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This is a great mystery that will lull you in. Roorbach is a skilled and lyrical writer. I was immediately hooked by the main character, Lizard, a young football star who spends little time actually thinking about sports. His relationship with the famous ballerina next door, his parents' murder, and his flaky sister, intoxicate his life and his work. Highly recommended!
“Roorbach has given readers a totally unique family saga that is infused with love, sex, and murder. This is the kind of story that takes you on a journey from the very first page and races right along to the unforgettable conclusion. I was drawn in by the characters, both sympathetic and despicable. This is a great book to recommend to everyone.”
— Barbara Kelly, Portland Bookstore, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME
This funny, exuberant novel captures the reader with the grand sweep of seven-foot-tall David “Lizard” Hochmeyer’s larger-than-life quest to unravel the mystery surrounding his parents’ deaths. It’s a journey laden with pro football stars, a master chef and his beautiful transvestite lover, a world-famous ballerina and her English rocker husband, and a sister who’s as brilliant as she is unstable. A wildly entertaining, plot-twisting novel of murder, seduction, and revenge--rich in incident, expansive in character, and lavish in setting--Life Among Giants is an exhilarating adventure.
Editors’ pick for Amazon’s Best of 2012
Shelf Awareness Top Ten Best Fiction of 2012
Columbus Dispatch’s Top Books of 2012
Bill Roorbach is the author of eleven books of fiction and nonfiction, including the Flannery O'Connor Prize and O. Henry Prize winner Big Bend; Temple Stream; the bestselling Life Among Giants and Kirkus Prize finalist The Remedy for Love. The 10th anniversary edition of his craft book, Writing Life Stories, is used in writing programs around the world. His work has been published in The New York Times, Harper's, the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times Magazine, Granta, New York, and dozens of other magazines and journals. He lives in western Maine with his wife, Juliet.
“Hilarious and heartbreaking, wild and wise, Bill Roorbach’s Life Among Giants, which is earning comparisons to The World According to Garp, is a vivid chronicle of a life lived large.” —Parade
“An enchanting, darkly mysterious ballerina. A dead rock star. An unsolved double homicide, decades old. A father felled by a shadowy past. An older sister as beautiful as she is mad. A gay vegetarian chef covered in tattoos. His transvestite lover. Secret passageways, nighttime trysts, affairs, embezzling, illicit recordings--all of it revolving around one 6-foot-8, humble, sincere, Ivy League-educated orphaned professional football player. Really, what more could you want? As you might guess from its title if not from the list above, Bill Roorbach’s second novel, Life Among Giants, is a larger-than-life production. Yet all of its wild characters feel genuine, their aches and flaws and desires wholly organic; and the plot they’re tangled in moves forward at a breakneck pace. It’s a dizzy romp. There’s murder and intrigue and sex and terror, and Roorbach is generous with it all . . . Which isn’t to say there isn’t real meat here. Roorbach doesn’t let the novel’s rich entertainment stand in the way of emotional subtlety . . . [He] seems to relish creating lushly bold biographies for his characters, then getting the shading right--carefully applying depth and warmth.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A bighearted, big-boned story . . . Life Among Giants reads like something written by a kinder, gentler John Irving . . . Roorbach is a humane and entertaining storyteller with a smooth, graceful style.” —The Washington Post
“Consistently surprising and truly entertaining . . . Part thriller, part family drama, Life Among Giants is deliciously strange and deeply affecting.” —The Boston Globe
“[A] thrilling indulgence, a tale of opulence, love triangles, and madness, set against a sumptuous landscape of lust and feasts . . . This is a purely Gatsbyesque portrayal of celebrity.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A compelling mystery . . . [Roorbach] knows how--in the best way--to manipulate and misdirect a reader.” —The Columbus Dispatch (a Top Ten Book of 2012)
“A few novels every year . . . achieve greatness . . . Life Among Giants is one of those blessed occurrences.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"A bravura performance. It's been a long time since a writer's written so brilliantly about subjects as varied as pro football, dance, food, and murder in the same book. My God, it was fun." —Richard Russo
“A sprawling, exuberant novel filled with murder and lust and, mostly, love. Bill Roorbach is a writer with enormous vision and an even more enormous heart.” —Ann Hood, author of The Red Thread
“No one writes pleasure quite like Bill Roorbach.” —Debra Spark, author of Good for the Jews
“A book that’s big in the best of ways . . . Bill Roorbach has delivered his award-winning writing talents in one big bunch.” —Clyde Edgerton