Ed King by David Guterson

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Synopsis

A sweeping, propulsive, darkly humorous new novel by the best-selling author of Snow Falling on Cedars: a story of destiny, desire, and destruction that reimagines Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex for our own era.
 
In Seattle in 1962, Walter Cousins, a mild-mannered actuary—“a guy who weighs risk for a living”—takes a risk of his own, and makes the biggest error of his life. He sleeps with Diane Burroughs, the sexy, not-quite-legal British au pair who’s taking care of his children for the summer. Diane gets pregnant and leaves their baby on a doorstep, but not before turning the tables on Walter and setting in motion a tragedy of epic proportions. Their orphaned child, adopted by an adoring family and named Edward Aaron King, grows up to become a billionaire Internet tycoon and an international celebrity—the “King of Search”—who unknowingly, but inexorably, hurtles through life toward a fate he may have no power to shape.
 
An instant classic—David Guterson’s most daring and dazzling novel yet—that brings a contemporary urgency to one of the greatest stories of all time.


This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
 

About David Guterson

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David Guterson is the author of a collection of short stories, The Country Ahead of Us, the Country Behind; Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense; Snow Falling on Cedars, which won the 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award, the Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association Award, and was an international bestseller; and the national bestseller East of the Mountains.
 
Published October 18, 2011 by Vintage. 322 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Ed King

Kirkus Reviews

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As a math genius in college, Ed focuses on the "nascent field of search" while his equally brilliant but geekier younger brother Simon (the Kings' biological son from an unexpected post-adoption pregnancy) becomes a success at computer gaming.

Sep 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Ed King

The New York Times

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“In a disembodied voice, as though reading from a script, she gave him instructions the way a kidnapper would give instructions: how much money she wanted — 250 now, monthly, because of the kid — the date each month she wanted it, the post-office box in Portland where he had to send it, what woul...

Nov 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Ed King

The Guardian

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Ed King's father, Walter Cousins, illustrates this beautifully: he's a self-deluding, well-meaning actuary who ends up sleeping with the au pair when his wife is hospitalised with a nervous breakdown.

Nov 19 2011 | Read Full Review of Ed King

The Guardian

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Ed King, the self-loving hero of David Guterson's latest novel, is a very rich and lucky man, an entrepreneur who reigns over an internet kingdom called Pythia.

Oct 27 2011 | Read Full Review of Ed King

Publishers Weekly

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Ed has copious encounters with older girls, and then older women, a recurring theme Guterson employs partly for fun, but mostly to trumpet his point: Ed's not only Sophocles' Oedipus but also Freud's, thanks to an oversized (and oversimplified) Oedipus complex.

Aug 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Ed King

New York Journal of Books

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The contemporary hero’s name is even an anglicized version of the Greek: Ed (Oed-ipus) King (Rex).The novel doesn’t precisely follow every plot turn of the original, but on the other hand, author David Guterson provides extra guessing game fun by scattering references to all sorts of things class...

Oct 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Ed King

Star Tribune

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Guterson gives us a modern-day "Oedipus Rex," but a version steeped in tawdriness and unpleasant characters.

Oct 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Ed King

Book Reporter

They decide not to tell Ed he is adopted, spurning the advice of Dan’s father, who warns “The tooth fairy’s lying, the golem is lying, Santa Claus is lying, all of it lying, but this, Mr. Eddie, not adopted, that’s lying lying, that’s Number Nine of the Ten Commandments lying.” Ed and Simon both ...

Oct 20 2011 | Read Full Review of Ed King

The Telegraph

Quite apart from a blush-inducing sex scene, the reader is confronted with a shift in narrative voice, a brilliant exploration of the possibility of artificial intelligence and the appearance of an anagram-obsessed pilot called Guido Sternvad, whose name happens to be an anagram of Da...

Oct 20 2011 | Read Full Review of Ed King

USA Today

It sounds like an ambitious — or arrogant — gimmick: Re-envision the quintessential tragedy, Oedipus Rex, as a contemporary novel.

Nov 26 2011 | Read Full Review of Ed King

San Francisco Chronicle

The whiz-bang technology that everybody is talking about suddenly makes more plausible a far-out element of Guterson's sweeping new novel, "Ed King," which primarily is about all-too-human characters rather than precocious computers.

Oct 30 2011 | Read Full Review of Ed King

Express

On the way to nemesis there are chapters that would be contenders for awards for Bad Interviews With Psychiatrists, Bad Conversations With Computers Named After Greek Priestesses and Cack-handed Portrayals Of Plastic Surgeons.

Oct 14 2011 | Read Full Review of Ed King

The Columbus Dispatch

sandwiches, and Diet Rite.” Ed and Diane, Guterson writes, “did a lot together in the second half.

Oct 16 2011 | Read Full Review of Ed King

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

She was an English exchange student named Diane Burroughs, and he was an actuary from Piersall-Crane, Inc., whose wife, that summer, had suffered a nervous breakdown.” Ed King had me mesmerized from the first page and did not let up throughout the book.

Nov 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Ed King

Bookmarks Magazine

Their orphaned child, adopted by an adoring family and named Edward Aaron King, grows up to become a billionaire Internet tycoon and an international celebrity—the “King of Search”—who unknowingly, but inexorably, hurtles through life toward a fate he may have no power to shape.

An inst...

Oct 24 2011 | Read Full Review of Ed King

New Zealand Listener

Click here for instructions on how to redeem your digital access.Or you can subscribe now to get unlimited access to listener.co.nz.More by Jennifer LevasseurBy Bernard Carpinter By Sally Blundell February 3, 2013 in The Internaut February 1, 2013 in Commentary ...

Oct 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Ed King

The Anniston Star

On Saturday, a day before the actual new year begins, there will be live snakes, storytelling, arts-and-craft demonstrations and the museum will preview its new Asian Library, a collection of more than 400 books on Chinese history and culture donated over the course of a decade by longtime benefa...

Jan 27 2012 | Read Full Review of Ed King

Alibi

David Guterson undoubtedly knew this when he began penning Ed King , a novel that posits the question, What if Bill Gates was a murderous motherfucker?

Jan 19 2012 | Read Full Review of Ed King

Reader Rating for Ed King
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