Under the Same Stars

Tim Lott

Under the Same Stars

It is late summer 2008 and, as the world economy goes into meltdown, forty-year-old Salinger Nash, plagued since adolescence by a mercurial depression, leaves the London house he shares with his girlfriend, Tiane, for his older brother's home in the Garden District of New Orleans. Carson Nash has persuaded Salinger that they should find their missing father, Henry- last known location Las Cruces, New Mexico. But it is with a sense of foreboding that Salinger sets off with his brother. 3.7 out of 5 based on 8 reviews
Under the Same Stars

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre General Fiction
Format Hardcover
Pages 352
RRP
Date of Publication March 2012
ISBN 978-1847373052
Publisher Simon & Schuster
 

It is late summer 2008 and, as the world economy goes into meltdown, forty-year-old Salinger Nash, plagued since adolescence by a mercurial depression, leaves the London house he shares with his girlfriend, Tiane, for his older brother's home in the Garden District of New Orleans. Carson Nash has persuaded Salinger that they should find their missing father, Henry- last known location Las Cruces, New Mexico. But it is with a sense of foreboding that Salinger sets off with his brother.

Reviews

The Sunday Times

Phil Baker

In line with Lott’s double-take treatment of America, their dying father turns out to be more complicated than he at first seems, and their childhood not as Salinger remembers it. All the relationships in this ambitious and superbly turned book have been shaken and resolved by the end, not least Salinger’s relationship with himself. Lott’s novel is not just sharply observed, but ultimately life-affirming — two things that don’t always go together.

25/03/2012

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The Independent

Martin Fletcher

This is not a bleak novel. There are achingly funny moments. Salinger and Carson's verbal punch-ups have the sting of a muscular wit, and patrolman Wendell Valentine who recovers their Lexus, referring to the brothers as "Limey faggots", is a generously comic character.

30/03/2012

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The Guardian

Alex Clark

It's a relatively complicated set-up, and Lott has his work cut out juggling the frequently comic tone of the brothers' road-trip and the more sombre working-out of a buried family trauma ... Not everything in Under the Same Stars does fit; its characters may have nudged their lives forwards, but the past remains a painful, mysterious hinterland. It might be an uncomfortable read, but its raggedness is perhaps its greatest strength.

06/04/2012

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The Observer

Natash Tripney

The novel has an intriguing relationship with the American experience, seemingly both fascinated and a little repelled by it. Affection for the literature and cinema of the US runs through the writing, with Steinbeck's East of Eden and the films of James Dean the most overt points of reference. Lott tinkers with expectation but cannot help himself affectionately embracing as many truisms as he upends, the brothers encountering their fair share of smart-mouthed cops and sassy convenience store clerks as they head out west in their Lexus, not to mention numerous people who find Salinger's English ways at best bemusing.

17/03/2013

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The Daily Mail

Eithne Farry

Lott describes the landscape and the people they encounter with grave humour; a quaint catalogue of meals eaten and sights seen. Equally adept is his exploration of the brothers’ tentative affection, a careful equilibrium that is threatened by an encounter with their father and treacherous revelations from their shared family history.

22/03/2012

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The Spectator

Ian Thomson

Lott, by inclination a confessional writer, is drawn to stories of family discontent. Under the Same Stars, a tender-hearted novel of sibling rivalries, is no less memorable than his family memoir The Scent of Dried Roses. Very occasionally the therapist’s couch shows in the prose (‘A single thought drifted into the slipstream of his understanding’); otherwise the writing is sharp as a tack and unfailingly fun to read.

31/03/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

John Preston

At the heart of Under the Same Stars is a theme that’s as well-worn as it is potentially corny: the importance of family. Lott, though, is far too sharp a writer to topple into sentimentality. Instead he shows, with great delicacy, how the ties that bind one moment can divide the next. Neither Salinger nor Carson are immediately sympathetic, but by stripping away their bluster and exposing their frailties, Lott makes them infinitely more engaging by the end than they appeared at the beginning.

27/03/2012

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The Times

Matthew Dennison

As Salinger’s relationship with his brother changes, so too does his knee-jerk anti-Americanism — and that of the novelist too. Lott’s portrait of the land of “stupid fun” increases in subtlety as the novel progresses; in doing so it gains in maturity and readability ... Lott’s novel ultimately packs a powerful emotional punch. Salinger is a modern hero, preoccupied with himself, disconnected and angular. His talent for disconcertingly exact metaphors is one of the novelist’s notable strengths in this unrosy account that is nevertheless flecked with humour.

17/03/2012

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