Adverbs: A Novel

Adverbs: A Novel

by Daniel Handler


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060724429
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/24/2007
Series: P.S. Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 836,882
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.65(d)

About the Author

Daniel Handler has written three novels under his own name, including The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, and Adverbs, and many books under the name Lemony Snicket, including All the Wrong Questions, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and the picture book 13 Words.

What People are Saying About This

Dave Eggers

“Daniel Handler [is] something like an American Nabokov.”

Customer Reviews

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Adverbs 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I finish this book and then I start reading it again
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a book with a coherent, straight-up plotline, you might want to look elsewhere. But for the adventurous, these titularly titled vignettes are a breath of fresh air. Some are better than others, but the overall package is truly stunning. Mr. Handler does an excellent job of weaving theme and symbol together in the midst of what could otherwise become nonsense. His voice is wonderfully funny, acerbic, ironic, occasionally verbose, but never dull. Adverbs is truly a great novel.
kairosdreaming on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I am utterly and totally confused by this book. To start off this review, I think a quote from the author about this book would be appropriate.Quoth Handler "Yes, there's a volcano in the novel. In my opinion a volcano automatically makes a story more interesting." And there is a volcano in the novel, it seems to be one of his favorite things to talk about. In addition to this there is an abundance of birds, alcohol, and taxis.I'd like to provide a timeline and a list of characters but the story is so jambled it wouldn't make sense. The characters all reoccur during the novel but are so unmemorable you can't keep track of who's who. In addition, some seem to have mystical powers in what is otherwise, a realistic fiction type book.The novel is supposed to be about love, different forms and presentations of it. However, if Handler's love is supposed to be real love it scares me. Most of his characters are stalkerish in quality and their love is very superficial. There are several divorces, break ups, hook ups and just plain fake love. At the end it seems several of the female characters are pregnant and possibly this means another type of love to the author.Handler's writing style is very disjointed. I think he tries to be more flowery and "hip" with his writing than he needs to be. It jumps around so much that you just get lost and confused. The book, at 272 pages went on way too long for my tastes. If you like the odd and random type of book go ahead and read, otherwise I recommend spending your time on a better piece of literature.
sweetiegherkin on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I¿m not sure what to say about this book ¿ it is kind of odd and quirky, although I expected this from the man who writes children¿s books under the pseudonym Lemony Snicket. However, I found the Snicket books quirky in a darkly humorous but understandable way. In this case, a lot of the book had me scratching my head, furrowing my brow, and say ¿huh?¿ The book is a collection of short (sometimes very short) stories supposedly about love (some I would argue are more about friendship or other topics than romantic love). The stories themselves are mostly oddly humorous, with the occasional pathos thrown in for good measure. What had me confused was trying to figure out how, if at all, the stories were all connected. You see, Handler would often repeat names for characters over and over again, and it was hard to tell when this was the same Andrea, for instance, as a previous story or a brand new one. If it appeared to be the same character, it was hard to tell where this story fit in relation time-wise to the other story about the seemingly same character. ¿Truly,¿ in my opinion, belonged as either the first or last story of the bunch, instead of just thrown in the middle, as this story seemed to give the most explanation for what the book was trying to do. Overall, I enjoyed the quirky humor, but I would have preferred if there was one coherent story or a bunch of completely unconnected stories rather than the bizarre, possibly related string of stories presented.
tinuola_victoria on LibraryThing 8 months ago
It's okay, a little bit rambling and pompously awkward in places. I like the unique structure and the cleverly titled chapters. There is one very touching story out of the many in this book.
rrriles on LibraryThing 8 months ago
About the most self-conscious collection of stories one could hope to run across. What begins as playful literary hooliganism ends in a pseudo-masturbatory po-mo-rama.That said, it was rather enjoyable as those things go.
teaperson on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This book lost me at first, and then gathered up steam in the middle, then tapered off a little at the end. It's really interlocking stories - except that the characters are sometimes the same and sometimes not. Their history is sometimes the same and sometimes not. But it came full circle, in a way, at the end and wrapped up much more neatly than I expected.Each chapter is named for an adverb, which features obliquely in the story. The conceit is rather annoying. Many are fantastical, like the mock noir of the Snow Queen in a diner. Others are realistic, like the high school boy pining for his fellow movie theater usher. All meditate, a bit preachily, about the nature of love.
nerdfightergirl on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Adverbs was written by Daniel Handler, better known by his pen name, Lemony Snicket, of A Series of Unfortunate Events. His style is quite different in his works as Handler than as Snicket, which was very stylized to begin with. To appreciate the book, you have to be willing to accept that there are a lot of characters and you will get the names confused. You can go back and try to figure out who's who (I made a chart) but that isn't necessary. I found this book to be surprisingly moving and honest, at least when it comes to the way love can feel. There is a lot of dark humor and some suspension of reality is involved: a ten year old boy and the Snow Queen fall in love over frozen calimari, and San Francisco, as it turns out, was actually built on top of a volcano. Fans of Lemony Snicket will dig this.It seems that many of the other reviewers disliked the short story style, and the lack of connection. However, if you don't sweat the details and simply enjoy the ride, this is a great book.
omphalos02 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Episodic at best, this really reads like a series of in jokes. I felt that it suffered from characters and plot lines that may or may not have been continuous throughout the book. Still, it was amusing in some spots, but overall, I was kind of confused.
vegetrendian on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Daniel Handler rocks. I am stalking him across the globe. I had a chance to see him in Wales for the Guardian¿s Hay on Wye literary festival both as Lemony Snicket (or more accurately in place of Lemony Snicket) and as Daniel Handler. I also saw him in Seattle for a Mcsweeney¿s fundraiser where he had Ben Gibbard (of Death Cab for Cutie and Postal Service fame) Sarah Vowell (¿Assassination Vacation¿) and Colin Meloy (the Decemberists) act out a play about his life. He was fantastic on each occasion. He is one of a new breed along with fellow Mcsweeney¿s friends Dave Eggers, Michael Chabon, and Jonathan Safran Foer, to name a few, who can write serious literate novels, that are also fresh, funny, witty, and playful.I haven¿t yet read Handler¿s earlier two `adult novels¿ (that makes them sound like porn, but it is really just an annoying tag given to novels written by people who also write kid¿s books), but Adverbs is an excellent novel. The prose is playful and fun, there is a lot of wordplay and humour, and colourful phrasing, but there is also a lot of heart. The characters are deftly portrayed and are brought fully to life. The book is a set of short stories each titled with an adverb and are about love in some form. The characters all move in and out of each other¿s stories as they criss-cross the US and fall in and out of love. Though not all of the characters who have the same name are the same person. It would take a careful and exacting read to truly sort out who is who and who knows who and who loves or loved who. But each of the stories are well written and engaging. The characters are lively and fun, and also depressing or creepy, and often sad (how could you write a book about love without sadness?). But they are always real, and always compelling. There are a lot of pop culture in jokes strewn through the pages, and the book manages to be funny and serious at the same time. No mean feat these days. This is a great collection of stories that also reads as (and is indeed titled as) a novel. This is a rich, warm, funny, and all round excellent book. My stalking will continue. In fact I will see him again this week (finally in my home town) appearing in place of Lemony Snicket. No doubt he will not disappoint.
Jebbie74 on LibraryThing 11 months ago
From the looks of it, I think I am the only one who didn't fully enjoy this one. Then again, I've never read any Lemony Snickett, and this one was received as an ARC and I was "forced to read it." :)Passed along through BookCrossing
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Daniel Handler has a knack for writing witty stories which connect with the reader. I love this book, and how well it unfolds. Some of his stories are so amazing, his prose is lyrical and cannot recommend this book enough. LOVE IT!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutly fantastic. I have never read such a complex, exciting work of literature. Like seventeen Holden Calfields mingled between the pages. I have a waiting list of friends wanting to read Adverbs. If you are looking for a quick read which actually takes some thinking, this is so the book for you. I hope you choose to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was so excited to get this book because I am a huge fan of Snicket but I was so disappointed by Adverbs. This book changes characters and plotlines every chapter, each chapter is confusing to follow and on top of that it is vulgar and uses inappropriate language throughout. I understand that it an adult novel but I was truly not expecting this in return. Please do a lot of research before buying this book because even if you do love the Snicket books Handler is totally different.