The Golden Gate: A Novel in Verse

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Vintage Books, 1986 - Poetry - 307 pages
"Using the sonnet form throughout, and varying his language from lyrical elegance to timely vernacular, Seth's tale of four California Yuppies is as fully dimensional as a good novel, and twice as diverting. In this witty, compressed style, he gives us fully delineated characters: John, a Silicon Valley executive seeking solace in a meaningful amatory relationship; his friend and ex-lover Janet, an artist and musician in a raucous rock band; Liz, a vivacious Stanford law grad whose parents produce superior California wine; her brother Ed, floundering between sin and religion; and John's pal Phil, abandoned by his wife and left with his son, his moral vision and his scientific career at Lungless Labs, a scene of antinuclear protests and rallies. It is an engaging story of the pangs and passions of love, interlaced with serious ruminations on homosexuality and religion and on the future of the earth in the atomic age; and some comic sallies on feline behavior, bumper stickers, responses to "personals" ads, and other facets of the contemporary scene as refracted through the California lifestyle. The bard does not hesitate to interrupt his story from time to time, to explain a change in the course of events or to comment upon the structure of his narration, as he defends himself against critics who would accuse him of folly in writing an entire novel in the sonnet form. Inspired by "the marvelous swift meter of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin," Seth (From Heaven's Lake performs imaginative acrobatic jests, quips and puns, delivering his social commentary with spirit and verve."-- Publishers Weekly review.

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User Review  - SeriousGrace - LibraryThing

This is an early eighties story of a group of people living in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridget in San Francisco. John is a successful but lonely executive looking for some kind of love. His ex ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mstrust - LibraryThing

In 300 pages of iambic pentameter, this is the story of John, who is desperately lonely and calls up a former girlfriend, Jan, to help him figure out how he can find love. Jan jumps right in and ... Read full review

Contents

The worlds discussed while friends are eating
3
A cache of billetsdoux arrive
24
A concert generates a meeting
53
Copyright

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About the author (1986)

Vikram Seth's books include three poetry collections, a libretto, the travel memoir From Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet, and the novels The Golden Gate and A Suitable Boy. Born in Calcutta, Seth has lived in China, California, England, and India.

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