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Angelica Lost and Found [Hardcover]

Russell Hoban
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 10.76 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Nov 2010
In Ariosto's epic 16th-century poem "Orlando Furioso", the beautiful Angelica , chained, naked, to a rock and menaced by a sea monster is rescued by the valiant Ruggiero, riding a 'hippogriff', the offspring of a griffin and a mare - an entirely imaginary winged creature (as readers of "Harry Potter" know). Volatore, as this hippogriff calls himself, has escaped the poem in which he has been confined for centuries and is determined to find his Angelica, even if it takes him to the 21st century and involves some shape-shifting. He lands in contemporary San Francisco and the first person he sets eyes on is Angelica Greenberg, the Jewish owner of a San Franciscan art gallery, who has just dumped her fiance. Volatore rises to her window and they hit it off big-time. But no sooner have they met and fallen in love than events conspire to separate the two so that Volatore must not only seek Angelica but also find the perfect form in which to consummate his undying love. The first is too masculine, the second not enough so, but will the third be just right, and how will Angelica reconcile the imaginary and the real in the perfect lover? "Angelica Lost and Found" contains the familiar drollery, the marvellous turn of phrase, the aesthetic insights and the romance of Russell Hoban, but it also contains a lively, life-enhancing wisdom that is all of its own.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (1 Nov 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408806606
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408806609
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 705,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Hoban is the best sort of genius' Guardian 'Russell Hoban is unclassifiable ... he is an original; imaginative and inventive' Sunday Times 'Hoban's writing is always a delight - exhilarating and inventive ... a treat to read' Daily Mail '[In Riddley Walker] Russell Hoban has brought off an extraordinary feat of imagination and of style ... funny, terrible, haunting and unsettling, this book is a masterpiece' Observer

Book Description

A vertiginous and dazzling spin on the classic quest story by 'far the most imaginative novelist in Britain' (Independent) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible 26 Oct 2010
This book was an amazing read, most enjoyable - but it's a real puzzle to review.

The plot is fairly basic - I don't really think I'm delivering any spoilers if I say it's hippogriff meets girl, hippogriff loses girl, hippogriff finds girl again. Hoban says as much in his preface: how, he asks, can this problem - the relationship between an imaginary creature in a Renaissance painting and a real, flesh and blood woman in the 21st century - be resolved?

Well, with gusto, is the answer. With puns, erudition, references to opera and poetry, painting and cats. With the help of coincidence, a dash of revenge (poor Vassily Baby...), quite a bit of sex, and a painting called "Tiny, tiny dancing giants in the dim red caverns of sleep". None of it makes a great deal of sense, but the ideas pile one on another creating a dreamlike quality with its own weird logic. In this it resembles, but I think surpasses, some of Hoban's recent London set novels, which are similar in character. I've enjoyed those immensely, but this easily beats the last couple My Tango with Barbara Strozzi and Linger Awhile I did slightly miss the appearances of Hoban's set of characters who sometimes toddle out of one book into another, but you can't have everything. However the trademark short chapters, multi viewpoint and general meta-meta-fictionalness of the earlier books is all there.

If you have been enjoying Hoban's recent fiction you will, I think, love this. If you haven't read any of them then it is a good place to start, being more self contained.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not doing the black... any more. 21 Nov 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
I used to consider Russell Hoban a most marvellous writer - someone who could word it along with (and sometimes well ahead of) the very best. I still re-read his earlier books, but after The Bat Tattoo i had to stop. The books which followed seemed not only seem repetitive in theme, but in the case of this book he actually repeats whole paragraphs of earlier text almost verbatim. Read The Moment Under the Moment and you'll encounter the same raven - an encounter described in almost identical prose - which appears in the first few pages of this book. Perhaps The Raven was a kind of maquette for the larger work? Since I've only sampled this book on Kindle, I don't know if there are other recycled chunks of text, but it saddens me to conclude that Mr Hoban is no longer the writer he once was. Are any of us the people we once were? On the whole not, but once we start to recycle our own work something has gone out of the mix. It would be insulting to put this laziness down to Mr Hoban's age, but to be polite to him on account of his age and say that he can't really be expected to write the way he used to, would be far more insulting. I have too much respect for him to say that. I shall simply keep reading Pilgermann, Riddley Walker, Fremder, The Medusa Frequency, Kleinzeit - all the early books, and delighting in them as much as i ever did.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece. 22 Feb 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Quirky book by an unusual and great talent. What imagination . No point saying more. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I don't know what it is 14 Feb 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm going to have to assume that you reading this will be familier with Hobans work already. If I were to write a synopsis of the story it would sound ridiculous and any potential new reader would rather sensibly yet, simultaniously, foolishly move on to another page/book where fiction remains fiction and stays on the page..
I do not like this book as much as others of Hobans, for instance Fremder. I couldn't say exactly what it is I do not like, but I think that his work has a tendancy to make people unsure of 'what' and specifics in general.
One thing I can say is that it was far too short and felt more.... maybe contrived, i'm not sure.
Mr Hoban I take my hat off to you, however this book and I didn't get along as well as some of your others and I had.

If you like anything by Hoban then read it and make up your own mind. Bear in mind this book if very short
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Hoban 28 Dec 2010
By Ben Trovato - Published on
Angelica Lost and Found is the latest Russell Hoban - and is well up to standard. As usual his world is weird, his characters bizarre, his humour superb and his use of language unique. Themes of love and loss, searching and self-knowing are familiar to his readers, but the search is always fresh and the journey compelling. Not his absolute best. but I found it stronger than some of his more recent novels.
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