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Fair Warning

2.94  ·  Rating details ·  124 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Robert Olen Butler is one of our most versatile and dynamic contemporary fiction writers -- a narrative master who won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1993 for his classic short-story collection A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain. His new novel -- based on a short story that won the National Magazine Award for fiction as part of Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope: All-Sto ...more
Hardcover, 225 pages
Published December 31st 2002 by Atlantic Monthly Press (first published 2002)
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Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Disappointing considering the author. Characters felt forced and trite. What women describe themselves as such? "The sunlight surely had made my finely-textured, newly light ash blond hair diaphanously beautiful." What????
Jul 20, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I had seen the Goodreads reviews before impulsively buying and reading this book. I had previously enjoyed Robert Olen Butler's short stories, and was impressed by the first line of this book: "Perhaps my fate was sealed when I sold my three-year old sister." It has the potential for an interesting story, but I guess I wasn't that interested in the lush description of the auction items, and the symbolism only partially worked for me.
Sarah Morse Adams
Brilliant first line, gorgeous imagery. For that it gets three stars. The first half of the book really pulled me along. I loved it. But sometime after the halfway point, it started to lose me. It didn't quite come together at the end. It left me feeling empty... Which was the point perhaps but not what I was looking to feel. An intellectual read rather than a sensual/emotional one.
Jun 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-reread-finish
It's a literary/character study book, so don't go into it expecting action and fireworks and Harry Potter. However, I adore this book, it's one of my favourites. Damn can Robert Olen Butler turn a phrase. Re: Amy not being believable...I found her surprisingly easy to identify with. But yeah, brusque, hormonal, kind of a hardass, I can see how that might put people off.

I especially loved this book when we got to reading the Rape of the Lock. And high school me thought ROB was such a smart dude.

"I buy therefore I am".

I can understand that for some, the slow pace in which this book is unfolded can be irritating. Nothing really happens and at a point even I was starting to think in other things I could've been reading.
Luckily my boredom allowed me to finish the remaining pages in a sitting.

It is not bad. Dull, maybe, but definitely not a bad read.
Well yeah I mostly didn't really cared for the heroine and the "romance" is subtle at best and its conclusion gave me an odd mixture of frustr
This wasn't terrible, nor was it good. I was interested in the profession of the main character: fine arts auctioneer. I also enjoyed the musings about consumer culture at the high end: How we define ourselves by our possessions. But the character of Amy Dickerson just wasn't credible. I had a sense of a puppeteer at work throughout my experience of reading it. I'd like to see how Robert Butler handles a male protagonist. I'm not sure whether the female point of view was troublesome for him, or ...more
Jun 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Robert Olen Butler is indubitably a great writer, but not with this book. i just couldn't get into the main character auctioneer Amy and her sexual urges. she should act on those urges more often maybe. "Mr. Spaceman" is much better as is "A good scent from a strange mountain", which is a 5 star and then some.
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Rated R for adult themes and language." I agree with Kirkus Reviews " a bracing antidote to the legions of helplessly neurotic heroines cluttering up novels of late". The first sentence caught my attention "Perhaps my fate was sealed when I sold my three-year-old sister." Just gets better from there.
Sue Myers
I was interested in learning more about the ways of auction houses and bidding in a fictional story. Unfortunately this did not meet my expectation. I should not get my hopes up when something is billed as a romance. Story line was flimsy.
Katrina Tan
Mar 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have not read a Butler for so long, I forget how he makes you read slowly...
An evocative exploration of the coming of age of a 40 year old, where the things which made you sweat as a teenager, still work on you25 years later.
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What's The Name o...: SOLVED. novel with art auctioneer as a protagonist [s] 4 41 Mar 21, 2009 10:18AM  
“I’ll never stop believing it: Robert Olen Butler is the best living American writer, period.”
– Jeff Guinn, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Robert Olen Butler has published sixteen novels—The Alleys of Eden, Sun Dogs, Countrymen of Bones, On Distant Ground, Wabash, The Deuce, They Whisper, The Deep Green Sea, Mr. Spaceman, Fair Warning, Hell, A Small Hotel, The Hot Country, The Star of Istanbul, The Empir
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