Plays well with others

Book Cover
Average Rating
Publisher:
Alfred A. Knopf,
Pub. Date:
1997.
Language:
English
Description
In his widely read, prizewinning Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, Allan Gurganus gave fresh meaning to an overexplored American moment: 1860-65. He now turns that comic intensity and historical vision to another war zone: entry-level artistic Manhattan 1980-95. In his first novel since Widow, Gurganus offers us an indelible, addictive praise-song to New York's wild recent days, their invigorating peaks and lethal crashes.It's 1980, and Hartley Mims jr., a somewhat overbred Southerner, arrives in town to found his artistic career and find a Circle of brilliant friends. He soon discovers both Robert Christian Gustafson, archangelic boy composer of Symphony no. 1: The Titanic, and Alabama Byrnes, a failed Savannah debutante whose gigantic paintings reveal an outsized talent that she, five feet tall, can't always live up to.This circle--sexually venturesome, frequently hungry, hooked on courage, caffeine, and the promise of immortality--makes history and most everybody else. Their dramatic moment in New York history might've been a collaboration begun, as a toast, by Cole Porter and finished, as pure elegy, by Poe himself. Plays Well with Others is a fairy tale. It has a Legend's indoctrinating charm and hidden terrors. It chronicles a ragtag group of gifted kids who come to seek their fortunes; they find the low-paying joys of making art and the heady education only multiple erotic partners can provide. Having mythologized each other through the boom years, having commenced becoming "names," they suddenly encounter a brand-new disease like something out of fifth-rate sci-fi. Friends are soon questioning how much they really owe each other; they're left with the ancient consolation of one another's company and help. We watch this egotistic circle forge its single greatest masterwork: a healthy community.The novel, a sort of disco requiem-mass, divides itself into three symphonic movements: "Before," "After," and "After After." The work concludes in a homemade paradise that resembles Hartley Mims's own starter vision of all that seemed waiting--latent and convivial--in New York itself.This is a work that could've only been written now, in our age of medical advances, written about these unsuspecting unsung heroes of a medieval scourge's first endgame moves among us. Plays Well with Others becomes a hymn to the joys and woes of caretaking (for waning parents and young friends). Allan Gurganus has created a deeply engaging narrative about flawed, well-meaning people who seem lifted from our own address books. His book offers an obsessive love story, a complex vision of our recent past, and an emotional firestorm--a pandemic's long-awaited great novel.
More Details
ISBN:
9780394589145
9780375702037
Also in this Series
More Like This
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID c14faf15-6578-d139-42c4-5cc0c8f7107a
full_title plays well with others
author gurganus allan
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-14 05:04:56AM

Solr Details

_version_ 1576058905353519104
accelerated_reader_interest_level
accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Gurganus, Allan, 1947-
author-letter Gurganus, Allan,
author_additional Allan Gurganus.
author_display Gurganus, Allan
availability_toggle_arlington Available Now, Entire Collection
available_at_arlington Central
callnumber-a PS3557.U814
callnumber-first P - Language and Literature
callnumber-subject PS - American Literature
callnumber_sort_arlington F GUR
collection_arlington Adult Fiction
date_added 2011-01-26T05:00:00Z
days_since_added 2396
detailed_location_arlington Central Adult Fiction
display_description
edition 1st ed.
format_arlington Book
format_boost 10
format_category_arlington Books
grouping_category book
id c14faf15-6578-d139-42c4-5cc0c8f7107a
isbn 9780375702037, 9780394589145
item_details ils:.b13277601|.i11380895|Central Adult Fiction|F GUR|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf|May 11, 2016|caf||
itype_arlington Paperback
language English
language_boost 10
language_boost_es 1
lexile_score -1
lib_boost_arlington 50
literary_form Fiction
literary_form_full Fiction
local_callnumber_arlington F GUR
local_callnumber_exact_arlington F GUR
local_callnumber_left_arlington F GUR
local_days_since_added_arlington 2396
num_holdings 1
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
owning_location_arlington Central
physical 337, 16 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
popularity 3
primary_isbn 9780394589145
publishDate 1997
publishDateSort 1997
publisher Alfred A. Knopf,
rating 2.5
rating_facet oneStar, twoStar
record_details ils:.b13277601|Book|Books|1st ed.|English|Alfred A. Knopf,|1997.|337, 16 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
scope_has_related_records a, arlington, c, d, g, h, o, p, s, u, v, w
scoping_details_arlington ils:.b13277601|.i11380895|On Shelf|On Shelf|false|true|true|false|false|true|999|||
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title Plays well with others
title_display Plays well with others
title_full Plays well with others / Allan Gurganus
title_short Plays well with others
title_sort plays well with others