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Darlington's Fall by Brad Leithauser
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Darlington's Fall

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Darlington's Fall by Brad Leithauser
Nov 21, 2012 | ISBN 9780307824516

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  • Nov 21, 2012 | ISBN 9780307824516

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"An amazing merger of art and science, verse and narrative. Leithauser has invented a stanza as accommodating and mobile as prose, which yet rewards us, if we listen, with the music of rhyme. Prose could not have provided a narrative so richly embroidered, so darting and animated in its impulses and inspirations, so glitteringly exact in its evocations of nature. Not since Nabokov has the miracle of consciousness been celebrated with such erudite passion, such lofty wit."
–John Updike

“Darlington’s Fall
[should be recognized] for its daring and achievement, its range of language and imagery, its moments of gliding beauty, and the gift for storytelling that unfolds in it.”
–W. S. Merwin, New York Review of Books

“A tour de force…Poetic art helps Leithauser to meet what is perhaps the greatest challenge confronting a novelist whose character lives as much in the mind as in the world. The ancient resources of verse lend glamour and solidity to what might have been a prosaic description of the joy of discovery.”
–Michael Lind, The Washington Post Book World

“Darlington’s Fall
by Brad Leithauser is one of the best novels I have read in years–rich in characterization, compelling in the shape and drive of its story, intellectually and verbally diverse.” –David Mason, The Hudson Review

“Leithauser has allowed himself to fall under the spell of the story of a [late-Victorian] Midwestern naturalist who dreams great dreams. The result is charming and quite wonderful.” –Jonathan Levi, L.A. Times Book Review

“A poetic narrative so silky and enchanting that its formal complexities–unobtrusive use of rhyme, lovely musicality–flow just below the radar of consciousness, leaving behind a mental caress.” –Donna Seaman, Booklist

“Witty and elegant . . . lucid and rhythmically deft.”
–David Yezzi, Wall Street Journal

“Leithauser probably could have written a textbook, too, with all the butterfly research he apparently did. But he wears his learning lightly . . . The irregularly rhymed stanza he uses here is strict enough to strain out unnecessary detail but flexible enough to accommodate grand descriptive flourishes . . . Darlington’s Fall is not just coherent, but tight.”
–Eric McHenry, New York Times Book Review

“Leithauser has happily resolved the problem of making a unity between verse and fiction. The book is definitely a page-turner; the author’s artful plotting holds the reader’s curiosity. The period details are wonderfully convincing..”
–Phoebe Pettingell, The New Leader

“All the charm and complexity of an Ozark Swallowtail. . .There’s nothing Leithauser can’t catch in this net of verse.” –Ron Charles, Christian Science Monitor

“Leithauser reveals astonishing inventiveness and flexibility . . . Darlington’s Fall is extremely clever, yet its adroitness is more than matched by the risks of its narrative leaps and by its passion and humanity.” –Frederic Koeppel, The Memphis Commercial Appeal

“Essentially a love story, Darlington’s Fall is also a fascinating meditation on chance, natural selection, the nature of science and art, the evolution of species–and the human individual.” –Nature Conservancy

“It’s always fun to greet a book that’s fresh and original . . . The rhyming strategy reflects wit and good sense . . . and the slow, heaving, eonslong drama of geological time known as evolution creates a force field that keeps booming in our psyches long after we close Darlington’s Fall. If that isn’t a bookshopper’s bargain, what is?”
–Peter Wolfe, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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