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The great night
Chris Adrian
Adult Fiction ADRIAN

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Adrian follows his masterful The Children's Hospital with a disappointing and decidedly less ambitious effort, a flabby retelling of A Midsummer Night's Dream that finds a heartbroken Titania loosening a demonic Puck on San Francisco's Buena Vista Park. Caught up in the mayhem are Henry, a neurotic gay man whose affair has just ended; Molly, a young woman turned inward after the suicide of her boyfriend; Will, a lovelorn tree doctor trying to get his lady back; and a group staging a musical remake of Soylent Green to explain the decline of San Francisco's homeless population. Adrian liberally applies surreal sex jokes and populates his adventure with bizarre fairies, impossible events, and extensive backstories, but this investigation into love's labors never ignites. Adrian occasionally channels the wayward, winsome feel of millennial San Francisco, but his characters remains wispy and his plot fails to develop satisfying turns. The book contains flashes of what makes this writer great, but he has better work in him. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream deals with illusion-in particular, the illusion that things can be set aright, as if by magic. This riff by New Yorker 20 Under 40 author Adrian (A Better Angel) is a whole lot darker, declaring that no magic can take away the memory of suffering and that in our self-serving scramble we disdain the pain (and indeed the goodness) of others. On the summer solstice in San Francisco, the fairies come out from under their hill in Buena Vista Park to celebrate Great Night. But this year there will be no celebration, for Oberon has vanished and Titania is thoroughly undone by the death of her Boy, one of the many changelings brought to her by Puck-no mischievous sprite but a malevolent spirit. Even as a rowdy bunch rehearse a play aimed at exposing the mayor's crimes against the homeless, three people are trapped in the park by the fairies' madness: uptight Molly, lovesick Will, and gentle, obsessed Henry, who still misses decamped lover Bobby and whose tragic past and connections to other characters unfold tantalizingly. VERDICT Inventive and scarily beautiful, this could wipe out casual readers, but it is an extraordinary novel. [See Prepub Alert, 11/8/10.]-Barbara -Hoffert, Library Journal (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Titania
Female
Fairy
Queen of the fairies; grieving over the death of her adopted son and the failure of her marriage; has set loose a demonic Puck on Buena Vista Park.

Henry
Male
Gay
Grieving over the end of his love affair.

Molly
Female
Loner
Has turned inward after her boyfriend's suicide.

Will
Male
Trying to get his girlfriend back.
Tree surgeon



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