The Half-Life: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

When Cookie Figowitz, the cook for a party of volatile fur trappers trekking through the Oregon Territory in the 1820s, joins up with the refugee Henry Brown, the two begin a wild ride that takes them from the virgin territory of the West all the way to China and back again. One hundred and sixty years later, Tina Plank, an unhappy teenager, meets Trixie, a girl with a troubled past, and the two become fast friends. But when two skeletons are accidentally unearthed from their common ground, the lives of Tina and ...
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The Half-Life: A Novel

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Overview

When Cookie Figowitz, the cook for a party of volatile fur trappers trekking through the Oregon Territory in the 1820s, joins up with the refugee Henry Brown, the two begin a wild ride that takes them from the virgin territory of the West all the way to China and back again. One hundred and sixty years later, Tina Plank, an unhappy teenager, meets Trixie, a girl with a troubled past, and the two become fast friends. But when two skeletons are accidentally unearthed from their common ground, the lives of Tina and Trixie, Cookie and Henry are brought together in unexpected and startling ways.
Jonathan Raymond attended Swarthmore College. He was an editor at Plazm magazine and received his M.F.A. from New School University. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
"A marvelous novel...a mystery as rich as the history of the Oregon territory itself."-Vanity Fair
"Raymond nimbly interweaves these parallel tales and manages to surprise...[a] subtle portrait of friendship and loss...[from] an astute, patient observer."-Entertainment Weekly
"Raymond's debut novel teems with carefully researched period details, intrigue...yet it never feels overstuffed."-Washington Post
"With The Half-Life, [Raymond] has come home prospecting for literary gold ...Oregon has given him something back."-San Francisco Chronicle
"Quietly stunning...Raymond is a kind of stealth bomber of the epic."-Newsday
"Terrific...The Half-Life gazes upon those fierce but ephemeral attachments that evade the history books. Multiple plots elegantly veer across the sprawling terrain."-Village Voice
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596918870
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 12/2/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • File size: 842 KB

Meet the Author

Jonathan Raymond attended Swarthmore College. He was an editor at Plazm magazine and received his M.F.A. from New School University. He is the author of the novel The Half-Life, and the movies Old Joy and the forthcoming Wendy and Lucy. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2004

    A BEAUTIFUL DEBUT NOVEL

    Former editor/screenwriter Jonathan Raymond opted for a mighty task when imagining his first novel - it would be a story of two friendships, alliances in the Pacific Northwest 100 years apart. He succeeded brilliantly penning parallel narratives that not only trace these friendships but also the development of the Portland, Oregon area over a period of time. Cookie Figowitz is the youngest member of the Wild Trappers fur-trapping party. Both are aptly named as Cookie is the cook, and the trappers are a brash bunch. It is 1820 and they're on their way to the Hudson Bay Company. These trappers don't take kindly to not having enough to eat, which is precisely the situation Cookie finds himself in. Supplies are low. One night while Cookie is out searching for food he finds instead Henry Brown, a fellow running for his life from a few vengeful Russians. Cookie's a good soul so he takes Henry back to camp with him, hiding him from the trappers. Out of this definitely inauspicious beginning a friendship develops, one that sees them go to China together in the hopes of selling a type of oil. Segue to the 1980s and meet Tina Plank, an unhappy miss who lives in a commune near Portland. There's just one girl anywhere close to her age within a five mile radius, and that's Trixie Volterra, a savvy gal with a past. The two are quite a pair and form quite a friendship as they attempt to produce a movie on a poor excuse for a budget. There's a surprise in store for the girls when two skeletons are found on the property where they're filming - Cookie and Henry. Thus the author has adroitly brought together the lives of four people. Each pair is from the same place in a different time. All have known the joys and sadness inherent in friendship. The reader has been treated to an intensely beautiful debut novel.

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