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Glass

av Sam Savage

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
475424,540 (3.65)5
Asked by a publisher to write a preface to her late husband's novel, Edna defiantly sets out to write a separate book "not just about Clarence but also about my life, as one could not pretend to understand Clarence without that." Simultaneously her neighbor asks her to care for an apartment full of plants and animals. The demands of the living things - a rat, fish, ferns - compete for Edna's attention with long-repressed memories. Day by day pages of seemingly random thoughts fall from her typewriter. Gradually taking shape within the mosaic of memory is the story of a remarkable marriage and of a mind pushed to its limits. Is Edna's memoir a homage to her late husband or an act of belated revenge? Was she the cultured and hypersensitive victim of a crass and brutally ambitious husband, or was he the caretaker of a neurotic and delusional wife? The reader must decide. The unforgettable characters in Savage's two hit novels Firmin and The Cry of the Sloth garnered critical acclaim, selling a million copies worldwide. In Edna, once again Sam Savage has created a character marked by contradiction--simultaneously appealing and exasperating, comical and tragic.… (mer)
  1. 00
    Wittgenstein's Mistress av David Markson (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: Another outstandingly good book whose protagonist is isolated and possibly unreliable. It too has an unconventional narrative style and an astoundingly distinctive voice.
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» Se även 5 omnämnanden

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Page 18:
In fact, after reflecting on it some more, it is not clear to me how a thought could ever be summoned, as I seem to have suggested then. After all, I would scarecely be in a position to summon a thought, pluck it from the enormous heap of all possible thoughts, were I not already thinging it, in some sense of thinking, in some sense of already, and of course it is less a heap than a tangle, an enormous tangle of possible thoughts, like a jungle. Summoning a thought would be like summoning a stranger from a crowd in order to find out his name. Well, I suppose you could do that with gestures or by shouting or by going over to him and plucking his sleeve, as you might do if one day you were to see someone in a railroad station whose name you would like to know, perhaps because he looks like the kind of person you would want to be friends with. To make the analogy work you have to imagine that yo are not able to go over next to that person, perhaps because you are crippled or horribly tired or under arrest and are handcuffed to a policeman. You see this person you want to know, perhaps someone famous who would be able to help you out of your difficulty, but you are not allowed by some mysterious force which we won't go into now to shout or wave or even move your eyes in a significant manner. The only way you are permitted to get his attention is by calling his name, and that is just the thing you don't know and were hoping to find out. Of course we have to assume also that the people you are with, the policeman or doctor or whatever, don't know his name either, or if they do they are refusing to tell you, because they think it would be harmful for you to contact that person or perhaps harmful to them, to their position in society, especially if you are being wrongfully detained, or perhaps they just do it out of spite. I feel that I am not making myself clear.
***
If reading that passage was less than pleasant for you, do not read this book. 220 pages later, the character of Edna Morton is still going on in this manner. Edna, widow of famous writer of sporting life Clarence Morton, has been asked to write a preface to her late husband's book. She declines, and decides instead to write the book we're reading.

Edna is the older-lady version of Ellen DeGeneres's comedic character, the stammering disorganized ditz. Edna is a life-long divagator. That drove her husband crazy, and if you're like Clarence of the brutal and direct prose, don't even start. You'll hate it from first to last.

For me, it was not hate but pure happiness that washed over me, leaving a little giggle and a wry smile at every changing swirl and tide. Her narrative voice is the creation of Sam Savage, whose death in January 2019 alerted me to his existence. Glass is a late work, published after Savage became a worldwide bestseller with the 2007 publication of [Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife] in 2007. I hadn't heard of that book before he died, so the US must've been an exception to the bestsellerness of it. As is so often the case...look at how much the French adore Jerry Lewis, known in his native land as the telethon guy most of his career.

Anyway. Glass. It's a lovely and funny and poignant tale of Edna's life before, during, and after Clarence with his sporty-dorty ways and his romper-stomper books. I suspect it's Mary (the last wife) and Ernest Hemingway's life, but I can't prove it. I can say that, wherever the inspiration struck Author Savage from, I'm glad he sat at his typewriter (I'm morally certain it was a typewriter, though again I can't prove it, because of a passage about typewriter ribbons) and left it for me to find. You'll know from the above page from the book whether it's for you or not. ( )
  richardderus | May 29, 2019 |
  BooksOn23rd | Nov 25, 2015 |
I enjoyed this book. The writing style was unique and it was a smooth read. As I read the book I found myself wondering about Edna's sanity. At one point I would think she was just a crazy woman and the next moment I would think she was an old woman loosing her grip on reality. I generally don't like books with minimal dialogue but this one keep me interested, possibly because it was a book of one person's thoughts and ideas. Overall, this was a pretty good read. I would definitely read more from this author in this format. ( )
1 rösta tinasnyderrn | Dec 28, 2011 |
Well, I sat in front of the computer staring at the question, "How do you rate this item?" for quite a while before settling on four stars. I need to confess that it is impossible for me to accurately rate this book because I did not finish it. In fact, I didn't even get half way through. I only rated the book as highly as I did because I think the author is a good writer...emphasis on the words "I think".

This book was the most annoying book I've ever read, but maybe that was the point? The main character, who tells her story through a typewriter in her apartment, is the most tedious, type A, possibly mental person I've ever encountered in a book. So in that regard, the author was successful in his creation of such a grating, and genuinely irritating person. But my question is...why? I wouldn't want to spend 30 minutes next to this lady on a bus, so why would I want to devote more than a week reading about her every thought? And, yes, I do mean more than a week. I am a very fast reader, but I literally couldn't digest more than 15-20 pages of this book at a time. If you're into plot driven books, don't even bother. In the 90 pages I read, almost nothing happens. The book is driven by the daily stream-of-conscious thoughts of a lady who's husband has died, has left her job (without actually quitting), and who's big events of the day include going to the coffee shop or getting a knock on the door by the only other occupant of her apartment building.

My next paragraph will be an attempt to write in the style of this book:

"I am sitting at my keyboard for many minutes before continuing. By many minutes, I mean three minutes. I know because I looked at the clock as I was waiting. Which I suppose isn't "many" minutes, but really just a few. Because after all people say "a couple" for two, "a few" for three and "many" for anything over three, but not always. That's odd, I am thinking to myself, that sometimes "a few" means more than three, but there's no way to know for sure without asking. So if someone asks me to pick up a few oranges at the store, do they mean three or five? Not that anyone would ask me to pick up anything at the store at this point in my life, as I am living alone. I suppose it is possible that my neighbor could ask me to pick up oranges, though it is highly unlikely, as she does her own shopping and may not even like oranges."

If you think you could tolerate this type of writing for over 200 pages without having an aneurysm, then this book might be for you! I may try to finish this book in the future, since I still haven't decided if the author is a literary genius or if he has a complete disregard of the desires(and sanity) of the reader! ( )
  oldschoolgirl | Dec 19, 2011 |
I got my copy thru Library Thing, a quick read & pretty good book. This book was added with another one that I won on member giveaways. ( )
  lg4154 | Dec 14, 2011 |
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Asked by a publisher to write a preface to her late husband's novel, Edna defiantly sets out to write a separate book "not just about Clarence but also about my life, as one could not pretend to understand Clarence without that." Simultaneously her neighbor asks her to care for an apartment full of plants and animals. The demands of the living things - a rat, fish, ferns - compete for Edna's attention with long-repressed memories. Day by day pages of seemingly random thoughts fall from her typewriter. Gradually taking shape within the mosaic of memory is the story of a remarkable marriage and of a mind pushed to its limits. Is Edna's memoir a homage to her late husband or an act of belated revenge? Was she the cultured and hypersensitive victim of a crass and brutally ambitious husband, or was he the caretaker of a neurotic and delusional wife? The reader must decide. The unforgettable characters in Savage's two hit novels Firmin and The Cry of the Sloth garnered critical acclaim, selling a million copies worldwide. In Edna, once again Sam Savage has created a character marked by contradiction--simultaneously appealing and exasperating, comical and tragic.

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