11 November 2014

Today's Read: Duplex by Kathryn Davis

Duplex by Kathryn Davis
What would it be like to live a world that was as familiar as 1950s America but was inhabited by both humans and others? Miss Vicks, her neighbors, and her students are navigating through just such a place.
It was a suburban street, one block long, the houses made of brick and built to last like the third little pig's. Sycamore trees had been planted at regular intervals along the curb and the curbs themselves sparkled; I think the concrete was mixed with mica in it. I think when it was new the street couldn't help but draw attention to itself, inviting envy.
Duplex by Kathryn Davis (Graywolf Press, 2014 [paperback], p. 3)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: somewhere between here and there; 1950s to 1960s; suburbia . . . kind of; our world, or maybe not
  • Circumstances: life in the future or perhaps the past or maybe in a parallel world; the love story of Mary and Eddie; a snapshot view of a neighborhood
  • Characters: Miss Vicks, a fiftyish schoolteacher; her students; her neighbors; her sorcerer ex-lover; Mary and Eddie; robots
  • Genre: coming-of-age story, literary science fiction, adult fairy tale, love story, horror, dystopian
  • Descriptions from reviews: dreamlike world, dualities and dual planes of existence, blending of real and unreal, breathtaking, surprising, haunting, enchanting
  • Why I'm going to give it a try: Although almost every reviewer had a hard time describing the genre and the general story line, almost every one walked away from Duplex totally taken in by Davis's prose and the world she created. Sounds like something unique; I'm not sure why I missed its hardcover release last year. Praised by NPR, most major newspapers and review outlets, and many bloggers


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 11/11/14, 6:50 AM  

I like it, I'd read more - a new to me pick.

rhapsodyinbooks 11/11/14, 7:01 AM  

I like your reasons for trying it; sounds intriguing to me as well!

Love Africa Book Club 11/11/14, 7:06 AM  

Sounds like the street is too perfect to be good. Great teaser. Here's My Teaser

Kim@Time2Read 11/11/14, 7:24 AM  

Sounds interesting! Who or what are the others??
Today my teaser is from The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordbeg.

bermudaonion 11/11/14, 8:02 AM  

Hm, it does sound like the genre of that book would be hard to describe. I'm not sure it's for me but I am intrigued.

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 11/11/14, 8:30 AM  

This sounds intriguing. Not sure if it's for me yet, but will be interested to hear your thoughts on it.

Leah @ Books Speak Volumes 11/11/14, 8:55 AM  

Ooh, this sounds really unique!

Daryl 11/11/14, 10:35 AM  

you know me, i love stuff like this … thanks!

Laurel-Rain Snow 11/11/14, 10:50 AM  

You have definitely intrigued me with the facts, and the excerpt sounds like such an ordinary place...knowing it is anything but ordinary will be the fun in it, I think.

Thanks for sharing. Here's mine:


Tea 11/11/14, 11:11 AM  

Don't know what to think of it. Will wait for your review. Then, my feelings for Duplex might jell.

Margot 11/11/14, 11:39 AM  

It's not my normal genre, but I love the opening paragraph. I feel as if I can see that street.

Sandra Nachlinger 11/11/14, 12:06 PM  

I don't often read sci-fi, but this story sounds charming. I love the comparison of the homes to the third little pig's house. So clever and original.
My Tuesday post features THE LEGACY LETTERS.

Heather 11/11/14, 12:44 PM  

Can't say I've heard of this one, but it definitely sounds different. Mine: Biting the Moon

Laura 11/11/14, 1:30 PM  

The book sounds interesting. It reminds me of The Devil in Silver by Victor Lavalle in that it also was a difficult novel to classify. They ended up giving it the handle of literary horror. My teaser this week is from Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Melissas Eclectic Bookshelf 11/11/14, 1:34 PM  

This one sounds really intriguing!

Monica's Bookish Life 11/11/14, 4:15 PM  

I like the writing style. It's not the kind of book that I usually read, so I'll look forward to your review!

Anonymous,  11/11/14, 4:26 PM  

The 50s is just when I was growing up so I'd probably find it fascinating for that reason alone, and now with the extra touch, it definitely bears investigating.

Mine this week is from a series mystery. http://wp.me/pZnGI-fu

Vicki 11/11/14, 4:30 PM  

I'd definitely keep reading. I think I'll add the book to my list and hopefully I can get to it soon.

Nise' 11/11/14, 9:16 PM  

I am very intrigued by this book.

Anonymous,  11/11/14, 11:00 PM  

This sounds REALLY interesting. Keep reading!

Unknown 11/12/14, 4:02 AM  

Sounds pretty interesting :)

Here's mine:

Literary Feline 11/12/14, 12:47 PM  

I really like the sound of this. It's different.

kayerj 11/12/14, 1:46 PM  

that's a very good beginning, I like the description of the houses. Have a nice week. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

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