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Book reviews for "Prager,_Emily" sorted by average review score:

A Visit from the Footbinder, and Other Stories
Published in Hardcover by Simon & Schuster (1982)
Author: Emily Prager
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Fabulous, fantastic, funny
This is one of the most creative selection of short stories I've ever read. She takes current attitudes and stands them on their head. You'll find yourself laughing hilariously and at the same time wiping away a tear.

Clea and Zeus Divorce
Published in Hardcover by Random House (1987)
Author: Emily. Prager
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dated, but fascinating
Ah, the 80s. The last days of the Cold War; people were still frightened of nuclear holocaust. An entire book could be creditably built around one woman's conviction that a 150 kiloton nuclear bomb will fall on Kennedy Airport on September 10 at 10 p.m. And a nuclear blast could be compared to the end of a marriage.

A lousy marriage. That is what Clea and Zeus have. They don't even like each other, but remain infatuated with each other for about 8 years. They recreate and embellish upon the events of their marriage in their nightclub act, which eventually evolves into a series of television specials. They become rich and famous by failing to distinguish between entertainment and their own lives. This is very, very funny stuff.

These two spectacularly attractive and talented people have no real friends except for their entourage, which consists of 8 Rhodesians colonials devoted to Zeus's protection, one black South African and one Chinese. Clea and Zeus are wildly narcissistic people, their own selves shattered by perverse childhood traumas involving their mothers. They live to perform and are essentially always on stage, barely existing when they are not.

The structure of this book is fascinating. The narrative is spliced up with flashbacks into the youths of Clea and Zeus and into the more recent events that have led up to their final performance and the end of their marriage. Emily Prager is not a showy writer. There are some postmodern tricks here: the confusion between the performances and real lives, the narrative disruption, the absurdity of some of the character's identities, the magic realism of their physical abilities. But there is a real story here and it is a sad and compelling one.

Clea & Zeus is fantastic women's literature.
Prager has a great insight into the bizarre complexity of marriage. Zeus reaches terrific symbolic justice at the end of the book. C&Z focuses on the intricate fabric of trust and intimacy and vanity that exists in contempoary marriages. The fact that this novel is out of print speaks to the male dominant aspect of society today.

Really Interesting Book
I think Emily Prager is often over-looked when we think of great contemporary female authors. I've read most of her books, and just recently finished Clea & Zeus. At first, I'll admit, I had a hard time getting through the first chapter of the book because Prager sort of throws the reader into the lives of these two complex people. The book starts off on stage, basically, which is not a typical way to start a book -- right in the middle of the action. Once you realize what's going on, then you, as the reader, can move on and just keep reading. And keep reading you will.

What I love the most about this book is the constant theme of nuclear war -- whether the [surprise] is going to drop or not, and whether Prager is going to even show us what happens at the end. In the middle of that theme, you also learn about Clea & Zeus, their entourage of friends (and a strange entourage at that), and see the complexity of a marriage; especially a marriage is just a show business world. Everything's pushed to the extremes of the ridiculous, but in a sense, that's how some people live their lives because it's available to them.

The ending -- wow. Very different from what I expected. It's one of the few times that I experienced an ending such as the one Prager gives us and wanted more. I usually take abrupt endings at face value and go on. I don't need more. But with this ending, I wanted more. I want a Clea & Zeus part two -- just because it was that good.

Definitely a great read.

Eve's Tattoo
Published in Hardcover by Random House (1991)
Author: Emily Prager
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Trivialization of the Holocaust
From the very beginning, the premise of Eve's Tattoo is an affront to those who suffered in the Holocaust. The protagonist is a vapid, self-indulgent woman experiencing a mid-life crisis. By getting a tattoo of a Holocaust victim she has seen in a photo, she creates a counterpart about whom she can weave tales of what the Nazis did. She can go into a discotheque and point out to her "victim" the tattoos painted on the young musicians. This is not what the Holocaust is about. The way that this character embellishes her tales to indulge herself is a trivialization of the true catastrophe. This novel feeds into the deceit of Holocaust deniers and revisionists because the protagonist creates victims' stories for her own egocentric purposes. A reader can get no insight into the true nature of Nazi evil by reading this book. It is an exploitation of the topic and has no redeeming value. Actually, I would use it as an example of how the Holocaust is diminished by bad pop-art.

Disturbing premise, but surprisingly good
When I first heard the premise of this book, I had my doubts about it. But I found it to have a lot of depth and historical interest. Very well written, and really made me think about my own life, history, and (lack of) generosity to and empathy for others and their varied situations.

A Must Read
This is an incredible book. It is thoughtful, haunting, and tells the story of an uncompromising heroine

Wuhu Diary: On Taking My Adopted Daughter Back to Her Hometown in China
Published in Paperback by Anchor Books (08 October, 2002)
Author: Emily Prager
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Puzzling, misleading and too cute
The premise of this book is troubling: the author takes her not-yet-five year old daughter to trace her Chinese roots. As a parent who has also adopted, I find the idea of taking a child on such a long "roots" journey to be questionable, considering the child's youth and the complexity of this particular journey (and, of course, it's expensive). What can such a young child understand and retain of this experience? And if this little girl is as confused and concerned about her roots as the mother says, doesn't such a trip prompt even more confusion? My sense is that Prager wanted to write another book and take a good trip and her daughter provided a lot of good material for one. The two really good things about the book - and that's why I give it two stars - is that 1) it's well written - Prager is good at that and 2) it lists some other good books for folks who have adopted or are thinking of adopting. But otherwise, this book gave me the creeps.

A Journey of Courage
Emily Prager's account of her trip to Wuhu with her daughter Lulu is a tribute to her awareness of her daughter's need to make real some vague images and feelings about her birthparents, birthplace and Chinese identity. Lulu was not too young (as one reviewer mentioned) to be taken on this journey. What a five-year-old learns from such a trip is different from what a ten-year-old learns, but that does not invalidate the younger child's experiences. It seems to me it took great courage for Ms. Prager to take her daughter on a journey that was surely quite difficult, both physically and emotionally. The book is a moving and honest account of their stay and the relationships they developed while living in a relatively isolated city with few other foreigners. The descriptions of everyday life--what they ate, their experiences at the hospital, at the nursery school, etc--are precisely what makes this book compelling reading. It is not a romantic depiction of China but an honest attempt to live among the people that share with her daughter their biological roots and to give her some concrete notion of where she is from. This is a personal journey, and I doubt it is meant to be read in any other way. I think it is a terrific book. What we take away from it is the basic humanity we share with people around the world, regardless of their ethnic or racial background. Certainly a timely message.

A Moving and Beautiful Book
As a person who knows a little girl who was adopted recently from Anhui province, I found this book very moving. Not only was it very beautiful and emotional, it also was very interesting. After reading it, I grew to love the characters, especially LuLu, TohToh, and JingJing, and felt like I knew them. The author did a wonderful job of telling this story.

Roger Fishbite: A Novel
Published in Hardcover by Random House (1999)
Author: Emily Prager
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the hubris!
Ugh. Roger Fishbite left me feeling cheap and used. I can't fathom how in the world this recent wave of authors (Praeger, Pia Pera, etc.) could have such hubris as to ape/parody Nabakov's masterpiece "Lolita". I imagine that they would argue that they're giving voice to the voiceless nymphet. But really, after reading several of these novels, in portraying Lucky, Lo, etc. as such charmless little harpies, I can honestly say they sure aren't doing the girls any favors.

Praeger is obviously a talented, funny and clever writer, but this was a ridiculous project. I hope to read something else of hers wherein she has not hitched her wagon to someone else's star as she has here with Nabakov.

A Nice Try That Falls Flat
_Roger Fishbite_ tries, and fails, to recreate _Lolita_ from the child's point of view. It fails, in my opinion, because only the absolute genius of Nabokov can make this genuinely repellent subject matter appealling. Prager is certainly a good writer, but her protagonist speaks with the voice of a mildly unappealing teenage girl. In the end this book fails to maintain the balance between comedy and tragedy that Nabokov so artfully maintains, and _Roger Fishbite_ plunges into the realm of bathos. This is the stuff of which Jon-Benet Ramsey was made.

A funny and intelligent rewrite of Nabokov.
Prager modernizes LOLITA and rewrites it from the nymphet's perspective. The heroine is a joy to "listen" to and gives a very funny story with serious overtones that develop later on. Kudos to the author for tackling child sexuality with maturity and avoiding a 90's reactionary attitude. I think this novel will appeal to fans of Amanda Filipacchi who took on a similar subject in NUDE MEN. While not as riotous (or as heartbreaking) as that novel, it is still affecting and memorable.

Clea and Zeus Divorce/91207
Published in Paperback by Knopf (1987)
Author: Emily Prager
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Official I Hate Video Games Handbook
Published in Paperback by Pocket Books (1982)
Authors: Emily Prager and Frank Morris
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Titters 101: An Introduction to Women's Literature
Published in Paperback by Horizon Book Promotions (1984)
Authors: Deanne Stillman, Anne P. Beatts, Emily Prager, and Judith Victoria Jacklin
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A Visit from the Footbinder
Published in Paperback by Berkley Pub Group (1984)
Author: Emily Prager
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World War II Resistance Stories (Triumph Book)
Published in School & Library Binding by Franklin Watts, Incorporated (1979)
Authors: Arthur Prager, Emily Prager, and Steven Assel
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