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Day for Night: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

"If you look hard enough into the history of anything, you will discover things that seem to be connected but are not." So claims a character in Frederick Reiken's wonderful, surprising novel, which seems in fact to be determined to prove just the opposite. How else to explain the threads that link a middle-aged woman on vacation in Florida with a rock and roll singer visiting her comatose brother in Utah, where he's been transported after a motorcycle injury in Israel, where he works with a man whose long-lost mother, in a retirement community ...
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Day for Night: A Novel

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Overview

"If you look hard enough into the history of anything, you will discover things that seem to be connected but are not." So claims a character in Frederick Reiken's wonderful, surprising novel, which seems in fact to be determined to prove just the opposite. How else to explain the threads that link a middle-aged woman on vacation in Florida with a rock and roll singer visiting her comatose brother in Utah, where he's been transported after a motorcycle injury in Israel, where he works with a man whose long-lost mother, in a retirement community in New Jersey, recognizes him in a televised report about an Israeli-Palestinian skirmish? And that's not the half of it.

In DAY FOR NIGHT, critically acclaimed writer Frederick Reiken spins an unlikely and yet utterly convincing story about people lost and found. They are all refugees from their own lives or history's cruelties, and yet they wind up linked to each other in compelling and unpredictable ways that will keep you guessing until the very end.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Brilliant plotting, haunting characters and an elegiac tone distinguish this dazzling novel by Reiken (The Lost Legends of New Jersey, 2000, etc.). Criticized for his books' many plot coincidences, Charles Dickens claimed that those who don't notice coincidence in their lives simply don't have their eyes open. Reiken seems to hold similar views on concatenation, dexterously using "coincidence" to move his narrative from one relationship and place to another. The novel starts with David and Beverly, an unmarried but committed couple snorkeling around manatees in Florida. David's leukemia is in remission, but he wants Beverly to adopt his son if he should die. Beverly then links up with Tim, their "manatee scout," who's in a local band with vocalist Dee. The next part of the narrative follows Tim and Dee as they fly to Salt Lake City to visit Dee's brother Dillon, who's in a coma as the result of a motorcycle accident. Sitting next to them on the plane is a woman who turns out to be a fugitive (of sorts), a much-sought radical from the 1960s; FBI agents' pursuit of her becomes the next segment of the narrative. The following chapter presents the point of view of Jennifer, Beverly's brilliant but somewhat wayward daughter, on her mother's relationships. And so it goes. Reiken segues from character to character with remarkable virtuosity, grounding the narrative in several seemingly disparate but ultimately unifying topics, including the mass murder during World War II of 500 Jews (Beverly's father and uncle perhaps among them) and an Israeli soldier's abortive attempt to save a Palestinian boy from falling off a roof, an event that we learn later is connected to Dillon's motorcycle accident.While Reiken ties his narrative knots, he leaves them satisfyingly loose. Contemporary fiction at its best-accessible, breathtaking and heartbreaking.
From the Publisher
"Brilliant plotting, haunting characters and an elegiac tone distinguish this dazzling novel by Reiken...Contemporary fiction at its best-accessible, breathtaking and heartbreaking."—Kirkus Reviews (starred)

"An intricate, subtly fantastic, six-degrees-of-separation tale shaped by the beauty, continuity, and mystery of nature. . . . It's an entrancing and profoundly complicated tale Reiken tells as he slowly reveals the submerged connections among his intriguing characters while sustaining psychological sophistication, suspense, shrewd humor, and many-tiered compassion."—Booklist (starred)

"A compelling tale in which one thread deftly connects 10 people....An imaginative and exciting read."—Publishers Weekly

"What begins as a typical family drama becomes a chain reaction of plot twists. . . . . Day for Night is a beautiful test in patience, but by the end, you'll see it was worth the wait."—Very Short List

"A thought-provoking, intricate portrait of the far-reaching, intergenerational implications of the Holocaust - and how fortuitous circumstances can bring people from both sides of a tragedy closer together, and, in some cases, further apart."—S. Kirk Walsh, Los Angeles Times

"Day for Night is a joy and a rare thing, a feast for the mind and the heart that almost demands a second reading."—Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Co./NPR

"This novel magically and eloquently links swimming with manatees in Florida with a comatose young man held hostage in Utah, a fugitive radical woman, and a kibbutz on the Dead Sea. It's beautifully written, magnificently cerebral, entirely compelling."— Ellen Meeropol, Odyssey Bookshop

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316132848
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 759,251
  • File size: 621 KB

Meet the Author

Frederick Reiken

Frederick Reiken is the author of two previous novels, The Odd Sea (1998) and The Lost Legends of New Jersey (2000). His short stories have appeared in The New Yorker and his essays in the anthology Living on the Edge of the World (2008). He has worked as a reporter and columnist and is currently a member of the writing faculty at Emerson College.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 15 of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 31, 2013

    A truly extraordinary experience

    On certain rare occasions, reading a novel so moves you and so intersects with the subjective facts of one's own life, that the resulting literary experience can be described as "extraordinary". My time with the audiobook of DAY FOR NIGHT was just such an experience. The author has successfully melded numerous themes and different voiced characters over an extended historical timeline with the end result being a better and deeper understanding of what in our lives we hold precious and dear and what in our lives is truly meaningful. Plot points and character analysis are secondary to the amazing gestalt created by Reichen as he takes the reader on a journey into deep personal revelations regarding the true meaning of life and living. Highly recommended and unforgettable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2012

    Great

    Great

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  • Posted October 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Day For Night

    At first this may seem like a collection of short stories about different people from various points of view. It makes you wonder how they are all connected. But as you delve into Day For Night, their lives are interwoven some subtly, some not. Reiken has written a novel filled with plots, sub-plots, interesting characters and intertwining lives.

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  • Posted September 25, 2010

    Very highly recommended!

    Nothing short of wonderful. Reiken has created a magical and haunting work of interwoven stories -- a tapestry whose shapes we begin to recognize only as we step back. I can't remember the last time I put down a book with absolute certainty that I would read it again. When this comes out in paperback, I'm going to recommend it for every reading group I can. Trust the professional reviewers on this book. You'll be very glad you did. (btw: Reiken's earlier novel, "Lost Legends of New Jersey," is very special too. It's now a print on demand title, I gather, and thus harder to find, but well worth the effort. I recommended it to a lot of people, and they all liked it a lot.)

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    Posted June 7, 2010

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 15 of 16 Customer Reviews

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