The Fires

The Fires Finely honed portraits of hope and change these two novellas are linked so skillfully that they achieve the intensity of a single novel in which some characters succeed and others fail on separate bu

  • Title: The Fires
  • Author: Alan Cheuse
  • ISBN: 9780977679911
  • Page: 400
  • Format: Paperback
  • Finely honed portraits of hope and change, these two novellas are linked so skillfully that they achieve the intensity of a single novel in which some characters succeed and others fail on separate but equally compelling quests In The Fires, Gina Morgan makes a pilgrimage to Uzbekistan to carry out her husband s final wish to be cremated only to find herself entirely atFinely honed portraits of hope and change, these two novellas are linked so skillfully that they achieve the intensity of a single novel in which some characters succeed and others fail on separate but equally compelling quests In The Fires, Gina Morgan makes a pilgrimage to Uzbekistan to carry out her husband s final wish to be cremated only to find herself entirely at sea in the strange new reality of the former Soviet republic, while in The Exorcism, Tom Swanson begins to make sense of his life when he retrieves his angry daughter from her exclusive New England college after her expulsion for setting fire to a grand piano.

    One thought on “The Fires”

    1. Another one of from the Kindle .99 book sale last month. I've seen Alan Cheuse blurbs in the past and thought it would be good to read one of his books. I'm on page 34 of 117 so far and it is definitely holding my interest. Although I see some irony in the fact that I'm reading it in the middle of the night when I'm experiencing one of those hot flashes that jolts me awake and while the character is talking about HER hot flashes.So far, what I see about the title are the hot flashes, the fact th [...]

    2. In Alan Cheuse's "The Fires," as in O'nan's "Last Night at the Lobster" a skilled writer reminds us why the novella can be such a satisfying read. Taking two stories that, in the hands of a lesser craftsman would have surely sprawled into a long, pedestrian novel, Cheuse instead edits to the bone, distilling the emotions of his characters, in a pair of riveting narratives. While each story is quite different, though they are linked by the key title image of fire, both prove worthwhile. First we [...]

    3. The Fires, by Alan Cheuse is a collection of two novellas or two short stories, depending on how you define “novella” and “short story.” (I’m counting the entire book as a novella for the Novella Challenge.) In any case, the two stories, “The Fires” and “The Exorcism,” both share themes of death, loss, cremation, fire, Hinduism, healing, memory, and sexual desires.“The Fires” appears first and is told in third person from a widow’s perspective as she travels to Uzbekistan [...]

    4. The title novella, The Fires, follows Gina as she travels from the United States to rural Uzbekistan to retrieve the body of her husband, recently killed in a car crash. His last wish was to be cremated, which is taboo in this Muslim country and culture, so an inexperienced U.S. Embassy official helps find Hindus to perform the ceremony. In The Exorcism, the second tale, the daughter of the main character has set fire to a baby grand piano and attempted suicide by fire, thereby getting her expel [...]

    5. From acclaimed author Alan Cheuse come two novellas of compelling intensity.In "The Fires," Gina Morgan makes a pilgrimage to Uzbekistan to carry out her husband's final wish only to discover that in this former Soviet republic things are not as they used to be. And in "The Exorcism," Tom Swanson retrieves his angry daughter from her exclusive New England college after her expulsion for setting fire to a grand piano.Publisher's Weekly has praised Cheuse's "impressive command of many voices," and [...]

    6. This little volume of 2 novellas was a lucky find in the Books for Sale room of my local library. I had not heard of the author, although he is a book commentator for NPR. But I picked it up, read a paragraph for the prose style and liked it. For $1, why not?I loved both these stories about middle-aged people trying to come to grips with the things happening to them. What they have in common are fire (in one a cremation pyre, in the other a piano set ablaze by the troubled daughter of a recently [...]

    7. the reason i liked these two novellas is this: the author did in about 50 pages what most "bestsellers" stretch out over 250. these stories are both deeply felt family dramas, but because they were told so economically, they never ran the risk of becoming sappy. nice reading.

    8. I've always enjoyed Alan Cheuses comments on books for NPR, so I was interested in reading his work. The Fires is two novellas - I "forgive him" the first (you have to read the book to get the reference), but really liked the second. This was a $.99 deal on Kindle and very well worth the price!

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