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The Courage Consort: Three Novellas Hardcover – Bargain Price, Jan 1 2004

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, Jan 1 2004
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt; 1st edition (Jan. 1 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0151010617
  • ASIN: B000FUO0N8
  • Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 14.1 x 2.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
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Product description

From Publishers Weekly

The loss of innocence, the urgency of sexual need and the persistence of inner demons unite these three fine novellas, further evidence of the wide-ranging imagination, ironic humor and incisive characterization Faber displayed in The Crimson Petal and the White. Siân, in "The 199 Steps," is working on an archeological dig in England when she encounters Mack, a gorgeous fitness buff. As Siân and Mack try to decipher the clues to a 1788 murder, Siân's dreams of a handsome man slitting her throat grow in intensity, paralleling the grisly facts she brings to light. The denouement is surprising—and satisfying—for what does not happen. In "The Fahrenheit Twins," Tainto'lilith and Marko'cain are pre-adolescent twin brother and sister living in the Arctic tundra with their eccentric parents, both anthropological researchers. When their mother dies, their father encourages them to voyage alone into the wilderness with her body tied to a sled. Catherine Courage, of the title story, is the soprano member of an avant-garde musical ensemble that has gathered in a Belgian chateau to rehearse a fiendishly difficult piece. Suffering through a July heat wave, Catherine is driven to desperation by an eerie cry she hears in the night. A tragedy, however, provides the reality shock she needs. While this is a slighter effort than Faber's previous work, readers will again be immersed in the intense worlds he creates.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Faber's knack for disquieting atmospherics, a la his brilliant first novel, Under the Skin (2000), distinguishes these three novellas but doesn't prevent them from ending rather happily. They are stories of healing in the au courant sense of regaining emotional equilibrium. In "The Courage Consort," the soprano of a vocal quintet her husband directs progresses from suicidal anxiety to relative equanimity as the group rehearses a difficult new piece that sudden death prevents them from premiering. In "The Hundred Ninety-Nine Steps," a woman resolves her trauma over losing a leg and her lover because of a senseless accident; by means romantic and eerie, a handsome young doctor, his late father's dog, and a manuscript in a bottle are the catalysts of her transformation. In the entrancing "The Fahrenheit Twins"--perhaps a coming-of-age parable--brother and sister Marko'cain and Tainto'lilith, born and reared in arctic isolation, quest far from home for a signal from the universe telling them what to do with their mother's corpse. Faber's literary artistry in all three pieces is consummate. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most helpful customer reviews on 3.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews
2.0 out of 5 starsif there had actually been a point the character sketches would have been a great foundation, but it floundered and simply made
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4.0 out of 5 starsBetter than I expected!
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3.0 out of 5 starsFaber's stories: never what you'd expect!
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