The last chairlift : a novel

by Irving, John, 1942-

Format: Print Book 2022
Availability: Available at 13 Libraries 13 of 50 copies
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Summary
John Irving, one of the world's greatest novelists, returns with his first novel in seven years--a ghost story, a love story, and a lifetime of sexual politics.

In Aspen, Colorado, in 1941, Rachel Brewster is a slalom skier at the National Downhill and Slalom Championships. Little Ray, as she is called, finishes nowhere near the podium, but she manages to get pregnant. Back home, in New England, Little Ray becomes a ski instructor.

Her son, Adam, grows up in a family that defies conventions and evades questions concerning the eventful past. Years later, looking for answers, Adam will go to Aspen. In the Hotel Jerome, where he was conceived, Adam will meet some ghosts; in The Last Chairlift , they aren't the first or the last ghosts he sees.

John Irving has written some of the most acclaimed books of our time--among them, The World According to Garp and The Cider House Rules. A visionary voice on the subject of sexual tolerance, Irving is a bard of alternative families. In The Last Chairlift , readers will once more be in his thrall.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Irving's majestic latest, his first since Avenue of Mysteries (2015), is a multigenerational portrait as colorful and varied as it is complex and quirky as it echoes and pays homage to the author's own rich literary history. Adam Brewster was born out of wedlock to his spirited and rebellious mother, Rachel, called LIttle Ray. Named after the rescue ship in Moby-Dick (one of many references to Irving's favorite novel), she is a diminutive ski instructor who refuses to divulge the name of Adam's father. Young Adam sees ghosts, but it is this parental void that truly haunts him. When Adam befriends Elliott Barlow, the new English teacher at Exeter, a snow-shoer of even smaller stature than Little Ray, Adam immediately recognizes the father figure he so desperately needs. Irving infuses the narrative with countless comedic set pieces, some farcical, others wistfully tender. The emotionally resonant result is sweepingly cinematic, reminding the reader that Irving has a screenwriting Oscar. Autobiographical snippets and splashes of brilliance buttress the themes of death and aging, memory and identity, in an elegiac testimony to the many facets of familial love.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Irving's stardom will magnetize fans and all readers seeking a big, immersive novel."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "This overblown and underplotted behemoth of a novel from Irving (The World According to Garp) follows the idiosyncratic journey to adulthood of Adam, an illegitimate child born and raised in New England who becomes a writer. The search for Adam's father's identity provides a thriller element, but it never generates much narrative momentum. Dickensian in scope, the book includes multiple story lines, notably the complex love life of Adam's lesbian mother, Little Ray, a ski instructor who marries a man who will identify as a woman. Nora, an outspoken lesbian cousin who's a victim of sexual violence, also plays a significant role. Along the way, Irving chronicles American society from the 1950s to roughly the present, focused on feminism and sexual intolerance. His enormous imagination, his storytelling gifts, and his intelligence are all on display, but this feels more like a coda to his career, if one with a still-resonant theme about family and the maternal relationship: "We're alone in the way we love our mothers, or in the way we don't." Irving's fans may love this, but it's not the place to start for anyone new to his work. Agents: Dean Cooke, Cooke McDermid, and Janet Turnbull, Turnbull Agency. (Oct.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Authors -- Fiction.
Family secrets -- Fiction.
Mothers and sons -- Fiction.
Fathers and sons -- Fiction.
Spirits -- Fiction.
Exeter (N.H.) -- Fiction.
Aspen (Colo.) -- Fiction.
Domestic fiction.
Publisher New York :Simon & Schuster,2022
Edition First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Language English
Description 891 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN 9781501189272
1501189271
Other Classic View