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Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon
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Await Your Reply

by Dan Chaon

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,3941438,224 (3.77)126
  1. 10
    You Remind Me of Me by Dan Chaon (LynnB)
  2. 10
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (infiniteletters)
  3. 00
    The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel (baystateRA)
    baystateRA: Similar tone of underlying tension in tangentially connected stories. Both excellent!
  4. 00
    Travel Writing by Peter Ferry (jilld17)
  5. 00
    The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier (meganharris)
    meganharris: Shares similarities in alternating story line with Await Your Reply.
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» See also 126 mentions

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Excerpts from my original GR review (Jan 2011):
- It's hard to know how to describe this book. A literary thriller? An adventurous examination of the shifting, amorphous world of identity in today's world? Whatever the case, ..Chaon sculpted a very intricate, carefully formed tale. But here's what the author had to say in response to the publisher's question, "How did you come up with the concept of "Await Your Reply"?: 'I actually didn't start out with a concept. Usually, I start out with an image or a scene."
- His ability to take these disparate images and create a cohesive novel out of them is impressive. However, the very randomness of these images makes it very hard to assemble them into a convincing mass. He spends the entire book relating to us the mysterious meanderings of three distinct characters, all either hitched to, or seeking, an eccentric or disturbed man, all of whom are unmoored. Parts of all three streams are interesting, and the mysterious personage at the center of each stream piques the curiosity. But the persons whose lives we are supposed to engage in, those whose broken pasts are told through memory, simply don't engender any feelings from my viewpoint.
- In the end, for me, I wasn't completely taken by the storylines themselves, so that, even applauding the ultimate cleverness in melding...an innovative resolution, I was left a bit less than satisfied. ( )
  ThoughtPolice | Jul 30, 2018 |
This was the first audiobook I actually listened to in the car, on a long car drive, and I don't expect it will be the last. It was fantastic!! From the 1st chapter I was hooked ... and I was completely blown away at the end. I had NO idea!! It was so good :-) So so good!!

Adrianne ( )
  Adrianne_p | May 30, 2017 |
Book Club Pick for June 25th at Melinda's. ( )
  kbosso | May 2, 2017 |
Dan Chaon's 'Await Your Reply' is a book that's so good, so intricately plotted, yet so hard to describe.... 3 stories are interwoven, bouncing back and forth in time, addressing topics like identity, family, time, survival, death- an almost endless number of themes. The overarching feel to me was almost claustrophobic, with a layer of doom hanging over the top of it all. Some people are who they seem to be, others don't want to be who they are, and several just bring the concept of identity to a very fluid state. It'd be very easy to play spoiler here, so I'll resist going any further into the plot.

Await Your Reply is my 2nd Chaon novel and I am totally enjoying his writing technique and stories. The novels don't seem to proceed in a linear fashion, yet they fit together seamlessly in the end. I try to picture how a writer could approach the task of pulling together multiple stories that bounce around independently on a timeline and can only imagine the difficulty.

I've seen a few negative reviews that have considered this book 'boring', and all I can say is that it's one you have to concentrate on simply to keep characters and time straight and, if you do, you'll be rewarded in the end. This, as was his latest novel 'Ill Will', is a downer of a read but very rewarding if you like a mystery with a lot of layers that'll challenge you along the way. ( )
  gmmartz | Apr 2, 2017 |
Took to long to get to the point, like the writing style ( )
  jimifenway | Feb 26, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
It’s hard to talk about Await Your Reply at length without giving too much away. In fact, the less you know about the novel going in, the better. Chaon does a great job of shifting the novel’s chronology around to trickle the plotlines out as he sees fit. It’s a gimmick that could have been hackneyed, but Chaon makes it work here. He seems more interested in filling in the lives of his characters than constructing some complex whodunit — and the result is a more nuanced, creepy affair than sensory jarring thriller.
 
[A] dark, deliciously disturbing literary thriller... Await Your Reply is a story that unfolds with chilling precision. You'll be spellbound from start to finish.
added by Shortride | editPeople, Michelle Green (Aug 31, 2009)
 
You need to step into this work of psychological suspense completely unprepared for what lurks in here. If somebody starts telling you what they liked best, put your fingers in your ears and sing: "La, la, la, la!" But you can trust me -- which is just what all the manipulative creeps in this novel say.
added by SqueakyChu | editThe Washington Post, Ron Charles (Aug 26, 2009)
 
Chaon is a dark, provocative writer, and “Await Your Reply” is a dark, provocative book; in bringing its three strands together, Chaon has fashioned a braid out of barbed wire.
 
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Epigraph
I myself, from the very beginning, Seemed to myself like someone's dream or delirium or a reflection in someone else's mirror, without flesh, without meaning, without a name. Already a list of crimes that I was destined to commit. Anna Akhmatova "Northern Eagles"
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For Sheila
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We are on our way to the hospital, Ryan's father says.
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Book description
The lives of three strangers interconnect in unforeseen ways--and with unexpected consequences--in acclaimed author Dan Chaon’s gripping, brilliantly written new novel.

Longing to get on with his life, Miles Cheshire nevertheless can’t stop searching for his troubled twin brother, Hayden, who has been missing for ten years. Hayden has covered his tracks skillfully, moving stealthily from place to place, managing along the way to hold down various jobs and seem, to the people he meets, entirely normal. But some version of the truth is always concealed.

A few days after graduating from high school, Lucy Lattimore sneaks away from the small town of Pompey, Ohio, with her charismatic former history teacher. They arrive in Nebraska, in the middle of nowhere, at a long-deserted motel next to a dried-up reservoir, to figure out the next move on their path to a new life. But soon Lucy begins to feel quietly uneasy.

My whole life is a lie, thinks Ryan Schuyler, who has recently learned some shocking news. In response, he walks off the Northwestern University campus, hops on a bus, and breaks loose from his existence, which suddenly seems abstract and tenuous. Presumed dead, Ryan decides to remake himself--through unconventional and precarious means.
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While Miles pursues elusive letters and clues in a perpetual search for his missing twin, Ryan struggles with the discovery that he is adopted, and Lucy finds her daring escape from her hometown posing unexpectedly dangerous consequences.

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