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Josh Weil Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Great Glass Sea (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Josh Weil is American author of fiction and Literature novels. He was born in the suburbs of Virginia, a place he would later return to write the novellas for his debut novel, The New Valley. You will find Weil in a cabin in southwest Virginia when working on his next book. Weil became a published author in 2015 when The New Valley: Novellas was published. The Great Glass Sea published in 2014 has won various awards and prizes. The novel won Library of Virginia’s Literary Award and Dayton Literary Peace Prize. The New Valley the New Writers Award, Kaufman Prize and 5 Under 35 Award.

The Great Glass Sea

The Great Glass Sea is an award-winning novel set in alternative Russia, a country that hypothesizes the creation of light through the use of mirrors to create the massive greenhouse known as Oranzheria. Nights are banned in favor of the artificial sunshine- run by a ruler named Bazarov. The Great Grass Sea bears some close resemblance to Fathers and Sons, a 1862 novel written by Ivan Turgenev.

This is a tale of two twin brothers namely Yarik and Dima who were brought up in Soviet in the area now absorbed by the massive greenhouse and its entire monoculture. People are given choices to make, and those who do not subscribe to the company mentality and the 12 hour days are stuck in “The Dachas.” This is more of a slummy town where the sluggard residents are advertised with eye level video billboards of things to want, expensive products, and the reasons why they should sign up to the dream of Oranzheria (a skeptical version of the American Dream).

The two brothers naturally find themselves on the two opposite sides of the divide. One brother becomes Bazarov apprentice, while the other twin just wants to be with his brother and head back to the land where his uncle. The twins are a split up during first few pages of the novel for spending lots of time together while working at the greenhouse. That is when the novel plot unfolds in a chain reaction manner as if an atom had been split. Dima and Yarik, yearning for darkness and stars, yearning for individualism, longing for progress, success and the shiny lights of the New Russia are amazingly described.

The author, Josh Weil not only knows his alternate Russia- but also showcases a deep understanding of the Russian folkways, culture and the way of life. The story switches narrative between the two brothers, Yarik and Dima. The twins are now in their thirties, but they have the memories of the time before the Great Glass Sea, and before this invention, the twin brothers could not have been closer. They have different characters, for instance, Yarik has a wife and two children while on the other hand his brother is neither married and does not want to make friends in his life as this would make him less close to his brother. He quits his job just to be able to be closer to his brother and do whatever he wants to do like reciting poetry in parks which attract the attention of the old communists and anarchists. He becomes an accidental, unintentional poster boy for the two groups. On the other hand, Yarik also becomes a favorite for the man responsible for the Great Glass Sea. The two brothers want to save finances to reclaim their uncle’s farm before the “sea” covers all of Russia.

The Great Glass Sea is a beautifully woven novel, the language is lyrical, while the concept that the story heavily relies on is smart and the tale about the twin brothers is quite moving.

The Age of Perpetual Light

The Age of Perpetual Light is a collection of many short stories that are enlighting, brilliant, touching and also sad. The eight stories in the collection are all great stories to read. The author narrates the stories set in transitory times-where something, in most cases, invention transforms everything about a person’s life, either for better or for worse. Either the appearance of electric light in a small town in the middle of nowhere in the United States or the invention of satellite mirrors that bring an end to the darkness in favor of a never-ending light and “productivity.”

Some of the few stories in the collection include The Point of Roughness which tells a story of a man whom the relationship with his wife is ultimately changed when their adopted child turns out differently than they expected. This is a story about loss, love, about bad obsessions, which showcases how some people are unable to deal with changes that happen in life. It is a story full of emotions.

Then there is Long Bright Line that narrates the story of a woman feels like she is being watched and how she discovers her destiny and her calling in her art. The author manages to paint a vivid description of the art that she creates. Compared with the emergence of air travel and how the women were discriminated, her story is a brilliant one.

The New Valley: Novellas

These are linked novellas that makeup of Weil’s debut masterpiece that takes the readers on an epic journey into America’s remote and unforgiving backcountry and gradually unveils the worlds of the different young men as the battle loss, love, and their personal demons.

Set in a place between West Virginia and Virginia, this book features a cast of characters working hard to get new lives in the absence of their loved ones. Three different voices narrate the story; from a farmer trying to piece his life together and move on after his dad’s suicide, to a health-obsessed dad trying to control his careless and overweight daughter; to a to a man who falls in love with a married woman who intends on using him in a plot that wounds them both. Well crafted, each novella is an analysis of the author’s distinctively romanticized relationships.

As men struggle against solitude, grief, fixation and their despair lead them to take on paths that bring both salvation and ruin. The New Valley is a gentle exploration of isolation, resilience, and the ache of human connections.

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