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karlmarx. com: A Love Story

Coll, Susan

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ISBN 10: 0743200039 / ISBN 13: 9780743200035
Verlag: Simon & Schuster, New York, 2001
Gebraucht Zustand: Fine Hardcover
Verkäufer Robinson Street Books, IOBA (Binghamton, NY, USA)

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0743200039 From Publishers Weekly A 20th-century graduate student discovers that she and Karl Marx's daughter are doppelg?ngers in this heartfelt but awkward debut novel. Modern-day Ella Kennedy is a Ph.D. candidate struggling to complete her dissertation on Eleanor Marx before her wealthy father cuts her off. To support herself, Ella lands a job at a consulting firm called the Institute of Thought, whose sole client a group known as the Neoclassicists for Universal Thought and Study (NUTS) wants Ella to set up a Web site hawking Karl Marx merchandise. She soon falls in love with a stammering, attractive Englishman (who happens to looks just like Hugh Grant), despite the fact that he's married. He moves in with her, refuses to talk about his past and begins writing an existentialist play set in a discount store. As this untenable situation deteriorates, Ella begins to pick up disturbing echoes of her life in the history of Eleanor Marx, who fell in with a no-good Englishman of her own a century before. Will Ella share Eleanor's tragic fate? By the end, the question is leached of interest, overwhelmed by Coll's labored humor and by the meandering story line. Most problematic is the wildly inconsistent tone: sometimes the novel reads like satire (TV crews camp outside Ella's workplace hoping to catch a glimpse of what they believe is America's last remaining Marxist), and at other times, it reads like the most banal kind of realism (for example, giving far too much detail on Ella's failure to understand PageMaker and HTML). The novel has potential the irony of exploiting Marx for financial gain is a promising premise, as is the aimlessness of a young woman without a cause but it never quite reaches fruition. Agent, Melanie Jackson. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc. From Booklist Farcical and full of plot twists, Coll's novel is a poignant tale of insecurity and obsession. Ella Kennedy is a graduate student in political theory, struggling to write a doctoral thesis about Karl Marx's daughter, Eleanor, while supporting herself as a waitress. Things seem to be looking up when she moves to Washington, D.C., to create a commercial Web site about Marx for the Institute of Thought, but shortly thereafter Ella meets Nigel, an absent-minded, emotionally vulnerable ornithologist whose wife has left him, and, in spite of his self-absorption, falls madly in love. Flashing back and forth between the chaos in Ella's own life and the life of the unhappy Eleanor Marx, Coll examines the question, Why do otherwise intelligent women get involved with men who take advantage of them? Although the ending is unsatisfying, as Ella doesn't seem to learn much from her travails, the reader will gain a great deal of insight into the ways in which passion can mislead even the most rational, educated woman. Bonnie Johnston Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved Quality, Value, Experience. Media Shipped in New Boxes. Buchnummer des Verkäufers BN1706

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Titel: karlmarx. com: A Love Story

Verlag: Simon & Schuster, New York

Erscheinungsdatum: 2001

Einband: Hardcover


Auflage: First Edition.

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Ella Kennedy is in a rut. Nearly thirty, she's at risk of becoming both a perpetual graduate student and a continual failure at relationships. After spending three years at Columbia University ripping up outlines for her thesis topic of Marxist scholarship, she takes a job in Washington, D.C., at the fledgling Institute of Thought. Her assignment: establish a Web site and mail-order catalogue to market Karl Marx paraphernalia. Her dilemma: she is both computer illiterate and distracted by a thesis topic that she finds engaging. Against her advisor's wishes, she sets out to document the tragic life of Karl Marx's daughter Eleanor -- a brilliant woman who fell apart during the course of a bad relationship. Meanwhile, Ella meets Nigel Lark, an adorably disheveled ornithologist with a delicious British accent; it is love at first sight. But as their relationship develops, Ella realizes that her own life is starting to mirror Eleanor's. For one thing, Nigel wears a wedding band and he doesn't want to talk about it... Deftly weaving fact and fiction, past and present, socialist theory and side-splitting humor, Susan Coll presents a warm and witty novel in the tradition of Cathleen Schine, Laura Zigman, and the Ephron sisters. is a love story full of wonderful absurdities.

About the Author:

Susan Coll's articles and reviews have appeared in the International Herald Tribune, The Washington Post Book World, and The Asian Wall Street Journal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, the author and journalist Steve Coll, and their three children.

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