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The Vices by Lawrence Douglas - Excerpt

The Vices by Lawrence Douglas - Excerpt

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Published by otherpress
Oliver Vice, forty-one, prominent philosopher, scholar, and art collector, is missing and presumed dead, over the side of Queen Mary 2.Troubled by his friend’s possible suicide, the unnamed narrator of Lawrence Douglas’ new novel launches an all-consuming investigation into Vice’s life history. Douglas, moving backward through time, tells a mordantly humorous story of fascination turned obsession, as his narrator peels back the layers of the Vice family’s rich and bizarre history. At the heart of the family are Francizka, Oliver’s handsome, overbearing, vaguely anti-Semitic Hungarian mother, and his fraternal twin brother, Bartholomew, a gigantic and troubled young man with a morbid interest in Europe’s great tyrants. As the narrator finds himself drawn into a battle over the family’s money and art, he comes to sense that someone—or perhaps the entire family—is hiding an unsavory past. Pursuing the truth from New York to London, from Budapest to Portugal, he remains oblivious to the irony of the search: that in his need to understand Vice’s life, he is really grappling with ambivalence about his own.
Oliver Vice, forty-one, prominent philosopher, scholar, and art collector, is missing and presumed dead, over the side of Queen Mary 2.Troubled by his friend’s possible suicide, the unnamed narrator of Lawrence Douglas’ new novel launches an all-consuming investigation into Vice’s life history. Douglas, moving backward through time, tells a mordantly humorous story of fascination turned obsession, as his narrator peels back the layers of the Vice family’s rich and bizarre history. At the heart of the family are Francizka, Oliver’s handsome, overbearing, vaguely anti-Semitic Hungarian mother, and his fraternal twin brother, Bartholomew, a gigantic and troubled young man with a morbid interest in Europe’s great tyrants. As the narrator finds himself drawn into a battle over the family’s money and art, he comes to sense that someone—or perhaps the entire family—is hiding an unsavory past. Pursuing the truth from New York to London, from Budapest to Portugal, he remains oblivious to the irony of the search: that in his need to understand Vice’s life, he is really grappling with ambivalence about his own.

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Publish date: Aug 16, 2011
Added to Scribd: Aug 03, 2011
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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08/21/2013

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Copyright ©
2011
Lawrence DouglasProduction Editor:
Yvonne E. Cárdenas
Text Designer:
Simon M. Sullivan
This book was set in 12.25 pt Faireld LH Lightby Alpha Design & Composition of Pittseld, NH
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproducedor transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic ormechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without writtenpermission from Other Press LLC, except in the case of brief quotations in reviews for inclusion in a magazine, newspaper, orbroadcast. Printed in the United States of America on acid-freepaper. For information write to Other Press LLC,
2
Park Avenue,
24
th Floor, New York, NY 
10016
. Or visit our Web site:www.otherpress.comLibrary of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataDouglas, Lawrence.The Vices / by Lawrence Douglas.p. cm.ISBN 978-1-59051-415-3 — ISBN 978-1-59051-416-0 (e-book)1. Hungarian Americans—Fiction. 2. Jewish families—Fiction.3. Art—Collectors and collecting—Fiction. 4. Domestic ction.5. Psychological ction. I. Title.PS3604.O928V53 2011813'.6—dc222010054185
Publisher’s Note:
This is a work of ction. Names, characters, places, and incidentseither are the product of the author’s imagination or are usedctitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead,events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
 
There was but one man who understood me, andhe didn’t understand me.
—hegel

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bookangel_a reviewed this
Rated 4/5
This is an intelligent, witty, and yet also somber novel about the unnamed narrator, and his friendship with Oliver Vice.Oliver Vice went missing at the age of 41, while on the ship Queen Mary 2. His best friend, the narrator, investigates his disappearance. This investigation grows into a desire to write the story of the Vice family, which he does as this book unfolds.While he tells Vice's story, he also tells his own story - how he and Oliver became close friends, and how he subsequently became sucked into the "world of Vice." It's a novel about a man who wants to write a biography about a mysterious family. It reads like fiction and biography at the same time.If you like a little bit of mystery in your novels, this one is for you. If you are intrigued by the study of eccentric people, family history, and the lies we often believe are true, this book is for you.(I received this book through Amazon's Vine Program.)
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