`Free Kindle ⇔ Leaving the Atocha Station – (Unpublished Stage-play Adaptation) ↚ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

That this book is impressively boring is probably the most positive thing I have to say about it I found it vapid and remarkably without point It is the story of an uninteresting, probably intended to be considered tortured, young American poet who pretended his way into a fellowship in Spain by stating his intention to write a poem about a subject about which he knows nothing He has no intention of writing said poem That this is the character is not, of course, the true problem with the boo That this book is impressively boring is probably the most positive thing I have to say about it I found it vapid and remarkably without point It is the story of an uninteresting, probably intended to be considered tortured, young American poet who pretended his way into a fellowship in Spain by stating his intention to write a poem about a subject about which he knows nothing He has no intention of writing said poem That this is the character is not, of course, the true problem with the book Those surface facts do not necessarily result in a bad book Unfortunately, the author does nothing with them The character has no depth, he mostly spends the book getting high and pretending to care about things, and there are several wandering discourses on writing and poetry which I imagine are intended to sound clever The promise of the book having something, anything to do with the Madrid train bombings is unrealized and that event becomes merely a backdrop formusing on the part of the character about his disconnectedness Even that is implied to be affectation.I know nothing about Ben Lerner or his poetry It could be it is quite good Regardless, he should have stuck to it rather than prose One hopes he does a better job in his role as creative writing teacher than he does in that of author Disclaimer I received an advance review copy of this book for free through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program. No No No Beautiful writing at the sentence level Often funny Too much meditation about the nature and meaning of art I just hate those kinds of books I like stories. I read Leaving the Atocha Stations in a couple of days and am still running the story through my head It has language strange to the novel setting but welcome and is a book I wish I had written for its sentiments about Americans It reminded me greatly of The Sorrows of Young Mike, which also contains AIM conversations and is also about an American abroad Each of the books are unique but they often bring up similar issues and themes Ben Lerner has outdone himself with his first novel and if y I read Leaving the Atocha Stations in a couple of days and am still running the story through my head It has language strange to the novel setting but welcome and is a book I wish I had written for its sentiments about Americans It reminded me greatly of The Sorrows of Young Mike, which also contains AIM conversations and is also about an American abroad Each of the books are unique but they often bring up similar issues and themes Ben Lerner has outdone himself with his first novel and if you feel the same you should check out John Zelazny What s curious about this book is the attention and adulation it s received It s memoir dressed up as a novel that is the author s lengthy reflection on a character that shares many traits with the author He hails from the same town, attended the same school, etc This character author incessantly lies to acquaintances for no apparent reason and then is nauseated In fact, page after page the guy is literally, not figuratively nauseous or vomiting Many critics seemed to think this book was an What s curious about this book is the attention and adulation it s received It s memoir dressed up as a novel that is the author s lengthy reflection on a character that shares many traits with the author He hails from the same town, attended the same school, etc This character author incessantly lies to acquaintances for no apparent reason and then is nauseated In fact, page after page the guy is literally, not figuratively nauseous or vomiting Many critics seemed to think this book was an astute look at the artist s connection to art, but actually he had little to say on it The protagonist considered himself a fraud as he smoked hash and lied throughout a Fulbright year in Spain and never gave a damn about the people around him It would be unfair to tell you how it ended, though I stayed to the end out of curiosity It was so well received I thought he could perhaps pull it out This character author seemed to think that he d figured things out by the end, but he didn t The character was still repulsive, but the author didn t seem to recognize this and believed some degree of salvation had transpired Perhaps psychologists can find clues in the fact that although this guy is attracted to women, he describes only men Women are names only, though he does describe their clothes He also doesn t seem to notice that he sor less a non gendered metrosexual who, when things go bad, checks himself out in the mirror Enough I really shouldn t hammer away at the writer because it s the avalanche of positive reviews for a very mediocre work that disturbs me I m saddened by what it tells us about the establishment that defines what is literature and then pronounces judgment on it Fiction that feels unlike fiction is my favorite sort of fiction This one explores intellectual and emotional terrain related to sensitive experience of what s real and contrived, propelled by a sustained sense of non fictional narrative reality accentuated by author narrator autobiographical overlap Seemed at its best when essayistically offering insight not indulging in interiority about poetic creation sensibilities, about reading poetry Ashbery , and describing attacks on self panic Fiction that feels unlike fiction is my favorite sort of fiction This one explores intellectual and emotional terrain related to sensitive experience of what s real and contrived, propelled by a sustained sense of non fictional narrative reality accentuated by author narrator autobiographical overlap Seemed at its best when essayistically offering insight not indulging in interiority about poetic creation sensibilities, about reading poetry Ashbery , and describing attacks on self panic or a city terrorist At its worst when pretentious or wonky or mannered or self consciously sophisticated, sometimes something as slight as a tacked on phrase or, indeed, the imposition in a short sentence of something like indeed Conventional scenes not always formatted as such , sometimes semi insufficiently characterized characters, dialogue conventional s he said quotation and summary , and a bit of plot work with the expository jags to mirror society and self as they strike poses of sincerity and contrivance in the narrator s spliff and paroxetine addled mind Shades of Bernhard s Old Masters only at first , maybe a little bit of The Stranger my initial thought bubbles re post postmodern solipsism blew up to encompass the larger picture when things became post March 11 , Nicholson Baker s The Anthologist poetry talkconvincing energetic inspired than the novel s drama plot Generally, I couldn t put it down Not hilarious per many of the blurbs only one small LOL but it s intelligent, idea driven, flowing, compelling, engaged, contemporary, questioning, touristical I ve stayed near the Prado and visited Granada and Barcelona , and sincere about the narrator s outright lies and artistic contrivances But again, best of all, it feels like fiction that feels absolutely real see Twain s thing about the difference between fiction and non fiction , not much like literary fiction that might feel false in conception and execution,concerned with saleablity than what it s like to be alive and abroad as homeland USA monstrously morphed into the United States of BushOddly covers some of the same ground I ve covered in old ish stories questions about authenticity at the artificial lake in Madrid s Parque de Buen Retiro sitting for hours in front of a painting in the Prado , a novel I m working on now similar themes , and an unpublished novella that talks a bit about Maria Schneider in The Passenger a movie I rewatched three days before reading a few lines about it in this one Eerie compatability in theme, tone, often in approach, plus semi farflung elements made it easy to spend most of the day after Xmas with this novel Highly recommended, albeit maybeof a writer s writer sort of book It s been like ten years since I saw or read Trainspotting, but I remember being annoyed with the movie when I first saw it The book had ended with a nihilistic pessimism that the movie kind of spun into a selling out of sorts if cleaning up, screwing over your friends and trying to escape the zombie existence of a junkie can be called selling out The young, angry and idealized version of myself kind of hated the ending to the movie As I made my way through this book, the voice of Ewan Mc It s been like ten years since I saw or read Trainspotting, but I remember being annoyed with the movie when I first saw it The book had ended with a nihilistic pessimism that the movie kind of spun into a selling out of sorts if cleaning up, screwing over your friends and trying to escape the zombie existence of a junkie can be called selling out The young, angry and idealized version of myself kind of hated the ending to the movie As I made my way through this book, the voice of Ewan McGregor saying the whole, choose blah blah blah part of the movie kept playing as a soundtrack in the back of my brain, somewhere just in front of the occipital lobe This book is a sort of, choose life type of coming of age sort of novel If coming of age can be applied to a post college living abroad as a privileged poet sort of story line The book is about a fairly unlikable young poet who is living in Madrid for a year on some kind of grant to study poetry and the Spanish Civil War He s a self obessed bi polar, liar who fakes his way through interactions and feels like he is duping everyone into thinking he is a poet when in reality he thinks he s just a talentless schmuck As any good humanities major will do he over contextualizes everything, and confuses convoluted thoughts with being ponderous ideas He s sort of like an everyman of directionless humanity students who fool everyone and themselves into thinking they are something greater than they really are This particular story works as a fairy tale of sorts The misunderstood, or is it unnoticed genius, becomes one when he realizes that, Yes, I really am a great poet, it hasn t just been a pose the whole time This is the fairy tale I think of most humanity majors, after years of bullshitting through papers and realizing that they can argue anything if they just find a few quotes and spin some words around in counter intuitive directions that they aren t just colossal fakers but the bona fide real deal authentic kissed by an angel embodiment of if not genius than at least exceptional talent For a small press book, this has had a fair amount of buzz it feels like Or at least a few people have asked for it by name, and it was difficult to get into the store for a bit I don t quite know why this book has gotten that attention, rather than some other small press book It s ok I think many of the blurbs are, um, a tad superfluous I don t know if I read the same book that Jonathan Franzen described as beautiful I think it s possible that so many serious writers blurbed the book because it is one of those books aimed directly at over educated folks who have the nagging suspicion that everything they do is deep down not that important, and that the guy who picks up our garbage from the curb every Tuesday and Friday is quite possibly doing somethingbeneficial for society than the life of the mind and scribbles put to paper and put up on the internets I think the book is honest, and I think it s a good book but it also feels like many a book and story I ve read before, or maybe it just feels like a modified version of some of my own life, without the realization of genius and the pat on the back that I am was doing something worthwhile This book has two good things going for it the narrator is smart which is not usual , and his voice pulls off the Humbert Humbert effect of making you like him despite his being both a poser and a hypocrite.Adam, the narrator and a stand in for Lerner, a poet himself, has interesting things to say about poetry as the art of potentiality, as a way to embody the virtual, the subjunctive what could be but is not and will not This paradox embodying the virtual leads him to conclude that This book has two good things going for it the narrator is smart which is not usual , and his voice pulls off the Humbert Humbert effect of making you like him despite his being both a poser and a hypocrite.Adam, the narrator and a stand in for Lerner, a poet himself, has interesting things to say about poetry as the art of potentiality, as a way to embody the virtual, the subjunctive what could be but is not and will not This paradox embodying the virtual leads him to conclude that poetry is a intrinsically failed endeavor, and is the reason why he feels like a total fake for posing as a poet, which feeling is either caused by or causes him to indulge in heavy drug use and the slacking off expected of procrastinating artists abroad, with no financial obligations and too much time on their hands.Adam s antics have the flavor of a Woody Allen movie, his hand wringing about authenticity always accompanied by compulsive duplicity and self sabotage This makes for a good part of the novel s most hilarious moments, which makes it a breezy read, despite some of the heavier philosophizing on aesthetics.It seems to me this is an earnest investigation into the possibilities of art to comment on reality and have a profound effect on people, in the guise of a self reflective, postmodern, dark hud romp, a technique that brings to mind the dilemma common in DFW It would probably be better to call our own art s culture now one of congenital skepticism Our intelligentsia distrust strong belief, open conviction Material possession is one thing, but ideological passion disgusts us on some deep level How, therefore, to speak seriously about serious topics in literature, without eliciting a condescending smirk Thus, the self mocking of his constant worrying about poetry s purpose, his identification as a poet, and his self disgust at his own duplicitous situation and personality seem to be a cover for the uncool task of asking himself seriously what is the importance of art when compared to the urgency of the actual and historical Are these pretzel like contortions truly necessary Is this dilemma the true condition of contemporary literature Or is it just that young writers self consciously choose to don overwrought armors to battle, which would, should they fall flat on their backs, prevent them from getting up It s an enjoyable read, wholly recommended If nothing else, you ll get a good laugh or two out of it unless you are a poet, in which case you might get angry A little disappointing I think I am getting tired of young super smart, over educated young men who can t feel The novel has nice moments though and the writing is fluid and elegant. One of those memoirs which with a light dusting of name changing and event rearranging gets to be called a novel Whether it is one or not is no longer a question which anyone asks The autobiographical novel is a grand tradition this one stars athan somewhat bi polar American student prone to lying outrageously for no reason and having wild spending sprees with his parents dough who is the most cheese paringly psychologically self regarding a narrator since Henry Late Period James One of those memoirs which with a light dusting of name changing and event rearranging gets to be called a novel Whether it is one or not is no longer a question which anyone asks The autobiographical novel is a grand tradition this one stars athan somewhat bi polar American student prone to lying outrageously for no reason and having wild spending sprees with his parents dough who is the most cheese paringly psychologically self regarding a narrator since Henry Late Period James Now some people both critics and actual readers have found this novel to be knee slappingly hilarious But what I found was1 cups of very diluted Nicholson Baker type insane over self analysis of everything you could call this ingredient Bakerlite 3 thin slices of Eric Rohmer s narcissistic hyper educated long rambling conversation as long as it s about me typesA handful of finely ground Woody Allen, not the early funny stuff or the middle brilliantly observed sexual politics but the late period i.e last 20 years gnashingly lame obviousness of such meretricious tosh as Vicky Cristina Barcelona amongst many others A generous sprinkling of Iris Murdoch s dorky academic satireMore than a soupcon of Geoff Dyer s self sabotaging in such effortlessly better books like Out of Sheer Rage, even though dear Geoff has written the exquisitest blurb for this very novel25 spliffs his word, not mine andA whole lot of what did I just read sentences like these he s in Madrid trying to schmooze two Spanish women My distress about Isabel and Teresa, coupled with my guilt about my parents, opened onto larger questions about my fraudulence that I was a fraud had never been in question who wasn tSo far so good, but now comes Who wasn t squatting in one of the handful of prefabricated subject positions proffered by capital or whatever you wanted to call it, lying every time she said I who wasn t a bit player in a looped infomercial for the damaged life a bit player in a looped infomercial for the damaged lifeWow I m not sure if Ben Lerner is asking us to howl at his protagonist for coming up with such stuff or applaud him for coming up with such stuff if the former then this is some attenuated humour going on, a little abstruse for me, and if the latter then Ben, you need to listen to yourself Ben hello BenDandelion Wine, Oranges are not the Only Fruit, Empire of the Sun, Sons and Lovers, The Bell Jar The list goes on also graphic novelists do this all the time and film makers too Everybody s doin it `Free Kindle ↚ Leaving the Atocha Station – (Unpublished Stage-play Adaptation) ☉ Written and or Directed for the stage by Matt Slaybaugh Unpublished stageplay adaptation of the novel by Ben Lerner