The reviewers’ darling this week is Dan Chaon’s Await Your Reply, the author’s second novel after two collections of short stories. Large libraries are showing heavy hold ratios on modest ordering; as high as 80 on 11 copies. The book went to #190 in Amazon sales rankings over the weekend.

In the Washington Post, Ron Charles warned,

Don’t read anything (except this) about Dan Chaon’s mesmerizing new novel…You need to step into this work of psychological suspense completely unprepared for what lurks in here. If somebody starts telling you what they liked best, put your fingers in your ears and sing: “La, la, la, la!”

He then, of course, goes right on to say what he liked best

People gave it a perfect four out of a possible four starts, which is rare for them. They are liberal with 3.5 stars, but give four-star ratings rarely.

LA times, compares Chaon favorably to other horror novelists,

…what separates his novel from the latest Stephen King tome is that he never resorts to supernatural shenanigans. He locates the source of terror within his characters’ misguided dreams. He also writes with an eloquence rarely seen in the world of page-turners, whether he’s describing “the faint scent of some mildly floral businesslike perfume” or the sensation of hope tightening within someone “like a warm, soft fist.”

Await Your Reply: A Novel
Dan Chaon
Retail Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books – (2009-08-25)
ISBN / EAN: 0345476026 / 9780345476029

Much of the pleasure of the book resides in the reader’s attempts to figure out how these disparate stories fit together.

Also downloadable from OverDrive.

And, in audio from Phoenix Books:

  • ISBN: 978-1-59777-277-8;
  • 9 CDs UNABRIDGED; $32.95 ; September 2009

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