Contents May Have Shifted: A Novel
  • Contents May Have Shifted: A Novel
  • Contents May Have Shifted: A Novel

Contents May Have Shifted: A Novel

2.5 7
by Pam Houston
     
 

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“A tale so vivid, intricate, and intimate that it puts high-def TV to shame.”—ElleSee more details below

Overview

“A tale so vivid, intricate, and intimate that it puts high-def TV to shame.”—Elle

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“Starred review. Unapologetic and empowering, Houston’s book hammers home the idea that if you don’t have problems, you probably aren’t living. Or, to use her metaphor, we all have baggage, so we might as well get used to traveling with it.”— Katharine Fronk
Elle Magazine
“...[Houston] has...concocted a tale so vivid, intricate, and intimate that it puts high-def TV to shame...”— Natasha Clark
Shelf Awareness
“Houston’s easy-breezy style is a pleasure to read, whether she’s on a nailbiter of a flight, with foam laid down for the landing, or floating on a halcyon river, with foam burbling over the rocks.”
Katharine Fronk - Booklist
“Starred review. Unapologetic and empowering, Houston’s book hammers home the idea that if you don’t have problems, you probably aren’t living. Or, to use her metaphor, we all have baggage, so we might as well get used to traveling with it.”
Natasha Clark - Elle Magazine
“...[Houston] has...concocted a tale so vivid, intricate, and intimate that it puts high-def TV to shame...”
Booklist - Katharine Fronk
“Starred review. Unapologetic and empowering, Houston’s book hammers home the idea that if you don’t have problems, you probably aren’t living. Or, to use her metaphor, we all have baggage, so we might as well get used to traveling with it.”
Elle Magazine - Natasha Clark
“...[Houston] has...concocted a tale so vivid, intricate, and intimate that it puts high-def TV to shame...”
Library Journal
From 747s overloaded with fuel to small cargo planes on which she has to blend in with the duffel bags to avoid detection, frequent flier-narrator Pam crisscrosses the globe, sharing her experiences and impressions. Sometimes she travels with a man, at others with a woman friend or a gaggle of female companions. Eventually, she tries for a more settled life with a man and his daughter. She has experiences big and small: helping young ducks cross a road, being shouted at in a language she doesn't understand while plane after plane departs the airport, comforting her wolfhound, who's suffering from cancer. She gets a variety of New Age and foreign massages. It's a simple story, really, of a woman trying to find happiness. It's told through a series of short chapters (sometimes just a few sentences) as the account floats back and forth in time and space. But there is a compelling narrative here for readers willing to find it, and they will learn a lot about a modern woman and her hopes and fears. VERDICT From the author of the critically acclaimed Cowboys Are My Weakness, this book is not for everyone but is highly recommended for adventurous readers.—Debbie Bogenschutz, Cincinnati State Technical & Community Coll. Lib.
Kirkus Reviews
Houston's second novel (Sight Hound, 2005, etc.) combines thinly disguised travel essays with a new age romance as her heroine travels the world with one lover, then more or less settles down for another. Narrator Pam is a California professor with a very flexible schedule, seemingly unlimited financial resources and an itch for roaming. Over 100 brief chapters follow her to various exotic locations, from Alaska to Bhutan to Patagonia to Tunisia, to name just a few--after a while the places begin to run together--where she gets to know the locals, enjoys the local food and usually has a lively adventure or inner awakening. Sometimes fearless, sometimes scared to death, the narrator (whose identity reads close to the author's) doesn't take herself too seriously during these quests, which often include near-death experiences, and she skillfully captures the essence of each place she visits. The descriptions of her plane rides, and aviation near-disasters, are often hilarious. But less humorous are the relationship issues Pam is working out as she approaches 50. She brags annoyingly about her many, many friends, including semi-famous literary ones, although none develop into actual characters--another case of names running together. But Pam's romantic history is problematic. Her past includes a dead lover she idealizes. Her present, as the book opens, includes Ethan, a womanizing jerk whom women find incredibly desirable despite his lack of a discernable personality. After their drawn out breakup, she goes on a series of snidely described bad dates before she meets Rick, a "highbrow hick" with a Masters in philosophy and religion who makes custom wood flooring for a living. To Pam, he is the perfect mix of redneck and new age cowboy. The hitch is his 8-year-old daughter and his complicated connection to his ex-wife. Can Pam balance her need to explore the world with her desire for intimacy with homebound Rick? Houston is a fine travel writer, but her characters are cardboard cutouts for every cliché of contemporary uplifting women's fiction.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393343489
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
01/28/2013
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
548,596
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

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