Under the Poppy: A Novel

( 5 )

Overview


"Koja can pack a lot Dickensian humor into a sentence."—The Plain Dealer

Under the Poppy is a brothel owned by Decca and Rupert. Decca is in love with Rupert but he in turn is in love with her brother, Istvan. When Istvan comes back to town, louche puppet troupe in tow, the lines of their age-old desires intersect against a backdrop of approaching war.

Hearts are broken when old betrayals and new alliances—not just their own—take shape, as the...

See more details below
Paperback
$14.15
BN.com price
(Save 11%)$16.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (14) from $5.33   
  • New (7) from $9.82   
  • Used (7) from $5.33   
Under the Poppy: A Novel

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.49
BN.com price
(Save 6%)$7.99 List Price

Overview


"Koja can pack a lot Dickensian humor into a sentence."—The Plain Dealer

Under the Poppy is a brothel owned by Decca and Rupert. Decca is in love with Rupert but he in turn is in love with her brother, Istvan. When Istvan comes back to town, louche puppet troupe in tow, the lines of their age-old desires intersect against a backdrop of approaching war.

Hearts are broken when old betrayals and new alliances—not just their own—take shape, as the townsmen seek refuge from the onslaught of history by watching the girls of the Poppy cavort onstage with Istvan’s naughty puppets.

When the war gets too close, Istvan and Rupert abandon the Poppy and find a place in high society where they try to avoid becoming more than puppets themselves in the hands of those they have helped before and who now want to use them again.

From its explosive beginning to the final climax, Under the Poppy is a vivid, sexy, behind-the-scenes historical novel as delicious and intoxicating as the best guilty pleasure.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Under the Poppy is unlike anything I’ve ever read, a world unto itself, spun out of fevered, sensual prose and vivid, compelling characters."
—Lewis Shiner

"Koja has a ventriloquist’s skill when it comes to inhabiting the voices of her characters . . . A gothic, glam-rock take on love and sex and death that reads a little like what would happen if Sarah Waters and Angela Carter played a drunken game of Exquisite Corpse in a brothel, Under the Poppy will make you want to get out your very finest crushed velvet, drink a couple bottles of wine, and do something a little bit illegal with someone very good-looking. In other words, it’s a winner."
—Tor.com

"All the elements of a great novel are present in Koja’s work: from suspense and intrigue to undying love and toxic jealousies, this highly developed read is brimming with imaginative flair and originality."
—Lambda Literary

"This book is different, magical, seductive, and strange. However, there are books to which "Poppy" has ties, however wispy: think The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera mixed with The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek lightened with Fanny Hill by John Cleland and layered with The Satanic Verses, A Passage to India, and Mrs. Dalloway."
—Bethanne Patrick, Beyond the Margins

"People will probably love this book or hate it–possibly both. But let me just say that it would take an author of extraordinary talent to open with a scene of a woman being sodomized by a ventriloquist’s dummy and make me want to keep reading.
"And Kathe Koja is that talented. Five stars."
Speak Its Name

"The velvet and brocade, the rips and tears, the music and theater, you see it all as you read about what the denizens of the Poppy do to stay in business, stay ahead of the tide, stay alive."
—Colleen Mondor, Chasing Ray

"Frequently changing viewpoints and fluid segues in and out of flashback illuminate actions readers have already witnessed. Part of the fun is heading into the past after knowing the future; even when you know where the story will go, you wonder what will happen next."
Ann Arbor Observer

"The brothel of Kathe Koja’s Under the Poppy requires no time and space coordinates. It is a fictional universe unto itself—rich and bawdy and violent and sad, with a beating human heart underneath. I love Koja’s daring and flair."
—Louis Bayard (The Black Tower)

"I loved Under the Poppy. It pours like chocolate—laced with brandy; sexy and utterly compelling!"
—Ellen Kushner (Swordspoint)

"Throughout the story there is an undercurrent of darkness. I can think of no better way than this to describe it and it keeps you reading, pulls you on and on through the narrative. Tied into this sense of the creeping grotesque is the fact that Koja is skilled at depicting how close to insanity art can come. I have fond memories of the mad genius of Skin—how far Koja was willing to push her story and her characters for the sake of their art and there is a similar feeling here. Istvan is driven and he cannot be anything other than what he is—a player, an actor and puppeteer. At the same time, he is drawn to Rupert and Rupert to him. Their relationship is painfully real—nothing is perfect or sugar-coated. They hurt each other, they try to mend their rifts, attempt forgiveness and do their best to accept the other as they are. It’s superbly done."
Girl on Book Action

"Few books I’ve read about the theater capture its dazzle as luminously as this one does. The performances are integral to the plotline; one cares about the performances because one cares about the characters, and one cares about the characters in part because of how they perform. Intelligent descriptions and a compelling cast make reading Poppy an intense, lingering experience…. Each section was a burst of images. I wanted to read it as slowly as I might eat a rich meal—savoring each bite before taking another."
—Rachel Swirsky, Cascadia Subduction Zone

"Despite all the trappings of puppets, sex shows, stabbings, and drawing-room treachery, this is a love story about how, sometimes despite themselves, Rupert, Istvan, and their friends have created a family. . . . she creates an atmospheric tale for those who like their historical fiction on the dark and lurid side. Those readers who enjoyed Emma Donoghue’s Slammerkin or Sarah Water’s Fingersmith will find similar themes."
Library Journal

"A page turner with riveting language and close attention to sensory detail. Set in late 19th-century Brussels, the story follows the adventures of puppeteer Istvan and brothel owner Rupert who bond as friends and lovers."
Publishers Weekly

"Koja can pack a lot Dickensian humor into a sentence . . . [she] takes a page from Victorian lit in her writerliness, and she reveals human nature like someone slipped her the manual."
Cleveland Plain Dealer

"This book made me drunk. Koja’s language is at its poetic best, and the epic drama had me digging my nails into my palms. It’s like a Tom Waits hurdy-gurdy loser’s lament come to life, as sinister as a dark circus."
—Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781618730275
  • Publisher: Small Beer Press
  • Publication date: 10/9/2012
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 817,663
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Kathe Koja’s books include The Cipher, Skin, and Extremities; YA novels include Buddha Boy, Talk, Kissing the Bee, and Headlong. Her work has been honored by the ALA, the ASPCA, the Parents’ Choice Award, and the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel. Her books have been published in seven languages, and optioned for film. She is a Detroit native and lives in the area with her husband, artist Rick Lieder, and their cats. Koja is working on a series of staged events based on Under the Poppy.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2014

    Strangely beautiful and beautifully strange...

    Under the Poppy is a truly wonderful book, I got it from my library and I've barelyI been able to stop reading! Yes, it is a long book, but that just means you get more story. ;)

    I'll admit I haven't finished it yet (I'm only 78 pages in), but I'm already so madly in love with the characters and the story; it is beautiful and introduces you to a dark, compelling, magical world where anything can happen! On the back of the cover when it calls the Poppy a 'guilty pleasure' they weren't kidding~! And it's only shown the barest sparks of Rupert and Istvan's romance! I cannot wait to read what happens next!

    So far I love Under the Poppy, and I think you should give it a try. And who knows, maybe you'll love it too :3

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

    Posted March 31, 2012

    Started strong...

    but eventually got so slow I never finished it. It's a huge book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 26, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)