The Lake Shore Limited

The Lake Shore Limited

Large Print - 2010
Average Rating:
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Four unforgettable characters beckon you into this spellbinding new novel from the author of last year's explosive New York Times best seller The Senator's Wife. First among them is Wilhelmina--Billy--Gertz, small as a child, fiercely independent, powerfully committed to her work as a playwright. The novel centers around her play, The Lake Shore Limited, about the terrorist bombing of that train--and about a man waiting to hear the fate of his estranged wife who is traveling on it. How Billy comes to write the play out of her own painful conflicts and ambivalence, how it is then created anew by the actors and the director, how the performance itself touches and changes the other characters' lives--these form the vital core of a story that drives the novel compulsively forward.
There's not a wasted word in this tour de force about the dislocations wrought in our lives by accidents of fate and time, and about how we try to make peace with whom we become in the face of circumstances beyond our control. From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Random House Large Print, c2010.
Edition: Large print ed.
ISBN: 9780739377659
Characteristics: 403 p. ;,24 cm.

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c
coroboreefarm
Oct 27, 2015

In spite of very lukewarm reviews by other readers, I enjoyed this book. Its appeal to me lay in the way that Susan Miller described the main protagonists using very penetrating and complex characterizations.

The play, about a terrorist act, that is staged at the beginning of the novel, is a well constructed device for the examination of art paralleling life. It connects the characters and separates them as they see themselves reflected in art.

Told from multiple perspectives, the narrative took me deep into an examination of each individual's life, but still successfully maintained a connection between the other characters –and to the play. To me, this was a mesmerizing conceit, keeping me immersed in each chapter while eagerly anticipating the next one.
Miller is a master at mixing descriptive passages, plot movement, and character insight in order to produce a gripping and suspenseful read.

g
GailRoger
Aug 26, 2011

Have you ever had someone tell you the plot of a movie? Usually kids do this and it's rather tedious, isn't it? I was really worried as I read through the first section of this book because much of it involves a character's recounting an entire play. It's only as you enter into the viewpoints of the three other characters in this novel that it becomes clear why we need to know about the play.

So that's my caveat: you will be treated to Sue Miller's extraordinary ability to tell a story from differing viewpoints, revealing truths while exposing individual blind-spots. But you'll have to sit through that play first. It will be worth it.

m
mahccl
May 18, 2011

I really enjoyed this book. Sue Miller has a way of getting me involved in the lives of the characters. Regardless of whether or not I like them - they interest me.

l
libraperson
Jan 13, 2011

book club read - didn't like it much!

a
annspivack
Jan 12, 2011

Wow. I was really surprised by the other comments. I love Sue Miller and this was my favorite of all her books so far. I thought a lot happened. A character dies and the person left behind has to cope with the idea that she didn't love him as much as she could have/should have. Powerful and resonant, this book really spoke to me.

s
Sararush
Jun 23, 2010

In Sue Miller's The Lake Shore Limited, not a lot happens. Instead we get character's that are so convincingly difficult that it becomes tough going for the reader to find anything redemptive about them. Basically a group of spoiled adults surrounding a play hurt each other. The roundabout and jerky narration, absent plot and humor, wisdom, doesn't help matters. Though Miller's use of language is at times striking, I still struggled to finish this one.

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