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Edgar and Lucy: Book summary and reviews of Edgar and Lucy by Victor Lodato

Edgar and Lucy

A Novel

by Victor Lodato

Edgar and Lucy
  • Readers' rating:

  • Publishes in USA 
    Mar 7, 2017
    544 pages
    Genre: Novels

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About this book

Book Summary

A new literary novel from Weissberg Award winning playwright and PEN USA Award for Fiction winning writer Victor Lodato, Edgar and Lucy is a masterfully written story of a broken family struggling to stay together.

Eight-year-old Edgar Fini's loyalty is torn between the two women in his life.There's his mother, Lucy, who, though she has moments where she loves him, mostly disappears at night with her various "suitors." And then there's his grandmother, Florence, who dotes on him to the point where she is at a loss when he isn't around. Since his father's suicide, Florence and Edgar's relationship has become obsessive, each fully dependent on the other. When Florence suddenly dies, Lucy is thrown into the role of main caretaker and doesn't know how to handle her new job. But as Edgar and Lucy adjust, they must also deal with Ron, a local butcher who wants to court Lucy, and Conrad, an unsettlingly attentive adult whose intentions are at one more sinister and more innocent than Edgar could ever know.

After Conrad separates Edgar from his mother, the man and the boy form a home life of two, isolated deep in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, an arrangement that is not at all one-sided, even as Lucy, their hometown, and as time goes on, a wider world hunts for the boy.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"I love this book. At once profoundly spiritual and hilariously specific, Victor Lodato's Edgar and Lucy is an unusual and intimate epic that manages to capture the wonder and terror of both child and parenthood with an uncanny clarity. The surprising prose is a pleasure, and never ceases to remind us how fragile human life is yet how unshakeable the bonds. Edgar and Lucy will have you reading until 4am, then reaching for the closest warm body." - Lena Dunham, bestselling author and Golden Globe-winning actress

"This tale gradually exerts a fiendish grip on the reader." - Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

"I tore through the luminous pages of Edgar and Lucy as if possessed. Edgar's journey from boy to man is that rare tale that's both epic and intimate, as joyful and startlingly original in its language as it is a pleasure to read. The tender, funny, living immediacy of its characters and what is revealed to us about human nature through their twists of fate took my breath away. What this book has to say about love and truth will stay with me for a very, very long time." - Sophie McManus, author of The Unfortunates

"Edgar and Lucy is a quirky coming-of-age novel that deepens into something dark and strange without losing its heart or its sense of wonder. Victor Lodato writes with lyrical precision and unfailing compassion for his characters." - Tom Perrotta, bestselling author of The Leftovers

"Victor Lodato may be our bard of the sadness, humor, and confusion of loss. He senses the absurdities and elation of mourning and childhood with a capacious precision that brings to mind J.D. Salinger, Lorrie Moore, Karen Russell, even James Joyce. Edgar and Lucy will make you feel things you haven't felt in ages. Go read it right now." - Dan Torday, author of The Last Flight of Poxl West

"Victor Lodato's work is complex, elegant, disturbing, beautifully written, and, above all, important. I can say without hesitation that he is a writer who gives me hope for the future of serious literature." - Lynn Freed, author of The Servants' Quarters

The information about Edgar and Lucy shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

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Mary O. (Boston, MA)

Gripping
I loved this book that captures childhood and parenthood. It is beautifully written, engrossing and difficult to put down. It evokes a range of emotions and shows creativity at its best. Definitely a great read!

Molly B. (Longmont, CO)

Lovely and compelling
This is a compelling read, easy to get into and stay into. The story is bizarre; and all the side stories are as strange as the main plot. The characters are weird and all damaged in some way, but they are well developed, so I feel like I understand them, regardless of the fact that I'd hardly be able to imagine them on my own. Edgar is inspiring in his direct reactions and honesty. The best part is the writing! It is ethereal; here and there imagining and describing feelings and viewpoints with phrases that are almost magical - you get wisps of the ideas from the words. Beautiful. I will definitely look for Lodato's other works.

Kimberly H. (Stamford, CT)

Edgar and Lucy
This book is a must read. I read it in December and it is one of the best books I have read all year. Love, betrayal, truth. Complex and beautifully written!

Carolyn V. (Douglass, KS)

Many Surprises in Edgar and Lucy
Please don't follow the 50 page rule on this book. It is slow to start but I found it very interesting after about page 40. There were many things around the corner that you don't expect. I found all the characters interesting with good development for the size of their part in the novel. The writing was engaging: how did he come up with that turn of phrase? That is what kept me going until the plot engaged me. Here are a couple of my favorite lines:

"His grandmother had been alive such a long time that she had traded one face for another. Or perhaps someone had stolen the first one."

"…and her figure, ignored for so many years, finally packed up and trotted off, leaving her with a body she didn't recognize…"

I like that all the subplots in the novel were not nearly packaged up in the end. There are still things to think about when this novel is done. That is the sign of a good novel to me – how long I think about it after I have finished reading it.

Rosemary C. (Austin, TX)

Dark, Strange, Haunting, but Beautiful and Uplifting Too
Lodato is a lyrical writer, handling dense subject matter with the deftness of an expert. This is a long epic, but it engaged me, probably because each of the characters was so richly developed and treated with a gentleness and kindness by the author. I thought I had a bird's eye view of everyone's inner life.

JW Davis, CA

Better than anything I've read in a long time
Brilliant. This is not just a great American novel, it is a great human novel. This is the finest writing I've read in a very long time. Victor Lodato deserves every literary accolade available for this one.

The story is about human-ness. It is about love in all forms. It is about human stupidity and weakness. It is about human fortitude and strength. It is about everything human - written so beautifully that we can move from page to page with understanding and compassion for the tragedies and failings and kindnesses of everyone involved in this epic story.

I will say no more because I do not wish to reveal any of the story ahead of its being read. It is too profound to spoil with trivia.

...26 more reader reviews

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Victor Lodato is a playwright and novelist. His book, Mathilda Savitch was deemed a "Best Book of the Year" by The Christian Science Monitor, Booklist, and The Globe and Mail. The novel won the PEN USA Award for Fiction and the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize, and has been published in sixteen countries. His short fiction and essays have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Best American Short Stories. He lives in Ashland, Oregon and Tucson, Arizona.

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