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The Resource All that is : a novel, James Salter

All that is : a novel, James Salter

Label
All that is : a novel
Title
All that is
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
James Salter
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"From his experiences as a young naval officer in battles off Okinawa, Philip Bowman returns to America and finds a position as a book editor. It is a time when publishing is still largely a private affair--a scattered family of small houses here and in Europe--a time of gatherings in fabled apartments and conversations that continue long into the night. In this world of dinners, deals, and literary careers, Bowman finds that he fits in perfectly. But despite his success, what eludes him is love"--Dust jacket flap
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Award
New York Times Notable Book, 2013
Review
  • For decades, Salter has been an artistic standard-bearer. His first novel in many years begins percussively in 1944 with the unrelenting battles in the Pacific. Naval officer Philip Bowman, virginal and close to his mother, makes it safely home, moves to New York, and finds professional contentment as an editor at a small publisher. Even though he falls hard for Vivian, a wealthy southerner, he remains hermetically sealed. Their marriage fizzles quickly, and Bowman is smitten again, but he never gets it right. His obliviousness to women’s inner lives leads to a shocking betrayal, and his crueler revenge. Still, this is a desultory, oddly slippery novel as Salter slides back and forward in time, glides into the lives of other characters, and considers the decline of the novel. The many sex scenes are doleful; the pegs to world events wobbly. Yet resonant passages bloom, including one that captures the book’s subdued spirit: “The landscape was beautiful but passive. The emptiness of things rose like the sound of a choir making the sky bluer and more vast.” -- Seaman, Donna (Reviewed 03-01-2013) (Booklist, vol 109, number 13, p17)
  • The 87-year-old PEN/Faulkner Award–winner’s (Dusk and Other Stories) first full-length novel in more than three decades spans some 40 years and follows the accidental life, career, and loves of book editor Philip Bowman. After serving in the Pacific during WWII, Bowman stumbles into publishing at a time when small houses reigned. During extravagant literary parties and travels through Europe, Bowman shares his thoughts on authors both real and imagined. And yet his career is merely a vehicle for his loves and losses, connections made and missed. The women in his life somehow never suit and his many endings are always inexplicable to him. But Salter renders the first blushes of Bowman’s loves exquisitely—their giddiness, occasional illicitness, eroticism—and his bewilderment after the relationships fail feels achingly real. By way of counterpoint, the author illustrates the happy but tragic marriage of a close friend, which parallels rather than intersects, since Bowman fails to connect with anyone. The number of characters who parade through the book can frustrate, and Salter’s choice to render, for a chapter, a well-known character anonymously was unnecessary. But Salter measures his words carefully, occasionally punctuating his elegant prose with sharp, erotic punches. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM. (Apr.) --Staff (Reviewed February 4, 2013) (Publishers Weekly, vol 260, issue 05, p)
  • Navy man Philip Bowman returns from World War II uncertain about his future. He takes a job at Braden and Baum, a small New York literary publisher, and though he is gradually promoted, romantic relationships form the center of his life. Bowman meets his first wife shortly after starting his job, but his New Jersey background is very different from Vivian's horse-country Virginia upbringing, and their marriage dissolves. While on a business trip he meets Enid, an Englishwoman whose background is equally different from his own. The two begin a torrid affair that distance eventually cools. On a cab ride following another business trip, he encounters Christine, a realtor, and begins another affair. VERDICT Salter's tone combined with the post-World War II setting gives this work the feel of something from an earlier generation. With the ever-changing panorama of New York City and New York publishing as background, Salter addresses time, love, and the mystery and wonder of life itself. [See Prepub Alert, 5/1/12.]— Lawrence Rungren, Merrimack Valley Lib. Consortium, Andover, MA --Lawrence Rungren (Reviewed May 1, 2013) (Library Journal, vol 138, issue 8, p76)
  • In his first fiction since the story collection Last Night (2005), the acclaimed veteran author chronicles the life and loves of a Manhattan book editor over a 40-year period. Okinawa, 1945. The Americans and Japanese are preparing for the climactic battle of the Pacific. Salter's sweep is panoramic but his eye, God-like, is also on the sparrow, a 20-year-old officer in the U.S. Navy, Philip Bowman. It's a stunning opening, displaying a mastery of scale that will not be repeated. Bowman is the protagonist: loyal, conscientious, a virgin (there's no rush), from a modest home in New Jersey. He's very close to his schoolteacher mother (father absconded in his infancy). After Harvard, Bowman is hired by the high-principled owner of a small literary publishing house. He meets Vivian at a bar. She's from Virginia, part of a rich, horsey set. As lovers, they transcend mortality, becoming gods and goddesses. Everyday life is more difficult. Bowman believes the unlettered Vivian, now his bride, is educable; she's not. At a Christmas house party in Virginia, the young couple is obscured by hard-drinking minor characters with easy morals. The narrative is studded with these striking vignettes; in retrospect, they're a swirling mass, losing their particularity. In London on a business trip, Bowman meets a married woman, just as rich, and scales new heights of passion with her; their affair will fizzle out, like his marriage to Vivian. Bowman's work gets less attention. Salter writes with cosmopolitan ease but avoids the nitty-gritty of the business; Bowman floats above all that, while somehow acquiring the respect of his peers. His third great passion is a disaster. An ill-defined American woman with a teenage daughter appears to be his soul mate; then she cheats on him. Four years later, Bowman uses the daughter in a shockingly cruel way; to make matters worse, this thoughtful man fails to examine his conduct. Without his self-knowledge, there is nothing to knit the novel together. There are incidental pleasures here but, overall, a disappointing return.(Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2013)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10171828
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Salter, James
Dewey number
813/.54
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3569.A4622
LC item number
A44 2013
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Book editors
  • Man-woman relationships
  • Betrayal
Target audience
adult
Label
All that is : a novel, James Salter
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
289 pages
Isbn
9781400043132
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2012020914
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 769424674
  • (OCoLC)769424674
Label
All that is : a novel, James Salter
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
289 pages
Isbn
9781400043132
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2012020914
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 769424674
  • (OCoLC)769424674

Library Locations

    • Williamsburg LibraryBorrow it
      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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