George Hagen was born in 1958 in Harare, Zimbabwe, and later moved to Northern Rhodesia, the London suburbs, and New Jersey. He studied film at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, and spent several years in Los Angeles as a screenwriter. He lives in New York City with his wife and three children.
Photograph Â© Nancy Crampton
Reviewed on Richard and Judy on 29th June 2005.The World According To Garp meets American Beauty in this dazzling first novel, a tragi-comedy about family life, love and identity that spans several decades and three continents (taken Richard and Judy's site on Channel4)
This exciting, emotionally rich middle grade fantasy continues the adventures of Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddlewhich has been compared toHarry Potter, The Mysterious Benedict Society,and Phillip Pullman'sHis Dark Materials. Gabriel Finley is longing to find his mother, who vanished without a trace when he was just a baby. Along with Gabriel's raven, Paladinwith whom he has a magical bond that enables them to become one creature and FLY!and his three friends, he ventures back to the ruined underground city of Aviopolis to free her from the rune in which she has been imprisoned. But Aviopolis is home to Corax, the Lord of Air and Darkness, who is also Gabriel's uncle. And before Tabitha Finley is released, Gabriel must answer a riddle...or else be imprisoned for eternity within a rune himself. Praise for Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle: "e;Both startling and movinga vivid, compelling fantasy."e; Norton Juster, author of ThePhantom Tollbooth "e;Enchanting."e; Pseudonymous Bosch, The New York Times "e;A great read for fantasy lovers who have worn out their copies of Harry Potter."e; SchoolLibrary Journal, Starred "e;A first-rate fantasy for middle-grade readers. Like Harry Potter,...Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series,...and Trenton Lee Stewart's Mysterious Benedict Society books."e; Booklist,Starred "e;Not to be missed."e; Publishers Weekly, Starred
';A first-rate fantasy for middle-grade readers,' declares Booklist in a starred review, comparing Gabriel Finley to Harry Potter, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series, and The Mysterious Benedict Society. A tangle of ingenious riddles, a malevolent necklace called a torc, and flocks of menacing birds: these are just some of the obstacles that stand between Gabriel and his father, Adam Finley, who has vanished from their Brooklyn brownstone. When Gabriel rescues an orphaned baby raven named Paladin, he discovers a family secret: Finleys can bond with ravens in extraordinary ways. Along with Paladin and three valiant friends, Gabriel sets out to bring his father home. They soon discover that Adam is being held captive by the evil demon Coraxhalf man, half raven, and Adam's very own disgraced brotherin a foreboding netherworld of birds called Aviopolis. With help from his army of ghoulish minions, the valravens, Corax is plotting to take over the land above, and now only Gabriel stands in his way. ';A vivid, compelling fantasy that sends you off to a world you will not soon forget.' Norton Juster, author ofThe Phantom Tollbooth ';A great read for fantasy lovers who have worn out their copies ofHarry Potter.' School Library Journal, Starred ';Brimful of antic energy and inventive flair, like the best middle-grade fantasies; readers, like baby birds, will devour it and clamor for future installments.' Kirkus ReviewsFrom the Hardcover edition.
Meet the Lamentsthe affably dysfunctional globetrotting family at the center of George Hagens exuberant debut novel.Howard is an engineer who dreams of irrigating the Sahara and lives by the motto Laments move! His wife Julia is a fiery spirit who must balance her husbands oddly peripatetic nature with unexpected aspirations of her own. And Will is the waif with a paper-thin heart who is given to Howard and Julia in return for their own child who has been lost in a bizarre maternity ward mishap. As Will makes his way from infancy to manhood in a family that careens from continent to continent, one wonders where the Laments will ever belong.In Bahrain, Howard takes a job with an oil company and young Will makes his first friend. But in short order he is wrenched off to another land, his mothers complicated friendship with the American siren Trixie Howitzer causing the family to bolt. In Northern Rhodesia, during its last days as a white colony, the twin enfants terribles Marcus and Julius are born, and Will falls for the gardeners daughter, a girl so vain that she admires her image in the lid of a biscuit tin. But soon the familys life is upturned again, thie time by their neighbor Major Buck Quinn, with his suburban tirades against black self-rule. Envisioning a more civilized life on the sceptered isle, the Laments board an ocean liner bound for England. Alas, poor Will is greeted by the tribal ferocity of his schoolmates and a society fixated on the Blitz. No sooner has he succumbed to British pop culture in the guise of mop-top Sally Byrd and her stacks of 45s, than the Laments uproot themselves once again, and its off to New Jersey, where life deals crisis and opportunity in equal measure.Undeniably eccentric, the Laments are also universal. Every family moves on in life. Children grow up, things are left behind; there is always something to lament. Through the Laments restlessness, responses to adversity, and especially their unwieldy love for one another, George Hagen gives us a portrait of every family that is funny, tragic, and improbably true.From the Hardcover edition.
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