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The Secret Life Of The Novel by [Cavanagh, Dean]
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The Secret Life Of The Novel Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Length: 572 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description

About the Author

Dean Cavanagh is a screenwriter, playwright and author from Bradford, West Yorkshire.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1868 KB
  • Print Length: 572 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1527201538
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: ZANI; 1 edition (15 Oct. 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01MF7R0PI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #553,451 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just read this on a flight to Australia and changing time-zones heightened the experience as the story moves between the past, future and present and never lets you get settled in a particular zone for long.

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?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If your literary itch is tickled by the likes of Thomas Pynchon, Boris Vian, Tom Robbins, Roberto Bolano, Richard Miller, Robert Anton Wilson, Mo Yan, David Foster Wallace, Richard Farina and, let’s not mess about here, James Joyce, then strap yourself in for the ride.

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.
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The Secret Life of the Novel is a book that makes demands of its readers. Not only is it very experimental in form, much of the content is esoteric, highly complex and frequently downright unpleasant. You're not going to get through this book if you're any less than100% committed to the task. Fortunately, it more than rewards the attention you'll have to give it.

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.
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Virtually impossible to say what it's "About" but it's something to do with following the creative process with a warped Noir detective story alongside it. For all it's density it is very funny and has genuine belly laughs running throughout. You can lose yourself in The Secret Life of The Novel and Cavanagh doesn't throw you any compasses or life jackets. It's not to be taken lightly and will be off putting to many. The writing is endlessly inventive but the narrative is fractured and really difficult to follow. Having said that I would imagine its readers will fill in the gaps. James Ellroy remixing James Joyce is a fair description.
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The Secret life of the Novel is a sensational debut from Dean Cavanagh,a thrilling odyssey through the logosphere in the slipstream of his fecund imagination.

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...
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