book cover of Aberration of Starlight

Aberration of Starlight

(1980)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction Best Book (nominee)
Set at a boardinghouse in rural New Jersey in the summer of 1939, this novel revolves around four people who experience the comedies, torments and rare pleasures of family, romance and sex while on vacation from Brooklyn and the Depression. Billy Recco, an eager ten-year-old in search of a father . . . Marie Recco, ne McGrath, an attractive divorce caught between her son and father, without a life of her own . . . John McGrath, dignified in manner yet brutally soured by life, insanely fearful of his daughter's restlessness . . . Tom Thebus, a rakish salesman who precipitates the conflict between Marie's hopes and her father's wrath.

We follow these individuals through the events of thirty-six hours, culminating in Tom's disastrous near seduction of Marie. As the novel's perspective shifts to each of these characters, four discrete stories take form, stories that Sorrentino further enriches by using a variety of literary methodsfantasies, letters, a narrative question-and-answer, fragments of dialogue and memory. Strong and unforgettable, each voice is compelling in itself, yet in the end is only part of a complex, painful pattern in which dreams go unfulfilled and efforts unrewarded.

What emerges is a sure understanding of four people who are occasionally ridiculous, but whose integrity and good intentions are consistently, and tragically, frustrated. Combining humor and feeling, balancing the details and the rhythms of experience, Aberration of Starlight re-creates a time and a place as it captures the sadness and value of four lives. It is widely considered one of Sorrentino's finest novels.



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Used availability for Gilbert Sorrentino's Aberration of Starlight

Hardback Editions

July 1980 : USA Hardback
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Title: Aberration of Starlight
Author(s): Gilbert Sorrentino
ISBN: 0-394-51189-1 / 978-0-394-51189-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

July 1993 : USA Paperback
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Title: Aberration of Starlight
Author(s): Gilbert Sorrentino
ISBN: 1-56478-439-8 / 978-1-56478-439-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 1993 : USA Paperback
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Title: Aberration of Starlight
Author(s): Gilbert Sorrentino
ISBN: 1-56478-028-7 / 978-1-56478-028-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


May 1982 : UK Paperback
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Title: Aberration of Starlight
Author(s): Gilbert Sorrentino
ISBN: 0-7145-2764-5 / 978-0-7145-2764-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


July 1981 : UK Paperback
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Title: Aberration of Starlight
Author(s): Gilbert Sorrentino
ISBN: 0-7145-2731-9 / 978-0-7145-2731-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


May 1981 : UK Paperback
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Title: Aberration of Starlight
Author(s): Gilbert Sorrentino
ISBN: 0-14-005879-6 / 978-0-14-005879-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA