By George

By George

A Novel

Book - 2007
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Baker & Taylor
A young ventriloquist and his wooden alter-ego trace the story of four generations of a family of entertainers, in a tale that follows the eleven-year-old protagonist's search for answers to secrets about his grandfather's World War II-era traveling act.

Blackwell North Amer
In the illustrious history of the theatrical Fishers, there are two boys named George: one is an eleven-year-old schoolboy, the other a ventriloquist's dummy. With no voice of his own but plenty to say, the dummy tells his life story: his humble beginnings in 1930 as a block of wood and some papier-mache, his fateful rise to vaudeville fame, and the horrible secret he's been made to keep. But the dummy has long since been laid to rest, forgotten and abandoned in the Fishers' dusty attic.
In 1973, his self-possessed bur vulnerable namesake finds himself packed off to boarding school for the first time, far from the bosom of his family - his mother, Frankie, a dynamic actress; his grandma Queenie, children's party entertainer extraordinaire; and his bedridden great-grandmother, still in charge, though an echo of her glorious past. When fate brings the two Georges together, the dummy has been silent too long.
From the author of the international bestseller Misfortune comes an utterly original novel of a flawed but formidable family - its dominant women, its disgruntled men, its decades-old secrets - and of two boys who find that truth is not always best out in the open. Wesley Stace writes of lies and mistakes, of heroism and failure, of knowing when to keep quiet and knowing when to speak, and of our innate and wholly human struggle to find a voice of our very own.

Hachette Book Group
In the illustrious history of the theatrical Fishers, there are two Georges. One is a peculiar but endearing 11-year-old, raised in the seedy world of `70s boarding houses and backstages, now packed off to school for the first time; the other, a garrulous ventriloquist's dummy who belonged to George's grandfather, a favorite traveling act of the British troops in World War II. The two Georges know nothing of each other--until events conspire to unite them in a search to uncover the family's deepest secrets.

Weaving the boy's tale and the puppet's "memoirs," BY GEORGE unveils the fascinating Fisher family--its weak men, its dominant women, its disgruntled boys, and its shocking and dramatic secrets. At once bitingly funny and exquisitely tender, Stace's novel is the unforgettable journey of two young boys separated by years but driven by the same desires: to find a voice, and to be loved.

"By George is one of those rare works of fiction with an essential triple helix -- it's funny, it's clever and it's perfectly woven together with story. If writing is how we imagine not being lonely, as Wesley Stace suggests, then his conjuring trick as a writer is that he brings a large crowd along with him. This is a wonderful follow-up to his debut novel, Misfortune." -- Colum McCann, author of Zoli and Dancer

Publisher: New York : Little, Brown, 2007
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780316830324
0316830321
Characteristics: 383 p. ; 25 cm

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MargaRH Dec 20, 2011

Nancy Pearl recommendation

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