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A Handbook For Visitors From Outer Space
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A Handbook For Visitors From Outer Space

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  49 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
A sharply fresh vision of our time conveyed through the experiences of a boy filled with classic yearnings for family wholeness and national honesty, on a quest to uncover his elders' secrets. Beginning with a mysterious, unlocatable war and concluding with a battle on the New Jersey Turnpike, this is a "mad fairy tale that unexpectedly turns out to be true" by "such an en ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published 1986 by Faber and Faber (first published January 1st 1984)
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Jordan West
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, read-in-2015
When I was younger and first came across the books from McSweeney's Press, the covers of these volumes created an expectation in me; a sort of ideal novel that was inspired by the images that adorned then. Unfortunately, none of the MP books I read ever quite measured up to that idea, and perhaps nothing else has, until I read this. A quietly unclassifiable novel, subtly fantastic and full of whimsy bordering at times on the twee - perhaps reminiscent of a gentler Vonnegut - but still possessing ...more
Declan
Sep 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the most bizarre book you'll ever love. If you remember what the world was like when we lived with the real possibility of nuclear annihilation you'll understand the subtext of this suburban world.

If you like Don Delilo or Thomas Pynchon you'll like Kathryn Kramer. She's that smart, her language is that carefully crafted. She uses the frivolous and trivial to smack you between the eyes.
Diane
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very nicely written. Kramer can turn out some fine paragraphs. I loved the characters and the situations but I felt like I was left hanging at the end. There were so many characters with unresolved stories. I'll be worrying about them all night.
Riley
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's so bizarre, but I loved it. I can tell this is going to be one of those books that is a much different read the second time through.
Sally Anne
It's been forever since I read this, but I quite quite liked it in the 1980s when I read it. I bought it as a gift several times.
Ryan Mishap
Nov 03, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: novel
Witty, well-written mid-80's novel. It is not about aliens, but about a war with no fighting!
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“Bib Block was sure that in any part of the country at all, whenever the name of this road was mentioned, people's hearts pivoted like Moslems to the east and flopped over. Sooner of later, he believed, at one stage of the journey or another, all roads led to the New Jersey Turnpike.” 2 likes
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