The Book of Reading

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Pub Date 22 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 16 Dec 2023

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Description

Can words, poems, books—if used correctly—save the American republic? If you ask the gifted, beautiful Eveline Stahl, the answer is yes, absolutely. For Eveline, literature and words not only connect all things to one another, but they create invisible bands that surround Earth and protect it from harm.

Though born far apart—she in 1909, he in 1941—Eveline Stahl and Malcolm Reiner are destined to meet, fall in love, and then to try to save the nation. When? Autumn 1933. Where? Iowa City, Iowa, where both are graduate students. Their plan? To go on the long walk into September 1947 and West Tree, Minnesota, where they try 1) to forestall the formation of the CIA and the start of the Cold War;2) thereby to prevent the 1963 assassination of JFK; and thus 3) avoid the long decline of the nation into tyranny—a later and grievous outcome, nevertheless, that is watched, in 2028, from a window of his New York apartment, by an aged, defeated, lonely Malcolm Reiner, after finishing a book—this book—about his beloved and lost Eveline.

Eric Larsen’s The Book of Reading is a timely, literary, patriotic—and deeply moving—novel.

Can words, poems, books—if used correctly—save the American republic? If you ask the gifted, beautiful Eveline Stahl, the answer is yes, absolutely. For Eveline, literature and words not only connect...


A Note From the Publisher

Born in Northfield, Minnesota, Eric Larsen graduated from Carleton College and in 1970 took his doctorate from the University of Iowa. For thirty-five years, he taught English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, retiring in 2006. His first novel, An American Memory (1988), won the Chicago Tribune’s inaugural Heartland Prize. That novel was followed by four others, joined now by The Book of Reading to complete a saga of family and nation. For fifty-four years, Larsen was married to the editor Anne Larsen, and the couple raised two daughters, Flynn and Gavin, both active and highly productive in the arts. Larsen lives in New York City and has also authored the non-fiction works A Nation Gone Blind, The Skull of Yorick, and Homer Whole: A Reading of the Iliad.

Born in Northfield, Minnesota, Eric Larsen graduated from Carleton College and in 1970 took his doctorate from the University of Iowa. For thirty-five years, he taught English at John Jay College of...


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Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9798891320338
PRICE $18.99 (USD)
PAGES 377

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Featured Reviews

This was a really well done novel, it had everything that I was hoping for from the description. The characters felt like real people and I enjoyed getting to read about them in this book. It had a great overall story and I’m glad I got to read this. Eric Larsen does a great job in writing this.

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Inventive, dark, thoughtful. Time travel, history, difficult family situation, young love, education, and above all, reading. Two young people, deeply in love, but separated by time and in an intolerable position.

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This is different than any other Larsen I've read, but I'm SO glad I read it. This was dark and inventive and I absolutely loved it.

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