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Lydia Millet

Författare till A Children's Bible: A Novel

25+ verk 3,536 medlemmar 226 recensioner 10 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

Lydia Millet is the author of Omnivores and George Bush, Dark Prince of Love. She lives in Tucson, Arizona and New York City. (Bowker Author Biography)

Inkluderar namnen: Lydia Millet, Lydia Millett

Foto taget av: Photo by Kieran Suckling

Serier

Verk av Lydia Millet

A Children's Bible: A Novel (2020) 859 exemplar
Oh Pure and Radiant Heart (2005) 370 exemplar
How the Dead Dream (2007) 294 exemplar
Dinosaurs (2022) 287 exemplar
Sweet Lamb of Heaven (2016) 286 exemplar
Mermaids in Paradise (2014) 277 exemplar
Love in Infant Monkeys: Stories (2009) 176 exemplar
Magnificence (2012) 151 exemplar
Ghost Lights (2011) 144 exemplar
My Happy Life (2002) 116 exemplar
Pills and Starships (2014) 106 exemplar
Fight No More: Stories (2018) 102 exemplar
The Fires Beneath the Sea (2011) 97 exemplar
Everyone's Pretty (2005) 66 exemplar

Associerade verk

State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America (2008) — Bidragsgivare — 515 exemplar
McSweeney's Issue 22: Three Books Held Within By Magnets (2007) — Bidragsgivare — 335 exemplar
The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books (1997) — Bidragsgivare — 301 exemplar
The Best of McSweeney's {complete} (1800) — Bidragsgivare — 141 exemplar
Give Our Regards to the Atomsmashers! Writers on Comics (2004) — Bidragsgivare — 106 exemplar
I'm With the Bears: Short Stories from a Damaged Planet (2011) — Bidragsgivare — 89 exemplar
Fairy Tale Review: The Green Issue #2 (2007) — Bidragsgivare — 18 exemplar
Electric Literature No. 1 (2009) — Bidragsgivare — 16 exemplar

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Recensioner

The nonsensical woo woo is strong with this one.
 
Flaggad
lelandleslie | 29 andra recensioner | Feb 24, 2024 |
Take one part "You ruined EVERYTHING, mom and dad!", one part religious allegory, and a dash of Mad Max, and you have A Children's Bible, a novel that lets us know that the kids are not all right, they're really screwed, so thanks for nothing, you guys.

We begin with a community of parents, old college friends, reuniting one summer in a large rural mansion along with their various kids. The parents don't seem to care much about the kids and the kids certainly don't care much for the parents, in fact they despise them:
Dinner was the only meal we had to attend, and even that we resented. They sat us down and talked about nothing. They aimed their conversation like a dull gray beam. It hit us and lulled us into a stupor. What they said was so boring it filled us with frustration, and after more minutes, rage. Didn't they know there were urgent subjects? Questions that needed to be asked?


Yes, this is an exceptionally serious group of teens and children we've got here. They have to be though, I suppose, what with a climate apocalypse bearing down on them, which begins with a hurricane hitting the mansion, provoking a flood that is compared to a certain famous flood. And oh yeah, this novel is narrated by a teen named Eve. And there's a twin who maybe kills her sister. And there's a man who is discovered in a clump of weeds along the water in a raft, who later sees a bush covered in golden flowers, and who leads the kids on a trek through the wilderness to a well-stocked compound. Then an unwed mother shows up who gives birth in the stable. And just in case you somehow haven't caught on yet, we're told the compound is near Bethlehem (PA).

At which point enter the Mad Max scenario, as a group of redneck thugs who've taken refuge in the local McDonald's shows up, commits appalling violence on the group and steals all their stockpiled food, even though it's apparently still normal enough out there that utility crews are on surrounding roads repairing infrastructure, and online shopping is still a thing, so this really makes no sense when you could still just have Amazon deliver boxes of granola bars, you know.

The religious allegory seems to peter out now as the group moves to an upstate NY mansion and settles in to prepare for the collapse of civilization, while still shopping online. And still hating on the parents.
"Listen. We know we let you down," said a mother. "But what could we have done, really?"
"Fight," said Rafe. "Did you ever fight?"
"Or did you just do exactly what you wanted?" said Jen. "Always?"
The mothers looked at each other. A father rubbed his beard. Others put hands in pockets, rocked back and forth on their heels and studied the pile of dirt beside the stones.


So yeah it's true that most of us are just living our lives currently without blockading gas stations or anything, but this is a rather ham-handed simplistic way of critiquing our society sleepwalking to environmental disaster, in my opinion. But there's still truth to it, we're still not doing enough and the kids will bear the brunt of the effects - though they will fall far more heavily on kids in poor countries on the periphery of the global economy than on rich kids in America, but okay.

Despite the issues, this is a decently entertaining and sometimes thought-provoking novel, and deserves credit for being fast-paced and not taking an extra hundred pages or two to seem more weighty, something this novel really couldn't have borne.
… (mer)
 
Flaggad
lelandleslie | 44 andra recensioner | Feb 24, 2024 |
Whatever happened to the rich young man who went away discouraged after Jesus told him to give away his wealth to the poor, leading Jesus to say, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven!" One way to read this novel is as an answer to that question set in the contemporary American context. Given all the religious symbolism and allegory in this novel, and in Millet's previous novel The Children's Bible besides, it seems a not inappropriate direction to take.

Gil was a well-meaning young man who inherited a vast fortune from his deceased parents, and in a surge of enthusiasm upon coming into his inheritance told his lawyer to give it all away, however he was ultimately dissuaded. Having been thus exiled from his true inner self, from his entry into the kingdom of God, he became a rather passive and bullied figure in his discouragement. A rupture finally occurs when his partner leaves him, and he walks through the both metaphorical and literal desert (four months instead of forty days) from New York to Arizona. But none of this is the focus of the novel, the focus is on how he changes after this point of rupture.

The change is gradual and has a lot to do with a relationship he builds with his neighbors, Ted and Ardis ("Ardis", the top of Mount Hermon in Israel, a possible site of the transfiguration of Jesus; where the watcher class of fallen angels descended to earth in the book of Enoch... which may all be irrelevant, or may not be irrelevant at all). Here Gil works on doing good through working with a shelter for abused women, intervening to stop abuse of children in a couple of instances, and perhaps most importantly in terms of this allegory - turning the other cheek and giving his material goods to someone who has wronged him. Somewhat blasphemously, he compares himself to a burning bush after falling into a cactus and laying down the law to a sinner while in spiky agony. Yet he also remains the same rich man of the start of the story, still outside the kingdom of heaven and unable to pass through. He maintains his wealth. He lives in a too-big for him house in an ecological area where it certainly is not sustainable. He makes only small, personalized gestures in the face of large issues like man-made environmental disaster (here echoing The Children's Bible, again). He is human, still, he is us.

The tone of the novel is gentle, with a lack of emphasis on dramatic moments, and focused on the small interactions of life. This sounds like it would be comparable to the work of Elizabeth Strout based on the reactions to her work of people who like Elizabeth Strout; I have not had that good fortune yet, though I do find it here!
… (mer)
 
Flaggad
lelandleslie | 24 andra recensioner | Feb 24, 2024 |

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Statistik

Verk
25
Även av
14
Medlemmar
3,536
Popularitet
#7,182
Betyg
½ 3.6
Recensioner
226
ISBN
142
Språk
8
Favoritmärkt
10

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