Reality Hunger: A Manifesto Hardcover – 25 Feb 2010
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
I've just finished reading Reality Hunger and I'm lit up by it - astonished, intoxicated, ecstatic, overwhelmed (Jonathan Lethem )
A rare and very peculiar thing: a wake-up call that is a pleasure to hear and respond to. A daring combination of montage and essay, it's crammed full of good things (Geoff Dyer )
One of the most provocative books I've ever read (Charles D'ambrosio )
Exciting, incendiary (Dazed & Confused )
Smart, stimulating, provocative, entertaining (Guardian )
Highly persuasive. I can't stop recommending it (The Times )
About the Author
David Shields is the author of several previous books, including Dead Languages: A Novel in Stories and, most recently, the 2008 New York Times bestseller The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll be Dead. www.davidshields.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
It has to be said that there is nothing particularly new in any of this except the absence of shame. Shields seems caught between a frank admission that he is merely justifying and recommending his own chosen methods - which he seems to have arrived at from inability to write or find satisfying fiction of a more conventional type - and a more serious analysis of the genuine formal aesthetic problems that confront the serious writer of contemporary fiction in an age in which competing renditions of a supposedly unmediated 'reality' may seem to have rendered mere fictional 'realism' an irrelevance and a bore. In practice, this seems to amount to the substitution of reality television, long-form journalism and the personal memoir - however untrustworthy - for the plain artifices of literary fiction.Read more ›
For those of you who have been paying attention, it already has.
Reality Hunger is made up of some 582 aphorisms, mini-essays, provocative statements and quotations--most of them from sources other than Shields himself. Using both his own words and the words of others, he takes on the nature of art, pits fiction against non-fiction, essay against story and imagination against invention. The book asks enormous questions like, `What's next for literature?' While some will applaud, many will take issue with Shields' conclusions. Among them: the death throes of the novel, and a call for the end of copyright as we know it. In collage fashion, mixing and juxtaposing his own thoughts with quotations, Shields sketches a world where the non-narrative real has overtaken, even subsumed, the narrative story in our collective imagination:
"Conventional fiction teaches the reader that life is a coherent, fathomable whole that concludes in neatly wrapped up revelation. Life, though--standing on a street corner, channel surfing, trying to navigate the web or a declining relationship, hearing that a close friend died last night--flies at us in bright splinters."
The internet--a digital medium with the potential to display a multiplicity of artistic and pedestrian experience in our very laps, both drives and reflects this trend.Read more ›
David Shields might not be adept at writing either - that's a big part of why I really like him. His attitude seems to be, "find the right tool to do the job, don't just do everything with a hammer." You're thinking, "how does carpentry come into play with Reality Hunger?" I claim: a) Reality Hunger is about everything, including carpentry and less importantly b) Shields has found a way to make writing relevant by any means possible... and to survive as a writer today it seems you've got to be willing to exchange hammer for laser, sword for raygun, pen for plastic at any moment.
What I like about Reality Hunger is that it simultaneously manages to make love to two separate beasts simultaneously - namely the past and future. In some strange way, Reality Hunger manages to lovingly caress Proust, Kafka and Woolf's thighs with one hand while fondling James Frey, the Wu-Tang Clan and Family Matters' tits with the other. You're thinking, "impossible," but it's true. There are a number of avenues by which to approach Reality Hunger, and I will begin with the most superficial: relevance.
Reality Hunger is deeply relevant in that it attempts to, and I found mostly succeeds at bridging gaps between otherwise isolated cultural flotsam through at least the last century of modern thought.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is interesting, but the central idea is oversold and becomes dogma which was for me off putting.Published 3 months ago by Mr T Wheeldon
A life-changing book. For anyone interested in the future of art, music or writing, this is a must.Published 20 months ago by Cora Duncan
Back cover prints JM Coetzee's 'I, too, am sick of the well-made novel with its plot and its characters and its settings' but omits the bit after the 'but'; Coetzee concludes 'Of... Read morePublished on 26 Oct. 2013 by Simon Barrett 'Il Penseroso'
This book will change the way you think. It will change your life. It is amazing. A must read for anyone studying Modern media or literature.Published on 9 Mar. 2012 by Alice
A book that practices what it (most certainly) preaches: Shields' provocation is that fiction is dead, that all reality is subjective, and that all artists copy or steal. Read morePublished on 9 Oct. 2011 by Rutherbooks
Having seen a favourable reference to it in The Times, the book has proved entertaining and informative, and something I can regularly dip into. Thoroughly recommended.Published on 4 Oct. 2011 by Mr M E Gunson
If you habitually pick up short stories only to think "not short enough guv" then this book is probably for you too. Read morePublished on 6 April 2011 by Mr. N. Foale