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The Angel's Cut Paperback – 11 Jun 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (11 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0864736002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099540045
  • ASIN: 0099540045
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 783,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Knox is a writer with a gift for describing the colour of the present moment...she lets her language breathe, lets it speak in revelations rather than explanations" (Times Literary Supplement)

"Her words have the power to dazzle" (Independent)

"Knox's evocation of thirties California is dreamy, and her characters interestingly warped" (Emma Hagestadt Independent)


"Knox's evocation of Thirties California is dreamy, and her characters, interestingly warped." (The Independent) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 13 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sequel to The Vintner's Luck, which I adore and am now eager to reread. The Angel's Cut, unlike the earlier novel, is told predominantly from the point of view of unwinged angel Xas (though there are other, more human and equally compelling narrators), and Xas is distinctly different, preternatural, strange. The multiple voices triangulate Xas's experience of the world, showing us the strangeness of his everyday behaviour (walking like a drunkard, each step a caught fall) and the invisibility of his inner turmoil.

Sobran, Xas's true love, is long-dead, and Xas -- following a brief career as navigator on a German airship in World War I -- winds up in California, in the nascent Hollywood film industry. He's drawn to fascinatingly broken people: to eccentric producer and aviator Conrad Cole (perhaps modelled on Howard Hughes); to Flora MacLeod who's survived a horrific accident and endures chronic pain with grace and style; to Millie Cotton, woman of colour and stunt pilot who has a sense of which jobs to take and which to leave.

Xas is also pursued by his nemesis / brother Lucifer, who needs him: the nature of the compact between Xas, Lucifer and God is explored more thoroughly, and Xas's unique state explained.

The Angel's Cut is a term relating to winemaking; it refers to the portion of a barrel of wine that evaporates during ageing. The novel, though, is firmly grounded in the world of film, with discussions of the difference between conversation and dialogue, the inadequacy of flashbacks as a method of character development, the shape of a story. Flora's a film editor, and she's constantly looking for the flow, the shape of her own story: perhaps she also helps to give shape to Xas's history.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chris on 11 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
I first discovered Elizabeth Knox when I came across her novel, The Vintner's Luck, at my local library (Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA). I loved the book and have re-read it multiple times. I read all her subsequent work as it was published in the U.S., and recently found out about this novel, a sequel to Vintner's, but not published (yet, I hope) in the U.S. On the basis of my passion for Knox's work, I ordered a copy from the U.K., and I was not disappointed. Knox takes us to the very lively world of Hollywood in the late 1920s and 1930s; Xas, the angel we first met in Vintner's, continues to explore the vagaries of humanity by connecting with several significant figures in the film industry. Knox is a superb writer; her language is fluid and beautiful, her characters fascinating, and her story-telling wonderfully engaging. I recommend all her books without hesitation (though you should read The Vintner's Luck before you read this one to experience the full impact of both).
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By R. A. Davison TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 17 Jan. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of my favourite novels of 2011 was The Vintner's Luck by Elizabeth Knox. The story of a love affair between an Angel and a human, the Vintner's Luck is beautifully written, philosophical, moving, compelling and lyrical. It is a book I will never hesitate to recommend.

It was with some trepidation that I bought the sequel, and despite having bought it I didn't read it for a further 18 months. Finding the story complete, I didn't see how Knox could either better or equal The Vintner's Luck with a second tale, and I'm very sad to say I was right.

Following the events of that novel, the immortal angel Xas has become a pilot, so he can continue to savour the sensation of flight, life as a pilot takes him to America where he becomes a stunt pilot for the movies and we are introduced to several new characters: Flora, Millie, Conrad Cole and Conrad Crow.

These characters became the problem for me, I completely failed to feel involved with any of them and repeatedly found myself switching off entirely which made it difficult to keep up with the natural flow. There are too many Conrads and this gets confusing. I thought about abandoning the book more than once but felt sad to do so.

The two things that saved the book and kept me reading were the sequences (too few, too short) in which connections were made to Sobran and Xas's former life in France and other things from The Vintner's Luck and those sequences where Xas encounters and debates with Lucifer. These parts are really good but perhaps only amount to 5% of the novel.

This novel was super disappointing in comparison to how much I adore its predecessor.
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By Ameya on 3 July 2013
Format: Paperback
I came to The Angel's Cut wondering if the magic of the proposition of The Vintner's Luck would be recreated. This was Xas, the angel's time to live on Earth as a human being, in 1929 onwards. The time chosen allows an exposition of the early years of human flight and movie-making in Hollywood. The characters are a producer and aviator, Conrad Cole, Flora McLeod, Millie Cotton and the largest character of all other than Xas, Archangel Michael. There is love and the character of the Californian scenery. It wasn't enough to draw me in. I didn't fall for any of the characters, not even the angels. There was a curious absence of warmth in the story. I could not picture any of the characters or feel for them. The lack of plot didn't propel me to turn the pages. There wasn't an original premise to draw attention to this story, as there was for its precursor.
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