The Last Flight of Poxl West: A Novel

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Poxl West fled the Nazis' onslaught in Czechoslovakia. He escaped their clutches again in Holland. He pulled Londoners from the Blitz's rubble. He wooed intoxicating, unconventional beauties. He rained fire on Germany from his RAF bomber.

Poxl West is the epitome of manhood and something of an idol to his teenage nephew, Eli Goldstein, who reveres him as a brave, singular, Jewish war hero. Poxl fills Eli's head with electric accounts of his derring-do, adventures and romances, as he collects the best episodes from his storied life into a memoir.

He publishes that memoir, Skylock, to great acclaim, and its success takes him on the road, and out of Eli's life. With his uncle gone, Eli throws himself into reading his opus and becomes fixated on all things Poxl.

But as he delves deeper into Poxl's history, Eli begins to see that the life of the fearless superman he's adored has been much darker than he let on, and filled with unimaginable loss from which he may have not recovered. As the truth about Poxl emerges, it forces Eli to face irreconcilable facts about the war he's romanticized and the vision of the man he's held so dear.

Daniel Torday's debut novel, The Last Flight of Poxl West, beautifully weaves together the two unforgettable voices of Eli Goldstein and Poxl West, exploring what it really means to be a hero, and to be a family, in the long shadow of war.

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About the author

DANIEL TORDAY is the Director of Creative Writing at Bryn Mawr College. An author and former editor at Esquire magazine, Torday currently serves as an editor at The Kenyon Review. His short stories and essays have appeared in Esquire, Glimmer Train, Harper Perennial's Fifty-Two Stories, Harvard Review, The New York Times and The Kenyon Review. Torday's novella, The Sensualist, won the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for debut fiction.

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Additional Information

Publisher
St. Martin's Press
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Published on
Mar 17, 2015
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781466871816
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Jewish
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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"On every page Lodato's prose sings with a robust, openhearted wit, making Edgar & Lucy a delight to read...Lodato keeps us in his thrall because his grip on the tiller stays reassuringly firm. Not to mention the supporting cast he's gathered, a group so eclectic and beguiling that many of them could carry an entire novel of their own. A riveting and exuberant ride." - Cynthia D'Aprix-Sweeney, The New York Times Book Review

"Wonder-filled and magisterial...Lodato's skill as a poet manifests itself on every page, delighting with such elegant similes and incisive descriptions...His skill as a playwright shines in every piece of dialogue...And his skill as a fiction writer displays itself in his virtuoso command of point of view. The book pushes the boundaries of beauty." - Chicago Tribune

"Edgar isn't like other boys and Lucy isn't like other moms, but grandma Florence keeps them tied to reality. And then their lives take a sharp turn...This otherworldly tale will haunt you." - People Magazine

"A stunningly rendered novel" - Entertainment Weekly

"A quirky coming-of-age novel that deepens into something dark and strange without losing its heart or its sense of wonder." ? Tom Perrotta, bestselling author of The Leftovers

Edgar and Lucy is a page-turning literary masterpiece?a stunning examination of family love and betrayal.
Eight-year-old Edgar Fini remembers nothing of the accident people still whisper about. He only knows that his father is gone, his mother has a limp, and his grandmother believes in ghosts. When Edgar meets a man with his own tragic story, the boy begins a journey into a secret wilderness where nothing is clear?not even the line between the living and the dead. In order to save her son, Lucy has no choice but to confront the demons of her past.
Profound, shocking, and beautiful, Edgar and Lucy is a thrilling adventure and the unlikeliest of love stories.
"This tale gradually exerts a fiendish grip on the reader." ? Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
"I tore through the luminous pages of Edgar and Lucy as if possessed...What this book has to say about love and truth will stay with me for a very, very long time." ? Sophie McManus, author of The Unfortunates
"I love this book. Profoundly spiritual and hilariously specific...an unusual and intimate epic that manages to capture the wonder and terror of both child and parenthood with an uncanny clarity." ? Lena Dunham, bestselling author of Not That Kind of Girl
"Victor Lodato may be our bard of the sadness, humor, and confusion of loss. He senses the absurdities and elation of mourning and childhood with a capacious precision that brings to mind J.D. Salinger, Lorrie Moore, Karen Russell, even James Joyce. Edgar and Lucy will make you feel things you haven't felt in ages." ? Daniel Torday, author of The Last Flight of Poxl West

A DEBUT NOVEL OF DARING ORIGINALITY, THE YID GUARANTEES THAT YOU WILL NEVER THINK OF STALINIST RUSSIA, SHAKESPEARE, THEATER, YIDDISH, OR HISTORY THE SAME WAY AGAIN

Moscow, February 1953. A week before Stalin's death, his final pogrom, "one that would forever rid the Motherland of the vermin," is in full swing. Three government goons arrive in the middle of the night to arrest Solomon Shimonovich Levinson, an actor from the defunct State Jewish Theater. But Levinson, though an old man, is a veteran of past wars, and his shocking response to the intruders sets in motion a series of events both zany and deadly as he proceeds to assemble a ragtag group to help him enact a mad-brilliant plot: the assassination of a tyrant.

While the setting is Soviet Russia, the backdrop is Shakespeare: A mad king has a diabolical plan to exterminate and deport his country's remaining Jews. Levinson's cast of unlikely heroes includes Aleksandr Kogan, a machine-gunner in Levinson's Red Army band who has since become one of Moscow's premier surgeons; Frederick Lewis, an African American who came to the USSR to build smelters and stayed to work as an engineer, learning Russian, Esperanto, and Yiddish; and Kima Petrova, an enigmatic young woman with a score to settle. And wandering through the narrative, like a crazy Soviet Ragtime, are such historical figures as Paul Robeson, Solomon Mikhoels, and Marc Chagall.

As hilarious as it is moving, as intellectual as it is violent, Paul Goldberg's THE YID is a tragicomic masterpiece of historical fiction.

«Tenía quince años, y lo que me hacía falta era un héroe; y esperanza.»

El último vuelo de Poxl West es una de las últimas grandes revelaciones del panorama literario norteamericano. Una novela llena de romanticismo y aventura sobre un héroe que cautivó a su sobrino y al mundo con sus historias de guerra. Y al mismo tiempo un encendido homenaje al mundo de la literatura.

Para el quinceañero Elijah Golsdstein, el excéntrico tío Poxl West, héroe de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, es el paradigma del coraje y el ídolo al que siempre ha venerado. El día que Poxl publica el libro de memorias en el que recoge los mejores episodios de su historia, Elijah no cabe en sí de orgullo. A los pocos meses de su publicación, la autobiografía alcanza los primeros puestos de ventas y Poxl se convierte en una celebridad que llena periódicos y programas televisivos. Será a partir de este momento cuando su sobrino, que sigue la pista de su éxito desde la distancia, empiece a entrever que tras la imagen de superhéroe perfecto e invencible se esconde un hombre de carne y hueso.

A través de la voz del adolescente y de fragmentos de las memorias publicadas por Poxl West, Daniel Torday explora lo que significa ser un héroe, en una historia que nos habla de las verdades que nos contamos a nosotros y las que contamos al mundo, de nuestros ideales y de la inevitable necesidad de encontrar héroes.

Reseñas:
«Una poderosa historia bélica y al mismo tiempo una profunda reflexión sobre la necesidad que tenemos de llenar nuestra vida de historias. Un gran libro.»
Phil Klay, autor de Nuevo destino

«Un logro absoluto. Hacía tiempo que un libro no me emocionaba tanto.»
Teddy Wayne, The New York Times Book Review

«Una primera novela cautivadora.»
Publishers Weekly

«Una novela emocionante y bien armada.»
Booklist

«Poxl West es como un personaje de John Irving reinventado por Philip Roth.»
Sara Nelson, directora editorial de Amazon.com

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