Reviews for: The Keep

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ivillage: Stuff We Love, October 2006

“When Halloween comes around this year, forgo the tired old horror movies and curl up with National Book Award nominee Jennifer Egan’s new novel The Keep…Part gothic romance, part ghost story, and peppered with Egan’s startling insights into the role of communication and loneliness in contemporary life, this is one brainy page-turner that will have you leaving the lights on at night.”

The Atlantic Monthly, October 2006

“Egan’s third novel…is a strange, clever, and always compelling meditation on the relationship between the imagination and the captivities (psychological, metaphysical, and even physical) of modern life.” — Joseph O’Neill

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The Boston Phoenix, September 26th, 2006

“At the heart of The Keep is a love story with so much pull, its bruises can be found on almost every page. Like an old spirit who refuses to go away, this is one fantasy that haunts long after its physical end.”—Sharon Steel

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, September 15, 2006

“Jennifer Egan is one of the most gifted writers of her generation…The risk-taking writer has created an original, postmodern take on the gothic thriller.”— John Marshall

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The Seattle Times, September 15, 2006

“An experimental novel wrapped in gothic velvet…as tautly paced as a classic thriller.”— Moira Macdonald

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The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 14, 2006

“Filaments of suspense fan out in all directions…The whole book is surprising; you just don’t realize how surprising until the end…The book itself is a stronghold of imaginative story telling, the last stand of the Gothic novel.”— Dorothy Lehman Hoerr

The Boston Globe, September 03, 2006

“If Kafka’s Joseph K. and Lewis Carroll’s Alice had a son, he would have to be Jennifer Egan’s Danny…No matter how many symbols and zany subplots she juggles…the novelist keeps the action moving and the irony biting.”— Merrill Kaitz

The AV Club, August 2006

“With The Keep, Egan breaks the mold from page one. Her muscular, lively prose achieves a haunting effect…[The book] maintains a frightening, vertiginous velocity…And the immersion in these high-stakes psychological tightrope acts gives The Keep a page-turning horror…outstanding.”— Donna Bowman

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San Francisco Gate, August 23, 2006

“[A] remarkable piece of work…Egan effectively echoes the works of Gothic writers such as Ann Radcliffe (“The Mysteries of Udolpho”) and Horace Walpole (“Castle of Otranto”), fusing a seemingly moribund genre with elements borrowed from the metafictions of John Barth, Italo Calvino and others. It’s tricky; but it’s a trick only a terrifically talented writer could pull off.”—Ron Antonucci

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The New Yorker, August 21, 2006

“This neo-gothic tale conjures a wicked form of therapy for BlackBerry-addicted urbanites…Egan’s clever scenario presents Danny’s mental liberation as both thrilling and dangerous–imagination is the ultimate drug, she suggests–and the novel luxuriates in Wilkie Collins-style atmospherics.”

People Magazine,August 21, 2006

*Critic’s Choice* (Four stars) “Dazzling…Egan gets everything right–from the convolutions of the strung-out male mind to the self-deceptions of a drug addict–and her skill will keep you marveling at the pages that you can’t help turning.”—Francine Prose

Chicago Tribune, August 13, 2006

“The events that transpire are so surprising and provocative, the humor so wry, the sheer pleasure of reading “The Keep” so great, one instantly feels impelled to read it again, an impulse that is grandly rewarded, so masterful is Egan’s foreshadowing, so nuanced and mysterious is the story. Gothic and chthonic, “The Keep” is satirically sublime.” –Donna Seaman

The Oregonian, August 6, 2006

“Half tall tale, half literary experiment, Jennifer Egan’s “The Keep” is more than the sum of its parts…Egan lets her writing romp…How she weaves the story of these four people together–and the unexpected links between them–is fascinating.”—April Henry

Rocky Mountain News, August 11, 2006

“The complicated plot comes together seamlessly, marvelously. The characters crackle with life…their pain palpable and strangely inevitable. It’s a novel that engages and haunts the reader, a psychological who’s-who, who-dun-what and how-do-they-go-on. The Keep is a fast and furious read, a perfect summer novel.”—Ashley Simpson Shires

USA Today, August 10, 2006

“Arresting…insightful and often funny, so fluid that you actually have the sensation of sinking into these lives…strange and beautifully drawn, a place well worth visiting.”—Susan Kelly

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Time Out, August 3-9, 2006

“The Keep is an example of literature responding to current events not with a mirror but an artful mindfuck.”—David Bahr

The New York Observer, August 7, 2006

“Intelligent, intense and remarkably intuitive…Jennifer Egan gives us the satisfying thunk of a fully understood, if unexpected, kind of sense.”—Nan Goldberg

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Elle Magazine, August 2006

“Visionary…at once hyperrealistic and darkly dreamed…With Egan’s powers of invention running at full tilt, The Keep reads like a twenty-first-century mash-up of Kafka, Calvino, and Poe, in which the absurd meets the surreal meet the unspeakable–to edgy, entertaining effect.” –Lisa Shea

O: The Oprah Magazine, August 2006

“Roiling and captivating…As you finish this novel, part horror tale, part mystery, part romance, the mind lingers over it, amazed by how vivid Egan has made it, how witty, how disturbing, how credible, and yet how utterly fantastic.”—Vince Passaro

Vanity Fair, August, 2006

“Jennifer Egan spins a haunting tale…Egan’s brilliance is in balancing the deliciously creepy elements of gothic-castle novels with the dead-on realism of a prisoner’s life, to create a book worth keeping.”—Elissa Schappell

The New York Times Book Review (Cover), July 30, 2006

“Jennifer Egan is a refreshingly unclassifiable novelist…Egan sustains an awareness that the text is being manipulated by its author, while at the same time delivering character and story with perfect and passionate conviction. Very few writers, in our time or any other, have been able to bring that off…the dazzling presentation makes us believe that it really is a matter of life, death and salvation…The result is a work both prodigiously entertaining and profoundly moving.”—Madison Smartt Bell

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The Los Angeles Times, July 30, 2006

“A novel as daring as Jennifer Egan’s “The Keep” makes us think hard about one of the murkiest mysteries of all: the mystery of perception, that uncertain border where reality and imagination meet…irresistibly suspenseful…A novel like “The Keep” shows us what it’s like to live outside of today’s categories and to exist in unreal situations, in dreams, in confusion, in the experiences of others.”—Joanna Scott

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, July 30, 2006

“Jennifer Egan is a contemporary American storyteller in the vein of Stephen King or “The Sopranos” scriptwriters. Her latest novel, a slightly gothic tale of love and the (possibly) supernatural, is a pleasure to read…Egan’s eye and ear for contemporary America places the whole saga too close to home for fantasy.”—Emily Carter Roiphe

The Washington Post (Media Mix), July 30, 2006

“Egan is an exceptionally intelligent writer whose joy at appropriating and subverting genres and cliches–from prison memoir to Gothic ghost story–is evident on every dizzyingly inventive page.”

Amazon, June, 2006

“In Jennifer Egan’s deliciously creepy new novel, two cousins reunite twenty years after a childhood prank gone wrong changed their lives and sent them on their separate ways…To reveal too much would ruin the story, just know that The Keep is a wonderfully weird read–a touch experimental in terms of narrative, with a hefty dose of gothic tension and mystery–balanced by an intimate and mesmerizing look at how the past haunts us in different ways. ”

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