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Await Your Reply: A Novel by Dan Chaon

Await Your Reply: A Novel (edition 2009)

by Dan Chaon

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1,3051395,987 (3.8)122
Title:Await Your Reply: A Novel
Authors:Dan Chaon
Info:Ballantine Books (2009), Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:read, fiction

Work details

Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon

  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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Described as a literary thriller. A story of identities and selves and the different parts of people. ( )
  TheBookJunky | Apr 22, 2016 |
While I did like the style of writing the time shifts were overly complex, the characters flat, the twist predictable and the ending both boring and unsatisfying. Clearly some people liked it, but I cannot recommend. ( )
  csmith0406 | Mar 18, 2016 |
I am confused … in a good way.

Lucy has left her small Ohio town in the dead of night, along with her lover and former history teacher, on her way to adventure and riches; but can she really trust him? Miles has been searching for his missing, apparently schizophrenic, twin brother for years; a recent letter has given him a clue that dates back to their childhood and the fantasy games they played, and at last he is certain where to find him. Ryan has his own identity crisis when he learns that he was adopted; his biological father, Jay, is a ne’er-do-well who has never taken responsibility for anything, until he suddenly contacts Ryan, convinces him to come live with him, and learn his trade.

At its core this is a novel about identity, and it is mesmerizing and intentionally confusing. You have three separate story lines, told in alternating chapters, and without any apparent connection between them, unless you think about identity and reinventing oneself as a connecting theme. I know that Ryan Schuyler is a real person. Lucy Lattimore is definitely a real person. Miles Cheshire and Lydia Barrie are real people. But what about Jay Kozelek, Hayden Cheshire, George Orson?

The novel jumps around in time, making it even more difficult to keep track of all these characters. It starts about two-thirds of the way through the story line; or at least I think that’s where the opening falls in chronology. But don’t let that dissuade you; enjoy the roller coaster ride. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 25, 2016 |
Wow! what an interesting and provocative book. Great writing about identity theft, but with a twist. Kind of a mystery, but not really. Outstanding. ( )
1 vote Judy_Ryfinski | Jan 20, 2016 |
Wow! what an interesting and provocative book. Great writing about identity theft, but with a twist. Kind of a mystery, but not really. Outstanding. ( )
  Judy_Ryfinski | Jan 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 142 (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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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"
For Sheila
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We are on our way to the hospital, Ryan's father says.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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Dan Chaon is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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