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Hardcover The Rules of Seduction Book

ISBN: 039562049X

ISBN13: 9780395620496

The Rules of Seduction

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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List Price $21.95

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Customer Reviews

3 ratings

Lyrical enticement.... love to savor, yet hate to finish!

I truly love this book. And it didn't start out this way... I was drawn in enough at the beginning- the late 80's party seen of NYC- cocaine, booze, sex, etc. I thought, I've seen this overdone so many times.. "Less than Zero", etc. Boring. Yet something kept me hanging in. Not to worry. Things change fast, and once they do, they unfold amazingly. The main character, John Newland, is transported to his childhood town and memories via a new, questionable "friend". His past experiences and memories are beautifully explained and transposed. Although the writing can at times be a bit raw, it rings of truth from the main character's point of view. This is a voyeuristic tale into one's soul, guilt, and fear. Flashbacks to bisexual affairs are richly written. Although this book is not about sex... I would say it is about one young man's soul, and how he became who he is, and how he will begin to change who he is. I loved Magida's use of past affairs, both homo and hetero, to illustrate the role of Newman, as "receiver" only- not seeking others per say, just trying to please everyone to avoid pain. This is a recurring theme. The reader then gets to witness a slow, possible recovery in Newman. When Ellen enters the scene, things begin to change for John Newman. But change is hard, and thus the resulting struggle insues. Facing one's past, especially from childhood, is not easily done. And Magida does a suberb job of unravelling the layers of remembering, acknowleding, and resolving our sorrid pasts. Other reviews criticize lack of development of female characters. This may be true, BUT if you look at it from John Newland's point of view, the lack of dimensionality of the female characters is "in character" for him! He is not able to see the layers of a female (or most males either). In particular, the descriptions of his fiancee seem very detached... but so is he!!! He is but a "willing" victim in life (narcissitic in the fact that he evaluates others' worth as what they mean to him) , and when he does recognize a glimpse of something beyond the background noise, it is not surprising that he talks of Ellen in a very factual physical and intellectual manner. I would have been sorely disappointed if Magida went on and on about the female characters, since this is written from Newland's point of view, and he is incapable of that! I read an advance reading copy of this book. I looked forward to picking it up every nite, savoring it. Some of the flashbacks, Ripley in particular, got a bit long for me. I was particularly happy with the latter part of the book... the revealing of old family secrets that many families share.. both rich and poor. I highly recommend this novel, and HOPE that Magida will write another.

Phenomenal Piece of Engrossing Fiction

WHATEVER- if you like smart fiction a la donna tart et al, this is a Must-Read. Mr. Magida- GIVE US MORE!

An amusing first novel

the only concern with this novel is that the female characters tend to be somewhat two dimensional (subtle character nuance is lost here). The male characters for the most part are more well rounded, and tend to possess a myriad number of layers. The descriptions of homes and environments are rather well done. One can actually "see" the architecture and the world in which the characters live within. Though truth be known, one could easily read a Wharton or Dunne novel and receive far greater detail all around. A pleasant Summer read though.
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