Sleeping in Flame Paperback – Jul 14 1990
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From Publishers Weekly
In this "farfetched" story of reincarnation among the beautiful people, an actor stumbles upon traces of his previous lives. "In what begins as a highly literate parapsychological puzzler, Carroll shifts gears into fantasy and fairy tale, with results that may not be wholly satisfactory to fans of any one genre," commented PW.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“Jonathan Carroll has the magic. He'll lend you his eyes; and you will never see the world in quite the same way ever again.” ―Neil Gaiman
“Jonathan Carroll is a master of sunlit surrealism.” ―Jonathan Lethem--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Then, suddenly, it ended. And the ending was no thrill--the complex story the author was weaving around the tale of Rumplestiltskin suddenly fell apart into a barely tenable, uncompelling solution. And then, to make matters worse, came the incomprehensible section in which, as best I can figure out, Little Red Riding Hood makes a threatening first appearance. Don't worry--I haven't spoiled the book itself for you, because this section has almost nothing to do with the rest of the book.
I was very disappointed--I'd rather simply read a bad book, than read a book that is astonishingly good, right up until the bad ending. If you ask me, Carroll's editor isn't doing his or her job. However, I'll be on the lookout for books of Carroll's that are more complete, because his style is, at its best, genuinely fantastic.
Don't think you've got the tone of this novel figured out; the author's about to pull the rug out from under you. But you'll willingly suspend belief and go along for the magic carpet ride, I betcha.
Most of his novels revolve a particular set of folkswhose orbits are somehow tied together. If you like this book I'd suggest Bones of the Moon and Outside the Dog Museum (if you can find them.) Just beware, his books are addicting!
Carroll is a true craftsman of his art.
The story gradually unfolds to reveal the core issues we all cringe from: fate and love. The main character gradually comes to terms with his own rather interesting history while trying to keep his magical relationship with his newly-discovered love. Along the way he encounters a very interesting range of characters from Hollywood movie moguls to a Jewish shaman who lives in the suburbs.
Then there is the setting: that magical city of Vienna. Carroll has a lot of fun with his American-in-Europe character and there are some very humourous segments included in the tale. Overall Murakami has done a slightly better job from a stylistic viewpoint but I can't deny that Carrol's book was a lot of fun.
With no strain to the reader's sensibilites, Carroll easily moves his story along like a cameraman flashing in and out of reality and dream sequences. Its one fault, perhaps is Walker's eventual reckoning with his past and confrontation with the father figure---the simplicity of the solution seemed a little convenient. In its defense however, it works with the overall theme and mood of the piece. Although the reader figures out ahead of time most of what Walker will finally confirm for himself as his powers of perception and magic strengthen, the strength of the book lies in the charmingly jumpy way Carroll tells his story and the utter insouciance of both his main characters.
All in all this was a very pleasant read that I looked forward to picking up and was reluctant to put down.
Most recent customer reviews
In Carroll's masterpiece, Sleeping in Flame, what begins as a brooding,witty and bittersweet novel--think Paul Auster or Haruki Murakami--about a film actor and his desire for the... Read morePublished on Oct. 9 2002
If you are looking for a reading experience like none that you have had before Jonathan Carroll's "Sleeping In Flame" might just be the book for you. Read morePublished on Sept. 4 2001 by edzaf
_Sleeping in Flame_ is a mystic journey, both for the characters seeking to find themselves and for the audience--who, after a few hundred pages, no longer know exactly what to... Read morePublished on Aug. 16 2001 by Roger T. Whitson
For anyone who knows who David Lynch is (the guy who did Twin Peaks and Wild Thing)I'm telling you this book is like reading one of his movies! Read morePublished on July 18 2001 by Deanya D. Batista
This book has two halves, the simplistic second ruining the interesting first.
The first half was complex, with good characters and a number of intriguing potential... Read more
I've only read two books by Jonathan Carroll so far, this one and The Voice of Our Shadow. This is my favorite of the two, mainly because Voice of Our Shadow is closer to being a... Read morePublished on Jan. 31 2001 by Earl P. Dean