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A Child Across the Sky by Jonathan Carroll
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A Child Across the Sky (1989)

by Jonathan Carroll

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Answered Prayers Sextet (3)

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Showing 4 of 4
For some reason I wasn’t able to sink fully into the world of Jonathan Carroll like I usually can…but here were a few lovely quotes:

“Whatever, it took an hour of hard walking in the blue lead cold of a New York December for me to really hold in the palm of my mind the fact my best and oldest friend was dead.”

And speaking of being dead…

“There is a life review, of course, but it was so much more interesting than I had ever imagined. For one thing, they show you how and where your life really happened. Things you didn’t experience or weren’t ever aware of, but which dyed the fabric of your life its final color.”

And as always, his take on life speaks right to mine: “What more American tradition is there than the turnpike rest stop? I don’t mean those Mom and Pop pretty-good-food one-shot places somewhere off the interstate that sell homemade pralines. I’m talking about a quarter-mile lean on the steering wheel that curves you into the parking lot the size of a parade ground, fourteen gas tanks, toilets galore and Muzak. The food can be pretty good or pretty bad, but it’s the high torque ambiance of the places that make them so interesting, the fact that no one is really there – only appetites or bladders, while eyes stare longingly out the window at the traffic.”

Only appetites or bladders, indeed.

And I think I will end with this, because Carroll has a way, in nearly every book, at getting the reader to examine his or her own life as the characters do…looking back over the small pieces and huge events that shape who we are. The huge events are easy to remember, but sometimes it’s the small pieces that give life its flavor.

“No matter how old or jaded you are there will always be something exciting and cool about cruising around at three in the morning with a bunch of good friends. All the old duds are asleep but you’re still awake, the windows are down, the radio’s glowing green and playing great music. Life’s given you a few extra hours to horse around. If you don’t grab them, they aren’t usually offered again for a while.”

See? So I honestly don’t know why I couldn’t sink into his words, his world. He creates characters that life the truest of lives in the most fantastical of circumstances. I can’t point to anything in particular that caused my interest to wander.

I love Jonathan Carroll and his books…and I look forward to my next trip to his world. ( )
2 vote karieh | Sep 3, 2009 |
Not the strongest book from Carroll... The Answered Prayers sequence is the weirdest Carroll, and this is the weirdest of the sequence, I think — and I found the book a bit too opaque and the ending left too many questions open. If you don't like open-ended books with lots of surreal mystery, avoid this one!

But still, a weak Carroll is still almost a four-star book in my records. ( )
1 vote msaari | Mar 22, 2009 |
Good writing about people and life, not enough explanation. I think Pinsleepe was the devil and he tricked the good guy into making a movie that would make evil look good. A great idea but not great reading. ( )
1 vote ragwaine | Dec 13, 2006 |
Showing 4 of 4
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jonathan Carrollprimary authorall editionscalculated
Woolley, JanetCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
For Beverly — My life across the sky.
First words
An hour before he shot himself, my best friend Philip Strayhorn called to talk about thumbs.
Quotations
On my fortieth birthday Lenna Rhodes invited me over for lunch. That's the tradition--when one of us has a birthday there's lunch, a nice present, and a good laughing afternoon to cover the fact that we've moved one more step down the staircase.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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After his best friend's suicide, a film director gets a glimpse into the beyond Like many young men before them, Weber and Philip went to Hollywood to make their fortune. Weber became one of the most respected directors of his generation, but Philip's talent went unnoticed until he found his calling making horror pictures, a genre in which his gruesome imagination could shine. But everything changes one morning when he calls his old friend Weber to say hello, then kills himself only an hour later. From Philip, Weber inherits a box of three videotapes. The first tape begins with Philip, warning Weber of challenges ahead, mysterious things he couldn't handle but believes that Weber can. Then Weber sees something unbelievable: a first-person view of his mother's last minutes alive before a plane crash took her life in 1960. Weber watches her settle into her airplane seat and read a newspaper, then hears the passengers scream as the jet falls from the sky. Before he died, Philip had unlocked a terrible secret. To understand it, Weber must learn the mysteries of death-no matter the cost. This ebook contains an all-new introduction by Jonathan Carroll, as well as an exclusive illustrated biography of the author including rare images from his personal collection.… (more)

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