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Sunset Over Chocolate Mountains

3.3  ·  Rating Details ·  123 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Susan Elderkin's brilliant Sunset Over Chocolate Mountains explores our places in the lives of our loved ones and in the universe. Theobald Moon lives in a lonely corner of the Arizona desert, tending his spectacular cactus garden, his tiny mobile home, and his astounding appetite. He has fled a stifled, cardigan-and-tea-cozy life in south London for this unfamiliar countr ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 10th 2001 by Grove Press (first published March 2nd 2000)
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Chana I agree with you. It is wildly inaccurate in the timeline of the story and way off base in the description.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 22, 2012 Paul rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-novels
This is a strange story and the principal character is not very likeable. The story runs on two tracks which intersect. Theo Moon is an overweight Englishman, who after the death of his mother, sells everything and moves into a caravan in the Arizona desert. In Slovakia a worker in a shoe factory falls in love with an icecream seller. They elope and go to America in his van to make their fortunes. They end up in the Arizona desert; she is pregnant. These two stories run in parallel with a presen ...more
What a wretched story!
There is this mild mannered English guy who is nuts. He moves from England to Arizona and lives out there drinking his urine, overeating grossly and doing yoga. There is a cowboy guy who looks in on him and helps him to repair stuff. There is a young girl who is introduced to us as the British guy's daughter. And there is a young couple from Slovakia who have made it to the U.S. and are enjoying being on the road discovering the country. The happen to park their van near t
Michelle Ricciardo
May 06, 2013 Michelle Ricciardo rated it really liked it
This is a strange story. It will not be for everyone. However, I loved it for it's descriptions of the Arizona desert and skies. Those images brought back vivid memories for me of visiting my English grandfather...who was also living in the middle of the Arizona desert in a trailer, planting apple trees, and trying to get them to survive.
Dec 29, 2016 Jessica marked it as to-read
2017 read harder challenge task 2 & 10
Sep 25, 2016 Suzan rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Beautiful evocative scenery, mood and character development. Weird story. Some parts were a bit choppy but lovely writing.
Feb 12, 2013 Louise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: around-the-usa
This is a tale of mysterious boxes of shoes, a desert and a lot of desserts.
the story of two lovers on the run from the law in Slovakia, who come to the Arizona desert. It's about the British man Theobald Moon, who leaves home when his mother dies (he's been living with her all his life and is either slightly retarded or massively overprotected) and also moves to Arizona, where he buys a trailer and a ton of candy and decides to live in the desert.
It's about the baby girl Josephine, whom he rais
Bonnie Jeanne
Jan 25, 2009 Bonnie Jeanne rated it really liked it
Oh my goodness...saw this in a bin at Strand Books in NYC and had to have it. The story is about an odd Englishman who moves to Arizona to live in a trailer and has his life turned upside-down by a pregnant Slovakian shoemaker and her ice cream man lover. My name, Zmrzlina, means ice cream in Slovak and Slovakia is one of my favorite places in the world. [return:][return:]Well, I can't say this is a favorite read, but I did enjoy most of it. Theobald Moon leaves England for life in the Arizona d ...more
Mark Speed
Sep 09, 2014 Mark Speed rated it really liked it
I've been avoiding reviewing this for a long time because I not only knew the author, but she taught on my MA in Creative Writing. In some respects I felt it was trying too hard to impress.

I'm also going to impart a little secret knowledge that no other reviewer could probably give you. The author's favourite novel is Waterland, a novel which became one of my all-time favourites after she introduced us to it in our lit crit class. I was the only one who read Susan's debut novel, and was quite su
Josephine Ensign
Mar 09, 2015 Josephine Ensign rated it really liked it
Truly memorable and endearingly eccentric characters. Love this passage: "When you go someplace with people, you don't talk to the place because you're too busy talking to the people. But when you go to a place by yourself, you can lie on the ground and feel the Earth beneath you and look at the bowl of the sky overhead and you're safe between the ground and the sky, as safe as if you were the yolk in the shell of an egg. A place is like a person, it has a mood and a way of looking, and sometime ...more
Jul 14, 2009 sisterimapoet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to sisterimapoet by: Mew
Shelves: fiction-2009
Given to me by a friend as part of our seasonal reading challenge.

My kind of story. Odd people doing odd things in odd places. Lots of lovely contrasts - hot and cold especially made this a very sensory read.

I didn't find it that confusing, as suggested by other reviews, in fact I found the divisions of chapters between different character perspectives flowed quite smoothly.

I liked the way there was ambiguity throughout, and the way it built to a climax, but that the climax itself probably occu
Jun 28, 2008 Tricia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
Elderkin is such a complex writer, and while this her first book is a bit easier to read, it still packs a very hardy punch in the guts as you finish. I'm still contemplating the characters and circumstances in this novel, and wondering how anyone ever comes up with such ideas and complications. I found it an interesting journey to read, but I would only recommend it to serious readers who aren't afraid to be confused and aching after finishing a book.
Apr 03, 2007 Jeanne rated it liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Donna Vallee
Jan 06, 2014 Donna Vallee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
two & 1/2 stars.
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