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I'll Let You Go
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I'll Let You Go

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  191 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Twelve-year-old Toulouse “Tull” Trotter lives on his grandfather’s vast Bel-Air parkland estate with his mother, the beautiful, drug-addicted Katrina—a landscape artist who specializes in topiary labyrinths. He spends most of his time with young cousins Lucy, “the girl detective,” and Edward, a prodigy undaunted by the disfiguring effects of Apert Syndrome. One day, an imp ...more
Paperback, 549 pages
Published July 8th 2003 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 2001)
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Jim Leckband
May 14, 2012 Jim Leckband rated it really liked it
During the 17th and 18th centuries, Holland was one of the richest countries on Earth - and when there are rich people, there are artists and artisans who craft and sell to them. A new painting style emerged, the still life (or nature morte in French), that was all the rage. Sumptuous displays of flowers (Amaryllis, Rose e.g.) and displays of household items or food were common subjects.

But wait a minute. There was something else in these still lifes that the Dutch made a peculiar obsession abou
Jul 08, 2008 Sophia rated it it was amazing
I read this in college and happily it is just as fantastic as I remembered. The ultra-rich and the starving poor in modern-day Beverly Hills, bitter screenwriters, children who charter their own round-the-world private jet trip and stop off at Easter Island, a brilliant, snarky, deformed ten year old boy who sews his own hoods, cousin-on-cousin incest, a crackhead's daughter who's obsessed with becoming a Jewish saint just like her hero Edith Stein and who cycles through a series of horrible fos ...more
3 1/4 Stars

I've gotten behind on my reviewing here, so this book has already been returned to the library, so please forgive if I've lost some of the names of the characters.

This was a book that popped up on my goodreads recommends list and it sounded sort of like a novel version of The Royal Tannenbaums - a film fave of mine - so I took the bait and arranged to get it through my inter-library loan system.

It's kind of a Dickensian, sprawling family drama, bisected by seething satire of LA and Ho
Jamie Rose
Jan 03, 2013 Jamie Rose rated it it was amazing
I'm giving this five stars because Wagner is clearly a genius with words. Having said that, much of the time, I felt his words put a barrier between me and this densely fascinating story. Still, while reading, I knew I was in the hands of a master, the characters are fresh, surprising, inventive, the story moving. I recommend.
Apr 22, 2014 Silverpoint rated it did not like it
I started off liking this book, but it didn't hold together. Tried to keep going, but wound up bailing out before the end. Really, a screenwriter should know how to move a story along better than this.
Rebecca McNutt
This book was sort of depressing, but a really good story about coping in a dysfunctional family situation.
Jan 23, 2017 Jon rated it it was amazing
I thought it was a fantastic book. It's relationship to Dickens was explicit, but in a way that was charming and enlivening, rather than trite. Especially since Wagner's prose is so elegant and original and unique. There are some rough bits, so to speak, particularly concerning the orphan character, and I did wonder if that had to be so nightmarish, but it was far from a parade of horrors and she is much more than a victim. The way that the characters come to life in this book meant that even th ...more
Sep 18, 2012 Carly rated it really liked it
I am at a loss on this one. It's much better than many reviewers here have expressed; very Dickensian and I am a fan. I think it was maybe a little corny that the author inserted comments about Dickens and Victorian times in a not at all subtle way. Maybe not the literary work of a lifetime, but what a fabulous story and interesting characters. For that it is worth it. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found the pages flying by. If you like the screwed up coincidences that usually befall families whos ...more
Apr 01, 2013 Dotty rated it really liked it
This is not my review - but it says it all. I loved this book!

In her New York Times review of Bruce Wagner's brilliant new novel, Michiko Kakutani calls it a virtuoso piece and then goes on to say,"His tale and the myriad other plot lines it generates attest not only to Mr. Wagner's range as a writer - his ability to write with affecting sincerity as well as satiric glee - but also to his power as a storyteller to beguile."
I couldn't agree more. It is LA seen through the eyes of Dickens, by way
Jun 29, 2008 Lisa rated it it was amazing
this is the best novel i've read in a decade or more! it's a charming story about an eccentric group of kids and their families living (and dying) in los angeles. it wavers between gritty and heartbreaking, and magical with a touch of the sort of fantasy that great films are made of. it reads like a film (and was penned by a screenwriter). i savored every page and was sorry to see it come to an end. it's a gem!
Dec 18, 2007 Charles rated it it was amazing
My favorite novel of one of my favorite novelists. An ingenious and moving Victorian pastiche about surprising relationships between the super-rich and the very poor in contemporary Los Angeles. Wagner's most fully realized and humane novel.
Feb 10, 2008 Jenn rated it it was amazing
I thought I had a good vocabulary, but I did have to read this book with Webster's by my side. It was worth it though. It's a crazy baroque Dickensian Los Angeles novel. It's just really hard to describe.
Jul 18, 2012 Alyssa rated it really liked it
The book started off slowly but built up to a solid conclusion. For the most part, the Trotters and those around them were lovable, even when it didn't make sense for them to be. Definitely a pleasant surprise.
Oct 11, 2012 Elly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
More like 3.5, a great story, however too detailed and fragmented, it felt like an eternity reading over 550 pages. None of the characters are very likable. So I kept reading out of not wanting to give up. This is definitely not a favorite regardless all the critics reviews.
Liss (LittleSparrowBooks)
Feb 14, 2011 Liss (LittleSparrowBooks) rated it did not like it
Terrible, takes a lot to say very little. Characters were never really well developed, the writing is too flowery, it takes away from the story.
May 01, 2009 Heidi rated it it was amazing
LOVED this book...majikal Los Angeles in the style of Francesca Lia Block. Fascinating history of an eccentric rich family.
Cindy Speer
Dec 26, 2014 Cindy Speer rated it did not like it
Actually never finished. After 100 pages I found myself not wanting to continue, which is very rare for me. Very wordy and took too long to get to know the characters.
Jun 21, 2008 Kayla rated it really liked it
I loved this book when I read it a few years ago. Upon reread I found it a little pretentious, but still good.
Joe rated it really liked it
Jun 09, 2008
Halli Villegas
Halli Villegas rated it it was amazing
Mar 09, 2017
Rosalie rated it liked it
Sep 10, 2008
Cricket rated it really liked it
Aug 03, 2013
Michelle rated it really liked it
Sep 11, 2011
Camille rated it really liked it
Dec 25, 2014
Katie rated it really liked it
Jun 28, 2007
Katrina rated it liked it
Apr 24, 2008
Paloma Meir
Paloma Meir rated it it was amazing
Oct 24, 2015
Pete D'angelo
Pete D'angelo rated it liked it
Feb 02, 2011
Joe rated it it was amazing
Sep 24, 2012
Silas rated it really liked it
Apr 02, 2009
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Bruce Wagner is the author of The Chrysanthemum Palace (a PEN Faulkner fiction award finalist); Still Holding; I'll Let You Go (a PEN USA fiction award finalist); I'm Losing You; and Force Majeure. He lives in Los Angeles.
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