Waxwings

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Vintage Books, 2004 - Fiction - 281 pages
4 Reviews
Jonathan Raban’s powerful novel is set in Seattle in 1999, at the height of its infatuation with the virtual. It’s a place that attracts immigrants. One of these is Tom Janeway, a bookish Hungarian-born Englishman who makes his living commenting on American mores on NPR. Another, who calls himself Chick, is a frenetically industrious illegal alien from China who makes his living any way he can.

Through a series of extraordinary but chillingly plausible events, the paths of these newcomers converge. Tom is uprooted from his marriage and must learn to father his endearing eight-year old son part-time. Chick claws his way up from exploited to exploiter. Meanwhile Seattle is troubled by rioting anarchists, vanishing children, and the discovery of an al-Qaeda operative; it is a city on the brink. Savage and tender, visionary and addictively entertaining, Waxwings is a major achievement.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Gateaupain - LibraryThing

Early in the book there is reference to a box that Tom keeps full of scraps that one day he might turn into a novel. I think that this book is from Raban's scrap-box. - Different stories roughly ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bobbieharv - LibraryThing

Set very solidly in Seattle, about a guy with an ordinary life who gets falsely accused, and his growing relationship with a Chinese guy fixing his house, and lessening relationship with his wife. Much better than I've made it sound - great characters. Read full review

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About the author (2004)

The author of ten previous books, Jonathan Raban was born in England and since 1990 has lived in Seattle. His honors include the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Heinemann Award of the Royal Society of Literature, the PEN/West Creative Nonfiction Award, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers' Award, and the Governor's Award of the State of Washington.

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