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Female Ruins

by Geoff Nicholson
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Overlook TP
  • Publishing date: 04/09/2001
  • Language: Français
  • ISBN-13: 9781585671946
  • ISBN: 1585671940


"Geoff Nicholson's twelfth novel is an elegantly constructed and often funny story rendered with wry, surgical precision." (Matthew Klam, The New York Times Book Review)

"Deliciously cynical and witty. A clever and original novel of deception, failures, and hope."(Washington Times)

Female Ruins is the story of Christopher Howell, a cult architect who allegedly built just one building-reputedly a wild, willful amalgam of styles ranging from 11th-century Norman to 20th-century Neutra. When Howell's daughter-and keeper of his flame-Kelly, and a Howell groupie named Jack Dexter hook up in a free-falling love affair, the search for this apocryphal building becomes a search for a lost past. Brilliantly funny and seriously obsessive, Female Ruins shows how the castles we build are often symbols of our own needs, follies, and magnificent obsessions.

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  • mythical erections
    From Amazon

    Architects these days just build things, and they don't even get to be very famous. There used to be architect-gurus back in the twentieth century, who said things that got quoted a lot - people like Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier. Kelly Howell is the daughter of one of these architect-philosophers, who was famous for not having built anything until he got crushed by one of his creations (a concrete hand).. She is conflicted about her feelings for her parents, makes a living driving a cab, and keeps trying to avoid giving interviews to biographers. A persistent American admirer of her father inveigles his way into her life. It's mostly set in rural Norfolk, England. It is brilliantly satirical but also very cleverly plotted, especially in the last few chapters (set in California) that twist and turn and set the story on its head.

  • Architectural Madness
    From Amazon

    I am so addicted to Mr. Nicholson! I own pretty much everything he's written, except for a few out of print pieces I'm still searching for. This new piece has his signature style of taking something common and twisting your perspective so that you see things in ways you never could in everyday life and you become just as intertwined with the subject as the characters are...

    This book deals with the world of architecture (not the typical art history terminology and styles I memorized in college) and what it says about our human condition, especially about the coincidence and sometimes wimsy of it all.

    I found myself completely thrust into the world of the characters and even though things seemed a bit predictable, the way things are revealed through Mr. Nicholson's twisted and descriptive language kept me completely inthralled and waiting to see what happens next.

    If you liked his other books, this is a definite must-read. If you've never read anything before, try the Food Chain, Hunters & Gatherers or Bleeding London first and then go for this one.

  • Female Ruins a Fun Read
    From Amazon

    Geoff Nicholson's latest book is a fun read that doesn't amount to too much. And while the protaganist is likable and nicely drawn, there is little movement or development in her character.

    In general Nicholson is a cultural critic, a sort of poor man's Roland Barthes. And his observations about architecture in "Female Ruins," are funny and astute. One gets the feeling, after reading a lot of Nicholson, that this is the reason he writes novels. He wants to talk about some subject that is obsessing him. Whether it be the electric guitar, VW bugs, foot fetishism, or the city of London, it's always some external subject that drives the story. Sometimes this is successful (Hunters and Gatherers, Bleeding London, Everything and More) and sometimes this drive to explain and expose the facts gets in the way (Flesh Guitar).

    Here we have a story that carries the reader through, but doesn't ultimately satisfy. Female Ruins won't bore you, it's a nice ride, but when you close the book you'll be finished with it.

    Female Ruins is a forgettable book.

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