The Keep by Jennifer Egan

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Synopsis

Award-winning author Jennifer Egan brilliantly conjures a world from which escape is impossible and where the keep –the tower, the last stand –is both everything worth protecting and the very thing that must be surrendered in order to survive.

Two cousins, irreversibly damaged by a childhood prank, reunite twenty years later to renovate a medieval castle in Eastern Europe. In an environment of extreme paranoia, cut off from the outside world, the men reenact the signal event of their youth, with even more catastrophic results. And as the full horror of their predicament unfolds, a prisoner, in jail for an unnamed crime, recounts an unforgettable story that seamlessly brings the crimes of the past and present into piercing relation.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Jennifer Egan

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Jennifer Egan is the author of The Keep, Look at Me, The Invisible Circus, and the story collection Emerald City. Her stories have been published in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, GQ, Zoetrope, All-Story, and Ploughshares, and her nonfiction appears frequently in The New York Times Magazine. She lives with her husband and sons in Brooklyn. Visit the Jennifer Egan's official website: www.jenniferegan.com
 
Published July 10, 2007 by Anchor. 274 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Keep

Kirkus Reviews

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This storytelling strategy is hard to pull off, since one tale is almost always more interesting than the other, but Egan’s characterizations and plotting are so strong that we’re eager to find out where both sets of protagonists are heading even before it becomes clear that Ray is describing som...

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The New York Times

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Two Kings, bumbling Danny and his manipulative Cousin Howie, are reunited at a crumbling European castle.

Jul 20 2006 | Read Full Review of The Keep

The New York Times

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As children, Howie and Danny shared a world of their own, defined by a fantasy game they invented called Terminal Zeus, but as a teenager Danny sacrifices the bond;

Jul 30 2006 | Read Full Review of The Keep

BC Books

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And all that fat looks fantastic on her, like some thick gorgeous robe that only the queen can wear… the whole time, she’s working.

Sep 08 2006 | Read Full Review of The Keep

BC Books

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The dialogue style is – frankly – weird.

Sep 08 2006 | Read Full Review of The Keep

Book Reporter

(Makes sense for someone who still thinks she was a princess in a past life.) An enormous, decrepit heap somewhere in Eastern Europe is both the physical setting for Jennifer Egan's THE KEEP and the book's metaphorical heart.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Keep

AV Club

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Egan achieves a kind of heart-stopping, stomach-lurching shift the first time Ray's authorial "I" intrudes on Danny's narrative: "He was heading into memory number two, I might as well tell you that straight up, because how I'm supposed to get him in and out of all these memories in a smooth way ...

Aug 30 2006 | Read Full Review of The Keep

USA Today

And who is Dobbs, who says he killed a man, in relation to them?The Keep, named for the last-stand fortress on the castle grounds, is largely about Danny and Dobbs, with Danny's story a stream of rapid-fire thoughts, fears, neuroses and intermittent joy.He's oddly endearing, a hyped-up Everyman s...

Aug 24 2006 | Read Full Review of The Keep

Reviewing the Evidence

When Howard, who was a successful bond trader who retired in his early 30s, calls Danny and asks him to come to Europe, Danny sees a way out of his troubles in New York.

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Gather Books

Twenty years after the tragic event which ended their childhood friendship, Danny has been summoned to a Gothic castle under renovation by his cousin Howie.

Jul 27 2007 | Read Full Review of The Keep

Boston.com

In spite of the fact that Danny has barely seen Howard for years -- since as teenagers he and a friend had taken the boy through twisting passages deep into an underground cavern, pushed him into a freezing pool, and left him there -- Danny agrees to go.

Sep 03 2006 | Read Full Review of The Keep

Bookmarks Magazine

Joanna Scott Minneapolis Star Tribune 4 of 5 Stars "It’s to Egan’s credit, and to her uncanny ability with point of view, that the reader can stand to spend more than a page in [Danny’s] company.

Aug 22 2007 | Read Full Review of The Keep

TimesUnion.com

Something fishy is happening with two American cousins at an ancient castle in an indeterminate land either in or near Germany.

Mar 22 2007 | Read Full Review of The Keep

Reader Rating for The Keep
60%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 214 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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