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Elysiana Hardcover – 1 May 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 ratings

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Product details

  • Hardcover : 208 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1579621988
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1579621988
  • Publisher : Permanent Press (1 May 2010)
  • Product Dimensions : 15.24 x 3.18 x 22.23 cm
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 4 ratings

Product description

Review

As the 1969 summer season begins on the New Jersey barrier island of Elysiana an assortment of seashore amenities and profound dissociation the cops and the lifeguards prepare for the annual turf war made necessary by a loopy municipal charter and warring city politicians. A druglord arrives in his GTO to murder a local who stiffed him. A drugged-out Chicago girl figuratively washes up on the beach with no clear memory of how she got there, and a local thief and surfer marvels at the ease of stealing eight-track tape players from cars. A full baker's dozen major characters swirl and collide as if in Brownian motion, moved by elemental forces like wind and tide and lesser things like work and whim. Signs and portents hint that something life changing, if not quite apocalyptic, will affect them all.

Elysiana is a departure for Knopf, whose Sam Acquillo mysteries have won reviewers raves, but he nails it. The seemingly shambling plot proves ultimately to be sly, and Knopf's sweet-spirited style recalls memories spurred by faded home movies of long-ago vacations. His bio says that he was a New Jersey lifeguard back in the day, and he captures the zeitgeist of the Shore perfectly. Every shoobie on the beach who eschews MTV's odious Jersey Shore should be reading Elysiana this season.
Thomas Gaughan -- --Booklist, starred review

Smart dialogue and sharp social observations distinguish this stand-alone thriller from Knopf (Short Squeeze and four other Hamptons mysteries). In the summer of 1969, life on the sunny New Jersey resort island of Elysiana simmers as town cops feud with the beach patrol, fed-up wives elude their slimy husbands, local politicians double-cross each other, lots of dope flows everywhere, and various needy, wounded people such as a brain-damaged lifeguard, a young woman from Chicago who fled her lecherous dad, and a smalltime criminal who's also a maniac surfer look for reasons to go on. Knopf sets up a lot of competing characters capable of semiclever scheming to get what they want, then shows a massive hurricane ripping their plans and their island apart. Like John D. Macdonald or Charles Willeford in a lighter mood, he's unsentimentally fond of his characters and tentatively hopeful about their ability to salvage something from the wreckage around them --Publishers Weekly

About the Author

CHRIS KNOPF is the award winning author of the highly acclaimed Sam Acquillo Hamptons mystery series: The Last Refuge, Two Time, Head Wounds, and Hard Stop. As a young college student he worked as a lifeguard in Avalon on the South Jersey shore, a place not unlike the setting for Elysiana. A sailor, cabinet maker, and advertising executive at Mintz & Hoke in Avon, Connecticut, he and his wife Mary also spend considerable time at their Southampton, Long Island home.