Noah's Compass

Anne Tyler, Author . Knopf $25.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-307-27240-9

Like Tyler's previous protagonists, Liam Pennywell is a man of unexceptional talents, plain demeanor, modest means and curtailed ambition. At age 60, he's been fired from his teaching job at a “second-rate private boys' school” in Baltimore, a job below his academic training and original expectations. An unsentimental, noncontemplative survivor of two failed marriages and the emotionally detached father of three grown daughters, Liam is jolted into alarm after he's attacked in his apartment and loses all memory of the experience. His search to recover those lost hours leads him into an uneasy exploration of his disappointing life and into an unlikely new relationship with Eunice, a socially inept walking fashion disaster who is half his age. She is also spontaneous and enthusiastic, and Liam longs to cast off his inertia and embrace the “joyous recklessness” that he feels in her company. Tyler's gift is to make the reader empathize with this flawed but decent man, and to marvel at how this determinedly low-key, plainspoken novelist achieves miracles of insight and understanding. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 09/21/2009
Release date: 01/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 978-0-307-37261-1
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-385-66776-0
Paperback - 277 pages - 978-0-345-51659-6
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-307-74170-7
Hardcover - 277 pages - 978-0-7011-8423-0
Paperback - 341 pages - 978-0-7393-2864-4
Open Ebook - 167 pages - 978-0-307-27333-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-4159-6557-3
Hardcover - 277 pages - 978-0-385-66777-7
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-8477-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4159-6558-0
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-0-7011-8424-7
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-89-522-1522-2
Compact Disc - 978-0-7352-0936-7
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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