- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (1 Feb. 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099480115
- ISBN-13: 978-0099480112
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 353,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Celestial Navigation Paperback – 1 Feb 1996
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"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)
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 styleSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
I felt sad that she describes this as the book she is most pleased with. Maybe she doesn't value her own unique style!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoy Anne Tyler's novels, and have read most of them, but this one just didn't work for me, I'm afraid. Read morePublished 18 months ago by dutchtomato
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. Read morePublished on 6 Dec. 2009 by B