The Cloud Sketcher: A Novel

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Harper Collins, Mar 19, 2002 - Fiction - 432 pages

In a tiny village in Finland, Esko Vaananen is at the brink of despair -- he loves a woman he can never have. Suddenly, in the magical light of the aurora borealis, he has a vision of an impossibly tall building rising gracefully from the frozen lake and disappearing into the clouds above him. This pilvenpiirtaja -- "cloud sketcher" or skyscraper -- sparks a lifelong quest for beauty in Esko. He will pursue and protect these two passions -- his vision and his love -- no matter how great the cost, for the rest of his life. It is a journey that leads him into the Bolshevik revolution and the Jazz Age nightclubs of New York City and to strike a Faustian bargain with a ruthless gangster -- all in the pursuit of artistic perfection and impossible, unattainable love.

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User Review  - Kirkus

An atmospheric, if ultimately overwrought, story of love and architecture in war-torn Finland and 1920s New York.Esko Vaananen meets his true love, Katerina Malysheva, in 1901, when he is just 11. Her ... Read full review

The cloud sketcher: a novel

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Taking the iconic images of the 1920s and 1930sDgangsters, Prohibition, the DepressionDand further enlivening the text with architects, rebels, and a beautiful woman, Rayner has written a sort of ... Read full review

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About the author (2002)

Born in England, Richard Rayner now lives in Los Angeles. His previous books include the memoir The Blue Suit and the novels The Cloud Sketcher, L.A. Without a Map, and Murder Book. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, and many other publications.

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