In its recent review of the fourth (and final) Ægypt novel, Bookforum said: “We may one day look on Ægypt's publishing history with the same head-scratching curiosity with which we now regard Melville's tragic struggles and André Gide’s decision to turn down Swann's Way.†? As those words were being typed, Overlook was well into the process of reclaiming the magnificent tetralogy, and with the publication of The Solitudes, readers re-entered the fantastic world that enthralled reviewers and was enshrined in Harold Bloom’s Western Canon. In Love & Sleep, the second volume of the series, the professor Pierce Moffett finds himself at a great turning point in the history of the world. As a child, Pierce was no stranger to magic, but those revelations faded with time. Now Pierce's search for a secret history of the world—one in which magic works and angels speak to humankind—has begun again. Love & Sleep is followed by the third volume in the Ægypt cycle, Dæmonomania, and the fourth, Endless Things.
About the Author
John Crowley was born in the appropriately liminal town of Presque Isle, Maine, in 1942, his father then an officer in the US Army Air Corps. He grew up in Vermont, northeastern Kentucky and (for the longest stretch) Indiana, where he went to high school and college. He moved to New York City after college to make movies, and did find work in documentary films, an occupation he still pursues. He published his first novel (The Deep) in 1975, and his 14th volume of fiction (Lord Byron's Novel: The Evening Land) in 2005. Since 1993 he has taught creative writing at Yale University. In 1992 he received the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He finds it more gratifying that almost all his work is still in print.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Love and Sleep based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Love & Sleep, the 2nd part of the Aegypt Cycle, is a novel of ideas but also a book about love, death and the disturbing magic of childhood; its characters as real as fiction can be. In short the whole quartet is shaping up to be a classic not only of fantasy but also contemporary literature, up there with Midnight¿s Children, One Hundred Years of Solitude and Gravity¿s Rainbow.It¿s difficult to write a short review as the dense symbolism and complexity of this book would require multiple reads, hard study and at least an essay of a few thousand words to do it justice. It continues the story of Pierce Moffett; his retreat to a town in the country to write a book about the secret history of the world. The first section of the novel returns to Pierce¿s Catholic but liberal upbringing in the Kentucky Hills; a beautiful portrayal of the naïve but magical experiences of childhood and his sexual awakening. Pierce¿s concept of the world working in a different way in the past, the way of the elaborate occult theories of the Renaissance philosophers, originates here, in his immature but bright mind.It¿s the story of other characters: Rosie Rasmussen, a single parent going through a difficult divorce, who inherits the Rasmussen Foundation from her wealthy elderly relative, Boney. Boney Rasmussen himself, a man who fears approaching death and hopes the dead historical novelist and once close friend, Fellowes Kraft, has found the alchemical Elixir of Life. And John Dee and Giordano Bruno (real life magicians and scholars from the 16th Century) who feature as characters in Kraft¿s final unpublished novel, seeming to confirm Pierce Moffett¿s view of history; a story within a story but relating to the main narrative.What we have here is a domestic novel of interrelating characters concerned with the major themes of human life-love and death; but also with the history of ideas. How one paradigm or how we understand the world changes into another as time or history moves forward. Within this story magic and its corresponding universe existed as concrete reality but were literally erased by the coming scientific revolution. Magic used to work but now it doesn¿t and like the half remembered but powerfully lit magical kingdom of childhood, you can never return to that world. If you want a novel that will make you think but also move you deeply this is the one (but of course start with the first volume-The Solitudes.) If you have an interest in the esoteric arts and the occult, enjoy the writings of Umberto Eco (especially Foucault¿s Pendulum) or Borges or admire great modern literature in general you will love this. But for fans of conventional fantasy that is strong on plot but weak in originality and writing talent, please keep away. Likewise those who dislike the genres of the fantastic or fabulous might as well give this sequence of novels a wide berth; for although the supernatural is subtle interwoven into the text it is still a work of the imagination.