In vignettes both comic and sexy, the owner of a coffee shop recalls the day his first wife seemed to achieve a moment of simple perfection, while she remembers the women's softball game during which she was stricken by the beauty of the shortstop. A young couple spends hours at the coffee shop fueling the idea of their fierce love. A professor of philosophy, stopping by for a cup of coffee, makes a valiant attempt to explain what he knows to be the inexplicable workings of the human heart. Their voices resonate with each other, disparate people joined by the meanderings of love, and come together in a tapestry that depicts the most irresistible arena of life. Crafted with subtlety, grace, and power, The Feast of Love is a masterful novel.
©2001 Charles Baxter; (P)2005 Phoenix Books, Inc.
"Superb: a near-perfect book, as deep as it is broad in its humaneness, comedy, and wisdom." (The Washington Post Book World)
"The true magic in this luminous book is the seemingly effortless ebb and flow of the author's clear-sighted yet deeply poetic vision." (Publishers Weekly)
"The Feast of Love is as precise, as empathetic, as luminous as any of Baxter's past work. It is also rich, juicy, laugh-out-loud funny and completely engrossing." (The New York Times Book Review)
This is a gorgeous, richly conceived book. All the characters are interesting and "true" in their way, but the women are especially original and wonderful. Baxter has a wonderful imagination and is a careful observer of real people in real situations, and he makes them (most of them) people you would like to know. Chloe is absolutely unique and charming. Curiously, the female narrator, Amanda Karr (Carr?) is not credited on this website. She is perhaps the best narrator I have heard, bringing her characters absolutely to life, each one different and real. If I could find her on the website, I would select other books she's narrated just to hear her read.
The narration is really good. You would think that different people are reading it. I felt like I knew them. Because I'm not very good listener, I listened to it twicet was good the second time! I picked up things I missed the first time around.
Achingly poignant and suffused with surprising insight this collection of short, connected stories is nearly flawless. I could kick myself when I think how I almost gave up on this book not even halfway through the first chapter. I would have cheated myself out of one of the most unapologetically cerebral love stories I've come across in many years - love that expresses itself not only in romantic couplings or pairings but in the meaningful, dynamic and often painful relationships we form with those around us. This celebration, this feast is exquisitely envisioned and this book will reverberate in my psyche and heart for a very long time.
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