After the Fall

Victoria Roberts, Author
Victoria Roberts. Norton, $24.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-393-07355-3
Reviewed on: 09/17/2012
Release date: 11/01/2012
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-0-393-08963-9
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What’s remarkable about the New Yorker cartoonist Roberts’s illustrated novel is the whimsy and timelessness she maintains throughout the narrative and drawings, given that the story follows a wealthy family’s loss of fortune. They go to bed one night in their Upper East Side apartment and awake the following morning in Central Park, everything from their apartment “in its usual place, only out-of-doors, with trees growing in the middle.” The story is told through the eyes of 10-year-old Alan, who describes in quirky detail his inventor father, dramatic Argentine mother, and younger Sis, who spends her time staging Shakespeare and Beckett. Making the park habitable are their servants—who live for their telenovelas—Pop’s inventions, and some colorful two- and four-legged friends. But when the weather turns cold and Mother rides off on horseback with another man, they go on a quest to find her. Pop’s fantastical inventions, like the HOP (Horn of Plenty), which creates food out of fumes from favorite restaurants, allow them to live in playful comfort and may remind readers of Eloise and The Phantom Tollbooth. A wonderful children’s story for adults, with all the fanciful Manhattan-centric aspects that entails. Illus. Agent: Lindsay Edgecombe, the Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. (Nov.)
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