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By Austin Ratner

A blinding tale of fathers, sons, and brothers - certain by way of love, divided by way of history

From Booklist
The pursuit of happiness in the US has moved from being simply an aspiration to a founding mythology. In Ratner’s novel, mythology is usually a compelling yet shackling inheritance. The narrative spans generations yet specializes in Leo, the son of Isidore, whose luck has taken on mythological proportions, and who was once the son of the both mythological Ezer, a Jewish immigrant, absusive father, curmudgeon. Leo, just like the males earlier than him, lives within the shadow of his sire. whilst he embarks on a cross-country voyage along with his brother, Leo broods at the fickleness of happiness that ends up in either tragedy and comedy (but generally tragedy). half rumination, half fairy story, and half highway narrative, Ratner’s booklet paints an image of the poor weight of historical past, self-created or differently, that presses down on destiny generations. the foremost lesson? It takes exertions to accomplish happiness, however the real paintings lies in conserving it. Ratner demanding situations his characters to upward push to the celebration. regardless of a stacked deck, the glimpses stolen are well worth the learn. --James Orbesen

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PRAISE FOR within the LAND OF THE LIVING:

"In the Land of the residing made me chuckle out loud, and it additionally left me deeply moved. half vaudeville and half tragic opera, it dances and rages with unusual knowledge, conveying the soreness, comedy, and sweetness of familial love around the generations." (John Burnham Schwartz, writer of Reservation highway and Northwest nook)

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The things we’ll see, he thought. The images I can create, the routes I will map, the details I can write. And someday, perhaps, future Voyagers will pore over my book, and they will learn. Ramus opened his bottle of ink and chose his finest quill. On the first page of the book he wrote: The Final Voyage of Ramus Rheel Year 143, Age of Expansion In the company of Nomi Hyden He sat back and stared at the page. When he turned it over, the stark white of the next sheet suddenly seemed emptier than ever.

Nomi,” Beko said. She turned around, looking back into the cavern of a room. ” Then she shut the door, climbed the steps to the street and went to find a runner. qxp 1/28/08 7:43 AM Page 29 Chapter 2 R A M U S S A T J U S T inside the library entrance, holding his head and hissing as the pain receded. His vision and hearing throbbed with each heartbeat, but the nausea was passing. Not now, he thought. Not while I need all my wits about me. He grasped the rolled parchment pages in his left hand, and they too seemed to pulse with each beat of his heart.

Chasing myself, he thought. Chasing my own mortality. He bought breakfast from an early street vendor and ate while he was walking. His bags were heavy, containing several books, his clothing and weapons and a roll of maps, including the new one he had made yesterday. But he felt fit and ready, and he enjoyed breaking a sweat as he climbed the hill and headed south. Dawn painted the horizon to the east, but shadows still ruled the streets, though most were shrinking back to wait out the day. Once or twice he heard a whisper as he passed, and he looked down at his feet, not wishing to attract attention.

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In the Land of the Living by Austin Ratner


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