A Slipping-Down Life

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Overview

"Without Anne Tyler, American fiction would be an immeasurably bleaker place."
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Evie Decker is a shy, slightly plump teenager, lonely and silent. But her quiet life is shattered when she hears the voice of Drumstrings Casey on the radio and becomes instantly attracted to him. She manages to meet him, bursting out of her lonely shell—and into the attentive gaze of the intangible man who becomes all too ...
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2004 Mass Market Paperback New Movie tie-in paperback. Unread pb with tight spine.

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A Slipping-Down Life

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Overview

"Without Anne Tyler, American fiction would be an immeasurably bleaker place."
NEWSDAY
Evie Decker is a shy, slightly plump teenager, lonely and silent. But her quiet life is shattered when she hears the voice of Drumstrings Casey on the radio and becomes instantly attracted to him. She manages to meet him, bursting out of her lonely shell—and into the attentive gaze of the intangible man who becomes all too real....
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Editorial Reviews

Newsday
Without Anne Tyler, American fiction would be an immeasurably bleaker place.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Anne Tyler is a wise and perceptive writer with a warm understanding of human foible.
Newsday
Without Anne Tyler, American fiction would be an immeasurably bleaker place.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Anne Tyler is a wise and perceptive writer with a warm understanding of human foible.
From the Publisher
“TO READ A NOVEL BY ANNE TYLER IS TO FALL IN LOVE.”
People

“Anne Tyler is a wise and perceptive writer with a warm understanding of human foible.”
—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“All of Tyler’s novels are wonderful.”
—Newsweek

“One of the most beguiling and mesmerizing writers in America.”
—The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Not merely good . . . She is wickedly good!”
—John Updike

“A novelist who knows what a proper story is . . . A very funny writer. . . Not only a good and artful writer, but a wise one as well.”
—Newsweek

“Tyler’s characters have character: quirks, odd angles of vision, colorful mean streaks and harmonic longings.”
—Time

“Her people are triumphantly alive.”
—The New York Times

“Without Anne Tyler, American fiction would be an immeasurably bleaker place.”
—Newsweek

From the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345478146
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/27/2004
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Movie Tie In
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 4.14 (w) x 6.82 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Tyler
Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis in 1941 but grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She graduated at nineteen from Duke University and went on to do graduate work in Russian studies at Columbia University. Tyler’s eleventh novel, Breathing Lessons, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She lives in Baltimore.

From the Paperback edition.

Biography

Anne Tyler has had a very active imagination all her life. When she was a young girl, she would spend an hour or two after being put to bed every night fantasizing that she was a doctor. She imagined conversations with patients, and pictured their lives as she did so, considering both their illnesses and the intricacies of their backgrounds. She constructed little mental plays around these characters that she would whisper to herself in the dark -- much to the chagrin of her brother, with whom she shared a room. "[H]e used to call out to our parents, ‘Anne's whispering again!'" she once told Barnes & Noble.com. As much as she may have vexed her brother, she also believes that these fantasies helped her to develop into the beloved, award-winning novelist she is today.

Tyler's work is characterized by a meticulous attention to detail, a genuine love of her characters, and a quirky sense of humor. Her public persona is characterized by its own quirks, as well. She refuses to grant face-to-face interviews. She has never publicly read from any of her books. She does not do book signings or tours. All of this has lent a certain mystique to her novels, although Tyler has said that her reluctance to become a public figure status is actually the result of simple shyness, not to mention her desire for her writing to speak for itself. Fortunately, Anne Tyler's work speaks with a clear, fully-realized voice that does not require unnecessary elucidation by the writer.

Tyler published her first novel If Morning Ever Comes in 1964, and that singular voice was already in place. This astute debut that tracks the self-realization of a young man named Ben Joe Hawkins displayed Tyler's characteristic wit and gentle eccentricity right off the bat. Harper's declared the novel "a triumph," and Tyler was on her way to creating an impressive catalog of novels chronicling the every day hopes, fears, dreams, failures, and victories of small-town Americans. Having come of age, herself, in rural North Carolina, Tyler had particular insight into the lives of her characters. Each novel was a little shimmering gem, winning her a devoted following and public accolades that more than compensated for her refusal to appear in public. Her novel Earthly Possessions, the story of a housewife who is taken hostage by a young man during a bank robbery, was released the same year she won an award for "literary excellence and promise of important work to come" from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. The book also went on to become a television movie starring Susan Sarandon and Stephen Dorff in 1999.

However, the most well-known adaptation of one of Tyler's novels arrived more than a decade earlier when The Accidental Tourist was made into an Academy Award winning film starring Geena Davis and William Hurt. Consequently, The Accidental Tourist is viewed by some as Tyler's signature novel, covering many of the writer's favorite themes: the push and pull of marriage, the appearance of a romantic eccentric, personal tragedy, and the quest to escape from the drudgery of routine. The Accidental Tourist won the National Book Critics Circle Award and hit number one on The New York Times Bestseller list.

Three years later, Tyler received the Pulitzer Prize for Breathing Lessons, which further explored themes of marriage and self-examination. Despite having won the prestigious Pulitzer, Tyler still refused to allow herself to be drawn into the spotlight. Quietly, contemplatively, she chose to continue publishing a sequence of uniformly fine novels, including Saint Maybe, Ladder of Years, and The Amateur Marriage.

Anne Tyler's novel Digging to America reexamines many of her chief obsessions, while also possibly drawing upon a personal triumph -- her marriage to Iranian psychiatrist and novelist Taghi Mohammad Modarressi -- and the tragedy of his death in 1997. Digging to America follows the relationship between two families, the Iranian Yazdans and the all-American Donaldsons, as they become closer and closer and affect each other deeper and deeper over a succession of years. Digging to America is arguably Tyler's deepest and most profound work to date. It also delivers more of her peculiar brand of humor, which will surely please her longtime fans, thrilled that she continues spinning tales with the trademark attention to character that has distinguished her stories ever since she was a little girl, whispering to herself in the dark. Tyler may have decided to remain in the dark and out of the public eye, but the stories she has to tell have shed more than their share of light on the lives of her readers.

Good To Know

Tyler first began writing stories at the innocent age of seven. At the time, most of her yarns involved, as she has said, "lucky, lucky girls who got to go west in covered wagons."

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    1. Hometown:
      Baltimore, Maryland
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 25, 1941
    2. Place of Birth:
      Minneapolis, Minnesota
    1. Education:
      B.A., Duke University, 1961

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 1999

    HORRIBLE

    Tyler's characters were so pathetic!!! I did not like this book at all. This is an outragis tale of a teenage life. Evie is a fat outcast. She becomes interested in a local rock singer (Drum) and carves his name in her forehead, for attention. They don't like eachother much, but end up married. They don't have a very good life. The storie never picks up and Evie ends up all alone with a baby on the way. The worst novel I've ever read, I hope her other novels are better than this.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2001

    Its a portrayal of a life, but at the same time is fiction.

    Anne Tylers 'A slipping Down Life' was one of the most interesting novels I have ever read, because not only does it deal with love and regrets, but it also focuses on the struggles that we sometimes must face in our lives. I recommend this book to anyone who loves trial and tribulation, this novel deffinetely leaves you with a sense of questioning and curiosity.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2000

    We All Can Relate

    I think deep down we have all been in the shoes of Evie Decker at one point or another. In teenage akwardness, nobody is perfect. A Slipping Down Life reminds us that learning to stand up for yourself is one of the most difficult things to do, yet once the lesson is learned we begin to see things differently...

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2012

    Not Anne Tyler's best!

    I have read most of Anne Tyler's books and have enjoyed all of them except this one. Anne is not at 'the top of her game' in writing this novel. The characters have very little depth and words seem to repeat themselves.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Just an awful waste of time.

    I so can't believe that I would have thought that this novel would be interesting. This is the first book of Anne Tyler that I've read. The writing was not bad, but it did not captivate me whatsoever. I enjoyed the movie alot and thought that the novel would be even cool. Sofar this is the worst book I've read in this year.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2000

    Bakwas!!!

    The book is interesting although it doesn't really make much sense. Evie and Casey get married which is something a reader would not expect since casey hates Evie. There is no evidence presented to support the fact why Casey decides to get married with Evie all of a sudden. So, it is good enough to pass time I would say. It could have been much better than it is now.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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