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Magnificence

A Novel

Millet, Lydia, 1968-

(Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
Magnificence
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WW Norton
One of Publishers Weekly’s best books of 2012
An IndieNext pick
Named one of the best books of 2012 by Jonathan Lethem

“[Magnificence is] elegant, darkly comic. . . with overtones variously of Muriel Spark, Edward Gorey and JG Ballard, full of contemporary wit and devilish fateful turns for her characters, and then also to knit together into a tapestry of vast implication and ethical urgency, something as large as any writer could attempt: a kind of allegorical elegy for life on a dying planet. Ours, that is.” —Jonathan Lethem

A woman embarks on a dazzling new phase in her life after inheriting a sprawling mansion and its vast collection of taxidermy.


Pulitzer Prize finalist Lydia Millet is "one of the most acclaimed novelists of her generation" (Scott Timberg, Los Angeles Times). Salon praised her for writing that is "always flawlessly beautiful, reaching for an experience that precedes language itself." The Village Voice added, "If Kurt Vonnegut were still alive, he would be extremely jealous."This stunning new novel presents Susan Lindley, a woman adrift after her husband’s death and the dissolution of her family. Embarking on a new phase in her life after inheriting her uncle’s sprawling mansion and its vast collection of taxidermy, Susan decides to restore the neglected, moth-eaten animal mounts, tending to “the fur and feathers, the beaks, the bones and shimmering tails.” Meanwhile an equally derelict human menagerie—including an unfaithful husband and a chorus of eccentric old women—joins her in residence.In a setting both wondrous and absurd, Susan defends her legacy from freeloading relatives and explores the mansion’s unknown spaces. Funny and heartbreaking, Magnificence explores evolution and extinction, children and parenthood, loss and revelation. The result is the rapturous final act to the critically acclaimed cycle of novels that began with How the Dead Dream.

Baker & Taylor
After her husband's death, Susan Lindley moves into her late great-uncle's Pasadena mansion and restores his taxidermy collection while being joined in the residence by an equally strange human menagerie.

Norton Pub
A woman embarks on a dazzling new phase in her life after inheriting a sprawling mansion and its vast collection of taxidermy.
Lydia Millet is “one of the most acclaimed novelists of her generation” (Scott Timberg, Los Angeles Times). This stunning novel introduces Susan Lindley, a woman adrift after her husband’s death. Suddenly gifted her great uncle’s Pasadena mansion, Susan decides to restore his extensive collection of preserved animals, tending to “the fur and feathers, the beaks, the bones and shimmering tails.” Meanwhile, a menagerie of uniquely damaged humans—including a cheating husband and a chorus of eccentric elderly women—joins her in residence.

Millet’s “flawlessly beautiful” (Salon) prose creates a setting both humorous and wondrous as Susan defends her inheritance from freeloading relatives and explores the mansion’s many mysterious spaces. Funny and heartbreaking, Magnificence is the story of a woman emerging from the sudden dissolution of her family. Millet’s trademark themes—evolution and extinction, children and parenthood, loss and wonder—produce a rapturous final act to the critically acclaimed cycle of novels that began with How the Dead Dream.

Baker
& Taylor

After her husband's death, Susan Lindley moves into her late, great uncle's Pasadena mansion and restores his taxidermy collection while being joined in the residence by an equally strange human menagerie in the new novel from the author of Ghost Lights. 10,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780393081701
0393081702
Branch Call Number: FIC M
Characteristics: 255 p. ; 22 cm.

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Mar 20, 2013
  • mclarjh rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

A disappointment after earlier reading "Ghost Lights." The story goes nowhere in this novel.

Feb 23, 2013
  • LaughingOne rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

Millet's writing style just doesn't work for me. I kept trying to read the book, made it through 80 pages and still couldn't get into it. Some of the story line is interesting but that isn't enough to keep forcing myself to read on.

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