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The Angel's Cut Paperback – 8 Jul 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (8 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099590034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099590033
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 785,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"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) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"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

7 of 7 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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tess Durbeyfield on 7 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Vintner's Luck was one of my favourite books so I had high hopes for this. What a disappoinment. The structure of the novel was confusing, with two central characters sharing way too many traits and having very similar names, making it hard to follow who was who. Which wouldn't have been a problem if the plot had been mmore engaging, or the writing less clumsy. There was a great deal about Hollywood film making in the early talkies era and Xas as a character felt a bit bolted on, as though Know wanted to write about Hollywood but used the idea of a sequel to the Vintner's Luck as a sales ploy. One of the hardest books to wade through I've read in a long time.
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It was readable but not at all in the same league as The Vintner's Luck, partly I think because of the setting. I read the aforementioned again recently and it is so utterly beguiling. The Angel's Cut tries very hard to conjure up the atmosphere of the period, 1929, 1930's and at the end 1950's briefly, but just seems to miss being evocative. The characters do not seem to have substance, I kept forgetting who was who and did what. And Xas, well, he fluttered and fell, appeared and disappeared, and it didn't really matter.
Read The Angel's Cut and spot the difference.
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Format: Paperback
brilliantly conceived new ideas with contrasting concepts - my first impression is the clearest when Xas flies away in sunlight in the Vintner's luck, and even though I am a widely read reader the Angel's Cut will also be filled with personal conflicts in the early film making and aerospace worlds is giving me yet another novel way of seeing the same ideas expressed anew.
The first Knox book I read: the Invisible Road - unforgettable!
Thank you Elizabeth Knox.
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