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The Lost Language of Cranes Paperback – 30 Jan 1992

7 customer reviews

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Paperback, 30 Jan 1992
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; Film & TV Tie-in ed edition (30 Jan. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140159223
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140159226
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 776,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

An amazingly perceptive novel. (San Francisco Chronicle)

One of his generation's most gifted writers. (New York Times)

Fascinating... lingers in the mind (New York Times Book Review) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

Reissued with a beautiful new jacket to coincide with the paperback publication of his new book, The Two Hotel Francforts --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Nov. 1999
Format: Paperback
This novel is one of my favourite books. It's about a family, Rose and Owen, and their son Phillip. Phillip wants to tell his mum and dad that he is gay, as he has found a boyfriend. Meanwhile, Owen is hiding his own secret, the fact that he too is gay. The book is about family relationships, and the secrets family members hide from one another. It is a beautifully written book that deals sensitively about difficult issues. David Leavitt reveals with much skill the inner thoughts of the characters, their lives and experiences. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lars Svendsen on 8 July 2010
Format: Paperback
This was the first book I read by David Leavitt, and it was during my own coming out phase, where I just thirsted after books like these. I must admit I cried through many parts of it and I just could not put it down. It made me a Leavitt fan and since then I have collected all his works which only have become even better and more mature writing. He is a wonderful writer and great company to spend an evening with. Like having an interesting conversation with a dear friend. I highly recommend this book to anyone.
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By DubaiReader VINE VOICE on 10 Nov. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Oh no!! This book finished before it had ended. What happened to the relationship between Rose and Owen? What happened about their apartment?? The author forgot to end his story and now I'm left with no resolution.

Owen and Rose are 52 years old, married for 27. They have a son, Phillip, who is 25. Phillip is struggling with his sexuality, realising from an early age that he is attracted to men. When he tells his parents, he finds he is setting free an unstoppable chain of events; for his father has been hiding his similar feelings for over thirty years and secrets can't be kept forever.
The book's excellent descriptions of the characters and their angst are its strengths, but this is very much a character driven book, for there is actually is very little plot.

The Lost Language of Cranes was well out of my comfort zone but it was chosen for a book group, so I gave it a go. It was well written, I liked the author's style, but I'm not a fan of gay literature and this was pretty lurid in parts. In fact, there was more explicit sexual detail, than I'd really like even in my heterosexual reads.

The depiction of the eighties was excellent, not surprisingly, as it was originally published in 1986. Not only did New York emanate a feeling of the times, but Rose and Owen's interactions and lack of questioning within their relationship felt very genuine.
Aids hovered, like a specter in the background, but I'd have expected a bit more fear and alarm about the issue than I felt.

....but to leave so many issues unresolved???
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By reviewsrevues on 6 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
I've just re-read this book for the first time in probably twenty years and, even though I remembered it as being a really good book, I've been bowled over by how good it is. The BBC did an adaptation a few years ago and it is this which features on the cover. That, was itself, very good and I've seen it a few times over the years but the book is superb. The BBC decided to relocate this New York tale to London which didn't hurt it at all and got an excellent performance out of Eileen Atkins as Rose, the mother rocked by the revelation that her son is gay. This announcement leads to the family crumbling under the weight of hidden secrets. It sounds slightly glum, but it is far from that. It is so well written and ranks with the best of Allan Hollinghurst as amongst the greatest gay themed novel ever written.
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