Outer Banks: Three Early Novels (P.S. Series)

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Overview

An Omnibus Edition of Three Classic Early Novels from the Critically Acclaimed Author of Cloudsplitter and Affliction

Family Life: Russell Banks's first novel is an adult fairy tale of a royal family in a mythical contemporary kingdom where the myriad dramas of domesticity blend with an outrageous slew of murders, mayhem, coups, debauches, world tours, and love in all guises, transcendent or otherwise.

Hamilton Stark: This tale of a solitary, ...

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Outer Banks: Three Early Novels

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Overview

An Omnibus Edition of Three Classic Early Novels from the Critically Acclaimed Author of Cloudsplitter and Affliction

Family Life: Russell Banks's first novel is an adult fairy tale of a royal family in a mythical contemporary kingdom where the myriad dramas of domesticity blend with an outrageous slew of murders, mayhem, coups, debauches, world tours, and love in all guises, transcendent or otherwise.

Hamilton Stark: This tale of a solitary, boorish, misanthropic New Hampshire pipe fitter—the sole inhabitant of the house from which he evicted his own mother—is at once a compelling meditation on identity and a thoroughly engaging story of life on the cold edge of New England.

The Relation of My Imprisonment: Utilizing a form invented by imprisoned seventeenth-century Puritan divines—an utterly sincere and detailed, if highly artificial, recounting of great suffering—Banks's novel is a remarkably inventive, lovingly good-humored argument, exploration, and map of the caged religious mind.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061544521
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/24/2008
  • Series: P.S. Series
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 1,559,864
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Russell Banks

Russell Banks is one of America's most prestigious fiction writers, a past president of the International Parliament of Writers, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been translated into twenty languages and has received numerous prizes and awards, including the Common Wealth Award for Literature. He lives in upstate New York and Miami, Florida.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      March 28, 1940
    2. Place of Birth:
      Newton, Massachusetts

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Outer Banks
Three Early Novels

One

1. To go back to the beginning would be fruitless, timewasting, pretentious. It's much more productive, faster and more sincere to commence in medias res with the king squealing angrily, the princes, all three of them, lolling through their extended adolescences, the queen quietly comforting herself in her chambers, and the several secondary characters gathered together in small groups scattered variously about the palace—the Green Man (so-called), the Loon, the Twit, Genghis, etc., etc.

This, then, is not unlike the opening scene of a favorite opera, The Trojans, by Hector Berlioz (after The Aeneid, by Virgil), part 1, "The Sacking of Troy." That is, one thinks of that narrator, and of Cassandra, Coroebus, Andromache, Astyanax, Aeneas, Priam, Hecuba, Panthus, Helenus, Ascanius, Polyxena, Hector's Ghost, and others (in order of appearance), and one thinks of Troy or Carthage or of a castle-like citadel inside a ravaged city, of city walls and a vast plain beyond, and one recalls that particular narrative line and obtains thereby a pretty fair idea of how it all begins.

2. This is intended, actually, to be a family story, after the Greeks. But after Thomas Wolfe , too. And Gertrude Stein. Certain late nineteenth-century Russian novelists. William Faulkner. Marcel Proust. Thomas Hardy. Henry James. D. H. Lawrence. New England poets of the mid-twentieth century. André Gide. The Scandinavian playwrights. Truman Capote. Wright Morris. Nathaniel Hawthorne. Vladimir Nabokov. John Milton. Philip Roth. George Bernard Shaw. Washington Irving. James Agee and Walker Evans. Charles Dickens.Harriet Beecher Stowe. Sigmund Freud. Eudora Welty. William Burroughs, Jr. Laurence Sterne. Thorstein Veblen. William Carlos Williams. Edna Ferber. The Grimm Brothers. William Saroyan. Anton Chekhov. William of Occam. James Branch Cabell. John Steinbeck. Ellen Glasgow. Sarah Orne Jewett. Frank Norris. Katherine Anne Porter. J. D. Salinger. Franz Kafka. Anne Frank. Sinclair Lewis. Bede. Erskine Caldwell. Charles Addams. Tennessee Williams. James T. Farrell. Rollo May. Giovanni Boccaccio. Theodore Dreiser. Elia Kazan. Sherwood Anderson. Henry Fielding. Louisa May Alcott. Zelda Fitzgerald. Oscar Handlin. Thornton Wilder. Flannery O'Connor. The King James Version of the Old Testament. William Makepeace Thackeray. Ed Sanders. Jane Austen. Ignazio Silone. Isaac Bashevis Singer. Ernest Jones. And Ford Madox Ford. —After these, too.

After them in time, of course, if not in manner. Yet also, and perhaps more important than either time or manner, after them in a subtler way, and suggesting through that a previously unrecognized, yet ancient tradition, the nature of which should be apparent as soon as one has considered which authors, insofar as their names are absent above, cannot be said to participate in that tradition: The Tradition of the Bloody Orange.

3. The Tradition of the Bloody Orange—A Paradigm Someone appears on the horizon as a black speck, a fly stuck against the lavender sky. He draws closer and closer, at first slowly and then more rapidly, until he has drawn face-to-face with the viewer, whereat he is repelled. He tries not to reveal the depth and extent of his revulsion, nausea, disgust, boredom, by describing himself, his family, his friends and lovers, and the enemies of all. At last, unable to conceal his true feelings any longer, he draws from the leather pouch at his waist a large Florida orange (of the hybrid type, called "navel"). He brings the perfect sphere slowly up to his mouth, which is ample, and chomps suddenly into it, splattering billows of blood over his face, hands, green lamé shirt and tan suede boots. Then, continuing to eat at the orange, he turns and withdraws quickly to the horizon again, where he remains, a speck of changing color from black to red to orange and sometimes (to the naked eye) appearing cadmium yellow or even, as he should, green. From such a distance, he is quite beautiful to observe, changing color like that, especially against the lavender sky!

4. This is the start of the action. A handsome youth who wore slick green suits and strangely decorated hats went to the king with three sons and expressed in public a passionate desire to have one of the sons for his lover. —I don't care which one, he cried. —Any of them will satisfy me. I have this thing about princes, he said.

5. For two days and nights, the king ambled down the many-tapestried corridors of the palace, laughing and murmuring to himself. —A thing about princes, indeed. That's rich!

6. It was a late, amber-colored afternoon. In the gymnasium the three princes practiced the sports. Naked and oiled, they ran and kicked and threw. Soft light from the windows above drifted down and shimmered over their sleek bodies. One of the ballboys attending them, a cripple desperately seeking favor and possible advancement, told them about the young man in the slick green suit and his strange request. The way the ballboy told it, the man's request was actually a demand, ominously put.

—He gave your father, His Royal Highness the King, just three days to decide which one it would be, the ballboy told the athletes. They laughed and called the ballboy a twit. —Far out, twit! they teased.

7. In defense of himself, the ballboy changed his story and said that he'd made up the part about the funny-looking hat with the geraniums in it and the tan suede boots and the moustache and even the accent with all the flat As. But it availed him nothing. The princes pelted him with handballs, badminton birdies, medicine balls, and basketballs. They even fell to rolling a shot put at his feet, aiming for the arches. They were disturbed.

8. The king fucked the queen on two successive nights, keeping the lights on throughout copulation on both occasions. He was obviously disturbed.

9. —I like a plucky faggot, he breathlessly confided to the queen after each of her orgasms. After his own, however, he remained silent.

10. The queen, pondering both his remark and the timing of his silences, had difficulty sleeping. At breakfast following their second night of love, she asked her husband, —Have you ever performed a sex act with a man? Or with a boy?

Outer Banks
Three Early Novels
. Copyright © by Russell Banks. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents


Preface     ix
Family Life     1
Hamilton Stark     127
The Relation of My Imprisonment     415
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2014

    Rose

    "Jassy. Thats all I know. I'm going to go now." Gone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2014

    Bambi

    About what

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2014

    Pat

    At least tell me who doesnt like ac

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2012

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2012

    Main camp

    A big clearing with a path leading to a big hollow tree. There is water and plenty of rabbits and prey.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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