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Topic: Alice Hoffman

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Subject: Alice Hoffman
Date Posted: 4/15/2008 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 2/7/2008
Posts: 309
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I just finished reading 'The River King', which was the first book I've read by this author. It was a really good book - but I kept being surprised by little magical/supernatural elements in the plot. I was wondering if this was normal for Alice Hoffman, or if this was just this book and this plot?

She just presents impossible things like they're totally normal. If I'd known that she was considered a magic realist I would have been expecting things, but I didn't, and I kept being taken aback by it.

I still enjoyed the book, though!

 

 

Date Posted: 4/15/2008 9:07 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2005
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Yes, that's a characteristic of most of her books. I like her.

Date Posted: 4/16/2008 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2006
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Alice Hoffman is one of my favorite writers for that reason - she lyrically makes the unbelievable believable. Some books are better than others, of course, but if you like what she did in River King, you'll love the way she writes in The Probable Future and most likely Practical Magic as well.

Date Posted: 4/16/2008 5:08 PM ET
Member Since: 2/7/2008
Posts: 309
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Thanks! I will definitely be reading more of her books... and this time I will be expecting the surprises!

 

Date Posted: 4/16/2008 5:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,710
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I just (about 10 minutes ago) got my hands on her newest one "The Third Angel" and I can't wait to read it!  I really enjoyed "Seventh Heaven" by her too.

Date Posted: 4/17/2008 11:03 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 1,028
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I absolutely loved her old stuff.  Pick up At Risk and you will not stop crying.  A very moving book. 

Plus, illumination Night was good, also.

Subject: Alice Hoffman
Date Posted: 4/17/2008 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2007
Posts: 120
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Most of her books have some degree of Magical Realism.  I really liked Blackbird House which sort of included a ghost but was most about the living people who shared a house over time. Happy reading Karen

Subject: Alice Hoffman
Date Posted: 4/17/2008 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2007
Posts: 120
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Most of her books have some degree of Magical Realism.  I really liked Blackbird House which sort of included a ghost but was most about the living people who shared a house over time. Happy reading Karen

Date Posted: 4/18/2008 1:38 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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The River King is my favorite Hoffman book.  A few years ago they made a movie from the book, but unfortunately it was never released to theaters - went straight to DVD.

Here's the link to the movie info:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0386751/

I've also enjoyed The Probable Future.   On the other hand, I recently read Skylight Confessions, and I did NOT like that one.  WAYYYYYY too dark for me.

And I have a few of her other books on my TBR and hope to get to them someday!

Date Posted: 4/23/2008 5:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 335
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Alice Hoffman's earlier books were delightful.  In my opinion, she's one of the best contemporary writers.  I haven't read those you listed (the newer ones).

Subject: Here Comes Negative Nelly to Stop the Gushing
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 6:36 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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I just tried to read Practical Magic, but all the female characters were just soooooo beautiful and totally bitchy that I didn't care about any of them. I left Sally and her little brats on the boat.

Even more annoying is that Hoffman tells us straight out rather than shows us through dialog and good description the story and I just couldn't get into the novel for that reason.

I really wanted Hoffman to "flesh out" the two aunts. They're practically shadows in the story.

I have Blackbird House and I am willing to give it another try. I want so much to enjoy Hoffman's books because her premises sound so fantastic and I love magic realism.

 

Date Posted: 4/26/2009 6:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 2,284
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I had never read Alice Hoffman before until this year.  I read Skylight Confessions and The Ice Queen.  The most interesting thing to me is that with both of these books I didn't really like any of the characters but I still could not put either book down.  Hoffman weaves a most interesting tale and that is what I find fascinating about her books.  Both of these books were bizarre and somewhat unbelievable characters but yet she makes them so real and so believable.  I can say that she is a unique author with a unique style of writing.

I have Here On Earth which I might read sometime next month. 

Date Posted: 5/21/2009 4:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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I loved HERE ON EARTH, a very 'dark' romantic story.  It will make you think twice......... if your ever thinking of looking up your 'old high school' crush!

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 1:15 AM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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I am finally reading Blackbird House and it's a lovely quick read of short stories all connecting to a house. Just a nice change of pace. I do love the magic or superstititious bent to it.

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 10:35 AM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2009
Posts: 181
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I agree, she's a very good writer.   I've only read one of Alice Hoffman's..... Here on Earth.   Reminded me (and others) of Wuthering Heights.  Picked it up because of the locale (Massachusetts), my home state.

Trish

 

Date Posted: 5/26/2009 9:36 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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Laura, Blackbird House is my favorite Hoffman so far--it was the first one of hers I read, actually. But I love stories like that, that take a piace and then go through history telling the stories of the people who lived there.

I haven't read many of her other books. I thought Practical Magic was sort of meh--I've never seen the movie (can't stand Sandra Bullock!) but like Laura, I really wish the aunts had been more developed as characters. They were the most interesting! The only other one I can recall reading was Fortune's Daughter, which I thought was just silly.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 1/20/2010 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2009
Posts: 852
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I have all of the novels she has ever written and I have a few favorites:

At Risk

Seventh Heaven

Turtle Moon

And my favorite: Blue Diary

But again I love all her novels, even though some of them are dark and sad. (Just like life - sometimes)