“Evison’s debut novel glows with evocative details and unforgettable scenes . . . story of sweet complexity, about the people you want to hold on to, and the ones you have to let go.”
Time Out New York
Time Out Chicago
“Evison’s debut—of love and loss, growing up, throwing up and moving on—is a stunner. . . . Evison provides readers a viciously funny and deeply felt portrayal of a blended family and one man’s thwarted longing.”
Publishers Weekly [starred review]
Seattle Times
“Evison’s debut novel glows with evocative details and unforgettable scenes . . . story of sweet complexity, about the people you want to hold on to, and the ones you have to let go.”
Time Out New York

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781593763008
Publisher:
Soft Skull Press, Inc.
Publication date:
03/01/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
344
Sales rank:
326,879
File size:
487 KB

Meet the Author

Jonathan Evison has worked a wide array of jobs from syndicated talk radio host to rotten tomato sorter—in the former role, his comedy show “Shaken Not Stirred” was nominated for two Peabody Awards. He has received two Silver Microphones, and two Communicators and was frequently nominated for the Soundie Award. This is his first novel.

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All about Lulu 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Could not put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Attatched to the Main character from the very beginning....well written and interesting.
Regostein More than 1 year ago
I did like this book as an escape. I liked the characterizations. There was a hint of suspense in the book...the underlying mystery. Ok for a quick summer read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and I hope Jonathan Evison writes many more. It was well written and the characters were interesting and and so likable, you really root for them. It was a touching story and also at times very funny.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book grabbed my heart from the first pages. Evison creates characters as real, as quirky, as complicated as your own crazy family, and they pulled me in to a quick paced, wacky and totally believable world that made me laugh even as it moved me to tears. Evison is a talent to keep an eye on, and I can't wait for the next book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is humor in the pain, shock in the pleasure and awe in the philosophy of Will Miller¿s tale. We discover powerful obsessions that shape the world around him and reveal to us how people evolve through the one thing we all endure in the course of our lives: change. The characters are real, twisted, and lovable. Entertaining from start to finish this book is a great summer read that will carry you away, tripping lightly through the heavy details of one man¿s life, and leave you refreshed at the other end. It¿s good. Read it.