Adverbs by Daniel Handler
A Novel

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Synopsis

Hello.

I am Daniel Handler, the author of this book. Did you know that authors often write the summaries that appear on their book's dust jacket? You might want to think about that the next time you read something like, "A dazzling page-turner, this novel shows an internationally acclaimed storyteller at the height of his astonishing powers."

Adverbs is a novel about love -- a bunch of different people, in and out of different kinds of love. At the start of the novel, Andrea is in love with David -- or maybe it's Joe -- who instead falls in love with Peter in a taxi. At the end of the novel, it's Joe who's in the taxi, falling in love with Andrea, although it might not be Andrea, or in any case it might not be the same Andrea, as Andrea is a very common name. So is Allison, who is married to Adrian in the middle of the novel, although in the middle of the ocean she considers a fling with Keith and also with Steve, whom she meets in an automobile, unless it's not the same Allison who meets the Snow Queen in a casino, or the same Steve who meets Eddie in the middle of the forest. . . .

It might sound confusing, but that's love, and as the author -- me -- says, "It is not the nouns. The miracle is the adverbs, the way things are done." This novel is about people trying to find love in the ways it is done before the volcano erupts and the miracle ends. Yes, there's a volcano in the novel. In my opinion a volcano automatically makes a story more interesting.

 

About Daniel Handler

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DANIEL HANDLER has written for grown-ups under his own name and for younger readers under the name Lemony Snicket. He was dumped at least three times in high school. MAIRA KALMAN, acclaimed artist and designer, has created many books for both grown-ups and children. Her heart was broken in high school by a boy who looked like Bob Dylan.
 
Published October 6, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 290 pages
Genres: Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Adverbs

Kirkus Reviews

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The author of the popular Lemony Snicket series of children’s books puts a playful spin on adult themes of love and lust, showing a narrative ingenuity that should delight readers interested in exploring the possibilities of fiction.

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The New York Times

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In "Adverbs," love hurts, at least when love is not simply a pain.

Apr 30 2006 | Read Full Review of Adverbs: A Novel

The Guardian

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But most unconvincing is the suggestion that the novel is for adults - Handler is better known for his Lemony Snicket children's books, and his wild grabs at insight and avuncular wisdom in Adverbs would better suit the American junior high market.

Jun 23 2006 | Read Full Review of Adverbs: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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The qualities that draw millions to Lemony Snicket—absurdity, wicked humor, a love of wordplay—get adulterated in this elegant exploration of love.

Jan 30 2006 | Read Full Review of Adverbs: A Novel

BC Books

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I wanted, passionately and desperately, to fall in love with Daniel Handler's Adverbs.

Apr 04 2006 | Read Full Review of Adverbs: A Novel

Book Reporter

Happily, or unhappily, ADVERBS is a book that defies easy categorization or definition --- much like love itself.

Dec 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Adverbs: A Novel

AV Club

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But those mysteries aside, Adverbs simply gets better as it goes along, as its varieties of love become more complex and more familiar, and Handler finds lyrical, incisive ways of describing them, sometimes addressing readers directly or bringing himself into his story to make his point.

May 03 2006 | Read Full Review of Adverbs: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

Love as a noun is too static, and it's already been verbed to exhaustion, so Handler takes on the tricky task of tackling love as adverbs.

Apr 12 2006 | Read Full Review of Adverbs: A Novel

Gather Books

On the book jacket, Dave Eggers calls Daniel Handler "an American Nabokov," Michael Chabon calls him a "literary conjurer," and Daniel Handler calls himself "an internationally acclaimed storyteller at the height of his astonishing power."

Mar 23 2007 | Read Full Review of Adverbs: A Novel

People

Handler suggests that readers not focus on how his mother's mishap could have made it into someone else's novel, saying, "You would forget the miracle, the reason diamonds end up on people's fingers in the first place."

Apr 24 2006 | Read Full Review of Adverbs: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Donna Rifkind San Antonio Express News 3 of 5 Stars "[Each] chapter just carries on the story of whomever it is about, then ends, and a seemingly unrelated (save for a few in-jokes that recur throughout the novel) tale is spread forth about someone else.

Aug 21 2007 | Read Full Review of Adverbs: A Novel

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Katrina Bernardo 18 Mar 2013

Rated the book as 3 out of 5

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