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You & I [Paperback]

Padgett Powell
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 7.06 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Hardcover 8.29  
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Book Description

9 May 2013
'When asked for a list of the best young American writers, I invariably put Padgett Powell at the top' Saul BellowThis book is a conversation, apparently on a porch, between two men who may be difficult to grasp. They move together in aimless convenient debate, coming to conclusions that don't conclude but to positions that may not be finally so aimless. They disagree to agree. They are smart, not smart; fools, not fools. Poignant, hilarious, opaque, diamond-clear, this strange little gem is sure to delight the thousands of devotees found by Powell's The Interrogative Mood.'When we first came across Padgett Powell's remarkable writing it blew our minds completely' Dazed & Confused

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail (9 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846688175
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846688171
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 805,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"'Much like its predecessor, You & I is that most radical of rare beasts: a dazzlingly brilliant, thoroughly readable, properly avant-garde novel' (Stuart Hammond, Dazed & Confused) 'Utterly intriguing' (Grazia) 'Powell continues to rebel against convention... displaying a benevolent misanthropy and a juvenile silliness... He holds a mirror up to what we have become and what we have lost, giving voice to a yearning that avoids sentimentality' Metro --Metro

'Witty, nonsensical, erudite ... A joy to read, if you don t mind feeling bewildered occasionally' --Independent on Sunday

Book Description

*WINNER OF THE JAMES TAIT BLACK MEMORIAL PRIZE FOR FICTION*Described as 'Waiting for Godot on acid', this radiant and enigmatic novel will take you on a journey into the subconscious. Confounding, experimental fiction for everyone who loved The Interrogative Mood.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Powell at a lower temperature 27 Feb 2013
By Paul Bowes TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
'You and I' (published in the States as 'You and Me') is the second short work from this author in rapid succession. It does give something of the impression of an attempt to capitalise on the unexpected success of the earlier book, 'The Interrogative Mood', which was awarded the James Tait Black Prize and is a genuinely funny and thought-provoking piece of short fiction in the vein of Donald Barthelme. Both books are described as novels, but the word is used very loosely. Each book is stylistically challenging in a mild way, and neither gives the reader the straightforward satisfactions of the realist fiction that we think of as central to the novel as a form.

Of the two, 'You and I' is the less innovative. Where 'The Interrogative Mood' was composed entirely of questions that over the course of the book accumulate force and suggest underlying themes, 'You and I' is a novel in dialogue. The scene is indeterminate - an imaginary blend of California and Florida - and the principals are two ageing men, living together in a relationship of friendship, who find their pleasure in sitting on the porch and indulging in alcohol-fuelled conversation. Their dialogues range freely from the expected musings on change and mortality to flights of imagination spurred by contemplation of passing strangers, odd words and the failure of the world to live up to their needs and expectations; no flying dogs, for example.

In this sense, 'You and I' is a rather old-fashioned book, in spite of its formal games. It takes its place in a long line of American comedic writing that turns on fun with language, the tradition of the tall tale and a sort of popular surrealism of which, again, Donald Barthelme - whose work supplies one of the two epigraphs - was perhaps the most brilliant exponent.
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