Phone Rings

Overview

A shocking phone call in the first sentence sparks a soaring tour-de-force saga by two-time National Book Award nominee Stephen Dixon.

It is the tale of two brothers, years apart in age, who have become close late in life. But the freakish death of one at the book's outset sends the other reeling into a shattered yet strangely exhilarating re-visitation of their lives together.

Phone Rings is the work of a master at the peak of his form: a ...

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2005 - Paperback - Used - Good - - Shows some shelf-wear. May contain old price stickers or their residue, inscriptions or dedications from previous owners in first few pages and ... remainder marks. - .- - All orders are processed and shipped within 24 business hours, Mon - Fri. Expedited shipping and tracking available within the US. Hall Street’s No-Worry guarantee lets you buy with confidence! Read more Show Less

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2005 Trade Paperback First Edition, Ex-Library Very Good NICE BOOK! FIRST EDITION WITH CLEAN PAGES, A COUPLE LIBRARY STICKERS & NO SPINE CREASES. "Description: A shocking phone ... call in the first sentence sparks a soaring tour-de-force saga by the writer "Publishers Weekly" deemed "a hip Saul Bellow." It is the tale of two brothers, years apart in age, who have become close late in life. But the freakish death of one at the book's outset sends the other reeling into a shattered yet strangely exhilarating revisitation of their lives together. "Phone Rings" is the work of a master at the peak of his form: a beautiful overlapping of scenes both remembered and ongoing, told with tenderness and an antic, laugh-out-loud sense of humor. In Dixon's inimitable mix of absorbing narrative, deceptively simple prose, and waggishly innovative style, it becomes the sprawling chronicle of a large Jewish family in midcentury New York City, surviving three wars, the 1960s cultural revolution, marriages, divorces, births, an Read more Show Less

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Overview

A shocking phone call in the first sentence sparks a soaring tour-de-force saga by two-time National Book Award nominee Stephen Dixon.

It is the tale of two brothers, years apart in age, who have become close late in life. But the freakish death of one at the book's outset sends the other reeling into a shattered yet strangely exhilarating re-visitation of their lives together.

Phone Rings is the work of a master at the peak of his form: a beautiful overlapping of scenes both remembered and ongoing, told with tenderness and an antic, laugh-out-loud sense of humor. In Dixon's inimitable mix of absorbing narrative, deceptively simple prose and waggishly innovative style, it becomes the sprawling chronicle of a large Jewish family in mid-century New York City, surviving three wars, the '60s cultural revolution, marriages, divorces, births and deaths . . . is it all lost with the piercing sound of a ringing phone? Or is that the chance to realize the possibility of transcendence?

Stephen Dixon has long been considered the "secret master" of American fiction by great writers such as Jonathan Lethem. In this book, he may well have written his masterpiece.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“… a hip Saul Bellow….”
Publishers Weekly

Editors' Choice
New York Times Book Review

"Stephen Dixon is one of the great secret masters."
—Jonathan Lethem

Sven Birkets
The prose creates a hum of agitated inwardness; it gets the throb of distress that is as familiar as childhood itself. Violating every sacred canon of narrative construction, Dixon has nonetheless fashioned an intimate, wrenching picture of loss - how the impossibly great value of a life can be taken away and never brought back.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Dixon's 25th book of fiction takes up the themes of his recent novels I. and Old Friends-writerly vicissitudes, spousal care, New Deal-era New York City childhood-here serving as the backdrop for a story about male sibling bonds. After receiving a phone call telling him his older brother, Dan-his mentor, idol and closest friend-has died in a freak running accident, Stu Fine mourns their lives together. Ever the experimenter, Dixon tells Stu and Dan's story episodically, as if carefully scanning snapshots from an unordered box, in long associative paragraphs that slowly accumulate to complete a portrait of their relationship: Dan sticks up for teenage Stu, but disciplines him with a belt. He gets Stu, now out of college, his first good job as a reporter. After Stu's marriage, Dan listens to Stu's mania for his daughters' safety, advises him on what to do with his rickety car and offers sympathy for the challenges of caring for a handicapped wife. The tragic, early deaths of Stu's other siblings, his father's involvement in an abortion scandal (which resulted in a prison sentence and the enduring bitterness of his family) and Dan's adventures as a war correspondent during the Korean War complete the picture. This epic account of the life of a family ranks among Dixon's most ambitious novels. (Oct. 15) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The phone rings incessantly in two-time National Book Award nominee Dixon's 25th book of fiction, which may rattle some readers' nerves. Still, it's no trick but a fine way of communicating the tensions of modern family life. A bit long-winded but a good bet for literary fiction collections. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780976140788
  • Publisher: Melville House Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/15/2005
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Dixon is the author of 25 books of fiction, including the National Book Award-nominated novels Frog and Interstate. He wrote his first novel while working as a reporter in Washington, DC, but at the age of 26 he abandoned journalism for jobs that enabled him to concentrate on writing fiction—including tending bar and substitute teaching in public schools. Since then, his short fiction has won most of the major literary awards, including an O. Henry Award and a Pushcart Prize, and he is the recipient of honors from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is now on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University.
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