Half Life

Half Life

by Shelley Jackson
3.7 7


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Half Life by Shelley Jackson

A brilliant, disquieting first novel about a pair of conjoined twins who are deeply unhappy in each other's company. Nora, the dominant twin, is strong, funny, and deeply independent, thirsting for love and adventure. Blanche, by contrast, has been sleeping for nearly twenty years. Finally sick of carrying her sister's dead weight, Nora decides she wants her other half gone for good, so she leaves San Francisco for London in search of the mysterious Unity Foundation, which promises to make two one. And that one, of course, will be Nora — Blanche will be mourned, but not missed.

But once Nora arrives in London, her past begins to surface in surprising and disturbing ways, forcing her into a most reluctant voyage into memory. Something seems to be drawing Nora's thoughts back to the site of her rather unusual conception, birth, and childhood — the reconstructed ghost town of Too Bad, Nevada, where lizards skitter across the playa and "Shootout at Noon" comes every day. Searching for meaning and understanding in both her own and Blanche's past, Nora pushes herself to the brink of insanity — and begins to question her own, and Blanche's, grip on the truth. Grotesque, funny, intricately wrought, verbally and conceptually dazzling, Shelley Jackson's first novel is an imaginative and touching portrait of two lives in a cleft world yearning for wholeness — a world not unlike our own.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060882365
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/03/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 1,185,850
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Shelley Jackson is the author of the short story collection The Melancholy of Anatomy, the hypertext novel Patchwork Girl, several children's books, and "Skin," a story published in tattoos on the skin of more than two thousand volunteers. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Half Life 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Complicated, yet entertaining and imaginative book about a troubled siamese twin in a 'twofer' society. The story speaks loudly on current events. Loved how the story was written off in different periods of the protagonist's life. I could never put these sort of books down!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jackson has created an incredible, disturbing world where radiation poisoning has given birth to a new minority of 'two-fers', or Siamese Twins. The book includes details on the whole counter-culture, complete with bumpersticker and t-shirt slogans, political party agendas, activists, and medical underground movements. Be warned- this book has some rather disturbing scenes. But altogether, this book is an amazing fictional look at a life very few people actually live.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I backflip to behind the rock and say "well theres the mirror to the human world". I sign and say quietly wait, we all are not allowed in there but im gonna take a risk i thought to my self. Then i quickly open my bag and pull out a human map that i took from elizias bag that it droped in res one. Then i thought hmmmm if i go into the human world i i have to look like a human. As i pull out my brush and my bag of clothes for backup and makeup. I straighten my hair and put on human makeup that you cant see like humans say. And i put on a pink tanktop and shorts and tall black heel boots up to the khees. There im done i say". I grab my bag and put it on my shoulder. I climb up the rock and jump and make an ice bridge. "ouch" i say. As i get up and walk on the bridge. I stop and look down and see something, i jump down and walk in a cave and see a book and matching icepen. Hmm as i say comeing up to it and pick both up. I open the book and see its blank. I say to myself hmm this must be perfect for my quest to the human world to see what it looks like before emma finds out that we not sapposed to go in the human world". I thought. As i put the book and matching icepen in my bag. As i put it on my shouldner andgrab the map ive found. I walk up to the ice bridge and walk and jump through the portal to the human world. (Human world is at human world res 1).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ciaro is talking about you but idk what about *leaves*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She approached the rock pile and looked around to make sure no one was around. When she was sure she was alone she went through the gap and into her personal cave. There she pulled out of her bag her book and its matching ice pen. Setting them down she stood up and smiled. "Tomarrow I should probally bring some food if im going to be spending time here." Pleased for now she exited and made her way back to the main forrest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I get it, Jackson! You are able to write flowery, narrative passages. You got too caught up in the language, that I lost the story. The futuristic twofer society, and Nora's personal struggle were interesting concepts. I wish you'd focussed more on fleshing that out than having passages of free association writing.