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The Secret Life Of The Novel Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
At first it felt like a Thomas Pynchon or a David Foster Wallace story but soon turned into a more straightforward narrative and then back to experimentation. It is absolutely crammed with fantastical ideas, some that really work, some that don't, but it is rare in that for all its digressions into the subconscious it keeps your interest.
It really is unique and very contemporary. I'd imagine it will become a much studied and analyzed book in the future. In my opinion it is about birth, in this case the birth of a novel, but I could be wrong. In parts it is very funny, sickening, illuminating, infuriating, heart wrenching and deliberately obscure. I loved the experience but I'd only recommend it to fans of challenging literary fiction who are prepared to put the hours in reading and 'trying" to decode it. Finnegans Wake for the digital generation anyone?
The Life of the Novel is at turns metaphysical, quantum, demented, perverted, confusing, pretentious, joyous, infuriating, genre defying, sprawling mess, genius, rambling, utterly challenging, a disgusting diatribe on lord knows what. It is never anything less than thought provoking entertainment. Indeed, if your idea of fun is ‘My Dinner with Andre’ playing on the radio during a scene in the film adaptation of ‘Inherent Vice’ which you’re viewing on a holographic tablet device at an Aphex Gristle gig which you’re experiencing through a VR headset, then immerse yourself. If not, walk away, don’t look back, give up.
As a previous reviewer noted, it is unique and very contemporary though it did come out a week ago so any right it may have to the claim of ‘contemporary’ has now lapsed. Put it this way, this is neo-digital surrealism writ large.
What’s it about? Who knows. But, if your kick is having your 3rd bloodshot eye squeegeed by transitional hot sauce, then you’ll be truly refreshed. Either that or you’ll be completely duped. Genius or madness? Only you, dear engaging reader, will decide.
It's a long time since I came across a book so packed with ideas, in fact I doubt I ever have. The often tenuous narrative concerns a 'hero' trapped outside of time and in a limbo between life and death, flesh and word. We are teased with linear extracts from his fictional writings and others whose provenance is not made clear. Ultimately we are left to fill in a number of important gaps in these stories for ourselves, but this doesn't feel unsatisfying because the book is always more concerned with the journey than the destination.
And what a journey. Cavanagh takes any and every opportunity to expound on arcane histories and philosophies, science, favourite books and records, economics, sociology and, in one lengthy, unforgettable strand, the Balkans civil war. These subjects are tackled in a range of mind-bogglingly inventive ways, verging a little too close to lectures on occasion but always engrossing and exhaustive. It's fair to say I learned a lot reading this book, although I'd be inclined to do some fact-checking before I quoted any of it it verbatim, such is its playful approach to truth and fiction. There are rather a lot of typos, too, although again this somehow seems less significant in a book about deconstructing literature than it might in a more traditional text.Read more ›
A synthesis of sex, savage violence,truth,occult sacrifice,conspiracy and esoteric ideas,with humour as black as Newgate's knocker.
There's a beautiful complexity at play here. Paragraphs paradiddle as cacophonus composition , becomes a symphony of syntax.
No ingredients wasted in this Bitches brew,it certainly ain't 4/4 time but it Swings like a metaphysical MF
There are no limitations of time,space or spirit,a time travelling opus that dares to review itself, as the temporal nature of consensus reality unravels before our very eyes
Time isn't just speeding up,it's going over, under,sideways,down.
Take our quantum hero " & " ,an ampersand adrift on the ocean of infinity ,alienated from the alphabet , the Connector, everywhere & nowhere baby.
Cast into this liminal state by ego driven scientists at CERN during an experiment to make flesh Word,he attempts to write a novel from the memories he collects from the numerous fascinating characters he encounters.
But how can he write a novel when he's not even the author of his own destiny?
And what are they REALLY up to at CERN?
And what really happened to the Artist formerly known as 'Prince' (or 'Prince' for short)
And who the f&&& is Tom Mixmaster?
I could say this is "a book for our times" or " Zeitgeist defining " but that would sound hackneyed,and would disappoint "&",and you really don't wanna do that. He would balk at the banality. But it certainly marks a paradigm shift in novel writing.
It's THAT good...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant brilliant Just Finished this found I couldn't put it down serious subject written beautifully with humour and suspense go buy it.Published 4 months ago by Jason Kemley
I love it when a book as good as this comes at you unexpectedly. A part of me wishes that I had`nt... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I meant to write this review a lot sooner than now, but I've finally gotten round to it and just...Wow. What a mind-fuckingly, outrageous, and thought provoking book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Joshua
If you’ve read the synopsis of this book and are still undecided, I’d urge you to let go of the handrails and leap into one of the most original, deranged and entertaining novels... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Creed C. O'Hanlon