Stone Arabia is about family, obsession, memory, and the urge to create-in isolation, at the margins of our winner-take-all culture. In the sibling relationship, "there are no first impressions, no seductions, no getting to know each other," says Denise Kranis. For her and her brother Nik, now in their forties, no relationship is more significant. They grew up in Los Angeles in the late seventies and early eighties. Nik was always the artist, always wrote music, always had a band. Now he makes his art in private, obsessively documenting the work, but never testing it in the world. Denise remains Nik's most passionate and acute audience, sometimes his only audience. She is also her family's first defense against the world's fragility. Friends die, their mother's memory and mind unravel, and the news of global catastrophe and individual tragedy haunt Denise. When her daughter Ada decides to make a film about Nik, everyone's vulnerabilities seem to escalate.
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by Iris Johansen, Roy Johansen
by Paul La Farge
by Dara Horn
by Maureen Joyce Connolly
by Terry Goodkind
by Carrie Arcos
by Iris Johansen
by Wendell Steavenson
by Dean Koontz
"Dana Spiotta's new novel is uneven. And in her performance of it, Elisabeth Rodgers has a strange way of humming final consonants of key words, almost to the point of adding ghost syllables after those that won't sing. It's distracting, but her voice is otherwise lovely, and she performs with admirable attention and skill, smoothly distinguishing the characters' sexes, ages, and emotional states. The core of the story is a sister's love for and frustration with her brilliant musician brother, who is gifted but solipsistic to the point of mental illness. Nik is a compelling creation, original and touching, though other parts of Denise's life are less convincing, particularly her obsession with victims she follows on cable news channels, which seems like a padding device standing in for personality. B.G. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine"
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