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George Washington's transformation from farmer to Father of Our Country--as told by his dog Sweetlips! Sweetie was the finest foxhound in George Washington's kennel. But Sweetie's idyllic days at Mount Vernon were cut short when her master was chosen to represent Virginia at the first Continental Congress in Philadelphia--which he attended with Sweetlips by his side. Follow their journey from the hunt country of Virginia to the battlefields of the Revolutionary War in this meticulously researched, unique historical novel. With realistic black-and-white illustrations by Tim Jessell, an appendix including information about George Washington and the history and breeding of American foxhounds, plus links to the primary source material on which the book is based, this is the kind of historical fiction that dog-loving middle graders--and educators--sit up and beg for!
The Maze Runner Files is a 50+ page collection of classified records and concealed information from the world of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series. Lost emails between WICKED employees, memos meant to be destroyed after reading, and a selection of the Gladers suppressed memories make up this e-original short. These documents offer a unique glimpse of the world of The Maze Runner and are a must for any fan of The Maze Runner.
Fans of Ally Carter's Heist Society novels will love this teen mystery/thriller with sarcastic wit, a hint of romance, and Ocean's Eleven-inspired action. Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She's a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago's swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn't rely on her dad--she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep's carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha's resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad's trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep's in way over her head . . . but that's not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal. "A sexy love triangle and madcap mystery . . . I loved this book." --Jennifer Echols, author of Dirty Little SecretOne of TeenVogue's 15 Most Exciting YA Books Coming Out This Year!"Julep isn't just another high schooler beset by the usual drama of boys and academia. Nope--she also happens to be a con artist and master of disguise, which comes in mighty handy when her father mysteriously disappears. Determined, she delves into the underbelly of Chicago to find him (bringing a bunch of fresh plot lines and unexpected twists along the way)."--teenVogue.com"Summer creates a standout character in Julep. She lies and cheats with so much confidence and skill that readers will cheer her on, but she also adheres to her own strict moral code. . . An memorable debut; here's hoping for a lot more from Summer."--Kirkus From the Hardcover edition.
From James Dashner, the New York Times bestselling author of the Maze Runner series, comes an original thirty-page e-short returning fans to the fast-paced, high-tech world from The Eye of Minds, the first book in the Mortality Doctrine series. Find out how Gunner Skale, the best gamer on the VirtNet, becomes a legend in this story available exclusively online. Read it before book two in the series, The Rule of Thoughts, hits shelves in fall 2014.Praise for The Eye of Minds, Book One in the Mortality Doctrine series"More realistic and addictive than any video game--The Eye of Minds sucked me in from the very first page. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets The Matrix in a vividly rendered world of gamers, hackers, and cyber-terrorists. I can't wait to read the next book in the series!"--Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Beautiful Creatures and author of Unbreakable "A gripping page-turner, Dashner's latest is sure to please."--BookPage "Full of action [and] a rather surprising twist that will leave you flipping pages."--fanboynation.com "An adrenaline rush." --School Library Journal "In typical Dashner style, this is quick and involving, with the main frustration being the wait time until the next book." --Booklist "High on concept, this is an intriguing read for the digital generation." --Kirkus Reviews"Dashner once again creates a dystopian world in which nothing is what it seems."-VOYAA Junior Library Guild Selection
From the acclaimed author of Purge ("a stirring and humane work of art" --The New Republic) comes a riveting, chillingly relevant new novel of occupation, resistance, and collaboration in Eastern Europe.1941: In Communist-ruled, war-ravaged Estonia, two men are fleeing from the Red Army--Roland, a fiercely principled freedom fighter, and his slippery cousin Edgar. When the Germans arrive, Roland goes into hiding; Edgar abandons his unhappy wife, Juudit, and takes on a new identity as a loyal supporter of the Nazi regime . . . 1963: Estonia is again under Communist control, independence even further out of reach behind the Iron Curtain. Edgar is now a Soviet apparatchik, desperate to hide the secrets of his past life and stay close to those in power. But his fate remains entangled with Roland's, and with Juudit, who may hold the key to uncovering the truth . . . Great acts of deception and heroism collide in this masterful story of surveillance, passion, and betrayal, as Sofi Oksanen brings to life the frailty--and the resilience--of humanity under the shadow of tyranny. This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Maze Runner series that's soon to be a major motion picture from Twentieth Century Fox comes The Rule of Thoughts, the exciting sequel to The Eye of Minds. Fans of the Divergent series by Veronica Roth and The Hunger Games will love the new Mortality Doctrine series. Michael completed the Path.What he found at the end turned everything he'd ever known about his life--and the world--completely upside down. He barely survived. But it was the only way VirtNet Security knew to find the cyber-terrorist Kaine--and to make the Sleep safe for gamers once again. And, the truth Michael discovered about Kaine is more complex than they anticipated, and more terrifying than even the worst of their fears. Kaine is a tangent, a computer program that has become sentient. And Michael's completing the Path was the first stage in turning Kaine's master plan, the Mortality Doctrine, into a reality. The Mortality Doctrine will populate Earth entirely with human bodies harboring tangent minds. Any gamer who sinks into the VirtNet risks coming out with a tangent intelligence in control of their body. And the takeover has already begun.Praise for The Rule of Thoughts, Book Two in the Mortality Doctrine series"[An] excellent sequel...smartly paced and paired with well-balanced characters that feel real."-Kirkus ReviewsPraise for The Eye of Minds, Book One in the Mortality Doctrine series "More realistic and addictive than any video game--The Eye of Minds sucked me in from the very first page. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets The Matrix in a vividly rendered world of gamers, hackers, and cyber-terrorists. I can't wait to read the next book in the series!"--Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Beautiful Creatures and author of Unbreakable "A gripping page-turner, Dashner's latest is sure to please."--BookPage "Full of action [and] a rather surprising twist that will leave you flipping pages."--fanboynation.com "An adrenaline rush."--School Library Journal "In typical Dashner style, this is quick and involving, with the main frustration being the wait time until the next book."--Booklist "High on concept, this is an intriguing read for the digital generation."--Kirkus Reviews"Dashner once again creates a dystopian world in which nothing is what it seems."-VOYA A Junior Library Guild SelectionA YALSA Teen Top Ten PickFrom the Hardcover edition.
From James Dashner, the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series, comes an all-new, edge-of-your seat adventure. The Eye of Minds is the first book in The Mortality Doctrine, a series set in a world of hyperadvanced technology, cyberterrorists, and gaming beyond your wildest dreams . . . and your worst nightmares. Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it's addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway?But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: he's holding players hostage inside the VirtNet. The effects are horrific--the hostages have all been declared brain-dead. Yet the gamer's motives are a mystery.The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker.And they've been watching Michael. They want him on their team. But the risk is enormous. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid. There are back alleys and corners in the system human eyes have never seen and predators he can't even fathom--and there's the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.From the Hardcover edition.
With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender's Game, and Game of Thrones, debut author Pierce Brown's genre-defying epic Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation. Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom.As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow's kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds--and their only path to liberation is revolution. And so Darrow sacrifices himself in the name of the greater good for which Eo, his true love and inspiration, laid down her own life. He becomes a Gold, infiltrating their privileged realm so that he can destroy it from within. A lamb among wolves in a cruel world, Darrow finds friendship, respect, and even love--but also the wrath of powerful rivals. To wage and win the war that will change humankind's destiny, Darrow must confront the treachery arrayed against him, overcome his all-too-human desire for retribution--and strive not for violent revolt but a hopeful rebirth. Though the road ahead is fraught with danger and deceit, Darrow must choose to follow Eo's principles of love and justice to free his people. He must live for more.Advance praise for Golden Son "Pierce Brown is a prodigy. As great as the first book of the Red Rising Trilogy is, Golden Son is even better. A wild ride full of suspense, intrigue, and serious ass-kicking bravado, it's expertly written and emotionally engaging, with top-notch universe-building that begs for further exploration. I want more!"--Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Snowblind "The stakes are even higher than they were in Red Rising, and the twists and turns of the story are every bit as exciting. The jaw-dropper of an ending will leave readers hungry for the conclusion to Brown's wholly original, completely thrilling saga."--Booklist (starred review) "Dramatic . . . the rare middle book that loses almost no momentum as it sets up the final installment."--Publishers Weekly "Darrow is an assertive hero. . . . Comparisons to The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones series are inevitable, for this tale has elements of both."--Kirkus Reviews Praise for Pierce Brown's Red Rising "[A] spectacular adventure . . . one heart-pounding ride . . . Pierce Brown's dizzyingly good debut novel evokes The Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies, and Ender's Game. . . . [Red Rising] has everything it needs to become meteoric."--Entertainment Weekly "[A] top-notch debut novel . . . Red Rising ascends above a crowded dystopian field."--USA Today "Compulsively readable and exceedingly entertaining . . . [a] must for both fans of classic sci-fi and fervent followers of new school dystopian epics."--Examiner.com "A story of vengeance, warfare and the quest for power . . . reminiscent of The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones."--Kirkus Reviews "Fast-paced, gripping, well-written--the sort of book you cannot put down."--Terry BrooksFrom the Hardcover edition.
"The holy grail for disillusioned cycling fans . . . The book's power is in the collective details, all strung together in a story that is told with such clear-eyed conviction that you never doubt its veracity. . . . The Secret Race isn't just a game changer for the Lance Armstrong myth. It's the game ender."--Outside NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * WINNER OF THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARDThe Secret Race is the book that rocked the world of professional cycling--and exposed, at long last, the doping culture surrounding the sport and its most iconic rider, Lance Armstrong. Former Olympic gold medalist Tyler Hamilton was once one of the world's top-ranked cyclists--and a member of Lance Armstrong's inner circle. Over the course of two years, New York Times bestselling author Daniel Coyle conducted more than two hundred hours of interviews with Hamilton and spoke with numerous teammates, rivals, and friends. The result is an explosive page-turner of a book that takes us deep inside a shadowy, fascinating, and surreal world of unscrupulous doctors, anything-goes team directors, and athletes so relentlessly driven to win that they would do almost anything to gain an edge. For the first time, Hamilton recounts his own battle with depression and tells the story of his complicated relationship with Lance Armstrong. This edition features a new Afterword, in which the authors reflect on the developments within the sport, and involving Armstrong, over the past year. The Secret Race is a courageous, groundbreaking act of witness from a man who is as determined to reveal the hard truth about his sport as he once was to win the Tour de France. With a new Afterword by the authors. "Loaded with bombshells and revelations."--VeloNews"[An] often harrowing story . . . the broadest, most accessible look at cycling's drug problems to date."--The New York Times " 'If I cheated, how did I get away with it?' That question, posed to SI by Lance Armstrong five years ago, has never been answered more definitively than it is in Tyler Hamilton's new book."--Sports Illustrated "Explosive."--The Daily Telegraph (London)
In this high-tension thriller, 12-year-old Billy Straight has fled the chaos and abuse of his life at home and is fighting to survive on LA's meanest streets.
Piers Anthony's bestselling Xanth series is one of the cornerstones of fantasy, a lively and whimsical interpretation of a genre often criticized for taking itself too seriously. Anthony's first Xanth novel, A Spell for Chameleon, was initially edited to target a more traditional audience. Now, in an eBook exclusive, A Spell for Chameleon has been reworked line by line--its language matching the simpler, playful way with words that made Piers Anthony an enduring fan favorite. Xanth is an enchanted land where magic rules, a land of centaurs and dragons and basilisks where every citizen has a unique spell to call their own. For Bink of North Village, however, Xanth is no fairy tale. He alone has no magic. And unless he gets some--and fast!--he will be exiled. Forever. But the Good Magician Humfrey is convinced that Bink does indeed have magic. In fact, both Beauregard the genie and the magic wall chart insist that Bink has magic as powerful as any possessed by the King, the Good Magician Humfrey, or even the Evil Magician Trent. Be that as it may, no one can fathom the nature of Bink's very special magic. This is even worse than having no magic at all . . . and he still faces exile!
It would be sheer folly to try to conceal the true nature of Althalus, for his flaws are the stuff of legend. He is, as all men know, a thief, a liar, an occasional murderer, an outrageous braggart, and a man devoid of even the slightest hint of honor.Yet of all the men in the world, it is Althalus, unrepentant rogue and scoundrel, who will become the champion of humanity in its desperate struggle against the forces of an ancient god determined to return the universe to nothingness. On his way to steal The Book from the House at the End of the World, Althalus is confronted by a cat--a cat with eyes like emeralds, the voice of a woman, and the powers of a goddess. She is Dweia, sister to The Gods and a greater thief even than Althalus. She must be: for in no time at all, she has stolen his heart. And more. She has stolen time itself. For when Althalus leaves the House at the End of the World, much wiser but not a day older than when he'd first entered it, thousands of years have gone by.But Dweia is not the only one able to manipulate time. Her evil brother shares the power, and while Dweia has been teaching Althalus the secrets of The Book, the ancient God has been using the dark magic of his own Book to rewrite history. Yet all is not lost. But only if Althalus, still a thief at heart, can bring together a ragtag group of men, women, and children with no reason to trust him or each other.
Tolstoy wrote, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." This is the statement that inspired bestselling author Gretchen Rubin to wonder whether she could foster an even greater happiness in her home. During The Happiness Project, the same questions kept tugging at her. How can I raise happy children? How can I maintain a tender, romantic relationship with my spouse--after fifteen years of marriage? How do I keep my Blackberry from taking over my private life? How can I foster a well-ordered, light-hearted atmosphere in my house, when no one else will lift a finger to cooperate?This book is Gretchen's account of her second journey in pursuit of happiness. Prescriptive, easy-to-follow, and anecdotal, Happier at Home offers readers a way of thinking and being that is positive and life-affirming. With specific examples following the calendar year, an intimate voice, and drawing from science and pop culture, this book will resonate with anyone looking to strengthen the bonds of family.
The world knows Madame Tussaud as a wax artist extraordinaire . . . but who was this woman who became one of the most famous sculptresses of all time? In these pages, her tumultuous and amazing story comes to life as only Michelle Moran can tell it. The year is 1788, and a revolution is about to begin. Smart and ambitious, Marie Tussaud has learned the secrets of wax sculpting by working alongside her uncle in their celebrated wax museum, the Salon de Cire. From her popular model of the American ambassador, Thomas Jefferson, to her tableau of the royal family at dinner, Marie's museum provides Parisians with the very latest news on fashion, gossip, and even politics. Her customers hail from every walk of life, yet her greatest dream is to attract the attention of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI; their stamp of approval on her work could catapult her and her museum to the fame and riches she desires. After months of anticipation, Marie learns that the royal family is willing to come and see their likenesses. When they finally arrive, the king's sister is so impressed that she requests Marie's presence at Versailles as a royal tutor in wax sculpting. It is a request Marie knows she cannot refuse--even if it means time awayfrom her beloved Salon and her increasingly dear friend, Henri Charles. As Marie gets to know her pupil, Princesse Élisabeth, she also becomes acquainted with the king and queen, who introduce her to the glamorous life at court. From lavish parties with more delicacies than she's ever seen to rooms filled with candles lit only once before being discarded, Marie steps into a world entirely different from her home on the Boulevard du Temple, where people are selling their teeth in order to put food on the table. Meanwhile, many resent the vast separation between rich and poor. In salons and cafés across Paris, people like Camille Desmoulins, Jean-Paul Marat, and Maximilien Robespierre are lashing out against the monarchy. Soon, there's whispered talk of revolution. . . . Will Marie be able to hold on to both the love of her life and her friendship with the royal family as France approaches civil war? And more important, will she be able to fulfill the demands of powerful revolutionaries who ask that she make the death masks of beheaded aristocrats, some of whom she knows? Spanning five years, from the budding revolution to the Reign of Terror, Madame Tussaud brings us into the world of an incredible heroine whose talent for wax modeling saved her life and preserved the faces of a vanished kingdom.From the Hardcover edition.
They Know Everything About You is a groundbreaking exposé of how government agencies and tech corporations monitor virtually every aspect of our lives, and a fierce defense of privacy and democracy. The revelation that the government has access to a vast trove of personal online data demonstrates that we already live in a surveillance society. But the erosion of privacy rights extends far beyond big government. Intelligence agencies such as the NSA and CIA are using Silicon Valley corporate partners as their data spies. Seemingly progressive tech companies are joining forces with snooping government agencies to create a brave new world of wired tyranny. Life in the digital age poses an unprecedented challenge to our constitutional liberties, which guarantee a wall of privacy between the individual and the government. The basic assumption of democracy requires the ability of the individual to experiment with ideas and associations within a protected zone, as secured by the Constitution. The unobserved moment embodies the most basic of human rights, yet it is being squandered in the name of national security and consumer convenience. Robert Scheer argues that the information revolution, while a source of public enlightenment, contains the seeds of freedom's destruction in the form of a surveillance state that exceeds the wildest dream of the most ingenious dictator. The technology of surveillance, unless vigorously resisted, represents an existential threat to the liberation of the human spirit.
Anakin Skywalker travels throughout the galaxy trying to avoid Jabba the Hutt, but wonders if Jabba is as cruel as others say he is.
Want to know more about the fast and furious Podracers? Then jump aboard and discover all about them in this action-packed reader. Filled with pictures of all your favourite races, like Anakin against Sebulba, it's an out-of-this world read. And don't forget, there's a galaxy-full of DK Star Wars books to collect.
These all-new entries in DKs bestselling line of Star Wars-themed Readers help kids learn to read while enjoying stories featuring their favorite characters, from young Anakin Skywalker and Queen Amidala to the benevolent Jedi Knights and the dark lords of the Sith.
Young fans can learn more about alien characters from the Star Wars universe--from Chewbacca, Han Solo's loyal Wookiee companion, to Jedi Master Yoda and the Gungun race.
KAFKA ON THE SHORE follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. Kafka Tamura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy. The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down. Their parallel odysseys are enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerising dramas. Cats converse with people; fish tumble from the sky; a ghostlike pimp deploys a Hegel-spouting girl of the night; a forest harbours soldiers apparently un-aged since WWII. There is a savage killing, but the identity of both victim and killer is a riddle. Murakami's new novel is at once a classic tale of quest, but it is also a bold exploration of mythic and contemporary taboos, of patricide, of mother-love, of sister-love. Above all it is an entertainment of a very high order.
Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison's spellbinding new novel is a Faulknerian symphony of passion and hatred, power and perversity, color and class that spans three generations of black women in a fading beach town. In life, Bill Cosey enjoyed the affections of many women, who would do almost anything to gain his favor. In death his hold on them may be even stronger. Wife, daughter, granddaughter, employee, mistress: As Morrison's protagonists stake their furious claim on Cosey's memory and estate, using everything from intrigue to outright violence, she creates a work that is shrewd, funny, erotic, and heartwrenching.
New York Timesbestselling author ofOutlander Diana Gabaldon mesmerized readers with her award-winningOutlandernovels, four dazzlingNew York Timesbestsellers featuring 18th-century Scotsman James Fraser and his 20th-century time-traveling wife, Claire Randall. Now, in this eagerly awaited fifth volume, Diana Gabaldon continues their extraordinary saga, a masterpiece of pure storytelling and her most astonishingOutlandernovel yet. . . . The year is 1771, and war is coming. Jamie Fraser's wife tells him so. Little as he wishes to, he must believe it, for hers is a gift of dreadful prophecy--a time-traveler's certain knowledge. Born in the year of Our Lord 1918, Claire Randall served England as a nurse on the battlefields of World War II, and in the aftermath of peace found fresh conflicts when she walked through a cleftstone on the Scottish Highlands and found herself an outlander, an English lady in a place where no lady should be, in a time--1743--when the only English in Scotland were the officers and men of King George's army. Now wife, mother, and surgeon, Claire is still an outlander, out of place, and out of time, but now, by choice, linked by love to her only anchor--Jamie Fraser. Her unique view of the future has brought him both danger and deliverance in the past; her knowledge of the oncoming revolution is a flickering torch that may light his way through the perilous years ahead -- or ignite a conflagration that will leave their lives in ashes. . . . Grand, sweeping, utterly unforgettable, Diana Gabaldon's new novel is riveting entertainment, a vibrant tapestry of history and human drama. Crossing the boundaries of genre with its unrivaled storytelling,The Fiery Crossis a gift both to her millions of loyal fans and to the lucky readers who have yet to discover her.
He holds the secret that can end the world. The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly 700 years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life. The records show that he died in 1418. But his tomb is empty. The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects-the Book of Abraham the Mage. It's the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. That's exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won't know what's happening until it's too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it. Sometimes legends are true. And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time. From the Hardcover edition.
An astonishing first novel that traces the lives of a Scottish family over a decade as they confront the joys and longings, fulfillments and betrayals of love in all its guises. In June of 1989 Paul McLeod, a newspaper publisher and recent widower, travels to Greece, where he falls for a young American artist and reflects on the complicated truth about his marriage. . ..Six years later, again in June, Paul's death draws his three grown sons and their families back to their ancestral home. Fenno, the eldest, a wry, introspective gay man, narrates the events of this unforeseen reunion. Far from his straitlaced expatriate life as a bookseller in Greenwich Village, Fenno is stunned by a series of revelations that threaten his carefully crafted defenses. . .. Four years farther on, in yet another June, a chance meeting on the Long Island shore brings Fenno together with Fern Olitsky, the artist who once captivated his father. Now pregnant, Fern must weigh her guilt about the past against her wishes for the future and decide what family means to her. In prose rich with compassion and wit, Three Junes paints a haunting portrait of love's redemptive powers.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Combining the early, straightforward seductions ofNorwegian Wood and the complex mysteries ofThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, this new novel--his seventh translated into English--is Haruki Murakami at his most satisfying and representative best. The scenario is as simple as it is uncomfortable: a college student falls in love (once and for all, despite everything that transpires afterward) with a classmate whose devotion to Kerouac and an untidy writerly life precludes any personal commitments--until she meets a considerably older and far more sophisticated businesswoman. It is through this wormhole that she enters Murakami's surreal yet humane universe, to which she serves as guide both for us and for her frustrated suitor, now a teacher. In the course of her travels from parochial Japan through Europe and ultimately to an island off the coast of Greece, she disappears without a trace, leaving only lineaments of her fate: computer accounts of bizarre events and stories within stories. The teacher, summoned to assist in the search for her, experiences his own ominous, haunting visions, which lead him nowhere but home to Japan--and there, under the expanse of deep space and the still-orbiting Sputnik, he finally achieves a true understanding of his beloved. A love story, a missing-person story, a detective story--all enveloped in a philosophical mystery--and, finally, a profound meditation on human longing.
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