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The Lost Language of Cranes [Paperback]

David Leavitt
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

30 Jan 1992
On the surface, Philip's parents, Rose and Owen, live comfortable, settled lives. Their lives are about to be disturbed as they confront their son's long-concealed homosexuality. But there is a darker secret that could destroy a marriage and damage lives, and that secret belongs to Owen himself.

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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: 19.6 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 611,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


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

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Families and their hidden secrets 29 Nov 1999
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful early book by D. Leavitt 8 July 2010
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb novel 6 Aug 2008
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Dated but a good read 19 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book purely as it was so ground breaking in terms of gay literature. On the whole I enjoyed it as a 'coming out' story, but it has dated with time.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On the whole, more strengths than weaknesses 4 Mar 2011
Is it a joke that there's a mistake on the very first page of this book? I mean, if Rose is such a meticulous editor, she would have noticed that Owen is walking down Third Avenue during the cold morning on a rainy Sunday afternoon, wouldn't she? I did. And it annoyed me. If it's a joke, it's not a very good joke.

However, on the whole this is a very readable book, even though the premise (a father and his son both secretly gay, unbeknown to one another!) is a little far-fetched. I really did want to find out what happened to the characters and I enjoyed the way the story had the texture of real life.
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