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Glass Soup by Jonathan Carroll
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I mentioned in my previous review that I have spent the last month of year reading three novels by Jonathan Carroll. Glass Soup is the second of the Carroll novels and I will be posting a review on The Wooden Sea by the end of the year. These Carroll novels have given me a new perspective towards the fantasy genre and how far the boundaries can be extended outside of the Tolkien/Lewis/Jordan/Sanderson type of traditional fantasy.

Glass Soup is the sequel to White Apples and continues the story of the philanderer, Vincent Ettrich and his true love, Isabelle Neukor. Both of them have crossed over from life to death and back to life again. Isabelle is carrying their special child, who can restore the balance between life and death. However, the agents of chaos are determined to keep Isabelle and the child in a place where that result can not happen.

Carroll gives a philosophical and surreal perspective on love, life, death, and the afterlife that kept this reader interested throughout the novel. I will admit I thought the plot in White Apples was better executed than in Glass Soup. However, I still felt that Glass Soup was rewarding to read and a novel that deserves my recommendation. You can read Glass Soup as a standalone novel, but I would suggest that you read White Apples to get the full perspective of this duology. ( )
  kammbiamh | Mar 25, 2018 |
This book is a sequel to “White Apples”, which I did not know before I started reading. Apparently it doesn’t much matter; the gist of it is that Vincent and Isabelle fell in love, Vincent died, and Isabell did the whole Orpheus thing and went to the land of the dead and brought him back to life. “Glass Soup” takes place very shortly after that. Isabelle is pregnant, and her child is a very important one: the fate of the universe hinges on whether he is born in the land of the living or of the dead. This novel is Order fighting against Chaos, with Isabelle’s child representing Order.

The story actually starts when Simon Haden wakes up into a world where he is a tour guide (it takes place in Vienna). The bus is driven by an octopus; one passenger is made of butter; another is a really bored bag of caramels. A 6” tall man named Broximon hangs out with him. It turns out that AC/DC was right: there is literally a multilane highway to Hell. Simon, as he finally figures out, is dead. The afterlife is made of every single dream and nightmare a person has had in their life. Ugh.

The plot has various beings- one of them a shape-shifting, womanizing, serial killer- trying to get Isabelle on one side of life or death or the other. I really liked it, and I’m not even sure why. I disliked pretty much all the characters. But overall the book as fascinating. It’s a love story, and a story of friendships, despite God being a polar bear. Four stars out of five. ( )
  lauriebrown54 | Oct 2, 2017 |
Carroll writes beautiful prose. Reading this book, I was actually compelled to stop, call my friends one by one, and read to them from the book; it was that splendid. I've never done that before.
  davebessom | Apr 5, 2013 |
Makes me wish I remembered more of what happened in White Apples, but enough is recapped that I can get by. While this is technically a sequel, I think one could probably read this without having read the other and still have it make sense. Well, as much sense as Jonathan Carroll ever does. ( )
  librarybrandy | Mar 29, 2013 |
I enjoyed the magical realism in this book. I especially liked how Vincent, Isabelle, Simon and Leni learned to face their fears and how to defeat Chaos's plans. ( )
  krin5292 | May 25, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765311801, Paperback)

For connoisseurs of imaginative fiction, the novels of Jonathan Carroll are a special treat that occupy a space all their own. His surreal fictions, which deftly mix the everyday with the extraordinary, have won him a devoted following. Now, in Glass Soup, Carroll continues to astound . . . .
The realm of the dead is built from the dreams--and nightmares--of the living. Octopuses drive buses. God is a polar bear. And a crowded highway literally leads to hell.
Once before, Vincent Ettrich and his lover, Isabelle Neukor, crossed over from life to death and back again. Now Isabelle bears a very special child, who may someday restore the ever-changing mosaic that is reality. Unless the agents of Chaos can lure her back to the land of the dead--and trap her there forever.
Glass Soup is another exquisite and singular creation from the author January magazine described as "incapable of writing a bad book much less an uninteresting one."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:25 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A group of 30-something Americans living in Vienna, find themselves caught in the middle of a battle between God (a giant polar bear named Bob, or possibly a mosaic) and Chaos. The McGuffin is Anjo, the unborn baby of Isabelle Neukor. In a reverse Orpheus, Isabelle has already crossed the border between life and death to retrieve the deceased Vincent Ettrich, Anjo's father. As the contest for Isabelle's child heats up, more and more characters--some good, some evil, but most indifferent--are drawn into the fray, while the world, both real and unreal, living and dead, constantly blends, shifts and changes dimension.… (more)

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