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Publisher's Summary

At the age of 13, Pella Marsh emigrates with her family to the Planet of the Archbuilders. These enigmatic aborigines have names like Lonely Dumptruck and Hiding Kneel, and a civilization that baffles and frightens their human visitors.

As the spikily independent Pella becomes an uneasy envoy between two species, Girl in Landscape deftly interweaves themes of exploration and otherness, loss, and sexual awakening.

©1999 Jonathan Lethem (P)2007 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Lethem is opening up blue sky for American fiction." (Village Voice)
"Complex, scary and finally moving." (Atlanta Journal & Constitution)
"One of the most original voices among younger American novelists....Jonathan Lethem's imagination [is]...marvelously fertile." (Newsday)

What listeners say about Girl in Landscape

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful novel, horrendous audio book

The chapters on the audio book don’t even remotely match the chapters from the print edition. There are six chapters on the audio version but 21 in the actual book... I like to listen on my commute and then read the print version at home, which is impossible considering the way they butchered this audio book. There is also this strange music that plays in between chapters that inexplicably continues to play during certain sections of the novel which really ruins it for me. Do yourself a favor and read this lovely book, just avoid the audio book at all costs.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Plodding and difficult to finish.

Maybe I'm not the Intended audience, as I'm not a young person for which this coming of age story is best suited.
That said, this is a monotonous and frustrating book that only holds interest in the last 30 minutes. The main characters thoughts and interactions are so frustrating and difficult to empathize with that I at one point about halfway through stopped listening. Only after I finished another book did I come back to it, to not much payoff.

The narration is fine and the world building at least is initially interesting, but after setting up the mechanics of the world the setting becomes monotonous and unchanging. There are multiple threads that are started and never resolved (What happened to the Arch builders ancestors?). While it does in large part take place on an alien world, this can barely be considered scifi, most all of the central conflicts revolve around interpersonal differences that might as well have taken place on a culdesac.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Tedious and slightly icky. Yuck!

I don’t even remember the last book I hated so much. God, I hope that means I’ll forget this one quickly.

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Amazingly mature for YA

The story is amazingly mature while being surreal at the same time. The performance was perfect, writing was outstanding. Characters are well written and defined. I had this as a recommendation on YT and I'm so glad I downloaded this title!

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Disappointing, not science-fiction

This book was a big disappointment. It seemed to have such potential but it just never went anywhere. I was actually startled when it ended because nothing had really happened yet. I was still waiting for the real story to begin and find out who the arch builders were. The book takes place on another planet but there’s nothing remotely science-fiction.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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One of the most bleak and disjointed stories ever.

Could not finish it. The narration was not really that bad but not even James Earl Jones could have this story sound in any way a desirable listen.

2 people found this helpful