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The Last Good Paradise: A Novel
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St. Martin's Publishing Group 2015
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From Tatjana Soli, the bestselling author of The Lotus Eaters and The Forgetting Tree, comes a black comedy set on an island resort, where guests attempting to flee their troubles realize they can't escape who they are.
On a small, unnamed coral atoll in the South Pacific, a group of troubled dreamers must face the possibility that the hopes they've labored after so single-mindedly might not lead them to the happiness they feel they were promised. Ann and Richard, an aspiring, Los Angeles power couple, are already sensing the cracks in their version of the American dream when their life unexpectedly implodes, leading them to brashly run away from home to a Robinson Crusoe idyll. Dex Cooper, lead singer of the rock band, Prospero, is facing his own slide from greatness, experimenting with artistic asceticism while accompanied by his sexy, young, and increasingly entrepreneurial muse, Wende. Loren, the French owner of the resort sauvage, has made his own Gauguin-like retreat from the world years before, only to find that the modern world has become impossible to disconnect from. Titi, descendent of Tahitian royalty, worker, and eventual inheritor of the resort, must fashion a vision of the island's future that includes its indigenous people, while her partner, Cooked, is torn between anarchy and lust.
By turns funny and tragic, The Last Good Paradise explores our modern, complex and often, self-contradictory discontents, crafting an exhilarating and darkly satirical story about our need to connect in an increasingly networked but isolating world.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
02/10/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781466842304
ASIN:
B00LZH6JAC
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APA Citation (style guide)

Tatjana Soli. (2015). The Last Good Paradise: A Novel. St. Martin's Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Tatjana Soli. 2015. The Last Good Paradise: A Novel. St. Martin's Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Tatjana Soli, The Last Good Paradise: A Novel. St. Martin's Publishing Group, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Tatjana Soli. The Last Good Paradise: A Novel. St. Martin's Publishing Group, 2015. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: Tatjana Soli is the bestselling author of The Lotus Eaters, The Forgetting Tree, and The Last Good Paradise. Her work has been awarded the UK's James Tait Black Prize and been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. Her books have also been twice listed as a New York Times Notable Book. She lives on the Monterey Peninsula of California.
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From Tatjana Soli, the bestselling author of The Lotus Eaters and The Forgetting Tree, comes a black comedy set on an island resort, where guests attempting to flee their troubles realize they can't escape who they are.
On a small, unnamed coral atoll in the South Pacific, a group of troubled dreamers must face the possibility that the hopes they've labored after so single-mindedly might not lead them to the happiness they feel they were promised. Ann and Richard, an aspiring, Los Angeles power couple, are already sensing the cracks in their version of the American dream when their life unexpectedly implodes, leading them to brashly run away from home to a Robinson Crusoe idyll. Dex Cooper, lead singer of the rock band, Prospero, is facing his own slide from greatness, experimenting with artistic asceticism while accompanied by his sexy, young, and increasingly entrepreneurial muse, Wende. Loren, the French owner of the resort sauvage, has made his own Gauguin-like retreat from the world years before, only to find that the modern world has become impossible to disconnect from. Titi, descendent of Tahitian royalty, worker, and eventual inheritor of the resort, must fashion a vision of the island's future that includes its indigenous people, while her partner, Cooked, is torn between anarchy and lust.
By turns funny and tragic, The Last Good Paradise explores our modern, complex and often, self-contradictory discontents, crafting an exhilarating and darkly satirical story about our need to connect in an increasingly networked but isolating world.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        "Soli takes this novel into unexpected places...the novel has smart things to say about the frailty of human relationships, the importance of responsibility to others, and whether it's possible to be truly "off the grid" in modern society."

      • premium: False
      • source: Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You
      • content: "Funny, sad, and hauntingly moving, Soli's brilliant new novel is about fractured dreams, broken people, and our desperate yearning to grab for that elusive second chance, no matter the cost. Drenched in a sunny paradise climate, Soli's novel asks, what's enough in life to be happy, and then delivers an answer that's as spell-binding as it is profound."
      • premium: False
      • source: Jonathan Evison, author of West of Here
      • content: "The Last Good Paradise is at once a study in ambition, and a rollicking entertainment...and a page-turning survey of modern technology. Just when you think you know where this novel is going, Soli fascinates and surprises at every twist and turn."
      • premium: False
      • source: Susan Straight, National Book Award finalist, author of Highwire Moon
      • content: "Hilarious... melancholy... Tatjana Soli's new novel is a wild ride across the ocean and a dangerous dive into desire and greed and revelations about revenge and ultimately, love."
      • premium: False
      • source: Jane Smiley, The New York Times Book Review
      • content: "Daring...haunting."
      • premium: False
      • source: Janet Maslin, The New York Times
      • content: "A haunting debut novel...quietly mesmerizing."
      • premium: False
      • source: Danielle Trussoni, The New York Times Book Review (cover)
      • content: "A splendid first novel . . . Vivid battle scenes, sensual romantic entanglements and elegant writing add to the pleasures of The Lotus Eaters."
      • premium: False
      • source: People
      • content: "Steeped in history . . . gorgeous sensory details enliven the prose."
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        December 1, 2014
        Escapees of all stripes wash up on a remote South Pacific atoll.If your chef husband's dreams of a new LA fusion restaurant have fallen apart, thanks to a spendthrift partner, and creditors are about to seize your bank account, painstakingly saved over a decade of slaving in a soulless law firm, what would you do? Withdrawing the cash and hopping the first plane to Tahiti is only the start for Ann, the lawyer, and Richard, the chef. Once at a private island resort with no electricity or Internet (which still costs an alarmingly high price), the couple has to contend with their fellow vacationers and the island's staff. The former include fellow Angelenos Dex, an aging, much-married rock star, and his 20-something "muse," Wende. The latter include Tahitians Titi, the cook and housekeeper; her betrothed, all-around handyman and diving coach Cooked; and the manager and island's owner, Loren, a Frenchman who harbors a dreadful secret about the fate of his daughters after he abandoned their mother to an abusive second marriage. This is a promising setup, but Soli's insistence on granting equal voice to every one of these characters results in narrative chaos; Richard and Ann's predicament is dropped as they're caught up in the dramas of these chance acquaintances. Ann's compassion for Loren grows after a few absinthe-soaked afternoons, although she considers his installation of a webcam on the island a betrayal. After contemplating just how many hours of each day go into maintaining her hotness, Wende embraces the revolutionary zeal of Cooked, who wants to expose the horrible toll exacted on the South Pacific by nuclear testing. Jealous, Titi sulks, and Richard takes over the kitchen, learning that food is his primary passion-but we knew that. As progressively less plausible crises proliferate, some very real sharks get jumped. Aside from the exotic setting, Soli's idiosyncratic prose style is the main attraction here.

        COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        December 15, 2014
        Best-selling Soli's third outing, after The Forgetting Tree (2012), takes place at a luxury resort on a small Polynesian island. The proprietor, Loren, a Frenchman who fled his native land years ago in an attempt to save his daughters from their mother's abusive boyfriend, charges exorbitant fees and demands guests cut themselves off from all technology. Two couples have come to the island for very different reasons. Ann, a lawyer, and her husband, Richard, a chef on the cusp of opening his own restaurant, are fleeing Los Angeles after a lawsuit threatens to cost them their life's savings, thanks to Richard's feckless business partner. Dex, the aging front man of the band Prospero, has brought his latest muse, 24-year-old Wende, to inspire his songwriting. The group soon gets swept up in the mission of Cooked, one of the native Polynesian resort employees, who seeks to expose the French colonial abuses of the island's population. Passions ignite and plots are hatched as Soli's wise, piercing insights into human nature ground the novel and make it a rewarding read.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        September 15, 2014

        Fleeing the modern world for an idyllic atoll in the South Pacific isn't working as intended for a bunch of jaded Westerners, including Los Angeles power couple Ann and Richard, fading rock star Dex Cooper, and French resort owner Loren, while locals Titi and Cooked look for ways to help the atoll's indigenous peoples. Juicy work from Soli, a James Tait Black Award winner for The Lotus Eaters and New York Times best-selling author.

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        December 1, 2014

        When their plans to open a restaurant are destroyed by the financial problems of their business partner, chef Richard and his corporate lawyer wife, Ann, abscond with their remaining cash and retreat to a remote South Pacific resort. The few other island residents include the terminally ill and alcoholic resort owner Loren; aging rocker Dex and his much younger girlfriend and "muse," Wende; and resort employees Cooked and Titi, members of the native Polynesian community. Relationships among all of these characters twist and evolve over the course of the next several weeks, and each person emerges irreparably changed. VERDICT Though the characters seem somewhat stereotypical at first, Soli (The Lotus Eaters) takes this story into unexpected places, with each character revealing hidden dimensions as the plot progresses. Perhaps Soli tries to do a bit too much here, as the multiple plot threads, especially in the novel's latter half, take the focus away from Ann and Richard's relationship woes, muting the reader's investment in it. Still, the novel has smart things to say about the frailty of human relationships, the importance of responsibility to others, and whether it's possible to be truly "off the grid" in modern society. [See Prepub Alert, 8/22/14.]--Christine DeZelar-Tiedman, Univ. of Minnesota Libs., Minneapolis

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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From New York Times bestselling author, Tatjana Soli, comes The Last Good Paradise...
On a small, unnamed coral atoll in the South Pacific, a group of troubled dreamers must face the possibility that the hopes they've labored after so single-mindedly might not lead them to the happiness they feel they were promised. Ann and Richard, an aspiring, Los Angeles power couple, are already sensing the cracks in their version of the American dream when their life unexpectedly implodes, leading them to brashly run away from home to a Robinson Crusoe idyll. Dex Cooper, lead singer of the rock band, Prospero, is facing his own slide from greatness, experimenting with artistic asceticism while accompanied by his sexy, young, and increasingly entrepreneurial muse, Wende. Loren, the French owner of the resort sauvage, has made his own Gauguin-like retreat from the world years before, only to find that the modern world has become impossible to disconnect from. Titi,...

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