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Glass Soup [Paperback]

Jonathan Carroll
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.47
Price: 10.47 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Paperback: 317 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (28 Nov 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765311801
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765311801
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 612,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

For connoisseurs of imaginative fiction, the novels of Jonathan Carroll are a special treat that occupy a space all their own. His surreal fictions, which deftly mix the everyday with the extraordinary, have won him a devoted following. Now, in "Glass Soup," Carroll continues to astound . . . . The realm of the dead is built from the dreams--and nightmares--of the living. Octopuses drive buses. God is a polar bear. And a crowded highway literally leads to hell. Once before, Vincent Ettrich and his lover, Isabelle Neukor, crossed over from life to death and back again. Now Isabelle bears a very special child, who may someday restore the ever-changing mosaic that is reality. Unless the agents of Chaos can lure her back to the land of the dead--and trap her there forever. "Glass Soup" is another exquisite and singular creation from the author "January" magazine described as "incapable of writing a bad book much less an uninteresting one."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Man At His Best 23 Oct 2005
Format:Hardcover
The follow up to White Apple is nothing short of genius. Glass Soup is the perfect Carroll book filled with characters that you care about, ones that have indivual quirks and faults, personalities that made me laugh, smile and cry. The most wonderful thing about all Carroll's books are that they take the everyday world and spin it upside down on its head. God is a mosaic, polar bears and miniture men exist and choas hates us!
This book is so good it almost hurts and will leave you craving for more. All Carroll's work is expectional but this reads like a culimination of the idea's and thoughts he's tried to work through before and comes out as his most rounded work. To get the most out of it though you should read, or have read, White Apples first though as this is very much a continuation of that novel (Also you'd miss out on the zoo and the sublime CoCo).
If you're not reading Carroll yet then do yourself a favour and start now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice sequel to White Apples 16 Aug 2007
Format:Paperback
I'm a big Jonathan Carroll fan, ever since I read Land of Laughs. Carroll manages to mix mundane with mystical in a very charming way. Glass Soup continues where White Apples left the story of Vincent, Isabelle and their child messiah. This makes recommending this book very straightforward: if you've read White Apples and enjoyed it, Glass Soup is a must read book. If you haven't read White Apples, start there.

That said, I think this is quite a worthy sequel to White Apples. The story is quite as odd and profound as it was before. Carroll weaves the events beautifully, as the main characters travel around Vienna and cross the borders between life and death. There's odd humour, curious characters, and fairly deep thinking. The opening of the book is delightfully surreal.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a map of our lives 10 Mar 2006
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
The important thing to remember when thinking about _White Apples_ and its follow up, _Glass Soup_, is that these are primarily love stories. The tensions between chaos and control, the willingness to love the current form of the universe while maintaining openness toward its eventual demise, are all analogs of romantic love: what preserves it, what kills it, what makes it grow. Carroll doesn't write genre fiction, but if he did, he is probably best understood as a magical -- or even supernatural -- realist. He maps our real lives, and our emotional lives, onto a fantastic landscape. His books are our hearts writ large. Only the imaginative can comprehend the insights provided by such imaginative work. If you're not used to this type of writing, try it...with an open mind.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Archy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This follow up to White Apples is essentially more of the same, which should please Carroll fans. It reads more like a series of magical set pieces than a normally structured novel, however, and for this reason I found the ending rather a disappointment. I had the impression Jonathan was making it up as he went along. So often was one of Vincent's difficulties solved by some kind of magical intervention you realise that no matter how dire the situation some kind of rabbit will be pulled from the hat to solve the problem. You can never see them coming, so while they do delight they also frustrate, with a feeling of being rather cheated of a plausible explanation.

The other irritating thing are the loose ends. For example, at the end of one chapter Vincent sees the future of Isabelle's hand - minus one finger. It's a startling chapter end, but is never referred to again, the finger is not lost, and there is no explanation. A neat trick to keep you reading, but you're left thinking maybe Jonathan just fogot about it. Then there's the repetition, for the benefit of those whohaven't read the first book - the repeated explanation of the mosaic, for example. One of the usual pleasures in a Jonathan Carrool novel is seeing how a realistic situation and setting are suddenly subverted with a dip into fantasy around a third the way through the book. Here no realistic setting ever occurs, and we go straight to the magical world, which rather dilutes its power.

Perhaps these are minor flaws; I've given this four stars as there are so many wonderful moments in it, but I don't feel they add up to a fully satisfying novel. Hopefully the final book will resolve the many mysteries without resorting to the kind of sudden magical explanations used here. A must for fans, of course, but those new to Carroll are best advised to begin elsewhere, perhaps with Sleeping in Flame
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling 8 Mar 2006
By Henry W. Wagner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Preparing for a recent interview with Carroll, I reread a pair of his earlier works to reacquaint myself with his unique storytelling style and the themes and motifs he returns to again and again. Sampling The Land of Laughs and Outside the Dog Museum again was pure pleasure--notable for their memorable lead characters, and for the nimble way Carroll depicts the intersection of the fantastic and the ordinary, both books demonstrate why Carroll is one of the most respected fantasists working today. Reading those books, however, did little to prepare me for the overall eloquence and bravado of Carroll's latest effort, Glass Soup.

Building on characters and situations established in his previous novel, 2004's estimable White Apples, Glass Soup tells the continuing story of lovers Vincent Ettrich and Isabelle Nuekor, a couple whose relationship can only be described as extraordinary--their love is so strong that Isabelle actually succeeded in rescuing Vincent from death. Because all actions have consequences, and extraordinary actions have extraordinary consequences, Isabelle's rescue of Vincent causes Chaos to actually achieve consciousness, an awareness he/it will lose if things are allowed to progress the way they have since the beginning of time. Seeking to shift the cosmic balance in his favor, Chaos works through various emissaries to lure the now pregnant Isabelle back to the land of the dead; it seems that if her baby is born there, Chaos will remain sentient. Before the novel's touching conclusion, Isabelle's dilemma will touch the lives of all those around her in surprising and sometimes lethal ways.

Along the way, Carroll waxes poetic about the nature of love, friendship, responsibility and the very fabric of reality. Even the pettiest of his characters manage to evoke sympathy, primarily because the villains of the piece are manipulating them in heinous ways. And those villains--Carroll knows heroes need formidable foes, which he provides in the malicious John Flannery and the smooth as silk Putnam. These two positively ooze evil as they try to force Vincent and Isabelle into increasingly untenable positions.

Charming and absolutely enthralling, Glass Soup displays the creativity, intelligence and wit for which Carroll has become famous. As it says on the front flap of the book's dust jacket, "For connoisseurs of imaginative fiction, the novels of Jonathan Carroll are a special treat that occupy a space of their own." Glass Soup is perhaps the best example of that phenomenon to date.
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GOURMET GLASS SOUP & CARROTS OF WONDER 23 Oct 2005
By RON LAITY - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Once again Carrolls work causes bouts of discussion about exactly what the story is about and ' this doesn't work for me ..' and ' that is a bit ambiguous ..' or '...his finest piece of work since...' and '....I will never look at scrabble in the same way again ..' ...BUT ...people that is EXACTLY what a good book should do !!!!

You should be stimulated into talking about it....it should make you angry, sad , happy, annoyed....heartbroken...awe-struck....you should laugh, you should cry !

If you have read it and it has provoked a reaction, be that positive or negative, then the story has worked ! It has made you think !

I have been reading Jonathan Carrolls' work from the first book published and no I didn't like every book he wrote, I am not a Carroll groupie, but I have READ every book he has wrote and each one causes a huge reaction within me and have loved him for it.

If I have to pull a favourite from the past then Bones of the Moon it would be for its exploration of life within death which is certainly the topic of Glass Soup and its predecessor White Apples. I for one and am happy that the author has returned to his weird imagery of yore ' a la Bones of the Moon and Child Across the Sky ' but that is merely a personal whim as many readers were ehthralled by the very subtle weridness of the likes of The Wooden Sea and Kissing the Beehive. As with all of his books his characters are brilliantly alive and reactive to the scenes he sets, they are consumate in their life be they human, bear or otherwise ! ......and he is an absolute master in teasing the readers sensiblities and dangling carrots of wonder in front of your eyes causing you to read on and finish the book. I often wonder what it would be like to actually listen to Carroll read from his own words and would have no doubt that he would have made a fine travelling storyteller in medieval times.

Is it fantasy ?....all fiction is fantasy so that question is not really one you should be asking...

Is it frightening ?....Is it this ?..is it that ?...

Why are you reading this review when you should be reading the book and finding out for yourself and eating his carrots !
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Carroll Novel 7 Mar 2006
By James Rovira - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The important thing to remember when thinking about _White Apples_ and its follow up, _Glass Soup_, is that these are primarily love stories. The tensions between chaos and control, the willingness to love the current form of the universe while maintaining openness toward its eventual demise, are all analogs of romantic love: what preserves it, what kills it, what makes it grow. Carroll doesn't write genre fiction, but if he did, he is probably best understood as a magical -- or even supernatural -- realist. He maps our real lives, and our emotional lives, onto a fantastic landscape. His books are our hearts writ large. Only the imaginative can comprehend the insights provided by such imaginative work. If you're not used to this type of writing, try it...with an open mind.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best authors of all time 16 Jun 2013
By A. Lee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a fabulous book as are all of his. Once you read one you want to read them all. I just wish he'd write more and faster!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy sequel to "White Apples" 10 Mar 2013
By Stephan Laurent - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book should only be read after reading "White Apples", even if it seems to stand by itself; the foundation of the story is laid in the former: a deep love story develops (well-founded & developed) but the male protagonist gets taken away by a deathly illness, and it takes the combined strength of his dedicated lover Isabelle and her unborn son (who apparently has uncanny magical powers) to bring him back from the dead and ultimately defeat chaos. Strong writing, strong world-building (based on the writer's own experience living in Vienna), lovable characters, the duology deserves kudos.
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