- MP3 CD
- Publisher: Dreamscape Media; MP3 Una edition (28 Jan. 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1629231878
- ISBN-13: 978-1629231877
- Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.9 x 12.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,093,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Dept. of Speculation MP3 CD – 28 Jan 2014
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'With exceptional originality, intensity and sweetness, Dept. of Speculation is a shattered novel that stabs and sparkles at the same time. It is the kind of book that you will be quoting over and over to friends who don't quite understand, until they give in and read it too' --John Self, Guardian
'It's often extremely funny and often painful; earnestly direct but glancingly ironic... Dept. of Speculation is all the powerful because it first appears slight. Its depth and intensity make a stealthy purchase on the reader' --James Wood, New Yorker
'Profoundly moving... Offill nails life to the page. She's good on falling in love. She's good on the poleaxing exhaustion of early motherhood. But she's at her best on the grim, "stateless" no-man's-land between being a wife and becoming a divorcee. And if all of this bleakness makes you quest, don't be. Offill is also sharply witty and there is a happy ending' --Intelligent Life
'Beautiful, carefully crafted... The effect is poetic in its beauty and intensity. It is also very funny. It is about life, unvarnished, yet every bit of it made profound by Offill's glorious prose' --Financial Times
'Dense with intelligence and life... Offill is incisive on the pleasures, terrors and frustrations of parenthood. Although the book is often sad, it is also funny. It reveals depth and beauty in small, mundane things' --Prospect
'Arresting… In one section, I cried both times I read it' --3AM Magazine
'Magnificent and very funny… Dept. of Speculation is the sort of book which, if you went through it with a pencil, underlining quotable lines, would end up being entirely underlined. I finished it in one sitting then went straight back to the beginning' --Irish Independent
'A fast-paced and fragmented text... Such observed moments of boredom, joy and terror are the triumph of this novel, spilling panic, pain and confusion of marriage and motherhood on to the page' **** --Sunday Telegraph
'Brilliant... oddly invigorating, like a strong martini' --'Top Summer Reads', Metro
'Brilliant, risk-taking and thought-provoking... Offill has a gift for saying something extraordinary in a handful of words [and] tells it with mesmerising skill. Dept of Speculation is astute and affecting. Offill has created a masterpiece that is philosophical, funny and moving' --Irish Times
'Offill has pinned down the bewildering wonder of new motherhood in sentences that are tense and precise. The fragmentary structure of the novel perfectly conjures the scattered thoughts of a creative mind, scooping up all in its wake' --Times Literary Supplement
'Very funny, very sad' --'Books of the Year', Daily Telegraph
'I absolutely adored it. It's like nothing I've ever read. Even though it's a small book, it builds up to something great' --Doon Mackichan, BBC Radio 4's A Good Read
'I have read and re-read Jenny Offill's ingenious, moving and refreshing Dept of Speculation. It manages to reinvent the whole medium of the novel. And that's certainly not something you see every day' -- 'Book of the year' chosen by Maggie O'Farrell, Sunday Herald
'Offill's book delicately examines the minutiae of a modern marriage. With so much conveyed in so few words, it's simply brilliant' --Book of the year in the Stylist
'It's a timeless, even, some might say, predictable story, but Offill's innovative fragmentary structure breathes a fresh and visceral vibrancy into this age-old saga. Beautifully devastating, Dept. of Speculation is a worthy inclusion on this year's Folio prize shortlist' --Paperback of the Week, Observer
'Jenny Offill has such a specific way of writing, and her words touch something very deep in me' --Clémence Poésy, PORTER magazine
'It was my favourite book of last year and I keep returning to it. Compelling and heartbreaking... This is writing at its inventory, original best and I can't wait to see what Offill will do next' -- Maggie O'Farrell, Daily Mail
'Written in fragments that seem at first to be random thoughts plucked from Offill's mental wanderings, but gradually coalescing into a rich and satisfying whole, the narrative (and the narrator) are propped up by eclectic oneliners - from poets to various astronauts - and even a snippet of advice for wives circa 1896 to avoid the indiscriminate reading of novels lest it breeds a contempt for domestic duties. Offill's novel is a life raft: read it for its unsentimental scoop on love, the breaking of something good, and the possibility of patching the cracks and pulling through' -- Independent
'In this fast-paced, fractured text [...] brief first-person paragraphs, aphorisms and quotations build in tension... As these diary-like entries build, so, too, does the claustrophobia that domesticity can bring... Such observed moments of boredom, joy and terror are the triumph of this novel, spilling the panic, pain and confusion of marriage and motherhood onto the page' --Beth Jones, Belfast Telegraph --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
JENNY OFFILL is the author of Last Things (Bloomsbury, 1999) which was chosen as notable or best book of the year by the Guardian, the New York Times, the Village Voice, and was a finalist for the LA Times First Fiction Prize. She teaches Creative Writing at Columbia University, and is on the faculty at Brooklyn College and Queens University of Charlotte. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
It's also about writing; or the impossibility of it. The protagonist is riding the wash of a successful literary debut but has failed to progress with her second. She takes a job ghost-writing the memoir of a successful businessman and failed astronaut, and some of the book's most powerful prose-poetry – and its strongest images of separation and loss – come from her research into the history of space travel.
"There is a red dwarf star called Ross 248. In 40,000 years, Voyager 2 will come within 1.7 light years of it, still far enough away that it will seem like no more than a dot of light. Astronomers say that if you looked at it through the porthole of Voyager 2, it would seem to slowly brighten over the millennia, then slowly dim for many more."
Offill's narrator/character is a creative writing professor and the most interesting bits in this rather checkered and sketchy novel are the parts when she tries to analyse what she was about to recount in relation to the rules of writing, and she finds that ironically, real-life experience can be as cliche as the kind of fiction she tells her students not to create.
There is poignancy in the bare, seemingly unstructured style Offill employs, which evokes a certain immediacy and urgency to the narrator's/character's contradictory feelings and actions, as she tries to find a middle ground to the fallout in her till-then complacent life. However, the novel lacked a certain depth and felt as transient and incidental as the nuggets of facts she sprinkles (albeit lightly) throughout this slim volume.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This novel is profoundly sad and moving, even tragic despite only talking of everyday life. But I found it still very readable, even given its unconventional form. Read morePublished 7 months ago by mari.reiza
Very, very good - original, moving, hugely well-observed.Published 7 months ago by Victoria Zimmerman
Critically revered, I found parts of this novel interesting and parts annoying.
This short novel about a woman’s reflection of her marriage which is in turmoil after her... Read more
This short book is neither a novel nor anything much at all, really, other than a collection of seemingly unrelated and mostly unconnected thoughts and snippets of pretentious... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Phil O'Sofa
This actually really is a one sitting read. There are 177 pages but the text is spread out sparsely - almost like poetry, with lots of short paragraphs and chapters. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Katherine Sunderland
One to read and re-read
Of all the books I read last year, and recommend to friends, this is near the top of my list. Read more
I decided to read this novel because so many people had recommended it to me. Now I'm wondering what the hype was all about. Read morePublished 16 months ago by gommine