- Hardcover: 640 pages
- Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press (Sept. 13 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0802119824
- ISBN-13: 978-0802119827
- Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 4.4 x 23.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #304,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Woman Who Lost Her Soul Hardcover – Sep 13 2013
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THE WOMAN WHO LOST HER SOUL
A 2013 Best Book of the Year for:
O Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, The Oregonian
A Washington Post Notable Fiction Pick 2013
An Amazon Omnivoracious Celebrity Pick-John Irving's Favorite Reads of 2013
Engrossing... a soaring literary epic about the forces that have driven us to the 9/11 age... .Shacochis darts around the globe over the span of five decades like a sorcerer of world history: Locations shift, time swirls, characters reappear in new disguises with new names. He's always so relentlessly captivating that you don't dare fall behind."-Ron Charles, The Washington Post
"A love story, a thriller, a family saga, a historical novel, and a political analysis of America's tragic misadventures abroad. The novel yokes the narrative drive of the best Graham Greene and le Carre to the rhetorical force and moral rigor of Faulkner... With a vision at once bitingly realistic and sweepingly romantic, Bob Shacochis has written what may well be the last Great American Novel. What other American writer has put as much heart into his creations, as much drive, as much history?"-Askold Melnyczuk, Los Angeles Review of Books
"This novel amounts to a prequel of sorts to the war on terror, an epic examination of American foreign policy and loss of innocence, a worthy successor to the darkest works of Graham Greene and John le Carre... Elegiac... is a searching and searing meditation on the questions someone might ask a century from now: Who were these Americans? How should history judge them? And us?"-Jane Ciabattari, Boston Globe
"Shacochis has written one of the most morally serious and intellectually substantive novels about the world of intelligence since Norman Mailer's Harlot's Ghost .'-Tom Bissell, Harper's
"This big beauty of a book was worth the wait. It's tinglingly ambitious, vast in scope, and magnificently written. I could unerringly pick a Bob Shacochis sentence out of a police line-up of sentences, which is just about the highest praise I can offer to any writer."-Michael Cunningham
"Now, just as Graham Greene and John le Carre penned the essential novels of the Cold War, so has writer and journalist Bob Shacochis given us a new masterpiece, every bit their equal, that will surely stand as the definitive political thriller of those fragile years of relative peace before Sept. 11, 2001... priceless prose and unforgettable characters. Shacochis' knack for the pitch-perfect observation extends far beyond the 'splashy colors' of Haiti... .Once again, Shacochis proves that hedoes take our recent history seriously, and his engaging, challenging and thoroughly satisfying new novel does, too. There may be no final drafts of history, but this one will be read and reread for many years to come."-Dan Zigmond, San Francisco Chronicle
"Heartbreaking and riveting... a sweeping, expansive book grounded by details such as epic potholes in Haiti's roads and crowded ferry decks in Turkey. Without veering into conspiracy theories or melodrama, Shacochis builds for both his readers and his characters a sense that something important is being overlooked amid competing agendas... an elegant reminder that connections are made one by one - but not everyone is playing the same game."-Jennifer Kay, The Seattle Times
"[A] masterful and sumptuous novel... deliriously dense... No one moves as forcefully through that terrain as Shacochis. He writes tenderly about terrible things. He unearths humanity when the reader most needs to lean against it... This is a memorable book by a great writer."-Steve Duin, The Oregonian
"A compelling and thought-provoking novel... it plays a deep game, and it will haunt your dreams... [Shacochis] controls a hugely complex plot with great skill and writes set pieces with gripping effect... Line for line, his writing is stunning.'-Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times
"Shacochis could make anyone fall in love with history. With this magnum opus, he's earned his own little piece of it."- Entertainment Weekly (A)
" The Woman Who Lost Her Soul cannot be put down... it never loses its way or its ability to drag you along with it... a wild, deadly ride. You won't want to let go."-Glenn Garvin, Miami Herald
"A big book in every sense of the word... Shacochis is a master at the top of his game... In this novel, he gives us real, raw-edged characters and a narrative that grips the reader from the get-go. And he does it with such gleaming word-craft and such a sure hand that the reader's utter engagement never falters. The book is a murder-mystery, a tale of political intrigue, a love story and a fraught father-daughter psychological saga. It was 10 years in the writing and it is a masterpiece... a brilliant, beautiful page-turner ... luminous writing unfurls across every blood-spattered, sweat-speckled, dust-caked page and makes 'The Woman Who Lost Her Soul' a riveting, heartbreaking and ravishing read. It's a novel of uncommon grace and grit that lodges like shrapnel in the psyche and works its way surely to the reader's heart, without ever losing sight of those 'terrible intimacies.'"- Tallahassee Democrat
" The Woman Who Lost Her Soul, was a long time coming, but critics are saying it was well worth the wait."-NPR
'No one in American literature is better at casting his imagination into the deepest currents of American culture and politics than Bob Shacochis. The long, ardent, admiring wait for his next novel has been worth every moment: The Woman Who Lost Her Soul is his masterpiece.'-Robert Olen Butler
'Bob Shacochis is the man for all syntheses, confabulating decades of time and volumetric immensities of geography into pitched and vivid dramatic narrative. Long in the making, but longer in the lasting, The Woman Who Lost Her Soul is unafraid of its ambitions. Shacochis is, in Glengarry-speak, a 'closer.'' -Sven Birkerts
'The Woman Who Lost Her Soul will grab you from the first sentence and keep you gasping and laughing and weeping until the end. A murder mystery, a spy thriller and a Daddy and daughter story, it is a thrilling gripping lesson in the dynamics that have swept through our world in the 21st century. Shacochis writes like an angel, and in this novel of culture, betrayal and love he has found a perfect subject.' -Susan Cheever
"A masterful novel with the power to shake the bones of Graham Greene."-Bruce Barcott, Outside Magazine
'Brilliantly unveils the darker regions of human sexality, evoked inside a historical build-up of international political deceit.'-Jeffrey Hillard, Interview Magazine
"Shacochis raises morally tough questions within a significant political/historical frame, and his language is luscious."- Library Journal (fall preview)
'Shacochis thinks big, and his new novel (his first in two decades) is truly magisterial... immensely readable, this eye-opener (which could have been titled "Why We Are in the Middle East") is essential reading.' - Library Journal (Starred Review)
"National Book Award-winning novelist Shacochis makes a long-awaited-indeed, much-anticipated-return to fiction with this stunning novel of love, innocence and honor lost... The wait was worth it... Shacochis has delivered a work that belongs alongside Joseph Conrad and Graham Greene... [ The Woman Who Lost Her Soul ] moves like a fast-flowing river, and it is memorably, smartly written... An often depressing, cautionary and thoroughly excellent tale of the excesses of empire, ambition and the too easily fragmented human soul."- Kirkus (Starred Review)
"A beautifully written, Norman Mailerlike treatise on international politics, secret wars, espionage, and terrorism... A brilliant book, likely to win prizes, with echoes of Joseph Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene, and John le Carre."- Booklist (Starred Review)
"In Shacochis's powerful novel of sex, lies, and American foreign policy, 1990s
Haiti, Nazi-occupied Croatia, and Cold Warera Istanbul are shown as places where people are pulled into a vortex of personal and political destruction... A brutal American-style le Carre, Shacochis details how espionage not only reflects a nation's character but can also endanger its soul. Gritty characters find themselves in grueling situations against a moral and physical landscape depicted in rich language as war-torn, resilient, angry, evil, and hopeful."
- Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review)
About the Author
Bob Shacochis's first collection of stories, asy in the Islands, won the National Book Award for First Fiction, and his second collection, The Next New World, was awarded the Prix de Rome from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is also the author of the novel Swimming in the Volcano, a finalist for the National Book Award, and The Immaculate Invasion, a work of literary reportage that was a finalist for The New Yorker Book Award for Best Nonfiction of the Year. Shacochis is a contributing editor at Outside, a former columnist for Gentleman's Quarterly, and has served as a contributing editor for Harper's and GQ . His op-eds on the US military, Haiti, and Florida politics have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal .
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This book is haunting, dark, and compelling with just enough touches of poignant sensitivity and sensualitiy to leave the reader with a bit of hope. The author's use of language is supreme.
The woman known as Dorothy Kovacevic, Renee Gardner, Dorothy Chambers and finally known asJackie Scott. It seems she was a daughter of a Balkan battlefield survivor in World War II, who's become an American spy chief. She's a beautiful woman, full of intelligence and strength. She was involved now and again with the spy world. The story starts at the end of her life in Haiti in the late 1990s.
We meet her during many aspects if her life., married to a criminal who works for American intelligence. We go back to the Balkans and her father's childhood. And then move to Istanbul, where she is involved in a plot that dirties her and her family. The layers upon layers of the life of this one woman becomes unraveled.
What we have here is this woman involved with the men in this story. The men involved with Intelligence, and the reality of their world is frightening, indeed. This one woman and the investigation into her life, exposes the intelligence world, and an unseemly and frightening world that is. Exquisite writing, but much too long. Have patience.
Recommended. prisrob 10_03-13
As a previous reviewer has already said, I didn't see this one coming. I would suggest that this is Mr. Shacochis' masterwork. As a reader, you are pulled from Haiti to East Europe to Turkey and beyond until the full picture of a complex and dark life finally fits together. The prose are not pretentious but Mr. Shacochis gives full and free rein to his considerable descriptive abilities. I find it always takes me awhile to get used to his characters speech being delivered as part of the narrative as opposed the standard quoted style but this is integral part of the style and gets easier as one goes along. This is not an accelerated pulp thriller but it is a page turner nonetheless. Not for everyone, I am sure but highly recommended.