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Angelica Lost and Found (Novel, 2010)

In Ariosto's epic 16th-century poem Orlando Furioso, the beautiful Angelica , chained, naked, to a rock and menaced by a sea monster is rescued by the valiant Ruggiero, riding a ‘hippogriff', the offspring of a griffin and a mare - an entirely imaginary winged creature (as readers of Harry Potter know).

Volatore, as this hippogriff calls himself, has escaped the poem in which he has been confined for centuries and is determined to find his Angelica, even if it takes him to the 21st century and involves some shape-shifting. He lands in contemporary San Francisco and the first person he sets eyes on is Angelica Greenberg, the Jewish owner of a San Franciscan art gallery, who has just dumped her fiancé. Volatore rises to her window and they hit it off big-time. But no sooner have they met and fallen in love than events conspire to separate the two so that Volatore must not only seek Angelica but also find the perfect form in which to consummate his undying love. The first is too masculine, the second not enough so, but will the third be just right, and how will Angelica reconcile the imaginary and the real in the perfect lover?
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Review quotes: 

'Hoban is asking, very entertainingly, deeper questions about belief and reality, about storytelling and the nature of life. "Two kinds of reality," a character shrugs. "It happens." Yes, it does happen, every time you read a book, every time you tell a story, every time a character like Volatore or Angelica yearns for more than just the narrative that traps them. Much as we often do in life.' - Patrick Ness, The Guardian

'It's a short, delicious book: consume it quickly. A number of ingredients seem contrived at the outset, but plunge into Hoban's ridiculously engrossing fiction and enjoy Angelica for what she is: a sexy, confident and audacious confection that should tickle the surliest of palates.' - The Independent

'Hoban’s fantasy is a joyous affair, whose ludic quality only sometimes strains. The hippogriff, in his monstrosity, demonstrates the beastliness at the heart of all humanity – and yet at the same time he shows how noble we can be.' - The Daily Telegraph

'Angelica Lost and Found' was the last novel published in the author's lifetime (October 2010).
To the memory of Leon Garfield

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