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A Trip to the Stars

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  1,327 ratings  ·  217 reviews
A young boy and his adopted aunt become separated when the youngster is kidnapped by his wealthy, eccentric great-uncle, but mysterious ties continue to link the two unknowingly over the fifteen-year separation.
Paperback, 499 pages
Published February 20th 2001 by Touchstone (first published February 15th 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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karen
this is then closest thing to a one-size-fits-all book that ive come across. whenever someone asks me "just for something good". "i dont know, just with a good story", "whatever", i just give them this. even when they are much more helpful with what they are looking for - i give them this. and i have had a number of people come back and tell me how much they loved it, and do i have anything like it. thats the problem. i dont. there are shades of it in other books - millhauser, harington, carroll ...more
Angela
“We had voyaged far into space and now we were returning. Before leaving the solar system, we orbited the moon and several planets – skating along Saturn’s rings, probing Jupiter’s red spot, and skimming the icy mountain ranges of Uranus. We trailed a comet and threaded a swarm of meteors. And after Pluto, we were among the stars: glittering clusters, bracelets, and crescents that swirled around us.” (page 1 – A Trip to the Stars)

This is a story about fate, and yes, in this story the fate is wri
...more
Mariel
Feb 16, 2011 Mariel rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: (*)(*)
Recommended to Mariel by: karen
The Book of Life, Love, Dreams and Epicness Beyond that did not read to me. I wanted to like A Trip to the Stars more than I did. You know that feeling of hearing about the very detailed dream someone has and you feel like you're probably missing a freaking ton of back story? The symbols that represent so much don't mean anything to you? People are people who wear masks of other people? It must mean an awful lot to the person having it. It ties in all of those things that they've been thinking a ...more
Lianne
Wow. I don't remember what I was expecting when I started reading this book, but A Trip to the Stars far exceeded those expectations. The story is intricate, beautifully written, and totally engrossing. Very different than what I have read recently. I read a review somewhere that said the storylines of the two main characters, Mala and Enzo, are like separate wide spirals that get tighter and tighter as they overlap -- and I really agree with that assessment.

I am so glad I invested the time I d
...more
Meredith
This may just be the best book I've ever read. A pretty lofty declaration, given how many classics and sentimental favorites are on my list, but a true one nonetheless. This is not a quick read--you have to be patient with it as it weaves its tapestry of overlapping fates. Nicholas Christopher rushes nothing as he establishes the complex web of connections between his characters. In the meantime, you will learn about philosophy, history, astronomy, arachnology, art, architecture, vampirology, an ...more
Kerfe
Right from the start, the author lets us know that the characters, events, and physical items in the parallel stories of Loren/Enzo and Alma/Mala, which diverge in the first chapter, will fit together like a puzzle at the end. The reader can easily figure some things out; yet that did not keep me from wanting to follow all the paths as they moved to their inevitable conclusion.

On one level this book is a soap opera about several interrelated dysfunctional families falling apart and colliding in
...more
Scott Dickerson
Why do we continue to read books that we consider terrible? Do other people have enough discipline to stop reading?

This book ia pretty ambitious, and tries to tell lots of semi-related stories that cross a variety of genres from within the lens of two protagonists.

The stories though with few exceptions are of a couple varieties: "rich, super-interesting people live their awesome self-satisfied existences" and "poor, super-gorgeous people drink themselves into stupor and pursue pleasure until the
...more
Heather
I absolutely loved Christopher’s The Bestiary so I was really looking forward to this book; this might explain why I was less than thrilled by it. I really enjoy his imagination and the unusual characters he creates but something in this book just fell flat for me. I kept thinking to myself, ‘this could be amazing.’ And I don’t think this review will be helpful at all because I can’t exactly decide what was wrong with the book because on a lot of levels it was captivating and exciting (I loved t ...more
Jennifer
May 02, 2009 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jennifer by: Syl
Oh! I love this so far...

Now that I am finished I still love it. The last third got a bit slow for me, and I was left still peckish at the ending until a friend pointed out that perhaps NC was making room for a sequel. Harrumph. I still feel there was a key meeting missing, but I'd be willing to forgive this if NC delivers more of this world and its people.

The story is imaginative and just plain fun. The bazillion star references mostly made me smile. Only a few were ill-placed, causing some s
...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This was a wild ride! I don't even know what shelves to put it on. Magic mushrooms are entirely optional, but they could enhance your enjoyment of this escapade. Put on your psychedelic 3-D glasses and enjoy the trip. See you when you touch down.
Darrell Reimer
I've enjoyed the work of a few "magic realists" in my day, and was looking forward to Christopher's take on the genre. After slogging through 150 pages, A Trip To The Stars is fated to remain unfinished -- its pretensions have deflated its attempted "realism" of any emotional power.

An orphan kid, Loren/Enzo gets separated from his charge in '65, then shuttled to an exotic hotel in Nevada where he receives an eclectic education. Meanwhile his young aunt, Alma/Mala (said charge) drifts through lif
...more
Chanticleer Book Reviews Editorial
From Chanticleer Book Reviews

A Trip to the Stars will take you to exotic locales and allows you to glimpse into the realms of magic, music, memory, and time travel along with acquainting you with other mysterious talents of the story's fascinating characters.Some of whom you will wish could become your friends;others with whom you will wish could feel your wrath.

The story opens with the young Alma and her ten-year-old nephew Loren enjoying an afternoon planetarium show. The drama starts when the
...more
Paul Crittenden
(This review attempts to avoid spoilers while presenting something of a synopsis of the plot. Personally I don't think it needs spoiler warnings but if you like going into a book knowing nothing about it then let me just say that I very much enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.)

I wish I had written it. I could give a story higher praise but not much. A Trip to the Stars is an extremely engaging, well-researched story with a lively cast of unforgettable characters.

The plot spans the 15 year
...more
Nina
Recommended by my friends Marla and Kerfe, "A Trip to the Stars" has everything that I want in a book: great story, characters drawn beautifully (even the dog Sirius is given a personality), and the hum of synchronicity throughout the book.
At age ten, Loren is kidnapped at a planetarium--he grabs a hand, thinking it is his young aunt's, and winds up being spirited away. He had been adopted, his hippie parents were killed in a car crash, and the person who finds him, and brings him back, is his
...more
Erin
In short, this book is about a young boy whose adoptive parents die, and his 21 year old adoptive aunt takes him under her care. After only a couple weeks, he is kidnapped. This book covers the next 15 years of their lives until they finally see each other again.

There is not a single wasted word in this book. The story is told in alternating chapters out of each of their lives. Just when you get completely wrapped in her story, you're plunged into his. Everything is tied together. Parts of his
...more
Tracey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrea
Jan 14, 2009 Andrea is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a little befuddled by some of the rave reviews of this book. I'm not sure if I'll finish it. I was enjoying it as some very light reading, but moving very slowly though it, and not really caring that much about the characters. Mala's love affair is pretty standard man-fantasy stuff (incredible sexual connection, woman doesn't have emotional needs, they don't need to talk) but it's not the amazing connection that NC apparently wants us to believe. I mean, they don't feel comfortable talking t ...more
Anna
The first time I read this, it was the kind of thing where once I finished it I had to lay back on my pillow taking deep breaths for a while to soften the transition back to reality. Really fun to read, pretty thoroughly a magical rich indulgent escapist kind of thing with a guy protagonist that I still sort of have a crush on (in jr high I used to dog-ear one or two love scenes and read them at school and feel really subversive cause it was a Catholic school) and another really attractive prota ...more
Aiyaruk
Nov 05, 2007 Aiyaruk rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: lovers of esoteric fiction
Shelves: read-fiction
Oh, be still my steady heart! This book still has me reeling. It's in a class entirely of its own, and I've rarely been so absolutely enthralled with a novel. The only reason that I gave this four stars instead of five is because it's a complicated, long read. It'll take anyone a while to get through, even though it's not necessarily that long of a book. It's not the sort of book you'd want to rush, though. Nonetheless, there was some weirdness towards the end (I won't mention what for the sake ...more
Johnny
A great story as long as you are able to not get tired of 57,000 'coincidences'. Quiet injections of implausibility. Funny how you can accept vampires on the Rio Puerco, NM magic tiger warriors among the Người dân tộc thiếu số, and tarantulas that can imbue psychic powers through their venom but become frustrated when the author falsely describes local vegetation like mesquites and Bursura's in Reno, NV and Ironwoods in Las Vegas- It's the Mohave Desert! It gets way too cold there in the winter ...more
Jim Leckband
OK, I'll get this out of the way right now. Coincidences. There are significant ones in this book. For a lesser writer, coincidences are a very efficient way to signal the reader that the author is lazy and surely there are better things to do than read a lazy author's book. But then there is Charles Dickens, who thrived on coincidences and we revel in them. Why? Well...Dickens! Characters, plots, situations - he was always inventive in so many other areas that the coincidences didn't matter.

Is
...more
Melissa
This book was like a magical journey: captivating at times, slow and searching at times. When I read it, it was like I was slowly transporting into another world, which is part of the fun! I definitely enjoyed the experience, however, it could be an acquired taste for some.
Joe Komsky
With apologies to my friend who recommended this book, I hated it. After searching for the correct word or words to describe it, I think I finally hit on it: ponderous.

Christopher spends page after page describing locations and surroundings in detail but in the end, you don't feel immersed in the scene.

He also spends many pages telling us what each character is thinking or the meaning in each situation. But it never seems to get us closer to the next step in the plot. I would rather he spent ha
...more
Karen
This is one of the best books I have read that left me with that faraway feeling. Novels that take you away to magical places that don't seem farfetched is always a good thing. I love a book that leaves me wondering what if...
Hari
truly one of the most incredible and entertaining books i've ever read. It's got a thousand different layers and it's sometimes a little tough to keep track of all that's going on, but it's deeefinitely worth it
Christi
Beautifully written! I started this book with no idea what to expect and did not realize it was magic realism. Once I grasped that, I was able to suspend my disbelief and just enjoy the story.
Lisa
This is honestly, one of my favorite books.
Every book I love, I buy a hard cover of which I keep together on a top shelf as a group.
This was one of the first on that shelf.

A true treasure.
Hester
Loren has been orphaned repeatedly. He was given up for adoption as a baby, his adoptive parents died so his adoptive grandmother took him in, and then his adoptive aunt takes care of him after his grandmother dies. He is abducted a couple weeks after his aunt, Alma, takes custody. The novel then alternates chapters between their voices, as Loren grows up and Alma goes looking for him. Our adventure is full of North American magical realism. Like "Child of a Rainless Year" (another US magical re ...more
Melissa McCauley
I really wanted to love this book. At first I was enchanted by all the star and spider references, the magical realism, the underlying theme of the search for lost things…. but after a couple of hundred pages it just seemed to fizzle out. I think it was the overly detailed descriptions of the inhabitants of The Hotel Canopus. I couldn’t keep straight the convoluted relationships of 3 generations of women, all of whom had names which started with the letter “D”. I just kept wondering why I should ...more
Karen
I absolutely loved this book. A child is kidnapped and brought to his uncles house in Las Vegas. That is only the beginning. This book weaves the same characters in different places, times and circumstances. Imagery is laced throughout with celestial references. There are several subplots that keep the book moving. This book is magical. If you are a Donna Tartt or a John Fowles fan, you will love this shining example of illusionist fiction. There are stories within stories, layers of imagery and ...more
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Nicholas Christopher was born and raised in New York City. He was educated at Harvard College, where he studied with Robert Lowell and Anthony Hecht. Afterward, he traveled and lived in Europe. He became a regular contributor to the New Yorker in his early twenties, and began publishing his work in other leading magazines, both in the United States and abroad, including Esquire, the New Republic, ...more
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“It was Calzas who told me that your life is a road along which you leave many markers-points in time and places on the map.The ones in time you can only revisit in your mind, and they never change. The places can be revisited firsthand, but they're constantly changing. To keep a place the same , he said, you can no longer return to it-and then it becomes a point in time.” 5 likes
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