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Thread: What's Everyone Reading

  1. #411
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! jazdoc's Avatar
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    It was E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776-1822) who first explored many of the themes and techniques which were later used by writers from Dickens to Dostoyevsky, Poe to Kafka, Baudelaire to Marquez. His career reached a glorious climax in The Tomcat Murr, perhaps the strangest novel of the nineteenth century.. "Hoffmann was a follower of Cervantes and Sterne, a pioneering 'magic realist', fascinated by Gothic horror, extreme mental states and supernatural events occurring within sharply (and sometimes satirically) rendered social settings. A talented composer and painter, he portrayed himself in the guise of Johannes Kreisler - the hypochondriac, antisocial and moody but brilliant musician. In this astonishing book, a vain and very bourgeois tomcat sets out to write his memoirs, using a biography of Kreisler as a blotting pad. By a printer's error, the two lives get spliced together into a bizarre double narrative. A supreme example of literary bravado, The Tomcat Murr is also shot through with the warmth, humanity and almost uncanny ability to captivate his readers which make Hoffmann the greatest of German story-tellers.
    Trying is the first step to failure. -- H. Simpson

  2. #412
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  3. #413
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    It’s easy to make fun of the artisanal-loving hipster bohos of Brooklyn, and many have done it before. Luckily, Ms. Rosenfeld is an astute anthropologist whose satire reaches fresh levels of absurdity. Thus, the building Matt and Karen live in is a “converted 19th-century macaroni factory,” whatever that is. The dads at Ruby’s new school all wear navy-blue ski caps, even though it is hot outside.

    At Mather, the “arts enrichment” program includes a fourth-grade trip to “La Bohème” and, for the third grade, a “kid-friendly version of ‘Schindler’s List’” performed by “an experimental puppeteering troupe.”

    Ms. Rosenfeld does not mean for us to like Karen all the time, and indeed, the character describes herself as a “neurotic elitist.” But as we ponder the bigger questions the book poses about race and class in America, subjects bravely tackled by the author through this flawed character, it can be exhausting to be always inside Karen’s brain, with its ricocheting emotions and kamikaze self-analysis. The unexamined life is surely not worth living, but the overexamined life — that’s a different kind of hell.

    You want these characters to stop it with their aggressive parenting; their law-enforcement attitude toward food; their Talmudic attention to even the briefest encounter. And by the end of the book, Karen is learning to relax, at least a little, and to fetishize her emotions a bit less. It would be nice if we could all do that. Shut up. Just do the thing. Give the kid the cookie.
    Trying is the first step to failure. -- H. Simpson

  4. #414
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    All the Very Best, - Bob --------- "And it stoned me to my soul" - Van Morrison --------- AudiophileAudition

  5. #415
    Just finished-The Fifty Year Mission-The Story Of Star Trek.

  6. #416
    Site Founder And Administrator Ron Resnick's Avatar
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    The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley and the Unlikely Ascent of "Hallelujah," by Alan Light (Atria Books, 2012).


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    Mono and Stereo - Senior Contributing Reviewer

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  7. #417
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Resnick View Post
    The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley and the Unlikely Ascent of "Hallelujah," by Alan Light (Atria Books, 2012).


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    H Ron,

    Sorry for interjecting this into the thread, which is, after all, about books, but if you haven't seen this, and are a fan of the song, this version never fails to move me to tears.

    Be well,

    853guy

    Martins, Edgar. Aluminium Honeycomb Assembly, M&C Laboratory, ESTEC/ESA. Taken from the "Rehearsal of Space" series (2014 - )

  8. #418
    Site Founder And Administrator Ron Resnick's Avatar
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    Thank you!
    Mono and Stereo - Senior Contributing Reviewer

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  9. #419
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  10. #420
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