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Eat the Document Spiotta, Dana ( Author ) Nov-28-2006 Paperback [Paperback]

Dana Spiotta
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company (28 Nov 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743273001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743273008
  • ASIN: B0024FAP7C
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,219,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Eat the Document In this ambitious and powerful novel about a fugitive radical from the 1970s who has lived in hiding for 25 years, Spiotta delivers a hugely compelling story of idealism, passion, and sacrifice, then and now. Full description

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IT IS EASY for a life to become unblessed. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eat this book! 24 Mar 2008
A fantastic book someone from any other country in the world just couldn't have written. The United States has always been disunited, politically and in every other way. What Dana Spiotta does very subtley is highlight these differences and finds how people survive when the dominant political force in America has always been pro big business, anti union, and always running counter to the best interests of the American people. Brilliantly characterised and finely plotted this is the sort of 'political' novel you don't see very often. File alongside Robert Stone, Joan Didion and Carolyn Chute.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who is Responsible? 4 Aug 2007
With only her second novel, Dana Spiotta has proved herself a major chronicler and interpreter of contemporary American culture. Beginning in the early 70s and ending in 2000 (before the planes hit), this book evokes the lives of two contrasting generations of socially concerned US citizens.

The big influence here is DeLillo, but Spiotta manages to combine the insights his work provides with a renewed emphasis on characterisation and a warm resonance in the dialogue which contrasts with his studied coldness. Each character manages to be real and rounded, as well as representative of a recognisable strand of contemporary experience.

The book deals with nostalgia in a critically astute manner through Jason's eventual understanding of both his mother and his obsession with the Beach Boys. We see the depressing corporatisation of protest and social concern in the figure of Josh, contrasted with the renewing possibility of a radical politics in Miranda. The question of disturbing generational inheritance is probed through the figure of Henry. The place of art in politics and culture is interrogated subtly and persuasively in the discussions of Bobby's films. And the tone throughout stays the right side of sentimental, even in an ending that weaves all the strands together.

Finally, and most prominently through the figure of Mary/Caroline, we are left to ponder the question of responsibility in our (post)modern world; where it might reside and how to regain and renew it. The articulation of this question is the book's finest achievement, and places Spiotta firmly at the centre of a new wave of American writers dealing with this and other pressing concerns. Rarely has such a short novel dealt so impressively with so many of the difficult issues that face us at the beginning of the twenty-first century. A National Book Award nomination was the least it deserved.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Eat the Document 9 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Came in good condition and promptly. Really interesting novel full of pop cultural references. Well worth a read. Would buy from this seller again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking novel 29 July 2012
By J. H. Bretts VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having been very impressed by Dana Spiotta's Stone Arabia I thought I'd track down her previous novel, Eat the Document. I was not disappointed to find another highly-charged and thought-provoking exploration of cultural change, in this case a deep look into the lives of left wing radicals on the run, creating new identities in suburban America - spanning the early 1970s through to the 2000s. Stone Arabia is the better of the two books, but this is still a very good novel. Recommended.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great premise but ultimately a let down. 21 Jan 2007
I was very excited to read Dana Spiotta's 'EAT THE DOCUMENT' not only because the premise sounded great but also because of all the praise it had generated. Unfortunately this novel did not live up to my expectations at all. The first three fourths of the book was, in my opinion, nothing more than words on a page. It did not set the stage for the heart of the story nor was it very interesting. So many times I considered putting the book down never to pick it up again, however, an unfinished book nags at me therefore I was compelled to complete it. Only the last hundred or so pages, where the focus was more on the main characters Mary Whittaker and Bobby Desoto, made the book at all redeemable. I would have loved a lot less of the pretentious social commentary and more of an in depth look into SAFE the 70's radical group that Mary and Bobby belonged to as well as a better look into Mary's life not only for the first few years after she went underground but in present day as well.

Although this was not the fast paced thriller about two fugitives separated not only by time but irreparable actions that I thought it was, I am glad that I finished the book because if I hadn't I would have missed the best part of the story. However, this book takes a lot of patience. If you are not into the history of the 70's radical movement and how it relates to today, this may not be the book for you.
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