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Stranger, Father, Beloved By Taylor Larsen,

  • Title: Stranger, Father, Beloved
  • Author: Taylor Larsen
  • ISBN: 9781501124754
  • Page: 182
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In the tradition of Tom Perrotta s Little Children, a mesmerizing, unsparing Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia debut novel about a wealthy man who has reached a crossroads after a lifetime of repression and denial, sending him and his family into a slow spiral towards a total breakdown.When Michael sees his wife Nancy chatting with a stranger at a party, his intuitIn the tradition of Tom Perrotta s Little Children, a mesmerizing, unsparing Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia debut novel about a wealthy man who has reached a crossroads after a lifetime of repression and denial, sending him and his family into a slow spiral towards a total breakdown.When Michael sees his wife Nancy chatting with a stranger at a party, his intuition tells him that he s watching her with the man she should have married He quickly begins a campaign to replace himself within his own family with this other man who, to him, is worthier, better, and kinder all so his faithful wife Nancy, his beautiful teenage daughter Ryan, and his young son Max can live the lives they deserve.While Michael pursues this man s friendship, Ryan goes through a period of sexual awakening and rebellion and distances herself from her family, and the quiet, weak Nancy becomes increasingly befuddled and frustrated by the behaviors of her husband and daughter As tension and uncertainty build in their home, the James family slowly unravels.With the quiet intensity of the film American Beauty and the emotional sensitivity of Lorrie Moore, Taylor Larsen creates a powerful and moving story about the fracturing of a family and its descent into chaos.
    Stranger Father Beloved In the tradition of Tom Perrotta s Little Children a mesmerizing unsparing Karen Russell author of Swamplandia debut novel about a wealthy man who has reached a crossroads after a lifetime of repre

    One thought on “Stranger, Father, Beloved”

    1. Plot 4 starsCharacters ComplexMood MelancholicWhen Michael sees his wife Nancy chatting with a stranger at a party, his intuition tells him that he s watching her with the man she should have married He quickly begins a campaign to replace himself within his own family with this other man who, to him, is worthier, better, and kinder all so his faithful wife Nancy, his beautiful teenage daughter Ryan, and his young son Max can live the lives they deserve.While Michael pursues this man s friendshi [...]

    2. At 55% I can no longer continue with this I tried, so many good reviews, thought it would turn around, but I just don t care What unlikable people, except for the young asthmatic boy, Max who I can identify with, plus he s a child, harmless And the story just seems to drone on and on, especially the parts with Ryan, and I don t understand parents that let their teenage daughter call all the shots Oh well, done, finis Giving it two stars for the writing.

    3. Please visit Lit Wit Wine and Dine to read of my reviews.The book begins with Michael seeing his wife, Nancy, talking to another man at a party He decides that this is the man who should be married to Nancy He promptly begins working on his plan to make this man Nancy s new husband This is a strange book in the sense that a decent writer clean, articulate language, etc has written a bad story about mostly bad, unlikable characters My instinct about twenty per cent through the book was to put th [...]

    4. Stranger, Father, Beloved, is one of those first novels that makes you scratch your head at how it s possible for a first time novelist to have reached such a ridiculous level of literary sophistication and craft Larsen is definitely a writer s writer, keenly attuned to a language seemingly born of the characters she created I ll just go ahead and say it the awesomely nasty little premise of the story, the extraordinary detailing of the darker sides of the human psyche, the feeling that I had no [...]

    5. Shhhh there is an elephant in the room,who breathes, eats, defacates and probably dreams as well, an elephant we all know is there but whom we all shall pretend isn t, okay Does this make for disturbed reading, maybe sad, yes of course But is it unreal I d say no it isn t Because I ve met situations were the elephant is so bloody obvious but where all parties go on acting as if it isn t So Larsen exploring this was spot on Also spot on was how she connects what our parents did and how we come to [...]

    6. It is very hard for me to review this book because it was not all the book I was expecting from the GR blurb, which was indeed the book I wanted to hear read on audible What we get instead is a very up tight personal account of the mental disintigration of a very disturbed middle aged man tho not by my standards paranoid, which is what he s diagnosed as in the book going through a mid life possibly end of life crisis of Brontosaurian proportions To give us the impression of what it is like to su [...]

    7. There s a lot to say about Stranger, Father, Beloved, but the main thing to know is that this is the book to bring on the plane, train, beach, etc anywhere you can plant yourself and not move until you finish I couldn t stop reading It s full of painfully accurate, darkly funny, haunting and poignant insights into marriage, friendship, high school, wild life, nightgowns, inhalers the list goes on and on If you like masterfully, meticulously plotted psychological dramas, S, F, B is for you.

    8. From the moment I started reading Taylor Larsen s debut novel, I knew I wouldn t come out unscathed Her prose and pacing brought me to places I typically try to protect myself from, but I m glad I didn t this time There is a profound and courageous sadness to the life of Michael, who desperately wants his wife to have something better than him for a husband We often say we want the best for our loved ones, but how many of us are willing to sacrifice everything to make that happen, even our own r [...]

    9. I do not understand why this book has nothing but good ish reviews Reading this book was painful for me not in a good that really affected me sort of way, but in a torturous can this just be over already kind of way Its not badly written, but the whole plot was uninteresting and tedious and made me feel depressed.Thank you to Simon Schuster for providing me with an advance copy via.

    10. The characters in Stranger, Father, Beloved are some of the most compelling I ve read recently From the first page, I felt completely drawn into the emotional world of the James family, as well as the beautiful part of New England they inhabit Reading this book was all pleasure, from the gorgeous setting to the complex and often hilarious inner workings of Michael, Nancy and Ryan s minds Larsen kept me guessing all the way to the very end I had no idea what was going to happen Great for serious [...]

    11. A debut novel of mental angst and psychological intrigue Father, Beloved, Stranger authored by Taylor Larsen A graduate of Columbia University s MFA fiction writing program, Taylor has taught fiction writing a Colombia University and literature courses at Pace University, she lives with her husband in Brooklyn, NY.It was a curious thing, why a highly intelligent successful notable academic scholar in philosophy and political science, a graduate from Yale University would feel like an imposter in [...]

    12. Wonderful prose which kept me reading I did not like the main character, Michael I know, I know, he had a mental illness His thoughts about people really turned me off Everything is about Michael and I feel sorry for his family The lesson from this book who you are It will save people a ton of grief Great debut by Taylor Larsen I will look for future works Thank you to NetGalley for my copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

    13. Stranger, Father, Beloved by Taylor Larsen is a recommended debut novel featuring a family falling apart.The James family is wealthy, living in a very nice Cape style home on the Rhode Island peninsula Michael James, his wife, Nancy, teenage daughter Ryan and young son Max should be content, but that isn t the case Michael has a diagnosed mental illness, neurotic paranoia, and has been on medication for it for years Now it seems that his medication isn t working as well as it should, probably du [...]

    14. Taylor Larsen s debut novel STRANGER, FATHER, BELOVED is an odd story of one man s descent into mental illness, and the chaos that results in his marriage and family Michael James and his family seemingly have it all, but everything is not as it seems to outsiders in their quiet, wealthy community There are deep wells of unhappiness and anxiety at the heart of this family s life Larsen tells her story from the shifting viewpoints of all four of the family members Michael, his wife, their teenage [...]

    15. Stranger, Father, Beloved takes us on a journey through the mind of deeply unhappy man Michael is very wealthy, married with two children, lives in a beautiful home in Rhode Island but he is fragile and brittle and everyone around him seems to be waiting for the shattering fall he is bound for Michael s isolation and complete inwardness makes the novel difficult to gauge Are we inside the head of a man who has mental illness Is he going to hurt himself or someone in his family It takes a long ti [...]

    16. The story of a family slowly breaking apart I was reminded of a quotation by Henry David Thoreau The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation Certainly Michael the main character of this book could be described by this thought He worries about even the very smallest thing in this life He feels like nothing he does or has ever done is correct And yet, with all his negativity, I found myself hoping that things would work out for him He was pathetic, yet likeable His wife, Nancy, feels as if she [...]

    17. There is a lot to like in Taylor Larsen s Stranger, Father, Beloved Let s start with good writing and a good story Her descriptions of life on the Peninsula, the novel s New England setting, convey a sense of the modern, exurban gothic The near total collapse of kin and community has created a terrifying hollowness there Larsen s characters, whose interiors she plumbs with subtlety and nuance, struggle for constancy and human connection In such a writer s hands, improbable plot turns become both [...]

    18. A very engaging and compelling book by Taylor Larsen Not only is it a page turner because of the plot that tears you from one emotion to the other, but also because of its refreshing easy style The characters are developed expertly and the transition from one to the other flows smoothly Surprising, emotional and scary events make this novel a wonderful read that is hard to put down It certainly leaves the reader longing for the next book

    19. I loved this book Unsettlingly beautiful You have to surrender to the moment and the time and the place and then you start hearing the angst of each character, in their own way trying to love each other, but also to be free in order to survive the others hurts and shortcomings The dystopia is open and , and the surreal tone the author employs throughout really draws you in, makes you want to help, maybe play armchair shrink Let yourself feel and you ll really enjoy this book.

    20. I received this book as a winner, and really enjoyed it I found the book hard to put down, and the complex issues Michael, the main character, is trying to deal with I would recommend this novel to anyone who has ever questioned their mental health, or position in their family.

    21. In Stranger, Father, Beloved, Taylor Larsen weaves a family tapestry depicting the slow unraveling of the James family.The story begins with a party thrown by Michael James and his wife Nancy The party gives them something to do together an unusual occurrence since they d grown extremely distant through the twenty years of their marriage Michael and Nancy James prepared for the last party they would ever have, though they didn t know it at the time.They were united in this endeavor only Nancy wo [...]

    22. Stranger, Father, Beloved is a compelling debut novel about a man, Michael, dealing with a mental breakdown Financial success, a big home along the coast of Rhode Island and a family of four aren t enough to make up for Michael s lifelong feelings of emptiness, inadequacy and regret not to mention the neurotic paranoia he s been dealing with since his early 20s One night Michael sees his wife talking to a stranger at a party and convinces himself that she belongs with him instead, so he sets out [...]

    23. 3.5 Actual Rating This book is completely out of the norm and for a debut I have to admit I m thoroughly impressed with the technique.The novel focuses around Michael, the breadwinner and head of a completely unhappy family, a genius suffering from severe anxiety and paranoia We watch Michael s decline through his own eyes in addition to sneak peeks through other P.O.Vs as he struggles with his sexuality, insomnia, alcoholism, a rebellious teen, a severely asthmatic son, and a complacent simple [...]

    24. While I m partial in my review being friends with the author, I remain utterly astounded by the truth, fluid depth, and clarity of Taylor s writing Not my usual escapism read, it literally caused me moments of nausea The downward spiral of the fathers mental suffering, trapped in his head all the while being completely aware of his own repugnance The teenage daughter, which she totally nails the portrayal of is the sole character to challenge the dysfunctions and fiction of family It takes guts [...]

    25. What drew me in at first was the premise a man looks at his family and realizes they d be better off without him The writing is very good The characters are complicated and not always likeable which was refreshing But somewhere 2 3 of the way through the book, the combo of mental illness, self medication and sexuality became an uneasy one I was also disappointed that the author abandoned the multiple viewpoints structure she d established Still, one of the best portrayals of a teenage girl I d r [...]

    26. Intriguing story about a conflicted, unfulfilled man and his interactions with those around him Better than many of the books I ve read, but left a number of unfinished storylines in my opinion This will likely be the first in a series of books with the same lead characters, which is not an approach that I like or appreciate properly to me it seems as if the author is mailing it in by not developing new, fresh characters.

    27. This is a slow moving, beautifully written book, that details the struggles a man faces when he goes against his core feelings Using his family as the backdrop, and perhaps victims to his progression of discovery, Larsen develops a story that makes you laugh at times and at other times get angry at the main characters actions This book is an enjoyable read that describes family dynamics and struggles in a new manner.

    28. This is one of those rare books that you can t put down, but at the same time, you want to savor for fear that it will be over too soon The characters are so intriguing, that I still think about them, weeks after I finished the book I highly recommend this debut novel and cannot wait to see what Larsen produces next.

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