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Celestial Navigation by [Tyler, Anne]
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Celestial Navigation Kindle Edition

3.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Length: 285 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"A rich, revolutionary novel...she writes with virtuosity and perfect confidence, insight and compassion" (The Times)

"Anne Tyler's talent is to make extraordinary characters entirely credible... So unfaltering is their story that every word is convincing" (Sunday Times)

"Tyler has created two characters at once entirely original and entirely convincing...a quiet but immensely strong novel, to admire and treasure" (Sunday Telegraph)

Book Description

From the Pulitzer prize-winning Sunday Times bestseller Anne Tyler. Celestial Navigation is now re-jacketed along with the rest of Tyler’s books in striking new backlist style

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1219 KB
  • Print Length: 285 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital; New Ed edition (10 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007V07M4E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #25,395 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a novel about an artist, perhaps a great one, not at all an easy thing to attempt: you have to navigate around the shoals of sentimentality about tragic suffering (see Van Gogh); and describing plastic art in a way that conveys more than your own enthusiasm is very difficult too. This artist, Jeremy, is not at all unlike Joseph Cornell, the maker of boxes, famously reclusive, modest, shy and poor, unwilling to leave his house - but even Cornell had more outside life than Tyler gives Jeremy, though he didn't have a wife.
The wife of the great artist is also a commonly attempted subject nowadays, and in this book we root as much for Mary as for Jeremy. The trouble is, I think, that, though we are pleased when they get together and have their many rather faceless children, we don't believe it. Therefore when the end of the book comes, perfectly logically, we don't like it.
But there is a good deal to like in Celestial Navigation - the strange sense of timelessness (with Anne Tyler we always seem to be 20, 30, 40 years behind the given date), the sheer length of life, the dreamlike innerness of an old many-storied house, the sharp pain of regret at uncommunicated love - and the other characters; another damaging mother (as in Homesick Restaurant), a parasitic young drifter, a spinster who finds her role.
Five or six books compete for the title of Tyler's best novel. This one would come sixth or seventh, but still essential reading.
I sometimes have a sense of her as a writer for very old children, people like us perhaps.
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Format: Paperback
When an Anne Tyler novel doesn't work, her characters seem merely quirky and the book as a result seems charming but lightweight. At her best, though, her characters are genuine mysteries, but without any Gothic trappings. We're not in "Wuthering Heights" -- we're in the ordinary streets of Baltimore. Her fifth novel, "Celestial Navigations" (1974) is perhaps as good a novel of Tyler's as I've read -- and it's good by any standard. The title is apt -- celestial navigation is a nautical term for sailing by the stars. The things that you're steering by are real enough, but it takes real skill to negotiate them, and that's an apt metaphor for the difficulties of establishing relationships with people who are opaque to one another and who yet seem totally plausible as characters. The title perhaps suggests interstellar travel too -- and that suggests a sense in which these Baltimoreans are as weird as aliens at times to the people trying to understand them and love them.

The central figure here -- the big mysterious planet into whose gravitational system the other characters come -- is Jeremy Pauling. Jeremy isn't deliberately trying to bring people into his orbit -- if anything the opposite is true -- but he has inherited a boarding house from his mother and it affords him income and that enables him to spend time creating works of art. Not that he has a commitment to "art": his work seems as much compulsive as creative, and he lives at a distance from, and is never sure how to negotiate, the social world of the boarding house, let alone the streets of Baltimore. Into the house comes Mary Tell and her four-year-old daughter Darcy. Only 23, she has left her marriage for another man, and the other man has proved unreliable.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is yet another brilliant read from Anne Tyler. Interesting story with good characters and fantastic observations. A story with great detail about relationships.
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Format: Paperback
If I had merely read the other reviews and taken them at face value I would have missed what I consider to be a good book. I am a huge Anne Tyler fan and have read them all so far, except for a Slipping Down Life which is next on my list. I thought Celestial Navigation was beautifully written and very engrossing - I also did not think that Jeremy was supposed to have Aspergers'. I also did not think that the ending was weak - it was after all what one would expect considering that Mary was obviously not going to come back because he didn't ask her to. It was sad but then life is sad sometimes - not all endings can be happy and satisfying. Anyway, I enjoyed it very much.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think this is now one of my favourite Anne Tyler books. Different from her others, but the main characters are wonderful and it's such a touching story.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I love Anne Tyler but for me this book didn't work at all. There is a dreariness and darkness in the plot and characters that her stye doesn't suit; nothing of the every day warmth and naturalness that characterises most of her writing, or her usual light touch.

I felt sad that she describes this as the book she is most pleased with. Maybe she doesn't value her own unique style!
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By hiljean VINE VOICE on 29 July 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a story spanning 13 years and centring around the misanthropic Jeremy Pauling. The structure is unusual for Anne Tyler with different narrators for each chapter, but despite her usual excellent writing, the storyline left me feeling, like other reviewers, ultimately unsatisfied.
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Format: Paperback
Oh yet another book about asperges , I think? If I sound in doubt, apologies its just that Ms Tyler never really spells it out so one can't be sure. Despite reading this book as best as I could I also knew very little about some of the main characters either and I was left frustrated at the sadness and emptiness of their lives.
Jeremy's sadness and loss was well portrayed though and I wanted to know what happened to him though the 'end' result though not of my choosing was skipped and rushed a little as are many novels when one has a dead line to keep [ please note writers , readers do noticed] I still found it to be the most realistic . Alas unlike the idea that he may have fathered all of those children in the circumstances. Only for the die hard Tyler fans I believe.
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