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The Resource The secret of lost things : a novel, Sheridan Hay

The secret of lost things : a novel, Sheridan Hay

Label
The secret of lost things : a novel
Title
The secret of lost things
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Sheridan Hay
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • Hay has woven an irresistible tribute to--or perhaps a warning about--the obsessive nature of book collecting. Delicately spun around the social and sexual awakening of Rosemary Savage, a young Tasmanian emigre to New York, this cautionary tale tracks the life-altering influence the rumor of the recovery of a lost manuscript by Herman Melville has upon several employees of a cavernous used bookstore. After the death of her mother, Rosemary moves to New York and is hired by George Pike, the crusty owner of the Arcade. Modeled after the world-famous Strand Bookstore, the Arcade is a refuge of sorts for a handful of idiosyncratic employees, including an embittered albino manager, a good-hearted transsexual cashier, an insufferably aloof nonfiction expert, and an avuncular rare-books curator. When a mysterious letter offering the sale of Melvilles missing opus arrives at the Arcade, rivalries are formed, conspiracies are hatched, and an inexorable chain of events inevitably resulting in tragedy is set into motion. Rosemarys naivete serves as an effective counterpoint for the machinations of her suddenly desperate and grasping coworkers. Dedicated bibliophiles will relish the Melville story-within-a-story angle. -- Margaret Flanagan (Reviewed 03-01-2007) (Booklist, vol 103, number 13, p63)
  • Hay's debut has all the elements of a literary thriller, but they don't quite come together. Arriving in New York from Tasmania with $300, her mother's ashes and a love of reading, 18-year-old Rosemary Savage finds work in the Arcade Bookshop, a huge, labyrinthine place that features everything from overstock to rare books. In its physicality, the store greatly resembles New York's Strand (where Hay worked), and its requisite assortment of intriguing bookish oddballs includes autocratic owner George Pike and his albino assistant, Walter Geist. Rosemary is suspicious and worried when Walter enlists Rosemary's help to respond to an anonymous request to sell a hand-written version of Herman Melville's lost Isle of the Cross (a novel that in fact existed but disappeared after Melville's publisher rejected it). She confides in Oscar (the attractive, emotionally unavailable nonfiction specialist), which only hastens the deal's momentum toward disaster. Hay does a good job with innocent, intelligent Rosemary's attempts to deal with sinister doings, and methodically imagines the evolution and content of Melville's novel (which features a woman abandoned much like Rosemary's mother). Hay also ably captures Rosemary's nostalgic memories of Tasmania. The three narratives—intrigue, Melville, Tasmania—prove so different, however, that recurring themes of loss and abandonment fail to tie them together. (Mar.) --Staff (Reviewed December 11, 2006) (Publishers Weekly, vol 253, issue 49, p45)
  • A triangle of unrequited love and a tussle over an apocryphal Melville manuscript enliven Hay's bildungsroman.Eighteen-year-old Rosemary, father unknown, journeys from Tasmania to New York City after her mother's hat business fails, followed soon by her death. Rosemary lands a job at the Arcade, a musty warren of used books, patterned after the Strand bookstore and staffed by bookish boors: skinflint owner Pike; the big lugs who wrangle the paperback tables; beautiful, asexual Oscar, on whom Rosemary nurses a crush; myopic albino Geist, who prices review copies for resale; and Mitchell, who beguiles well-heeled clients in his rare-books room. After Geist, besotted with Rosemary, floats her a loan, she sublets a cold apartment in a bad neighborhood and gamely dresses it with gimcracks and keepsakes, including a box containing her mother's ashes. There she entertains gal-pals Lillian, from Argentina, whose son was among the "disappeared," and Pearl, a pre-op transsexual who works the register at the Arcade. Geist asks Rosemary to read him an anonymous letter offering for sale a contraband Melville manuscript. Rumors of the letter, obviously intercepted before it reached Pike, fall from Rosemary's loose lips, kindling suspicion and booklust in Mitchell and Oscar, who compulsively researches obscure facts. In two pokey chapters, Rosemary and Oscar peruse Melvilleanea, including the "Agatha Letters" to Hawthorne (large chunks of which are excerpted verbatim), detailing Melville's idea for a novel about a wife abandoned by her sailor husband. Once the two deduce that Geist's quarry could be that same book (The Isle of the Cross, rejected by Melville's publishers, no known copy in existence), the story picks up speed. Geist's plot to fence the manuscript is exposed too late to redeem him or Oscar, but Rosemary, leaving bookselling behind for publishing, has amassed invaluable life experience, not to mention avuncular advice from her colorful older mentors, most of whom she cheerfully—and thankfully—ignores.A tribute to the book-obsessed that's unfortunately cast with stereotypes. (Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2007)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
156306
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Hay, Sheridan
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3608.A9
LC item number
S43 2006
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Bookstores
  • Booksellers and bookselling
  • Australians
Target audience
adult
Label
The secret of lost things : a novel, Sheridan Hay
Link
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
630084
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
354 pages
Isbn
9780385518482
Lccn
2006015625
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780385518482
  • (OCoLC)68712239
Label
The secret of lost things : a novel, Sheridan Hay
Link
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
630084
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
354 pages
Isbn
9780385518482
Lccn
2006015625
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780385518482
  • (OCoLC)68712239

Library Locations

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      8637 Spicewood Springs Rd., Austin, TX, 78759, US
      30.4337083 -97.7730809
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