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by George Hagen
Download The Laments fb2
  • Author:
    George Hagen
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  • Publisher:
    Hodder & Stoughton; paperback / softback edition (May 2005)
  • Pages:
    384 pages
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    1199 kb
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And Will is the wa Meet the Laments-the affably dysfunctional globetrotting family at the center of George Hagen’s exuberant debut novel

Meet the Laments-the affably dysfunctional globetrotting family at the. And Will is the wa Meet the Laments-the affably dysfunctional globetrotting family at the center of George Hagen’s exuberant debut novel. Howard is an engineer who dreams of irrigating the Sahara and lives by the motto Laments move! His wife Julia is a fiery spirit who must balance her husband’s oddly peripatetic nature with unexpected aspirations of her own.

When the Laments arrive in America, they are directed by several characters to make friends with the Himmels, who are German immigrants. How does the Himmel family's integration into American culture compare to the Laments? Roy Biddle remarks to Will that "everyone is a racist. How is racism depicted in the different cultures the Laments encounter? Is Will a racist? Why, or why not? Is that important to the novel? The Laments place tremendous faith in what the future will bring.

Meet the Laments-the affably dysfunctional globetrotting family at the center of George Hagen’s exuberant debut novel. Howard is an engineer and dreamer, who studies the conveyance of liquids through valves.

George Hagen is the author of two novels for adults. The Laments-a Washington Post bestseller and recipient of the William Saroyan International Prize for writing-has been compared to the work of John Irving and Ann Tyler and described by Publishers Weekly as a funny, touching. The Laments-a Washington Post bestseller and recipient of the William Saroyan International Prize for writing-has been compared to the work of John Irving and Ann Tyler and described by Publishers Weekly as a funny, touchin. ore about George Hagen.

screamed the ruffian in the playground on Will’s first day at Avon Heath School. Will had never been called a mate before, so he said nothing. the greeting again with a fiercely hot and foul breath. Oy, mate, where’d you come from, then?. When the boy heard this, his feral features dropped with surprise, and a singular paradox struck him. Africa? Why aren’t you black?. Because I’m not, Will replied. The ruffian switched to a freckled squint

This exciting, emotionally rich middle grade fantasy continues the adventures of Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle-which has been compared to Harry Potter, The Mysterious Benedict Society, and Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials. Gabriel Finley is longing to find his mother, who vanished without a trace when he was just a baby.

The laments : a novel. by. Hagen, George, 1958-. Secretly switched at birth and then adopted into the Laments family, Will journeys through three continents with his parents and fractious twin brothers while struggling with multiple relationships and a faltering sense of identity. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Uploaded by Andy Wilcoxon on December 9, 2010.

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The Laments - George Hagen. In the case of The Laments by George Hagen, the book had been tucked away for years when I inadvertantly bought a second copy of it at a used bookstore this summer. Yes, I do that sometimes. On the plus side, I consider it confirmation that the book definitely appeals to me (twice). And I've made it a practice to consider it a nudge from the universe to actually get on it and read the book already.

1st trade edition paperback, fine In stock shipped from our UK warehouse

There were times when I was so utterly charmed by this novel, I was grinning. Times when I was reading on the bus and guffawed. It was proving to be a wonderful read...and then (if I really took a good look, I could pinpoint where, but I know it was within the final thirty percent of the book) he lost his way. Or I should say, his editor lost his/her way, let the material get away from Mr Hagen, and as a result, 'The Laments' does not fulfill the incredible potential it had generated up to that point.

What I found most intriguing was that where the novel 'fades' was where Hagen was -to me, at least- attempting to turn things very John Irvingish. And I have to admit that as much as I didn't want to have happen what happened plot-wise for my own sensibilities, I also didn't want the novel to change its tone...and I didn't want him to attempt something that was at variance with the previous 250 or so pages. Because up to that point, the writing had been...well, if I can wax culinary for a the most delightful sorbet. And with this change in direction (not just in content and style, but intent), suddenly it was a more 'substantial' food, but one with a bitter aftertaste.

I don't know if it had been his goal to reach for something beyond what he had managed up to this point. But for me, he wasn't successful. Which made the conclusion all the more unsatisfying.

I applaud his efforts. Perhaps with a better editor, his next novel will attain more of what he's capable of...which, from this writer's point of view, is a lot.
This is a totally engaging novel that will ring true to many people: the Laments are family members, seemingly going in many different directions, even if, as in this case, they end up in the same place... Funny and very sad, this engrossing read takes no energy to get through, with its brief chapters and fleet delivery, but it makes quite an impact. George Hagen is an acute observer of family life and I hope he has more gentle humour to impart.
The cinematic quality of "The Laments" works well in this novel of a family that moves to and from Rhodesia, Bahrain, England and the U.S. before the eldest child is old enough to leave home. Howard Lament, the Dad, believes that travel is in his genes -- a 50's paterfamilias, his need to seek out new horizons dominates his family's life. Howard is at the center of the action throughout the novel, but I found myself going back again and again to the more peripheral story of Howard's wife, the mother of three who follows her husband wherever he pleases, first as a folie a deux and later, it seems, because she comes to believe that loyalty will compensate for rootlessness and despair.
This is by far one of the best books I have read, ever. Funny, sad, shocking. George Hagen has captured it all. Don't miss his second book, "Tom Bedlam". Another outstanding read. I just hope Hollywood doesn't get their hands on either one!
I have tossed this book about in my head since finishing it last night and wasn't sure what I'd write for a "review" - if anything, as an author, I understand the power of the review by readers - we want to be loved by all and that's impossible.

It was as if at turns I loved the book and then at turns I cooled to it. But, one consistent thing is the writing- his unique writing and use of phrase and manipulation of the language kept me reading when the plot sometimes took a turn that with a book not as well written or with less interesting characters I may have closed the novel and put it away--there was no way I'd put this book away.

Somewhere about mid-way, I began to really get into this book - was more engaged I should say - as if in the beginning I was removed from the story and then something happened to pull me into the story as a part of it- I think as Will became older and there was more in his Point of View (although one of my pet peeves is switching POV's within a paragraph/chapter/section and the author did this often) I was more engaged, since I really liked Will. But, as I neared the end, what happens with the twins just didn't make sense to me - and especially since Marcus had become, for me, a sympathetic and interesting character. I found at the end of the book, when I closed the cover and put it down, I was glad I read it, but also that the book could have been so much better than it was --but isn't that the case with many of our novels? Maybe especially debut novels? Still, I wish the first part of the book was better controlled and the last part of the book would have ended differently - as someone pointed out, the gratuitous nature of the "tragedy" at the end, and some happenings that were placed there just for convenience of moving the plot, didn't do this wonderful writer justice...or the characters and the novel justice. I wondered at some "loose ends" as well - perhaps there was just too much going on to sustain and tie up (no one has to tie up into pretty bows every little thing, but there must FEEL as if there is a conclusion to things).

I do understand that this book was supposed to be "humorous" and perhaps "ironic" - but still...there should still be credibility to keep the reader in the story and not focused on how humorous or ironic the author is being.

I would pick up another book by this author, and I'm glad I read this book, so that says a lot about how interesting this family is and how interesting the characters are, and how much I loved the author's writing. Despite any "problems" this is a fine debut novel written by someone I would imagine is a very interesting man.
This book will immediately hook you if you ever had to live in another country. Although in the Laments case, it's not exactly clear which is their "own" country.
The book is written extremely well. You feel a real connection to all the characters, even the ones that don't play a major part. There are so many subtleties and sometimes a small gesture or one sentence may be more powerful than a 1000 words.
I would not want to spoil for you, but I'll just say that this book is not always happy and optimistic so you will not always have a smile on your face and cheerful feeling when reading it. However it is definitely not the kind of book that made feel bad about life. I have finished this book a few days ago and am already in the middle of my next book, but I still think about this book every once in a while as if it was a true story.
This is definitely on my favorite books of all time list (I'm not saying it's a short list, but it's a very prestigious one :) )
I will recommend this book to any person who loves reading, and especially to people who ever experienced living outside their home country.