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Angel Landing

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Overview

The bestselling author of Practical Magic offers "an affecting love story, laced with humor" (Booklist) that tells the tale of a man and a woman, an activist and a therapist, so consumed with helping others that they are in danger of failing in their duty to themselves. This is an unforgettable tale about the true meaning of commitment, from "one of our quirkiest and most interesting novelists." (Jane Smiley, USA Today)

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Angel Landing: A Novel

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Overview

The bestselling author of Practical Magic offers "an affecting love story, laced with humor" (Booklist) that tells the tale of a man and a woman, an activist and a therapist, so consumed with helping others that they are in danger of failing in their duty to themselves. This is an unforgettable tale about the true meaning of commitment, from "one of our quirkiest and most interesting novelists." (Jane Smiley, USA Today)

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Editorial Reviews

Larry McMurtry
Alice Hoffman has one strong point as a novelist: She is very good at describing emotional pain. Since Michael Finn has lived with emotional pain all his life she has, in this novel, plenty to describe. She is not without humor - Aunt Minnie is a character with genuine sparkle - but she is better at pain, and her account of Michael's humiliations and frustrations makes the book memorable. -- The New York Times
Washington Post
A good, old-fashioned love story...Alice Hoffman's writing at its precise and heartbreaking best.
Library Journal
Hoffman's 1980 novel about love, politics, and therapy doesn't hold up well 20 years later. The politics of the impact of a nuclear power plant explosion, even if it is not yet operational, was probably, justifiably or not, a scarier and more conscious threat when she wrote Angel Landing. The story's romantic triangle of activist Carter Sugarland, bomber Michael Finn, and therapist Natalie is never fully realized. Carter is more dedicated to the cause than to love, and Natalie is a terrible therapist even without her questionable and predictable relationship with Finn; perhaps Hoffman's true political scrutiny is aimed at the ethics of therapy as all the therapists in the book are morally askew. The love story also suffers as the true thrust of the book focuses on the sadly stereotypical dysfunctionality of generations of Finns, whose individual plights deserve better therapy than they get. The strongest, most intriguing character is Aunt Minnie, an eccentric who charges into every situation with a golden-hearted agenda and the memories of a poetic love, providing the only humor and irony. A better book would have been her story instead. Bonnie Hurren's accents are unevenly sustained. Not recommended.--Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Jane Smiley
This is an unforgettable tale about the true meaning of commitment, from "one of our quirkiest and most interesting novelists." -- USA Today
The Washington Post
A good, old-fashioned love story...Alice Hoffman's writing at its precise and heartbreaking best.
Pittsburgh Press
A satisfying book, one that is hard to lay aside.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425166840
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/1999
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 442,746
  • Product dimensions: 5.32 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Alice Hoffman was born in New York City in 1952 and grew up on Long Island. Hoffman’s first novel, Property Of, was written when she was twenty-one. Her short fiction and nonfiction works have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe Magazine, Kenyon Review, Redbook, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, Self, and others. Her novel Practical Magic was made into a major motion picture starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman; her young adult novel Aquamarine was made into a movie in 2006. She lives in Boston and New York.

Biography

Born in the 1950s to college-educated parents who divorced when she was young, Alice Hoffman was raised by her single, working mother in a blue-collar Long Island neighborhood. Although she felt like an outsider growing up, she discovered that these feelings of not quite belonging positioned her uniquely to observe people from a distance. Later, she would hone this viewpoint in stories that captured the full intensity of the human experience.

After high school, Hoffman went to work for the Doubleday factory in Garden City. But the eight-hour, supervised workday was not for her, and she quit before lunch on her first day! She enrolled in night school at Adelphi University, graduating in 1971 with a degree in English. She went on to attend Stanford University's Creative Writing Center on a Mirrellees Fellowship. Her mentor at Stanford, the great teacher and novelist Albert Guerard, helped to get her first story published in the literary magazine Fiction. The story attracted the attention of legendary editor Ted Solotaroff, who asked if she had written any longer fiction. She hadn't -- but immediately set to work. In 1977, when Hoffman was 25, her first novel, Property Of, was published to great fanfare.

Since that remarkable debut, Hoffman has carved herself a unique niche in American fiction. A favorite with teens as well as adults, she renders life's deepest mysteries immediately understandable in stories suffused with magic realism and a dreamy, fairy-tale sensibility. (In a 1994 article for The New York Times, interviewer Ruth Reichl described the magic in Hoffman's books as a casual, regular occurrence -- "...so offhand that even the most skeptical reader can accept it.") Her characters' lives are transformed by uncontrollable forces -- love and loss, sorrow and bliss, danger and death.

Hoffman's 1997 novel Here on Earth was selected as an Oprah Book Club pick, but even without Winfrey's powerful endorsement, her books have become huge bestsellers -- including three that have been adapted for the movies: Practical Magic (1995), The River King (2000), and her YA fable Aquamarine (2001).

Hoffman is a breast cancer survivor; and like many people who consider themselves blessed with luck, she believes strongly in giving back. For this reason, she donated her advance from her 1999 short story collection Local Girls to help create the Hoffman Breast Center at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA.

Good To Know

  • Hoffman has written a number of children's books, including Fireflies: A Winter's Tale(1999), Horsefly (2000), and Moondog (2004).

  • Aquamarine was written for Hoffman's best friend, Jo Ann, who dreamed of the freedom of mermaids as she battled brain cancer.

  • Here on Earth is a modern version of Hoffman's favorite novel, Wuthering Heights.

  • Hoffman has been honored with the Massachusetts Book Award for her teen novel Incantation.
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      1. Hometown:
        Boston, Massachusetts
      1. Date of Birth:
        March 16, 1952
      2. Place of Birth:
        New York, New York
      1. Education:
        B.A., Adelphi University, 1973; M.A., Stanford University, 1974
      2. Website:

    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4
    ( 5 )
    Rating Distribution

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    Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
    • Posted July 23, 2013

      Alice Hoffman is amazing, Her characters capture your heart and

      Alice Hoffman is amazing, Her characters capture your heart and the beautiful imagery she creates with words is breath taking. She is a literary treasure. Do not miss Angel Landing or any of Hoffman's lovely books.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted April 5, 2009

      more from this reviewer

      I Also Recommend:

      Alice Hoffman never lets the reader down

      Alice hoffman has become my favorite author. This book was just another in a long list of great reads! I highly recommend it!

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted July 24, 2008

      loved it

      I really loved this book. It kept my attention and it was devastatingly beautiful. It was not, by any means, a true love story like that of Nicolas Sparks, but rather a love story in its own catagory.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted November 29, 2009

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      Posted May 15, 2009

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    Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

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