Mistler's Exit

Ballantine Books




A New York Times Notable Book

A Ballantine Reader's Circle Selection

Selected Reviews

New York Times Book Review "Death in Venice" by Jack Miles--September 28, 1998 (Reprinted with permission on the linked page)

The Los Angeles Times "An Emptiness Worse Than Death" by Heller McAlpin--October 19, 1998

St. Petersburg Times "Waiting for Death in Venice" by Robert Gerdes--September 20, 1998

Book Jacket Synopsis

A self-made New Yorker well into his middle age, Thomas Mistler has long been a lion of Madison Avenue's powerful advertising world. Now, poised to sell his company for a luxurious sum, Mistler receives alarming news: He has only months to live. But his reaction is not what one would expect. Rather than hysteria, Mistler experiences a sense of clarity and a feeling of being set free. From what, he is unsure. In a decision that breaks the mold of his superbly organized routine, Mistler conceals his illness from his family and seeks a moment of grace to be savored alone in the decadent splendor of Venice. There, he meets a young, lustful photographer and, later, a love from his youth. But his attempts to recapture passion only magnify the reconciliations he has yet to make--with the father to whom he sacrificed his own dreams, the son with whom he has never truly been at ease, and the wife to whom he has given everything but respect.

A startling blend of grace and satire, Mistler's Exit is charged with unexpected moments of beauty and eroticism, pathos and humor. Like the city of Venice itself, it is a creation of timeless appeal.

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Cover art property of Ballantine Books--Do Not Reproduce

Copyright 2003, Louis Begley
Art work by Peter Begley--Do Not Reproduce