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Glass Soup Hardcover – Sep 15 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (Sept. 15 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765311798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765311795
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 15 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 449 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,049,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Schmadrian TOP 500 REVIEWER on Oct. 27 2009
Format: Paperback
Anyone who's read my reviews before knows that I relish an author being able to...well...effectively play God. Of course, anyone who writes a novel 'plays God', but many do it without conviction, or alacrity, or effectiveness. So when a writer tells a story with panache, I'm like a giddy child.

That's the state I was anticipating being in when I began reading 'Glass Soup'. But over the course of its 300+ pages, this faded. As did my hope of a great experience.

There's a ton missing in this book.

And it seems to have been off-kilter by about seventeen and a half degrees.


And Mr. Carroll doesn't deliver what to these eyes, to this expectant reader, should have been delivered.

In many respects, 'Glass Soup' turns out to be a 'shaggy dog tale'. Which, considering its potential, and Mr. Carroll's abilities as a writer and a storyteller, is especially frustrating.

There is no 'payoff'. There is no great philosophical insight. And really, once you've gotten to the final page, there's not much of anything. Except disappointment.

And, as I don't feel the novel deserves any more energies lavished on it, lambasting or no, I'll say this: 'Glass Soup' reads like a bad translation. I'd be very curious to know if it turned out as he'd hoped...or was it as disappointing a result to write as it was to read.

(Personal rating: 6/10)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 22 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Enthralling March 8 2006
By Henry W. Wagner - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Preparing for a recent interview with Carroll, I reread a pair of his earlier works to reacquaint myself with his unique storytelling style and the themes and motifs he returns to again and again. Sampling The Land of Laughs and Outside the Dog Museum again was pure pleasure--notable for their memorable lead characters, and for the nimble way Carroll depicts the intersection of the fantastic and the ordinary, both books demonstrate why Carroll is one of the most respected fantasists working today. Reading those books, however, did little to prepare me for the overall eloquence and bravado of Carroll's latest effort, Glass Soup.

Building on characters and situations established in his previous novel, 2004's estimable White Apples, Glass Soup tells the continuing story of lovers Vincent Ettrich and Isabelle Nuekor, a couple whose relationship can only be described as extraordinary--their love is so strong that Isabelle actually succeeded in rescuing Vincent from death. Because all actions have consequences, and extraordinary actions have extraordinary consequences, Isabelle's rescue of Vincent causes Chaos to actually achieve consciousness, an awareness he/it will lose if things are allowed to progress the way they have since the beginning of time. Seeking to shift the cosmic balance in his favor, Chaos works through various emissaries to lure the now pregnant Isabelle back to the land of the dead; it seems that if her baby is born there, Chaos will remain sentient. Before the novel's touching conclusion, Isabelle's dilemma will touch the lives of all those around her in surprising and sometimes lethal ways.

Along the way, Carroll waxes poetic about the nature of love, friendship, responsibility and the very fabric of reality. Even the pettiest of his characters manage to evoke sympathy, primarily because the villains of the piece are manipulating them in heinous ways. And those villains--Carroll knows heroes need formidable foes, which he provides in the malicious John Flannery and the smooth as silk Putnam. These two positively ooze evil as they try to force Vincent and Isabelle into increasingly untenable positions.

Charming and absolutely enthralling, Glass Soup displays the creativity, intelligence and wit for which Carroll has become famous. As it says on the front flap of the book's dust jacket, "For connoisseurs of imaginative fiction, the novels of Jonathan Carroll are a special treat that occupy a space of their own." Glass Soup is perhaps the best example of that phenomenon to date.
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By RON LAITY - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Once again Carrolls work causes bouts of discussion about exactly what the story is about and ' this doesn't work for me ..' and ' that is a bit ambiguous ..' or '...his finest piece of work since...' and '....I will never look at scrabble in the same way again ..' ...BUT ...people that is EXACTLY what a good book should do !!!!

You should be stimulated into talking about should make you angry, sad , happy, should laugh, you should cry !

If you have read it and it has provoked a reaction, be that positive or negative, then the story has worked ! It has made you think !

I have been reading Jonathan Carrolls' work from the first book published and no I didn't like every book he wrote, I am not a Carroll groupie, but I have READ every book he has wrote and each one causes a huge reaction within me and have loved him for it.

If I have to pull a favourite from the past then Bones of the Moon it would be for its exploration of life within death which is certainly the topic of Glass Soup and its predecessor White Apples. I for one and am happy that the author has returned to his weird imagery of yore ' a la Bones of the Moon and Child Across the Sky ' but that is merely a personal whim as many readers were ehthralled by the very subtle weridness of the likes of The Wooden Sea and Kissing the Beehive. As with all of his books his characters are brilliantly alive and reactive to the scenes he sets, they are consumate in their life be they human, bear or otherwise ! ......and he is an absolute master in teasing the readers sensiblities and dangling carrots of wonder in front of your eyes causing you to read on and finish the book. I often wonder what it would be like to actually listen to Carroll read from his own words and would have no doubt that he would have made a fine travelling storyteller in medieval times.

Is it fantasy ?....all fiction is fantasy so that question is not really one you should be asking...

Is it frightening ?....Is it this ? it that ?...

Why are you reading this review when you should be reading the book and finding out for yourself and eating his carrots !
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Carroll Novel March 6 2006
By James Rovira - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The important thing to remember when thinking about _White Apples_ and its follow up, _Glass Soup_, is that these are primarily love stories. The tensions between chaos and control, the willingness to love the current form of the universe while maintaining openness toward its eventual demise, are all analogs of romantic love: what preserves it, what kills it, what makes it grow. Carroll doesn't write genre fiction, but if he did, he is probably best understood as a magical -- or even supernatural -- realist. He maps our real lives, and our emotional lives, onto a fantastic landscape. His books are our hearts writ large. Only the imaginative can comprehend the insights provided by such imaginative work. If you're not used to this type of writing, try it...with an open mind.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
One of the best authors of all time June 16 2013
By A. Lee - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a fabulous book as are all of his. Once you read one you want to read them all. I just wish he'd write more and faster!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A worthy sequel to "White Apples" March 9 2013
By Stephan Laurent - Published on
Verified Purchase
This book should only be read after reading "White Apples", even if it seems to stand by itself; the foundation of the story is laid in the former: a deep love story develops (well-founded & developed) but the male protagonist gets taken away by a deathly illness, and it takes the combined strength of his dedicated lover Isabelle and her unborn son (who apparently has uncanny magical powers) to bring him back from the dead and ultimately defeat chaos. Strong writing, strong world-building (based on the writer's own experience living in Vienna), lovable characters, the duology deserves kudos.

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