All the Little Live Things

All the Little Live Things

4.1 10
by Wallace Stegner
     
 

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Joe Allston, the retired literary agent of Stegner's National Book Award-winning novel, The Spectator Bird, returns in this disquieting and keenly observed novel. Scarred by the senseless death of their son and baffled by the engulfing chaos of the 1960s, Allston and his wife, Ruth, have left the coast for a California retreat. And although their new home

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Overview

Joe Allston, the retired literary agent of Stegner's National Book Award-winning novel, The Spectator Bird, returns in this disquieting and keenly observed novel. Scarred by the senseless death of their son and baffled by the engulfing chaos of the 1960s, Allston and his wife, Ruth, have left the coast for a California retreat. And although their new home looks like Eden, it also has serpents: Jim Peck, a messianic exponent of drugs, yoga, and sex; and Marian Catlin, an attractive young woman whose otherworldly innocence is far more appealing—and far more dangerous.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Timely and timeless . . . Will hold any reader to its last haunting page."
Chicago Tribune

"A novel of crackling vividness"
—The New York Times Book Review

"The Great Gastby captures the twenties and yet transcends them. All the Little Live Things is a comparable achievement for the sixties. . . . Stegner's craft is here at an apex."
Virginia Quarterly Review

Booknews
**** Reprint of the Viking edition of 1967 (which is recommended by BCL3). Still not printed on acid-free paper. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140154412
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/28/1991
Series:
Contemporary American Fiction Series
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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All the Little Live Things 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't say yet that I read all of Wallace Stegnar's books (I'm working on it) but I have read his prize winners: Angles of Repose, The Big Rock Candy Mountain, Crossing to Safety, and The Spectator Bird (in that order), plus a couple of others. For this one--a prequel to The Spectator Bird--Stegnar gets my personal prize! He simply outdoes himself. Its the late 1960s just south of the Bay Area. The narrator is a retired book editor look for tranquility after the death of his 30+ year old son who died while surfing, his apparent profession being a beach bu--at least so his dad tells us. With the arrival next door of (1) a live-off-the lander who reminds his wife of their son, and (2) an interesting, itelligent young woman who he is they way he would have wanted the daughter he never had, the narrator's life gets complicated, less tranquil, but also quite interesting. It is the story of the coming out of a curmudgeon. Steger's ability to describe nature is never better, despite the suburban setting. This vies with Annie Proulx's The Shipping News as my favorite book that I've read to date.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is absolutely the best book I have ever read. I can't write any more on it because anything I have to say cannot do it justice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so humorous, haunting, and lovely in its portayal of an older man faced with loss and societal changes during the turbulent Sixties. It presents a deeply touching story of the older man being forced to reconcile his failures while maintaing his humanity. The social commentary on the times that is the backdrop of the story is very pointed and funny. The story is unforgettable and one of my favorites.
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