A Trip to the Stars

A Trip to the Stars A Trip to the Stars opens with a kidnapping at a New York planetarium in and ends exactly years later at a Hawaiian observatory In the intervening and absurdly readable pages its two narr

  • Title: A Trip to the Stars
  • Author: Nicholas Christopher
  • ISBN: 9780385318044
  • Page: 229
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A Trip to the Stars opens with a kidnapping at a New York planetarium in 1965 and ends exactly 15 years later at a Hawaiian observatory In the 500 intervening and absurdly readable pages, its two narrators undergo equal parts heartache and discovery not to mention a fine excess of things astronomical As Nicholas Christopher s exhilarating third novel begins, 10 year oldA Trip to the Stars opens with a kidnapping at a New York planetarium in 1965 and ends exactly 15 years later at a Hawaiian observatory In the 500 intervening and absurdly readable pages, its two narrators undergo equal parts heartache and discovery not to mention a fine excess of things astronomical As Nicholas Christopher s exhilarating third novel begins, 10 year old Loren reaches for his aunt Alma s hand while the crowd surges around them Alas, he s in for the first of many jolts The woman, who was pulling me hard now to a blue sedan idling at the curb, was not my aunt Until she opened the rear door and pushed me in, I thought she must have mistaken me for another child Then, before stepping in after me, she looked me full in the face and betrayed no surprise Already twice orphaned, Loren is spirited away from the young woman he considers his only relative and finds himself in a strange building on the edge of the Mojave Desert Inhabited by people looking for lost things and, as he later realizes, people who had once been lost like me, the Hotel Canopus is the life work of his uncle, the collector and pomologist Junius Samax Let it be known that A Trip to the Stars features the most fanciful monikers this side of Howard Norman s novels Now restored to his real name, Enzo, and assured that his aunt has been informed of his fate, the boy is given the sort of home schooling only Nicholas Christopher could dream up the usual academic suspects enhanced by ancient languages, Zuni wisdom, mnemonics, and, of course, astronomy In this novel of multiple stargazers, even Enzo s wolf dog, Sirius, has a head for the heavens Meanwhile, Alma, having failed to find her nephew, attempts to rid herself of her past she changes her name to Mala and, following the most compelling spider bite in all fiction, joins the Navy Nursing Corps and heads for Vietnam As the author alternates between Enzo and Mala s very separate universes, he packs his book with suspense and arcana Echoes and parallels prevail, as do demons and eccentrics The Hotel Canopus is filled with exotic individuals, including an eight fingered pianist arachnologist, an art historian in hot pursuit of Adam s navel, and women named Desir e, Della, Dolores, Denise, and Dalia But it also houses a resentful relative or two A Trip to the Stars is so grounded that all its magic, coincidence, and mystery seem hyper real, from a girl who becomes a vampire to Mala s lover, a soldier whose shrapnel wounds mirror the Andromeda galaxy Despite the intricacy of his novel, Nicholas Christopher has wisely declined to preface it with a family tree or a list of dramatis personae For this we can be grateful, since much of the book s pleasure comes from watching him weave destinies, miracles, and than a few blood feuds as he proffers the ultimate celestial fix Kerry Fried

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      Published :2021-02-09T08:49:29+00:00

    About " Nicholas Christopher "

  • Nicholas Christopher

    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, the New York Review of Books, the Nation, and the Paris Review He has appeared in numerous anthologies, including the Norton Anthology of Poetry, the Paris Review 50th Anniversary Anthology, the Best American Poetry, Poet s Choice, the Everyman s Library Poems of New York and Conversation Pieces, the Norton Anthology of Love, the Faber Book of Movie Verse, and the Grand Street Reader He has edited two major anthologies himself, Under 35 The New Generation of American Poets Anchor, 1989 and Walk on the Wild Side Urban American Poetry Since 1975 Scribner, 1994 and has translated Martial and Catullus and several modern Greek poets, including George Seferis and Yannis Ritsos His books have been translated and published many other countries, and he is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships from various institutions, including the Guggenheim Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, the Poetry Society of America, and the National Endowment for the Arts He has taught at Yale, Barnard College, and New York University, and is now a Professor on the permanent faculty of the Writing Division of the School of the Arts at Columbia University He lives in New York City with his wife, Constance Christopher, and continues to travel widely, most frequently to Venice, the Hawaiian island of Kauai, and the Grenadines.


  • this is then closest thing to a one-size-fits-all book that ive come across. whenever someone asks me "just for something good". "i dont know, just with a good story", "whatever", i just give them this. even when they are much more helpful with what they are looking for - i give them this. and i have had a number of people come back and tell me how much they loved it, and do i have anything like it. thats the problem. i dont. there are shades of it in other books - millhauser, harington, carroll [...]

  • “We had voyaged far into space and now we were returning. Before leaving the solar system, we orbited the moon and several planets – skating along Saturn’s rings, probing Jupiter’s red spot, and skimming the icy mountain ranges of Uranus. We trailed a comet and threaded a swarm of meteors. And after Pluto, we were among the stars: glittering clusters, bracelets, and crescents that swirled around us.” (page 1 – A Trip to the Stars)This is a story about fate, and yes, in this story the [...]

  • Wow. I don't remember what I was expecting when I started reading this book, but A Trip to the Stars far exceeded those expectations. The story is intricate, beautifully written, and totally engrossing. Very different than what I have read recently. I read a review somewhere that said the storylines of the two main characters, Mala and Enzo, are like separate wide spirals that get tighter and tighter as they overlap -- and I really agree with that assessment. I am so glad I invested the time I d [...]

  • This may just be the best book I've ever read. A pretty lofty declaration, given how many classics and sentimental favorites are on my list, but a true one nonetheless. This is not a quick read--you have to be patient with it as it weaves its tapestry of overlapping fates. Nicholas Christopher rushes nothing as he establishes the complex web of connections between his characters. In the meantime, you will learn about philosophy, history, astronomy, arachnology, art, architecture, vampirology, an [...]

  • The Book of Life, Love, Dreams and Epicness Beyond that did not read to me. I wanted to like A Trip to the Stars more than I did. You know that feeling of hearing about the very detailed dream someone has and you feel like you're probably missing a freaking ton of back story? The symbols that represent so much don't mean anything to you? People are people who wear masks of other people? It must mean an awful lot to the person having it. It ties in all of those things that they've been thinking a [...]

  • I absolutely loved Christopher’s The Bestiary so I was really looking forward to this book; this might explain why I was less than thrilled by it. I really enjoy his imagination and the unusual characters he creates but something in this book just fell flat for me. I kept thinking to myself, ‘this could be amazing.’ And I don’t think this review will be helpful at all because I can’t exactly decide what was wrong with the book because on a lot of levels it was captivating and exciting [...]

  • Right from the start, the author lets us know that the characters, events, and physical items in the parallel stories of Loren/Enzo and Alma/Mala, which diverge in the first chapter, will fit together like a puzzle at the end. The reader can easily figure some things out; yet that did not keep me from wanting to follow all the paths as they moved to their inevitable conclusion. On one level this book is a soap opera about several interrelated dysfunctional families falling apart and colliding in [...]

  • 3.5A Trip to the Stars is an epic in the truest sense of the world - it tells the story of multiple journeys across the globe, and beyond, and the intersections of our lives that have a profound impact on ourselves and our future.While I admired the sheer imaginative scope of this novel - it was like travelling the world from the comfort of my own bed - I felt a detachment from the prose, like an outsider looking in. Part of the reason is that most of the story is narrated to us by the two main [...]

  • Oh! I love this so far Now that I am finished I still love it. The last third got a bit slow for me, and I was left still peckish at the ending until a friend pointed out that perhaps NC was making room for a sequel. Harrumph. I still feel there was a key meeting missing, but I'd be willing to forgive this if NC delivers more of this world and its people. The story is imaginative and just plain fun. The bazillion star references mostly made me smile. Only a few were ill-placed, causing some sigh [...]

  • Why do we continue to read books that we consider terrible? Do other people have enough discipline to stop reading?This book ia pretty ambitious, and tries to tell lots of semi-related stories that cross a variety of genres from within the lens of two protagonists.The stories though with few exceptions are of a couple varieties: "rich, super-interesting people live their awesome self-satisfied existences" and "poor, super-gorgeous people drink themselves into stupor and pursue pleasure until the [...]

  • I really wanted to love this book. At first I was enchanted by all the star and spider references, the magical realism, the underlying theme of the search for lost things…. but after a couple of hundred pages it just seemed to fizzle out. I think it was the overly detailed descriptions of the inhabitants of The Hotel Canopus. I couldn’t keep straight the convoluted relationships of 3 generations of women, all of whom had names which started with the letter “D”. I just kept wondering why [...]

  • I'm a little befuddled by some of the rave reviews of this book. I'm not sure if I'll finish it. I was enjoying it as some very light reading, but moving very slowly though it, and not really caring that much about the characters. Mala's love affair is pretty standard man-fantasy stuff (incredible sexual connection, woman doesn't have emotional needs, they don't need to talk) but it's not the amazing connection that NC apparently wants us to believe. I mean, they don't feel comfortable talking t [...]

  • This was a wild ride! I don't even know what shelves to put it on. Magic mushrooms are entirely optional, but they could enhance your enjoyment of this escapade. Put on your psychedelic 3-D glasses and enjoy the trip. See you when you touch down.

  • (This review attempts to avoid spoilers while presenting something of a synopsis of the plot. Personally I don't think it needs spoiler warnings but if you like going into a book knowing nothing about it then let me just say that I very much enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.)I wish I had written it. I could give a story higher praise but not much. A Trip to the Stars is an extremely engaging, well-researched story with a lively cast of unforgettable characters.The plot spans the 15 year [...]

  • ★★★★☆ 4 METEOR-SHOWER-STARSWe had voyaged far into space and now we were returning. Before leaving the solar system, we orbited the moon and several planets – skating along Saturn’s rings, probing Jupiter’s red spot, and skimming the icy mountain ranges of Uranus. We trailed a comet and threaded a swarm of meteors. And after Pluto, we were among the stars: glittering clusters, bracelets, and crescents that swirled around us.Well, if I thought reviewing ASOIAF was a tough task, th [...]

  • From Chanticleer Book ReviewsA Trip to the Stars will take you to exotic locales and allows you to glimpse into the realms of  magic, music, memory, and time travel  along with acquainting you with other mysterious talents of the story's fascinating characters.Some of whom you will wish could become your friends;others with whom you will wish could  feel your wrath.The story opens with the young Alma and her ten-year-old nephew Loren enjoying an afternoon planetarium show.  The drama starts [...]

  • I really have no idea how to review this book. I really enjoyed the rich, textured and deeply layered story, and the main two to four characters were very enjoyable, but all that being said, even though I tried to read this carefully, I feel like I probably missed a lot. The astral symbolism throughout the book was immense, and I think I probably missed bread crumbs and clues along the way because I am not well versed in astronomy and celestial navigation. **SPOILERS** That all being said, I did [...]

  • Recommended by my friends Marla and Kerfe, "A Trip to the Stars" has everything that I want in a book: great story, characters drawn beautifully (even the dog Sirius is given a personality), and the hum of synchronicity throughout the book. At age ten, Loren is kidnapped at a planetarium--he grabs a hand, thinking it is his young aunt's, and winds up being spirited away. He had been adopted, his hippie parents were killed in a car crash, and the person who finds him, and brings him back, is his [...]

  • In short, this book is about a young boy whose adoptive parents die, and his 21 year old adoptive aunt takes him under her care. After only a couple weeks, he is kidnapped. This book covers the next 15 years of their lives until they finally see each other again. There is not a single wasted word in this book. The story is told in alternating chapters out of each of their lives. Just when you get completely wrapped in her story, you're plunged into his. Everything is tied together. Parts of his [...]

  • With apologies to my friend who recommended this book, I hated it. After searching for the correct word or words to describe it, I think I finally hit on it: ponderous. Christopher spends page after page describing locations and surroundings in detail but in the end, you don't feel immersed in the scene.He also spends many pages telling us what each character is thinking or the meaning in each situation. But it never seems to get us closer to the next step in the plot. I would rather he spent ha [...]

  • Oh, be still my steady heart! This book still has me reeling. It's in a class entirely of its own, and I've rarely been so absolutely enthralled with a novel. The only reason that I gave this four stars instead of five is because it's a complicated, long read. It'll take anyone a while to get through, even though it's not necessarily that long of a book. It's not the sort of book you'd want to rush, though. Nonetheless, there was some weirdness towards the end (I won't mention what for the sake [...]

  • A great story as long as you are able to not get tired of 57,000 'coincidences'. Quiet injections of implausibility. Funny how you can accept vampires on the Rio Puerco, NM magic tiger warriors among the Người dân tộc thiếu số, and tarantulas that can imbue psychic powers through their venom but become frustrated when the author falsely describes local vegetation like mesquites and Bursura's in Reno, NV and Ironwoods in Las Vegas- It's the Mohave Desert! It gets way too cold there in t [...]

  • I couldn't put this book down! Involving issues of destiny, chance, nature, power and mysticism, the author alternates between two stories until they emerge together having really been one all along. The story begins with a kidnapping and follows with strange and amazing characters, star fascination, spider bites, estranged family, feuds, mind-reading. mostly in Nevada and Hawaii. I already want to reat the book again!

  • Loved this story as it deals with the lives of two people lost to each other. Their stories are told in consecutive chapters and chart the adventure they both have in finding each other. The story telling is brilliant and as with all good tales it made me want to go out and buy Captain Cooks Journals and chart his adventure myself. What a journey I went on with both characters.

  • The novel "A Trip to the Stars" is a startling find, especially given that I found it on the bargain table at Chapters for 2.50. The novel chronicles Mala and Enzo an aunt and her 10 year old nephew who are seperated one fateful day at a planetarium. The remainder of the book follows their seperated paths and their various quests to get back to one another. The book is filled with lost people, who are seeking lost things. It was this description of the lost people looking for lost things that dr [...]

  • Leaving a Manhattan planetarium in 1965, 10-year old Loren grasps the gloved hand of a woman he mistakes for his aunt, Alma. It will be fifteen years before Loren sees Alma again. Her name will be Mala, his name Enzo, and the separate journeys they take before they are reunited are the focus of this epic, fantastical story of love, betrayal, spiders and stars. It is a pleasure to suspend belief as A Trip to the Stars unfolds. Mala and Enzo relate their stories in alternating sections and a world [...]

  • I've enjoyed the work of a few "magic realists" in my day, and was looking forward to Christopher's take on the genre. After slogging through 150 pages, A Trip To The Stars is fated to remain unfinished -- its pretensions have deflated its attempted "realism" of any emotional power.An orphan kid, Loren/Enzo gets separated from his charge in '65, then shuttled to an exotic hotel in Nevada where he receives an eclectic education. Meanwhile his young aunt, Alma/Mala (said charge) drifts through lif [...]

  • Well I finally finished the book and to be perfectly honest I was a little disappointed.I actually preferred the sub stories about the spiders, the stars, Captain Cook etc to the story itself.I liked the fact that Enzo and Mala were reunited at the end and that Gezo Cassiel is Enzos' Dad. It all tied together very nicely so all credit to the author but it really wasn't what I hoped for.I wanted all those things it was intimating at the stars, the Atlantis connection' the angels, the vampires cam [...]

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