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A Trip To The Stars

4.3  ·  Rating Details ·  1,767 Ratings  ·  274 Reviews
A Trip to the Stars opens with a kidnapping at a New York planetarium in 1965 and ends exactly 15 years later at a Hawaiian observatory. In the 500 intervening and absurdly readable pages, its two narrators undergo equal parts heartache and discovery--not to mention a fine excess of things astronomical. As Nicholas Christopher's exhilarating third novel begins, 10-year-old ...more
Published (first published February 15th 2000)
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Oct 05, 2009 karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: table, favorites
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 M
Dec 07, 2013 Angela M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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
Aug 23, 2008 Lianne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favorites, 2009
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
Jan 14, 2011 Mariel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 31, 2008 Heather rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Nov 04, 2008 Kerfe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Hannah (fullybookedreviews)

A Trip to the Stars is an epic in the truest sense of the world - it tells the story of multiple journeys across the globe, and beyond, and the intersections of our lives that have a profound impact on ourselves and our future.

While I admired the sheer imaginative scope of this novel - it was like travelling the world from the comfort of my own bed - I felt a detachment from the prose, like an outsider looking in. Part of the reason is that most of the story is narrated to us by the two main
Alan Chen
Feb 28, 2016 Alan Chen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a sentimental read but done really, really well. It's like a hot chocolate on a cold winter night or a hug from your mother. The story is heart warming, sweet, and very beautiful. It starts off with Loren being kidnapped from her aunt after visiting a planetarium and ends 15 years later when they're reunited. At first, the shocking introduction lead me to think this was going to be a dark novel but it turns out that he was taken by his uncle who wanted to provide him a better life and th ...more
Sep 20, 2008 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer by: Syl
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
Chanticleer Editorial  Book Reviews
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
Sep 22, 2016 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: former-bees
I really have no idea how to review this book. I really enjoyed the rich, textured and deeply layered story, and the main two to four characters were very enjoyable, but all that being said, even though I tried to read this carefully, I feel like I probably missed a lot. The astral symbolism throughout the book was immense, and I think I probably missed bread crumbs and clues along the way because I am not well versed in astronomy and celestial navigation.
That all being said, I did
Jan 23, 2012 Nina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Melissa McCauley
Jul 16, 2014 Melissa McCauley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 12, 2011 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 05, 2007 Aiyaruk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 16, 2008 Johnny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ruby Noise
Mar 17, 2015 Ruby Noise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this story as it deals with the lives of two people lost to each other. Their stories are told in consecutive chapters and chart the adventure they both have in finding each other. The story telling is brilliant and as with all good tales it made me want to go out and buy Captain Cooks Journals and chart his adventure myself. What a journey I went on with both characters.
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.
Re-reading one of the most perfect books ever is an excellent experience.

Feb. 2003
Feb 10, 2011 Miranda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The novel "A Trip to the Stars" is a startling find, especially given that I found it on the bargain table at Chapters for 2.50. The novel chronicles Mala and Enzo an aunt and her 10 year old nephew who are seperated one fateful day at a planetarium. The remainder of the book follows their seperated paths and their various quests to get back to one another. The book is filled with lost people, who are seeking lost things. It was this description of the lost people looking for lost things that dr ...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
Darrell Reimer
Dec 02, 2009 Darrell Reimer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 07, 2013 Tracey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 08, 2014 Joe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 23, 2009 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rachel Pollock
I gave up about a third of the way through. I thought if i read one more page-long lecture about something presented as intriguing and unusual but really oughtn't be (i.e. Pythagoras), i was going to fling it across the room.

Blurb review: a protracted academic jerk-off fantasy for dilettante castrati.

[Post script: A third of the way in, and i still could discern no difference in narrative voice between Mala and Enzo. Also, i endured two of the most unsexy sex scenes i've read in ages.]
Nov 20, 2009 Petra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quincunx of a story. Labyrinths galore throughout these pages.
The story starts out well. A compelling tale of actions and the spirals they set into motion. However, the story gets heavy with (mainly "starry"-referenced) details, so much so that it becomes contrived.
Despite the heaviness at times, I enjoyed the story of Mala and Enzo and their journey through the 15 years that the book covers. The intrigues, secrets, legends, characters are interesting and well put together.
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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.” 7 likes
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