A Thousand Pardons

A Thousand Pardons

A Novel

Book - 2013
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NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS

For readers of Jonathan Franzen and Richard Russo, Jonathan Dee's novels are masterful works of literary fiction. In this sharply observed tale of self-invention and public scandal, Dee raises a trenchant question: what do we really want when we ask for forgiveness?
 
Once a privileged and loving couple, the Armsteads have now reached a breaking point. Ben, a partner in a prestigious law firm, has become unpredictable at work and withdrawn at home--a change that weighs heavily on his wife, Helen, and their preteen daughter, Sara. Then, in one afternoon, Ben's recklessness takes an alarming turn, and everything the Armsteads have built together unravels, swiftly and spectacularly.
 
Thrust back into the working world, Helen finds a job in public relations and relocates with Sara from their home in upstate New York to an apartment in Manhattan. There, Helen discovers she has a rare gift, indispensable in the world of image control: She can convince arrogant men to admit their mistakes, spinning crises into second chances. Yet redemption is more easily granted in her professional life than in her personal one.
 
As she is confronted with the biggest case of her career, the fallout from her marriage, and Sara's increasingly distant behavior, Helen must face the limits of accountability and her own capacity for forgiveness.

Praise for A Thousand Pardons
 
" A Thousand Pardons is that rare thing: a genuine literary thriller. Eerily suspenseful and packed with dramatic event, it also offers a trenchant, hilarious portrait of our collective longing for authenticity in these overmediated times." --Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad

"Hugely enjoyable . . . Dee is a snappy, cinematic writer. . . . A Thousand Pardons moves fast. It's a mere 200 or so pages, and it packs a lot of turns of fate within there." -- The Boston Globe
 
"Dee's gifts are often dazzling and his material meticulously shaped. . . . [He] articulates complex emotional dynamics with precision and insight." --The New York Times Book Review
 
"Some stories begin with a bang. And some begin with a roaring fireball of truth. Jonathan Dee's latest novel belongs in the latter camp." --O: The Oprah Magazine
 
"Dee bounds gracefully among Helen's, Ben's, and Sara's points of view as they try to reassemble their lives. Their stories feel honest, and the prose is beautiful." --Entertainment Weekly
 
"A page turner . . . What a triumph." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
"Graceful prose and such a sharp understanding of human weakness that you'll wince as you laugh." --People
 
"Propulsively readable." --The Millions
 
"Dee continues to establish himself as an ironic observer of contemporary behavior. . . . The plot is energetic. . . . But most compelling is the acuteness of the details." --The Atlantic
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780812993219
0812993217
Branch Call Number: F Dee

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ChristchurchLib Dec 02, 2013

The author of The privileges is an expert on how affluent Americans live. This one is about a couple whose marriage falls apart with the husband self destructing and ended up in jail and rehab. The wife turns out to be an expert in crisis management and gets a top career in public penance for business people. An original look at the American PR world.

c
calvoer
Nov 25, 2013

Though completely contemporary, this literary novel overall feels like an old fashioned parable with a message about evil in its various present day forms and how a person ought to respond, or at least find safety. Something about it doesn’t quite work, as if it were a quick sketch for a longer novel. Would be great for a book group.

s
santiano9
Oct 20, 2013

A good read with believeable characters that you care about. Interesting setting in crisis management and a nice twist to the ending. 7/10

w
writermala
Jun 23, 2013

"A thousand pardons," is for the most part a family drama. However, at the end it turns into a literary thriller and the author Jonathan Dee manages to weave the mystery into the plot quite seamlessly. The characters in the story are Helen, Ben and their adopted daughter. The family threads are unraveled by Ben and Helen becomes the strong sustaining parent by moving to Manhattan and finding a job at which she excels. When her past reappears in the form of an actor Helen is suddenly asked to cope with a lot and the reader keeps turning pages to see how Helen manages.

d
dorothyntoto
May 12, 2013

Woman dumps cheating husband & moves on successfully, but for a surly adopted daughter. Good read.

BrigidScott May 06, 2013

2013

ChristchurchLib Apr 15, 2013

"Deeply depressed, corporate lawyer Ben Armstead begins a spectacular downfall when he is accused of rape and drunk driving, loses his job, and checks into rehab. Their assets frozen in the resulting divorce proceedings, his wife, Helen, lucks into a job in PR, at which she proves to be quite talented. Her secret is to convince people to apologise, and her belief that what people do best of all is forgive is borne out in the first of many successes. A "page turner without sacrificing a smidgen of psychological insight" (Kirkus Reviews), this literary novel reflects not only on the ways in which public opinion can be manipulated, but on the challenges of personal relationships as well." April 2013 Fiction A to Z newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=622464

The author of The privileges is an expert on how affluent Americans live. This one is about a couple whose marriage falls apart with the husband self destructing and ended up in jail and rehab. The wife turns out to be an expert in crisis management and gets a top career in public penance for business people. An original look at the American PR world. Review by Philip Tew, fiction selector.

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santiano9
Oct 20, 2013

santiano9 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 40 and 65

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