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By George: A Novel
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Published:
Little, Brown and Company 2007
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Available from OverDrive
Description
In the illustrious history of the theatrical Fishers, there are two Georges. One is a peculiar but endearing 11-year-old, raised in the seedy world of '70s boarding houses and backstages, now packed off to school for the first time; the other, a garrulous ventriloquist's dummy who belonged to George's grandfather, a favorite traveling act of the British troops in World War II. The two Georges know nothing of each other—until events conspire to unite them in a search to uncover the family's deepest secrets.
Weaving the boy's tale and the puppet's "memoirs," BY GEORGE unveils the fascinating Fisher family—its weak men, its dominant women, its disgruntled boys, and its shocking and dramatic secrets. At once bitingly funny and exquisitely tender, Stace's novel is the unforgettable journey of two young boys separated by years but driven by the same desires: to find a voice, and to be loved.
"By George is one of those rare works of fiction with an essential triple helix — it's funny, it's clever and it's perfectly woven together with story. If writing is how we imagine not being lonely, as Wesley Stace suggests, then his conjuring trick as a writer is that he brings a large crowd along with him. This is a wonderful follow-up to his debut novel, Misfortune." — Colum McCann, author of Zoli and Dancer
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
8/22/2007
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780316145503
ASIN:
B000QRIGMQ
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Wesley Stace. (2007). By George: A Novel. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Wesley Stace. 2007. By George: A Novel. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Wesley Stace, By George: A Novel. Little, Brown and Company, 2007.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Wesley Stace. By George: A Novel. Little, Brown and Company, 2007. 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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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:12:24
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:44:29
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OverDrive Product Record

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        Educated at Cambridge, Wesley Stace (also known as John Wesley Harding) cut short his Ph.D. studies to pursue a music career. He has released 8 solo albums and toured as the opening act for The Mighty Lemon Drops, Michelle Shocked, and Bruce Springsteen. His novel, Misfortune, was published by Little, Brown in 2004. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.

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shortDescription

In the illustrious history of the theatrical Fishers, there are two Georges. One is a peculiar but endearing 11-year-old, raised in the seedy world of '70s boarding houses and backstages, now packed off to school for the first time; the other, a garrulous ventriloquist's dummy who belonged to George's grandfather, a favorite traveling act of the British troops in World War II. The two Georges know nothing of each other--until events conspire to unite them in a search to uncover the family's deepest secrets.

Weaving the boy's tale and the puppet's "memoirs," BY GEORGE unveils the fascinating Fisher family--its weak men, its dominant women, its disgruntled boys, and its shocking and dramatic secrets. At once bitingly funny and exquisitely tender, Stace's novel is the unforgettable journey of two young boys separated by years but driven by the same desires: to find a voice, and to be loved.

"By George is one of those rare works of fiction with an essential tripl...

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title
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fullDescription
In the illustrious history of the theatrical Fishers, there are two Georges. One is a peculiar but endearing 11-year-old, raised in the seedy world of '70s boarding houses and backstages, now packed off to school for the first time; the other, a garrulous ventriloquist's dummy who belonged to George's grandfather, a favorite traveling act of the British troops in World War II. The two Georges know nothing of each other—until events conspire to unite them in a search to uncover the family's deepest secrets.
Weaving the boy's tale and the puppet's "memoirs," BY GEORGE unveils the fascinating Fisher family—its weak men, its dominant women, its disgruntled boys, and its shocking and dramatic secrets. At once bitingly funny and exquisitely tender, Stace's novel is the unforgettable journey of two young boys separated by years but driven by the same desires: to find a voice, and to be loved.
"By George is one of those rare works of fiction with an essential triple helix — it's funny, it's clever and it's perfectly woven together with story. If writing is how we imagine not being lonely, as Wesley Stace suggests, then his conjuring trick as a writer is that he brings a large crowd along with him. This is a wonderful follow-up to his debut novel, Misfortune." — Colum McCann, author of Zoli and Dancer
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reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        April 16, 2007
        Singer-songwriter John Wesley Harding, writing under his given name Wesley Stace (Misfortune
        ), crafts a British performing family's saga filled with wit, warmth and imagination. George Fisher is 11 years old in 1973 when his mother, Frankie, enjoying a successful run as Peter Pan, delivers him to Upside Boarding School. George misses his family, particularly his 93-year-old great-grandmother Evangeline, who for many years performed as a ventriloquist—as did her son, Joe. Under the watchful eye of the headmaster, George learns to escape student responsibilities by cheating, throwing his voice and befriending the groundskeeper, who gives him ventriloquism how-to books. George's school-days narrative alternates with another memoiristic voice from 1930, that of Joe's dummy, also called George. While George the schoolboy leaves Upside, eventually finding work in the family business, George the dummy accompanies Joe on the road to entertain troops during WWII. In different eras, boy and dummy each finds his own voice, plus some understanding of a world full of trickery and illusion. Family secrets revealed are not much of a surprise, but Stace amasses enough gently ironic humor (including sly references to Harry Potter
        and David Copperfield
        ), emotion and insight to carry his voices beautifully.

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

        June 1, 2007
        Stace's second novel (after "Misfortune") shifts between the viewpoints of two boys named George. One is a ventriloquist's dummy; the other is the ventriloquist's grandson. The dummy's narration takes some getting used to, and it sometimes drags, but it picks up as the duo entertains British troops during World War II. Overall, though, it's the story of the younger George that is more captivating, especially when he discusses his unhappy experience at boarding school during the 1970s in an interval that recalls some of John Irving's storytelling. The two Georges ultimately meet as part of the younger boy's search for his place in a family of domineering women. His search leads him back to a manuscript written by his long-dead grandfather, himself oppressed by the family matriarch. Stace, who writes and performs music under the name John Wesley Harding, has a real talent for re-creating a variety of settings, from battlefields to boarding houses to the backstages of vaudeville. This novel is an original, and it ends with a most satisfying revelation. Recommended for all libraries.Evelyn Beck, Piedmont Technical Coll., Greenwood, SC

        Copyright 2007 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from June 1, 2007
        This second novel by the author of Misfortune (2005) wends its way through a labyrinth of familial idiosyncrasies, grudges, and conundrums. As John Wesley Harding, Stace writes lyrics and performs music, and his folksy style infuses an air of warmth and humor to what is essentially the story of a controlling woman who nearly ruins her entire family. The multilinear and multigenerational tale begins with the last days of an elderly vaudeville ventriloquist, Echo Ender, whose onstage success with her dummy, Naughty Narcissus, ensures entry into the entertainment world for future generations of her family. First comes Echos son, Joe, also a ventriloquist, who has a dummy named George; hes followed by his flamboyant daughter, Frankie, an actress; and then by her withdrawn son, also named George, who develops his own talent for throwing his voice at boarding school. The two Georgesone a boy, the other a dummyare the joint narrators in this saga of the backstage failures behind one familys onstage success. The two Georges stories eventually merge in a surprising conclusion to a novel that most readers will hate to see end. Characters spring to life in the words of the sardonic dummy, whose pointed comments about his wacky family make the book a hoot to read and beg the question, Whos in control, the puppet or the puppet master? Book groups will enjoy sorting out this one!(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2007, American Library Association.)

subtitle
A Novel
popularity
46
publisher
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