Duplex by Kathryn Davis
A Novel

57%

7 Critic Reviews

The downside to building a novel on such amorphous, shifting ground is that narrative stalwarts like anticipation or suspense are necessarily cast aside. Consequently, continuing to read Duplex sometimes feels like a matter of will, not compulsion.
-Toronto Star

Synopsis

* A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year * A San Francisco Chronicle, Kansas City Star, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, New Hampshire Public Radio, Flavorwire, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Largehearted Boy, and Slaughterhouse 90210 Best Book of the Year *

* A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice * One of The Millions's Most Anticipated Books of 2013 *
Mary and Eddie are meant for each other—but love is no guarantee, not in these suburbs. Like all children, they exist in an eternal present; time is imminent, and the adults of the street live in their assorted houses like numbers on a clock. Meanwhile, ominous rumors circulate, and the increasing agitation of the neighbors points to a future in which all will be lost. Soon a sorcerer's car will speed down Mary's street, and as past and future fold into each other, the resonant parenthesis of her girlhood will close forever. Beyond is adulthood, a world of robots and sorcerers, slaves and masters, bodies without souls. In Duplex, Kathryn Davis, whom the Chicago Tribune has called "one of the most inventive novelists at work today," has created a coming-of-age story like no other. Once you enter the duplex—that magical hinge between past and future, human and robot, space and time—there's no telling where you might come out.

 

About Kathryn Davis

See more books from this Author
Kathryn Davis is the author of six novels. She has received the Kafka Prize, the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Lannan Foundation Literary Award. She teaches at Washington University, and lives in Vermont and St. Louis, Missouri.
 
Published September 3, 2013 by Graywolf Press. 208 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Duplex
All: 7 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 4

Publishers Weekly

Below average
on Jun 10 2013

...where there is no gravity, there can be little pressure, and the result feels somewhat weightless. For all Davis’s virtuosity, readers may have a hard time getting a grip on the story.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Lynda Barry on Sep 20 2013

...strange things keep happening and do not stop. So, when you are lost in the uncanny woods of this astonishing, double-hinged book, just keep reading, and remember to look up. Kathryn Davis knows right where you are.

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Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Jun 10 2013

For all Davis’s virtuosity, readers may have a hard time getting a grip on the story.

Read Full Review of Duplex: A Novel | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Journal of Books

Below average
Reviewed by Michael Adelberg on Sep 03 2013

Yet while Professor Davis is undeniably a highly skilled author, Duplex reads sluggishly. Although only 250 pages, the book feels bloated. Chapters meander through dreamy sequences and scenes end abruptly without advancing the story..

Read Full Review of Duplex: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

NPR

Above average
Reviewed by Rosecrans Baldwin on Sep 03 2013

I wouldn't take back one minute of reading. Sometimes really good company, the interesting, mind-expanding kind, leaves you scratching your head.

Read Full Review of Duplex: A Novel | See more reviews from NPR

Star Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by MEGANNE FABREGA on Aug 31 2013

Time has a certain fluidity in “Duplex,” but Downie emphasizes to Mary that “a duplex’s properties are stretchable but they aren’t infinite.” In this same heart-to-heart chat, he stresses the importance of the hinge, an emphasis that reappears toward the end of the novel.

Read Full Review of Duplex: A Novel | See more reviews from Star Tribune

Toronto Star

Below average
Reviewed by Emily Donaldson on Nov 29 2013

The downside to building a novel on such amorphous, shifting ground is that narrative stalwarts like anticipation or suspense are necessarily cast aside. Consequently, continuing to read Duplex sometimes feels like a matter of will, not compulsion.

Read Full Review of Duplex: A Novel | See more reviews from Toronto Star

Reader Rating for Duplex
55%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 42 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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