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Christopher Sorrentino

Författare till Trance

9+ verk 260 medlemmar 11 recensioner

Om författaren

Inkluderar namnet: Christoper Sorrentino

Foto taget av: Christopher Sorrentino (right) with Jonathan Lethem
at the National Book Awards 2006
Copyright © 2006 Ron Hogan

Verk av Christopher Sorrentino

Trance (2005) 144 exemplar, 5 recensioner
The Fugitives (2016) 48 exemplar, 4 recensioner
Death Wish (Deep Focus) (2010) 17 exemplar, 1 recension
Sound on Sound (1995) 11 exemplar
Pastorale rivoluzionaria (2000) 6 exemplar, 1 recension
American Tempura (2007) 2 exemplar
Condition 1 exemplar

Associerade verk

The Future Dictionary of America (2004) — Bidragsgivare — 631 exemplar, 3 recensioner
Give Our Regards to the Atomsmashers! Writers on Comics (2004) — Bidragsgivare — 106 exemplar, 1 recension
The Review of Contemporary Fiction 1996: The Future of Fiction (1996) — Bidragsgivare — 22 exemplar


Allmänna fakta



Generally an interesting plot, with a degree of suspense, but the stakes somehow don't seem to come across as that high even when lives are in danger. The main characters weren't really fully formed, and the character of Kat was a puzzle to me. Her primary trait appears to be a desire to perform oral sex on every man she meets. While at times the language is clever, I frequently felt like I was wading through paragraphs of contrived padding.
KateFinney | 3 andra recensioner | Jul 10, 2021 |
Two-thirds into the book, I hadn't really made up my mind about whether I liked it or not. The scaffolding along which the book unfolds is an intriguing little mystery: a former casino employee tips off a reporter friend about a secret casino heist. Secret because the stolen money was money already being skimmed off the top, so its theft couldn't be reported to the police. And according to the source, the guy who walked away with a cool half mil has popped back up in the area as a Native storyteller, of all things, with a thinly disguised name. Did the theft really happen? If so, is the thief really the same guy as this storyteller who tells Native fables to the kids at the local library?
I liked the mystery. The stakes weren't terribly high, perhaps, but I really wanted to know the answers to those questions.
To get those answers, though, I had to wade through a lot of what felt like literary filler. One of the storyteller's admirers--and one of the book's primary narrators--is a successful novelist who's made a mess of his life, and his ruminations are sometimes self-loathing and sometimes self-aggrandizing, but always self-centered. He hits on the reporter who's investigating the mystery, and there's a lot of unnecessary detail about their sexual relationship. In fact, her sexual escapades figure pretty heavily in the book, although they're somehow an odd mix of sordid and relatively uninteresting. It's telling that of the reporter, who is the only significant female character in the book, we know much more of her affairs and bedroom proclivities than we do of her reporting style. She seems to be motivated by two things: generically, by wanting to break a big story, and less generically, by wanting to perform fellatio on various men. It just didn't make for a very interesting character, let alone one I could invest in.
That said, the mystery really picked up in the last third of the book, and I came to wish that the author had discarded some of his literary pretentions and written a really solid crime thriller instead. It ended on a fairly high note, and my feeling by the end of the book was that it was a four-star read. Only in thinking back over the course of the experience and rereading some notes I'd taken along the way was I reminded of the parts I didn't particularly enjoy.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
… (mer)
BraveNewBks | 3 andra recensioner | Mar 10, 2016 |
Maybe a Little Too Clever
The Fugitives has a mix of a lot of interesting elements that I thought Sorrentino pulled together nicely, and I love his wit when it comes to phrasing. I pulled what is sure to be some of my all time favorite quotes from this book.. The story itself was good, and I connected with the interesting lot of characters. The difficulty that had was in every sentence needing to be some wonderful wordy phrase. It became tedious, and I actually ended up being forced to read in smaller bites, which is entirely unlike me, in order to keep from having a headache from all the strain.

Now, it could be that every sentence being molded into a literary masterpiece is what appeals to some who either welcome the challenge, or are gifted readers, but it is not my thing at all. While I do read a lot of literary pieces, it is most important to me that they are not more work than pleasure, and I have to say that The Fugitives is equally both.

The Fugitives is a good but of an extreme literary nature, so I suppose a proper and accurate recommendation would be: read it if you love everything that literary work stands for, and don't read it if you are looking to try out the genre for the first time.
… (mer)
StephLaymon | 3 andra recensioner | Feb 3, 2016 |
One of two initial books from a new series of short books on singular subjects from recent pop-cultural history. There's no shortage of point-of-purchase non-fiction, from the 33 1/3 books to slim volumes on architecture to the Rough Guide series on music, just to name a few. This series, Deep Focus, puts writers to work on films -- not the Great Works but the solid ones, what Christopher Sorrentino at the end of his volume refers to as the "Middle Level."

Some brief, semi-concise thoughts on this one:

It's broken into standalone chapters that approach the movie from different angles (politics, city, performance, film) -- which is to say, it's sort of how Sorrentino's first novel, Sound on Sound, was structured.

Not as much is made of Herbie Hancock's score as I would have liked. This isn't because I'm somewhat obsessed with scores to films, though I am. And it isn't because the score makes great listening on its own, which it does. And it's not because being reminded that Herbie Hancock composed the score has, blessedly, diminished in my mind the until recently indelible image of the cover of Jimmy Page's score to the second Death Wish film, which was to the used-record stores of my youth (late 1970s, early 1980s) what Don DeLillo's Libra was to used-book stores of the last decade of the 20th century. No, I just wonder what role Hancock plays in the film's overall impression in terms of the racial makeup of the city.

The New York City character played by Charles Bronson gets his gun in Tucson, Arizona. I read this book shortly after the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, and couldn't get that fact out of my head.

There's some good back'n'forth comparisons between the movie and the book on which it is based (a book I haven't read).

Woody Allen comes off as a minor villain in the book -- not the movie, but this book about the movie, about presentations of New York, and about selective cultural editing. Not that it matters, but I agree with Sorrentino that Allen got off easy. Sure, there's always a voice loud enough to be heard, "The New York in this movie isn't colored like New York," but it's usually the same voice, and nothing really happens.

About halfway through the book, Sorrentino tells us he's a liberal. Until that moment, you might wonder otherwise. I think he does this on purpose. That is, I think he delays affirming his political affiliation until after making the audience wonder.

The informed dissent by Sorrentino from the critical drubbing the film took upon its release is some of the best reading in the book. He is dismissive of the knee-jerk response to violence the critics display, of how that response doesn't align with similar critics' takes on other (more self-consciously artful) films of that era (Dog Day Afternoon, Clockwork Orange, etc.).

He also just plain reads the film more closely than the reviewers did. This may simply be a matter of the film reviewer having a short period of time in which to consider a subject before stating an opinion, but it also feels like the revenge-by-doing of a writer whose own work is regularly reviewed saying, "This is what reading is like." The enthusiasm for the act of diving into something and pondering its inner workings and contradictions is palpable.

The other initial book in this series is Jonathan Lethem's take on They Live, which I'm reading. Then come two more: The Sting by Matthew Specktor (who wrote the novel That Summertime Sound, which Lethem has praised) and Lethal Weapon by Chris Ryan. Neither are movies I have as strong an interest in as I do in the first two in the series, but I may check them out. (I'm also not as familiar with the authors -- whereas I've read just about everything that Sorrentino and Lethem have published.)

Far as I can tell, Ryan isn't a published novelist, and Specktor has published that one novel, with another due out soon-ish. I'm not sure what this does to the "A Novel Approach to Cinema" heading that appears on the top of the covers of at least the first two books in the series. The following is a sentence structured as I might imagine Sorrentino would in regard to this subject: If the author of the book is not a novelist, then it's no longer a meaningful and comfortably not-too-high-bar-setting pun, just a stated promise that's kinda hard to keep.

Hey, and not to knock someone for not being a novelist. I sure haven't finished writing one.
… (mer)
Disquiet | Mar 30, 2013 |



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