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A Vaudeville of Devils Paperback – 16 Mar 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre; New edition edition (16 Mar. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340739568
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340739563
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.8 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,810,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'A rich, exciting book ... An impressive further step in Girardi's colorful and engaging career'

KIRKUS REVIEWS



Highly accomplished (The Times)

''Touched with a near-maddening mysteriousness, and enriched by lavish historical, dystopic and dream-like settings, these vividly detailed tales give voice to specters of the dark side'

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY



Seductive . . . Girardi, a skilled storyteller, writes sensuous prose that unapologetically invokes the supernatural (The New York Times Book Review)

The stories in this volume are richly descriptive, with a whiff of the grotesque and macabre. . . . magnificently drawn, and . . demonstrates the imaginative immediacy of the finest storytelling. Its inventiveness and brio suggest Girardi will soon be achieving recognition as an important writer (TLS)

'Highly accomplished' - The Times

'Seductive . . . Girardi sifts through his characters' doubts and demons while mapping a complex cultural terrain . . . Girardi, a skilled storyteller, writes sensuous prose that unapologetically invokes the supernatural. Although moral in theme, these frank, erotic tales are never moralistic. Illustrating the compromises that ordinary people make gradually, almost imperceptibly, A Vaudeville of Devils exposes the subtle art of the Faustian bargain' - The New York Times Book Review

A rich, exciting book ... An impressive further step in Girardi's colorful and engaging career' (Kirkus Reviews)

'Robert Girardi is an American writer whose work feels distinctly European. His writing has a Kafkaesque interest in atmosphere and a predilection for the supernatural and fabular which recalls Isak Dineson . . . A Vaudeville of Devils, a collection of shorter fiction, is preoccupied with darkness and light, appearance and reality. The stories in this volume are richly descriptive, with a whiff of the grotesque and macabre. . . .The opening story . . . Is an affecting piece of writing, notable for the way in which Girardi evokes the painter's magical quality with elliptical ease. . . [In 'The Defenestration] the encounters between defendant and attorney are magnificently drawn, and this piece demonstrates the imaginative immediacy of the finest storytelling. Its inventiveness and brio suggest Girardi will soon be achieving recognition as an important writer' TLS

The stories in this volume are richly descriptive, with a whiff of the grotesque and macabre...It's inventiveness and brio suggest Girardi will soon be receiveing recognition as an important writer (TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT)

Book Description

A collection of work from the highly-acclaimed author of THE PIRATE'S DAUGHTER and VAPORETTO 13.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross TOP 500 REVIEWER on 31 Jan. 2003
Format: Paperback
We read this for our bookgroup, putting an end to three years of my intending to read it. The seven stories here range from 20-110 pages and are united by both the theme or morality and Girardi's excellent writing and ability to create a vibrant sense of place and dark tone. He's said in interviews that he's deeply influenced by Poe and Hawthorne, and it's entirely evident here, for these are not short stories in the modern style, but tales in the old-fashioned sense. Spanning genres, from historical fiction, to sci-fi, to thriller, to crime, to romance, the stories revolve around moral choices faced by individuals. The stories are not perfect however, due to their semi-mythic nature, some wander rather close to cliché and predictability. And at times, certain characters are a little too single-minded or focused on one thing. Different people will, of course, have their own favorites.
The opening story, "The Demons...", is the brief WWII tale set in occupied Holland. The tale of an SS officer ordered to kill a Dutch painter can almost be considered a warm-up for the rest of the tales. The next story, "Three Ravens on A Red Ground," is the least nuanced of the seven, and probably my least favorite. It switches back and forth between the story of a Seattle businessman whose firm is being bought out by a Japanese firm, and the story of his ancestor who fought in the Crusades. "The Dinner Party" follows it with a brief semi-surreal tale of alien invasion in which the question is raised as to whether one should compromise one's ideals in order to alleviate suffering for many. As a take on "The Last Supper" it's not a bad idea, full of vivid imagery, but not particularly satisfying either.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Peter Taylor on 16 Mar. 2000
Format: Paperback
The good bit are great and the bad bit are not all that bad. Special Praise must be given for the amazing merging of the Merger and the Knight's Crusades, it is truly great. The book is very easily approached and contains a thoroughly mixed crop of ideas. No one writing style seems to dominate, or a specific subject for that matter. Anyway, i personally recommend the book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Girardi's images will haunt you 5 Dec. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I haven't ever read anything written by this author aside from these short stories, so I cannot make any comparison's for you, but I was impressed with Girardi's ability to create suspense and "mood" with his words. Several of the stories ran through my mind for days after I read them. I guess I don't agree with the other reviewers. I think that this book is great BECAUSE the stories are disturbing and BECAUSE some of the scenerios are so far-fetched. Plus, the plots seemed very different to me despite the fact that they all dealt with similar issues of choice, fear, and regret. I look forward to reading one of Girardi's novels. To the other reviewers I say- instead of feeling threatened by the melancholy atmosphere of the book, perhaps you should figure out why it bothers you so.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great, but the title is misleading... 26 April 2001
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
...the "moral" part that is. I say misleading because "moral" implies that the author will be shoving his own personal world view down the reader's the throat. Thankfully, this couldn't be further from the truth! Rather moral refers to the value judgements the characters in each of these stories is forced to make; decisions which form the crux of each story.
The stories are already outlined in Amazon's review, so I won't rehash them. Two points worth making, however. First, each story is unique, and remarkably imaginative. They bear comparison in terms of the characters' feelings and decisions, but the similarity ends there. Second, Girardi is a remarkably talented writer, with a style very reminscent of Poe. The stories are frequently dark, even brooding, but their careful crafting and obvious literary merit save them from being tedious.
"Vaudeville of Devils" is a unique collection of wonderfully rich short stories. Even better, the theme of moral crisis will leave the reader chewing over them for some time to come. Enjoy!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I couldn't get this book out of my mind! 7 Nov. 2000
By David W. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book in July 1999 to read on the plane to New York for a conference. I thought it was such a great read then, that I gave my copy to my niece, who lives in the Big Apple. Since then the story threads kept popping up in my mind, but I had forgotten the name of the author and the title of the book. I finally emailed my niece and got the name of the book, and yesterday I ordered my second copy.
The writing is singularly excellent, Robert Girardi says what he wants to say in a creative and evocative way. It is just very good reading, and I know now that I should never have given the book away, I should have bought my niece a copy and kept mine. These are just damn good stories, and they bear rereading - which is MY criteria for calling it outstanding. Good literature, but also good story telling. There are some pretty funny movie scenarios here, too. Read the stories and then back up and think of them as movies. They stick with you!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An imaginative, inventive and brilliant collection 22 Jun. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Girardi does what so many of today's young writers eschew; he tells a dramatic and entertaining story. And in this new collection of two stories and five novellas, he shows that he's striving towards his imaginative peak. This book reminds me of the new Wilco record. It feels as familiar as an old friend and yet you know its completely new and relevant, golden. Do yourself a favor and read this book. And pick up that record. Noteworthy for collectors is that the hardcover editions of A VAUDEVILLE OF DEVILS are limited numbered editions.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Terrific Book. Worth buying and worth keeping 25 Jun. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
If you enjoy good storytelling that will linger with you long after you've put the book away I would strongly recommend this book by Robert Girardi. I bought the book as a gift and ended up keeping it for myself and buying another copy. Once read I wanted a copy for my own library.
I especially enjoyed the story titled Three Black Crows on a Red Ground, but each of the stories were fascinating to read. This is the first time I've read this author.
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