Her Name Was Lola

Her Name Was Lola

by Russell Hoban
     
 

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Hoban spins a light, wry fantasy about a middle-aged writer's past misdeeds, faltering career and misapprehensions about love.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fiction—novels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical

Overview


Hoban spins a light, wry fantasy about a middle-aged writer's past misdeeds, faltering career and misapprehensions about love.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fiction—novels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Editorial Reviews

Michael Dirda
… a winsomely endearing love story, tinged with fantasy, and just right for summer … Her Name Was Lola will haunt you as the memory of Lola haunts Max. Besides, it's the rare love story that explores the implications of "form and emptiness" -- which makes it, for that reason alone, all the more wonderful.
The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Hoban (Riddley Walker, etc.) spins a light, wry fantasy about a middle-aged writer's past misdeeds, faltering career and misapprehensions about love. Max Lesser, a writer of "novels that don't sell, children's picture books that do," is on his way to lunch when a smelly dwarf, invisible to all but Max, affixes itself to him. Named Apasmara ("forgetfulness" in Hindu mythology), the dwarf reminds him not to forget his long-lost love, Lola Bessington. Subsequent flashbacks reveal how Max met the youthful, well-to-do Lola at a London record shop and promptly decided that she was his "destiny." Of course, then he quickly enjoys a flirtation with a curvy Texan, Lula Mae Flowers. Both women get pregnant; Lola disappears; and, oh, the battles Max has with his logical mind. He also spars with his protagonist, Moe Levy, whose "Page One" he can't even write, and Charlotte Prickles, the popular hedgehog heroine of his children's series. Meanwhile, Lola, accompanied by her new son Noah, finds enlightenment at a Zen center called Diamond Heart, where she learns to play the sarod and composes a raga that will eventually bring her and her love together again. Hoban's quirky, tender tale progresses in brief chapters and playful leaps to come looping back full circle; some readers will enjoy the journey, while others will find that Hoban's form trumps his content. Agent, Bruce Hunter. (July) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Hoban, author of the classic Frances children's books, offers a black comedy about modern love. Max, a writer struggling with his next novel and meanwhile paying the bills with his children's books starring hedgehog Charlotte Prickles, is torn between two lovers. First, he met Lola, an aristocrat from a British family, and proclaimed her his destiny woman. A few days later, as he and Lola are exploring the National Gallery, he meets Lula Mae, a Texan transplant working in London for a technology company. Suffering from writer's block and the guilt of romancing two women at once, Max argues with himself about the best course of action. Inevitably, he is found out. Lola cannot believe he has been two-timing her and leaves in a hurry. Soon after, Lula Mae, who is pregnant with Max's child, takes off for the States, saying she doesn't need him. Max is left wondering how he managed to get himself into such a mess and how he can win his destiny woman back. This quick read, which is broken into many short chapters and reveals the tale in flashback, should appeal to fans of modern British comic writing. Recommended for public libraries.-Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metro. Lib., OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A quick, droll, pleasantly amusing love story set in London around about now. Max Lesser-like his creator, Hoban (Angelica's Grotto, 2001, etc.)-is a novelist and children's book writer (Max's novels don't sell, though his series about a hedgehog, Charlotte Prickles, does very well), but, seemingly unlike Hoban, he's blocked, long since unable to get "anything that looks like Page One of a new novel" or to get a new hedgehog idea. Then? Well, through the mail slot comes an anonymous CD with a raga on it-and, after Max plays it, things get curiouser and curiouser. Max has a kind of blackout on his way to a lunch date, then is more or less assaulted by an ugly and smelly dwarf who's groveling almost animal-like on the pavement: this dwarf leaps onto Max's back and flattens himself there, tangible and visible to poor Max but not to others. What is he? A visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum and a statue there of Shiva reveals that the dwarf, held down under Shiva's foot (the weight disappears from Max's back as the dwarf slips back under the foot), is Apasmara Purusha, the "dwarf demon called Forgetfulness." Another visit, this time to a kind of prophetess named Grace Kowalski, who's aided by much vodka and another playing of the raga, at last reveals to Max who sent him the CD: Lola Bessington! The reader may be a bit confused as to how Max could ever have forgotten the wonderful Lola, or what her motive really was in sending the raga (she composed the music herself), but there's no confusion at all as bit by bit Max re-remembers Lola, how much they loved each other, and then the awful, awful, contemptible thing he did to her that ended all-until now, and their near-miraculous, no, theirmiraculous reunion. Sophisticated pleasures and a grown-up love story from the estimable Hoban.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611451658
Publisher:
Arcade Publishing
Publication date:
07/01/2004
Pages:
222
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 5.50(d)

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