Observatory Mansions (Paperback)

A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries)

By Edward Carey

Vintage, 9780375709234, 368pp.

Publication Date: February 5, 2002

List Price: 16.95*
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Once the Orme family’s magnificent ancestral estate, Observatory Mansions is now a crumbling apartment complex, home to an eccentric group of misfits. One of them is Francis Orme, who earns his livelihood as a living statue. When not practicing “inner and outer stillness,” Francis steals the cherished possessions of others to add to his private museum. The other tenants are equally as odd: his mother and father, who haven’t interacted in years; a man who continually sweats and cries; a recluse who prefers television to reality; and a woman who behaves like a dog. When Anna Tapp arrives among them she stirs their souls, bringing long forgotten memories to the surface–and arousing fears that this new resident intends to provoke a metamorphosis.
Reminiscent of Beckett, Ionesco, and Millhauser but startlingly original, Observatory Mansions is also unexpectedly beguiling. Upon its publication in England, it was a literary sensation, and John Fowles called it “easily the most brilliant fiction I’ve seen this year.”

About the Author

Edward Carey is a playwright. This is his first novel. He lives in London.

Praise For Observatory Mansions: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries)

“A sublime take on the Gothic horror novel, an endearing love story…and a triumphant argument for how brilliant the novel can still be.”–Detroit Free Press

“Readers who complain there’s no originality left in the world should visit Observatory Mansions.”–USA Today

“A funny, sad, and provocative novel.”–The Washington Post Book World

Observatory Mansions is a strange and beautiful book. . . . That this is a first novel is a wonder.” —The Memphis Flyer