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Veronica

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  608 ratings  ·  67 reviews
On a snowy night in February, at the improbable point in Lower Manhattan where Waverly Place intersects Waverly Place, a photographer named Leo meets Veronica for the first time. Starkly beautiful, mysterious, aloof, she leads him into a world where illusion blends seamlessly with reality—a luminously transformed city where powerful underground streams crisscross beneath t...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 24th 2008 by Dial Press Trade Paperback (first published January 1st 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,010)
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Greg
This book is a lot like most things in life, a giant fucking disappointment.

It's been years since I read it.

When I first met Karen, even more years ago, she gave me a copy of Trip to the Stars (by the same author) to read.

Trip to the Stars is one of those books that is magical and pretty near perfect. It's an amazing wondrous book.

It's the kind of book that makes you want to go out and read everything else an author has written, just so you can try to capture even some of that feeling again....more
Michael
I found this an alluring dreamlike trip with love and suspense. But like The Night Circus it left me feeling I had taken a thrilling, spooky fairground ride followed by a binge on cotton candy. If you are satisfied by such an excursion, this could be a good book for you.

Freelance photographer Leo meets Veronica one evening in Manhattan and starts falling for her beauty and mysterious, exotic ways. Veronica draws him into her circle of strange friends and takes him to Tibetan restaurants and one...more
Matt Kuhns
This was one of those random finds while browsing the shelves at the library, and an example of why it’s worth doing so I suppose. I’m not sure what it was about the spine which made me pull it off the shelf, but the cover is interesting, and the blurb met the “well, this seems so strange I kind of have to give it a go” criteria for coming home with me.

When I first started reading, admittedly, I had some doubts. The story seemed a little too jumpy, a little too coy and elliptical, while the scen...more
Ian Paganus de Fish
Held Captive

It's a long time since I read this novel.
I remember being captivated by it and not wanting it to stop.
I couldn't work out whether it was basically fantasy trash, but ultimately it didn't matter, I loved it anyway.
Deliah
This book took me a year to read. No kidding. I kept picking it up. Stopping. Starting. Picking it up. And the rest is history. It wasn't a slow start, no that wasn't the problem. It was just bizarre. More bizzare than scary and that's my own downfall for thinking one meant the other. But that's OK. It is. Because it paid off. And I can't say too much for fear of spoiling it - even though in hindsight it wouldn't make a lick of sense anyway - but it's worth a read if you can stick with it. Veron...more
Oliver
Nov 04, 2009 Oliver rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
This book came into my life at a fairly chaotic, emotionally tumultuous and generally difficult time, and for many years I wondered if that was why it became so important to me, but the truth is that I have read it several times since then and it is still the magical, insightful, exciting experience that it ever was, pretty much regardless of what is going on in my life at the time.

I don't want to say too much about the story or the characters - I think that I could easily colour a new reader's...more
Sarah S.
The main character Leo was obviously a Gary-Stu of the author, Veronica was his manic pixie dream girl, and that made the sex scenes really awkward to read. Leo might not even be a character in this book, I don't understand why we're seeing everything through his eyes. He does very little and doesn't seem to have any control over what is going on in the world around him. I guess you could say he got swept up in the magic or whatever, but if Leo wasn't going to do anything, why not make this stor...more
Karo
I picked up a used copy of Veronica based solely on the praise found on its cover, knowing nothing about the novel or the author. I was pleasantly surprised by the book, and can honestly say that it was like nothing I've ever read before. I do read a bit of fantasy, but Veronica is different in that the plot is grounded very firmly in New York City. It's what happens in the city to Leo, an innocent bystander who gets caught up in a whirlwind of magic and time-travel, that's the fantastic part. T...more
Christopher
Veronica is a magic realism novel about a New Yorker who meets a magician's daughter. The book was worth reading because of the quality of the author's imagination and descriptive prowess. Christopher's poetry background seeps into every page and left with me with a few quite memorable images. If I were editing the book, I would have suggested that he increase the pace as the narrative was a bit slow for my tastes. His modernist tone was also cooler and more distant than I would have preferred....more
Mollie
I had no idea I was picking up an "urban fantasy" book, but I'm glad I did. It was fascinating. But about the first half of it was a little confusing—but once it all starts to make sense, you can see why it would HAVE to be confusing. If it wasn't for the incredible writing and vivid imagery in the first part of the book, I probably would have given up on it. But the words and images worked on me and put my reader's mind in a place where almost anything was possible.
Casey
I found it really beautifully written and full of intriguing suspense, but I didn't love it. The narrator had absolute zero personality, and while the magic and mysticism were for the most part extremely cool, I felt as if there were no ingrained rules to the magic of this universe and magical occurrences were invented haphazardly just because they were needed for the story to progress.
Antidote
In comparison to A TRIP TO THE STARS, this novel is woeful. But then, STARS is a masterpiece. Unfortunately, even by most standards of books I'd invest time in reading (compelling characters, considered, worked plot, at a minimum.. something engaging about the narrative..) this also falls short. Nothing about it is engaging. The characters are awful, indulgent, unlikeable and waft along their completely chaotic and unbelievable trajectory without even beginning to connect with me or strike any c...more
Tara
This books was very strange and really not my cup of tea in terms of subject matter or story line but somehow it did keep my attention enough for me to finish it fairly quickly. I got the sense that the writer drew certain words out of a hat (namely, magician, veronica, tibet, New York) and was just like "Okay, how can I write a story that incorporates all of these things. Because of the randomness of the topics and how they intertwine it did have a feel like this was a novel that came from some...more
David
4.5 Stars
My first venture into a book by Nicolas Christopher produced a very good, if slightly confusing read.

Leo meets Veronica on a snowy night in Manhattan where Waverly place intersects itself. She leads him through a labyrinth of places and events in an effort to save her illusionist father. Her father has been sucked back in time and has communicated about his return. Leo is the savior of the family.

Leo’s first person narration is very well used in this book. The confusion he feels is abs...more
Paul Crittenden
Very disappointed. This book violates one of my cardinal rules of storytelling: plot comes from character, not the other way around. Leo, the main character in Veronica does nothing - the plot happens to him. He is just along for the ride, not really even questioning the odd things that happen to him. There is a good story here, but it's not the one Nicholas Christopher tells. I would have like to have seen some exploration as to why Leo goes along with Veronica and her plan. The few times Chris...more
Peggy
This book completely threw me when I started, but once I got into it, I really began to enjoy it. The opening chapters were very confusing, but later, as the plot begins to unravel and become more apparent, it paid off.

I enjoyed that we are as befuddled as Leo when all these strange events, dreams and traveling begin to take place. As he becomes more confident and is given more information, so are we. I read the last 200 pages in one sitting. I was either too wrapped up or to afraid to lose my...more
Elizabeth
Jul 02, 2012 Elizabeth rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Proponents of the strange and magical
Ordinarily I would hate a book that doesn't hang onto reality enough for me to understand it, but in the case of Veronica I really liked it. It was strange, unbelievable, and yet took its magic so much for granted that I could, too. The surrealness of this book was like reading a dream, which is an amazing accomplishment for the author, because it's very difficult to let go of hows and whys when you write. After all, humans like knowing how and why something happens, and letting go of that is co...more
Tricia
Usually, I love magic realism, but this book borders a little more on comic contemporary fantasy. The characters are stiff and unrelenting in their boredom, merely devices to drive the plot forward it seems. Once in deep enough, the twists are expected and the outcome forgone. The "romance" was hollow, in my opinion a vehicle for trippy love scenes, that frankly left me both underwhelmed and uncomfortable. I ended up not caring what happened to the main character, finishing the novel only to sat...more
Diane Matlick
Probably more like 4.5 stars, this was a magical book with a beautiful love story that totally snuck up on me!! I literally gasped at the end though, I really needed/wanted more!! And I do feel like more of a connection or back story between them would have been cool too. Either way, once I hit page ~300, and I realized where the story was going, I held my breath and couldn't put it down. On to the rest of Nicholas Christopher's books for me!! I feel like I found a gem with him
Chris
If you liked "The Celestine Prophecy," you'll love this book. I didn't. How did I not like it? Let me count the ways:
*Veronica is verrrrrry magical
*New York city is apparently verrrrry magical
*Leo is the ultimate in passive observers or maybe he just likes taking orders
*Magic happens a lot
*Detailed to the extreme (want to know how many steps there are in the Empire State Building?)
*Even though Veronica is magical, she can't stop her friends from dying or being killed
*There are magical animals
*Th...more
Marika
4 stars is a conservative rating. I fully intend to reread this, and may up it to 5 if it holds together. This is every bit an adult version of "that story" you read when you were 10 years old, and reread and reread.... It has adventure, romance, OMG what is going to happen, beautiful imagery, repetition of themes that seemingly (to be proven or disproven with a rereading) have great meaning and portent. I loved every bit of this.

Only downside, I had Elvis Costello's "Veronica" stuck in my head...more
Michelle
This book started off in a rambling and confusing mix of magical realism and time-jumping, with too many underdeveloped characters to track. But as I read more, the underlying story developed, characters became more relateable and the story ended up being pretty interesting. Definitely NOT one for light reading, as there was a LOT of time and place rearrangements, but the ending was rewarding enough to make the ride worthwhile. I would look into other books of Christopher's, but I probably would...more
Merope
Beautifully written, dreamy storyline promising a mix of time travel, magic and the mystics of far-east. It was like a long, very long dream with unusual series of events & characters.
I kept reading it through the end without being able to put it away...Highly recommended to those who are fond of fantasy books and I suppose people who like "The Anubis Gates" will loooove this book.(or vice versa)

Its such a shame that this book is not a best seller! It definitely should be.
Mickjaggernaut
Brilliant. Fascinating. Surreal. Contains elements of magic and fantasy intertwined with factual information. Story about a man with an average life who finds his entire existence literally turn upside down by a woman, Veronica, whom he meets at the unlikely intersection of Waverly and Waverly in Downtown Manhattan near Washington Square Park. Thus, begins the adventure of his life as he tries to help Veronica free her father from a peculiar limbo.
Andrew W.m.
A whirling, magical novel full of half-steps and confusion. Nonetheless, it succeeds in creating a fantastic and atmospheric progression which is satisfactorialy resolved in a series of grand set pieces. If you allow the meanderings of this magical realist story then you will reap a fair reward in terms of ponderous, intriguing characters and dramatic denouement. A firm recommendation.
Ann Doremus
A magician disappears during his act and his family and friends try to facilitate his return. But the main character is a man named Leo who is drawn in to the plot by the intriguing Veronica. Time travel, magic, mysticism - I LOVE this book by the author of my *favorite* book (A Trip to the Stars). I'm embarrassed to say how many times I have read this... :)
Jason
Had a tough time rating this one. There are so many aspects of this novel that warrant 5 stars, but unfortunately there are a couple that may generously receive 2. Overall, a great story is in here...but only if you can overlook a few negatives. I will read more from this author in hoes that he gets it all right at some point.
Marla
A supernatural story that takes place through time and space. I like the way the author uses repeated themes and astronomy. Another book by this author is one of my absolute favorites A Trip to the Stars
Aubrey
Mystical and noirish, the story of a young man's involvement with a woman who is on a quest to bring back her magician father who is trapped travelling through time. The line between the dream world, the fourth dimension, and reality is difficult to keep track of, but it was an adventurous and very satisfying read.
Mara
Sep 27, 2013 Mara rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mara by: no one found it in the library loved it so i bought it
one of my top 3 of all time. I think in reading other reviews, I notice that this book, is a book that finds you. I found it in the library, others found it in the library. makes me believe we were meant to read this book. if you stumble across it, you won't be sorry.
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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
More about Nicholas Christopher...
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“They were different colors: the right one blue, the left green. And her face in the light of the candle on the table startled me at first, just as it had in the icy night air. After seeing it on the street, I was afraid I had only imagined it: a still, luminous face with a silvery sheen. Finely hewn, with a long, straight nose and a wide mouth, it was nearly identical to another face, which I had photographed years before. Not on a person, bu on the fragment of a frieze I found in some ruins near Verona, The frieze, which depicted a band of musicians, had once been shadowed beneath a cornice high on the temple of Mercury, god of magic. Belonging to one of the musicians, it was a riveting face - like a puzzle that could not be solved - which I had never found, or expected to find, on a living woman.” 2 likes
“We were on Barrow Street now.
"Who is the man with the scar?" I said.
She shot me a glance, and her face hardened. "You saw him?"
"How could I miss? He was the real center of attention. Didn't you go to the opening at all?"
"No" She said. "And just because you saw him doesn't mean he was there.”
2 likes
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