Herb íní Lorna (A Love Story)
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|A Brief Description
from the Publisher
On the surface, Herb and Lorna Piper are typically sunny 1950s American adults. Herb sells Studebakers to the citizens of Babbington, a Long Island seaside town, and Lorna is his cheerfully coy and clever wife. Their story seems like an American myth: small-town origins, Jazz Age romance, Depression trials, postwar prosperity. But this book begins with the shocking, wondrous discovery, made by their grandson Peter Leroy after their death, ďthat my maternal grandparents were involved inóvirtually the creators ofóthe animated erotic jewelry industry.Ē And from that moment the story of Herb and Lorna takes on a tone of mingled awe and delight, propelled by a pair of secrets that dovetail, at the end, into a luscious and bawdy revelation.
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Very Brief Excerpts from Reviews
A high-spirited romp.
RECOMMENDED BY THE READERíS CATALOG
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"A high-spirited romp through
four generations of recent American history that may well prove to be the
most pleasant surprise of the current literary season. It's hard to recall
a more auspicious mainstream debut in recent American fiction. A comedic
celebration of human inadvertence and ineptitude, or more properly the
triumph of love and art over human folly. A remarkable romance . . . without
contemporary parallel . . . an unconditional success on its own terms."
"A historical farce, a comedy of four generations
of happy errors. This very funny novel--as graceful,
complicated, and exhilarating as a quadrille--is an appreciation of
folly . . . a work of lovely formal artifice. Mr. Kraft has the gift of
generosity of vision, and he detects passion, satisfaction and joy in the
most mundane activities. Tiny, eccentric gestures of affection, like that
of Herb's mechanical man, are something Mr. Kraft himself has perfected,
and the book hums and spins and sings with them. Satirical novelists like
to poke holes in things; Mr. Kraft sees the holes that are already there
and thinks they form intricate designs. He writes about the formal beauty
of having fun. The novel is all about sex, and sex, in Herb 'n' Lorna,
everything in life that is good--craft and art and imagination and hard
work and humor and friendship and skill and curiosity and loyalty and love.
Eric Kraft is an exacting comic novelist whose work is happy and expansive."
"This isn't really a biography but a novel in
biographical form. But whatever you call it, you
have to love it. The charm of Kraft's delightful novel is that despite
the strangeness of coarse goods or cork furniture, the reader comes to
really like and care about these people. Erotic art or not, you begin to
wish that Peter's grandparents were your own."
"A warm, inventive novel whose quirky humor and
typically American optimism should delight many readers."
"A warm, gently humorous, leisurely story, quite proper
throughout; a charmer."
"A beautiful book that
shines with affection and crackles with good writing."
"A whimsical investigation into the past. An exhilarating
comic novel that is both marvelously sly and enormously good-natured. A
wonderful love story . . . but there is much more to it than that.
Loony and beguiling."
"I loved Eric Kraft's Herb 'n' Lorna. It's funny,
raunchy, and clever, a charming story that's also a slice of Americana."
"The unlikely premise of this book is a real grabber,
and once Kraft gets hold of his audience, he doesn't let go. Bawdy,
raunchy, and warm. Great fun."
"One all-American joyride of a novel, celebrating
the carnal and the corny with equal exuberance. It held me in its thrall
from the moment the first box was opened. Eric Kraft is nothing
short of brilliant."
"I was ravished by this wonderfully
odd, comically rich story of love through thin times and thick in America."
"A funny, sexy story told
with consummate skill. However high its sexual content, it is always
about love, and the twists and turns, logical and illogical, that love
takes between two lives bound together down the years. Reality gets stood
on its head. Everything works out. Love is a charm. Herb 'n' Lorna is funny,
readable, carefully plotted and cleverly told. You don't get this lucky
"Rejoice! Peter's back,
with a self-contained novel this time: the story of his maternal grandparents.
Joyful sex suffuses Herb 'n' Lorna, making it an oddity in these just-say-no
days . . . sex indeed, but love and friendship, too, every sort of pleasure
offered and taken. Kraft says yes to it all. Peter Leroy couldn't have
staged a more delightful comeback."
"The kind of sweetness and passion and laughter
Kraft draws from these ordinary lives is rare and endearing. Herb 'n' Lorna
is the happiest of books--not to mention the sexiest."
"This is such an amusing, affectionate, and artfully
whimsical novel that it restores the blush of youth
even as it humorously caroms through a carnival of American culture."
"Herb and Lorna are characters to root for. . .
. You may rediscover giggling . . . as well as
a consciousness-raising realization that there is no expiration date on
human sexuality. Even for grandmas and grandpas."
"An exuberant, quirky and charming
love story about Peter Leroy's grandparents, two of the most endearing
characters to somersault onto the contemporary literary scene. Readers
of Kraft's books are likely to think of John Cheever. Kraft, like Cheever,
treats contemporary suburbia with humor and irreverence, although Kraft
is more generous in his portrayal of his characters."
"Kraft keeps Herb 'n' Lorna at the heart of his wise
and humorous, affectionate and witty novel. He weaves their unusual
and startling avocation so seamlessly into their love story that readers
will wonder what the fuss was all about, even as they weep to bid the pair
"There aren't enough adjectives to praise this
delightfully generous storyteller. Herb 'n' Lorna is a
classic. Savor it."
"A warm and endearing tale told with such irony
and humour that you will be chuckling in next to
"This happy, funny, but above all, gentle novel will
charm and enchant its readers as much as the frankly startling ingenuity
of Herb 'n' Lorna's creations delight its characters."
"Si la gran ficción sólo lo es cuando logra
aniquilar y transfigurar la realidad, no reproduciéndola fielmente,
Herb y Lorna conquista precisamente su soberanía al emanciparse de lo real
por la vía del elemento extravagente, que incide no en la forma y síen
la anécdota y los personajes. Emplazado en ese territorio ambiguo
de las mudanzas, iluminado todo el relato por un haz de ironía amarga,
es, en mi opinión, un maestro. En qué consiste su maestría?
En la sutileza del equilibrio entre la huella de cruda realidad que cruza
el libro y su paulatino avance hacia la resolución disparatada, con lo
que resalta en tonos morales el contenido absurdo, casi siempre desconocido,
de toda existencia anodina. Incluida, por supuesto, la de Peter Leroy."
"One of the undiscovered gems of recent American
fiction: a romance of uncommon tenderness and complexity, a work of prodigious
comic invention--and a dman sexy book. Some two decades ago, a boy named
Peter leroy appeared in a daydream to novelist Eric Kraft. Around him Kraft
invented the fictitious Long Island town of Babbington ("Clam Capital of
the World"), a world of seafood obsessions, amorous twins, rascally childhood
pals, and brilliant pop-culture pastiches that cross from Americana into
Comments from readers:
It seems to me to be the best-hearted book that I've ever read.
I think it's one of the funniest and most heart-warming books ever written.
Goran Jartin, Varberg, Sweden
WHERETO FIND IT
Herb íníLorna is published in paperback by Picador, a division of St. Martin's Press, at $13.00.
You should be able to find Herb 'n' Lornaat your local bookstore, but you can also order it by phone from:
Bookbound at 1-800-959-7323You can order it on the Web from Amazon.com Books.
Copyright © 1994 by Eric Kraft
Herb íníLorna is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, dialogues, settings, and businesses portrayed in it are products of the author's imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
First published by Crown Publishers, Inc., 201 East 50th Street, New York, New York 10022. Member of the Crown Publishing Group.
Now available in paperback from Picador USA, a division of St. Martin's Press.
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