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The Sympathizer (Pulitzer 2016)

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en Limba Engleză Carte Paperback – 21 Apr 2016

Premiul Pulitzer 2016, Ficțiune

A profound, startling, and beautifully crafted debut novel, The Sympathizer is the story of a man of two minds, offering a unique perspective on the Vietnam war. Destined to become a modern classic

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Specificații

ISBN-13: 9781472151360
ISBN-10: 1472151364
Pagini: 384
Dimensiuni: 123 x 198 x 40 mm
Greutate: 0.40 kg
Editura: Little Brown Book Group
Colecția Corsair
Seriile Pulitzer 2016 , Gates Notes - Cărți recomandate de Bill Gates


Recenzii de la cititorii Books Express


Bookish Style a dat nota:

Viet Thanh Nguyen creates through his 2016 Pulitzer winner, "The Sympathizer", a vivid imagery of the Vietnam War, and a solid story of divided interests that coexist within the same conscious. A one-fold narrative, imbued with a highly-reflective tone, however, devoid of sentimentalism. All throughout the novel, I had mixed feelings regarding this reading experience. On the one hand, I enjoyed the socio-political context and the minute details with regards to the 1970’s era, but, on the other hand, I would have loved a much more personal recount of the events. The semi-detached accent and the lack of emotion in key moments, it’s what pushes away the reader, eliminating almost all prospects of empathy. Also, I kept waiting for the prose to get “tremendously funny” as the first cover says, but I could not quite get to it. "The Sympathizer" starts off as a rather difficult read, partly because of the digressions in the narrator’s confession, but mostly because the language sounds archaic (or maybe extremely correctly by the British canon), with weird phrasings (“but although I forgot not a word”, “but I was bothered not in the least”, “This was the prayer many a general and politician said”, etc.) and a lot of words of French descent (lycée, coup d’état, sorties, évacuées, cinema-marquee, valise, dames, entendre). But, once you get used to it and you sink into the rhythm, it becomes more eloquent. The slowly-paced, highly-elaborate and descriptive storytelling is annoying at times because the first person narrator is always in total control, gradually revealing his tale. Also, the action lingers at times without any prospects of actually leading somewhere, creating a state of interrupted expectancy. (excerpt from the full review: http://www.bookishstyle.ro/the-sympathizer)

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Recenzii

Praise for The Sympathizer:

Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Winner of the 2016 Edgar Award for Best First Novel
Winner of the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction
Winner of the 2015 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
Winner of the 2015-2016 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature (Adult Fiction)
Winner of the 2016 California Book Award for First Fiction
Finalist for the 2016 PEN/Faulkner Award
Finalist for the 2016 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction
Finalist for the 2016 Medici Book Club Prize
Finalist for the 2015 Los Angeles Times Book Prize (Mystery/Thriller)
Finalist for the 2016 ABA Indies Choice/E.B. White Read-Aloud Award (Book of the Year, Adult Fiction)
Named a Best Book of the Year on more than twenty lists, including the New York Times Book Review, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post


“A layered immigrant tale told in the wry, confessional voice of a ‘man of two minds’—and two countries, Vietnam and the United States.”—Pulitzer Prize Citation

“[A] remarkable debut novel . . . [Nguyen] brings a distinctive perspective to the war and its aftermath. His book fills a void in the literature, giving voice to the previously voiceless . . . The nameless protagonist-narrator, a memorable character despite his anonymity, is an Americanized Vietnamese with a divided heart and mind. Nguyen’s skill in portraying this sort of ambivalent personality compares favorably with masters like Conrad, Greene, and le Carré. . . . Both thriller and social satire. . . . In its final chapters, The Sympathizer becomes an absurdist tour de force that might have been written by a Kafka or Genet.”—Philip Caputo, New York Times Book Review (cover review)

“This is more than a fresh perspective on a familiar subject. [The Sympathizer] is intelligent, relentlessly paced and savagely funny . . . The voice of the double-agent narrator, caustic yet disarmingly honest, etches itself on the memory.”Wall Street Journal (WSJ’s Best Books of 2015)

“Extraordinary . . . Surely a new classic of war fiction. . . . [Nguyen] has wrapped a cerebral thriller around a desperate expat story that confronts the existential dilemmas of our age. . . . Laced with insight on the ways nonwhite people are rendered invisible in the propaganda that passes for our pop culture. . . . I haven’t read anything since Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four that illustrates so palpably how a patient tyrant, unmoored from all humane constraint, can reduce a man’s mind to liquid.”Washington Post

“The great achievement of The Sympathizer is that it gives the Vietnamese a voice and demands that we pay attention. Until now, it’s been largely a one-sided conversation—or at least that’s how it seems in American popular culture . . . We’ve never had a story quite like this one before. . . . [Nguyen] has a great deal to say and a knowing, playful, deeply intelligent voice . . . There are so many passages to admire. Mr. Nguyen is a master of the telling ironic phrase and the biting detail, and the book pulses with Catch-22-style absurdities.”New York Times

“Beautifully written and meaty . . . really compelling. I had that kid-like feeling of being inside the book.”—Claire Messud, Boston Globe

“This debut is a page-turner (read: everybody will finish) that makes you reconsider the Vietnam War (read: everyone will have an opinion) . . . Nguyen’s darkly comic novel offers a point of view about American culture that we’ve rarely seen.”—Oprah.com (Oprah’s Book Club Suggestions)

“The novel’s best parts are painful, hilarious exposures of white tone-deafness . . . [the] satire is delicious.”New Yorker

The Sympathizer reads as part literary historical fiction, part espionage thriller and part satire. American perceptions of Asians serve as some of the book’s most deliciously tart commentary . . . Nguyen knows of what he writes.”Los Angeles Times

“Sparkling and audacious . . . Unique and startling . . . Nguyen’s prose is often like a feverish, frenzied dream, a profuse and lively stream of images sparking off the page. . . . Nguyen can be wickedly funny. . . . [His] narrator has an incisive take on Asian-American history and what it means to be a nonwhite American. . . . this remarkable, rollicking read by a Vietnamese immigrant heralds an exciting new voice in American literature.”Seattle Times

“Stunned, amazed, impressed. [The Sympathizer is] so skillfully and brilliantly executed that I cannot believe this is a first novel. (I should add jealous to my emotions.) Upends our notions of the Vietnam novel.”Chicago Tribune

“A very special, important, brilliant novel . . . Amazing . . . I don’t say brilliant about a lot of books, but this is a brilliant book . . . A fabulous book . . . that everyone should read.”—Nancy Pearl, KUOW.org

“Dazzling . . . I’ve read scads of Vietnam War books, but The Sympathizer has an exciting quality I haven’t encountered . . . A fascinating exploration of personal identity, cultural identity, and what it means to sympathize with two sides at once.”—John Powers, Fresh Air, NPR (Books I Wish I’d Reviewed)

“Powerful and evocative . . . Gripping.”San Francisco Chronicle

“Welcome a unique new voice to the literary chorus. . . . [The Sympathizer] is, among other things, a character-driven thriller, a political satire, and a biting historical account of colonization and revolution. It dazzles on all fronts.”Cleveland Plain Dealer

“[Nguyen’s] books perform an optic tilt about Vietnam and what America did there as profound as Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man and Toni Morrison’s Beloved were to the legacy of racism and slavery.”—John Freeman, Literary Hub

“For those who have been waiting for the great Vietnamese American Vietnam War novel, this is it. More to the point: This is a great American Vietnam War novel. . . . It is the last word (I hope) on the horrors of the Vietnamese re-education camps that our allies were sentenced to when we left them swinging in the wind.”Vietnam Veterans of America

“Magisterial. A disturbing, fascinating and darkly comic take on the fall of Saigon and its aftermath, and a powerful examination of guilt and betrayal. The Sympathizer is destined to become a classic and redefine the way we think about the Vietnam War and what it means to win and to lose.”—T.C. Boyle

“Trapped in endless civil war, ‘the man who has two minds’ tortures and is tortured as he tries to meld the halves of his country and of himself. Viet Thanh Nguyen accomplishes this integration in a magnificent feat of storytelling. The Sympathizer is a novel of literary, historical, and political importance.”—Maxine Hong Kingston, author of The Fifth Book of Peace

“It is a strong, strange and liberating joy to read this book, feeling with each page that a broken world is being knitted back together, once again whole and complete. As far as I am concerned, Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer—both a great American novel and a great Vietnamese novel—will close the shelf on the literature of the Vietnam War.”—Bob Shacochis, author of The Woman Who Lost Her Soul

“Read this novel with care; it is easy to read, wry, ironic, wise, and captivating, but it could change not only your outlook on the Vietnam War, but your outlook on what you believe about politics and ideology in general. It does what the best of literature does, expands your consciousness beyond the limitations of your body and individual circumstances.”—Karl Marlantes, author of Matterhorn and What It Is Like to Go to War

“Not only does Viet Thanh Nguyen bring a rare and authentic voice to the body of American literature generated by the Vietnam War, he has created a book that transcends history and politics and nationality and speaks to the enduring theme of literature: the universal quest for self, for identity. The Sympathizer is a stellar debut by a writer of depth and skill.”—Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

The Sympathizer is a remarkable and brilliant book. By turns harrowing, and cut through by shards of unexpected and telling humor, this novel gives us the conflict in Vietnam, and its aftermath, in a way that is deeply truthful, and vitally important.”—Vincent Lam, author of Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures and The Headmaster’s Wager

“I think I'd have to go all the way back to Nabokov’s Humbert Humbert to find the last narrative voice that so completely conked me over the head and took me prisoner. Nguyen and his unnamed protagonist certainly have made a name for themselves with one of the smartest, darkest, funniest books you'll read this year.”—David Abrams, author of Fobbit

“Audaciously and vividly imagined. A compelling read.”—Andrew X. Pham, author of Catfish and Mandala

“Nguyen’s cross-grained protagonist exposes the hidden costs in both countries of America’s tragic Asian misadventure. Nguyen’s probing literary art illuminates how Americans failed in their political and military attempt to remake Vietnam—but then succeeded spectacularly in shrouding their failure in Hollywood distortions. Compelling—and profoundly unsettling.”Booklist (starred review)

“A closely written novel of after-the-war Vietnam, when all that was solid melted into air. As Graham Greene and Robert Stone have taught us, on the streets of Saigon, nothing is as it seems. . . . Think Alan Furst meets Elmore Leonard, and you’ll capture Nguyen at his most surreal . . . Both chilling and funny, and a worthy addition to the library of first-rate novels about the Vietnam War.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“[An] astonishing first novel . . . Nguyen’s novel enlivens debate about history and human nature, and his narrator has a poignant often mindful voice.”—Publishers Weekly (starred, boxed review)

“Breathtakingly cynical, the novel has its hilarious moments . . . Ultimately a meditation on war, political movements, America's imperialist role, the CIA, torture, loyalty, and one's personal identity, this is a powerful, thought-provoking work. It's hard to believe this effort . . . is a debut. This is right up there with Denis Johnson's Tree of Smoke."—Library Journal (starred review)

“I cannot remember the last time I read a novel whose protagonist I liked so much. Smart, funny, and self-critical, with a keen sense of when to let a story speak for itself (and when to gloss it with commentary). He’s someone I would like to have a beer with, despite the fact that his life’s work is the betrayal of his friends. . . . [Nguyen] proves a gifted and bold satirist.”Barnes & Noble Review

“Riveting . . . The Sympathizer is not only a masterly espionage novel, but also a seminal work of 21st century American fiction. Giving voice to the Vietnamese experience in the United States, Nguyen offers profound insights into the legacy of war and the politically and racially charged atmosphere of the 1970s.”—BookReporter

“[A] shimmering debut novel . . . Leaping with lyrical verve, each page turns to a unique and hauntingly familiar voice that refuses to let us forget what people are capable of doing to each other.”—Asian American Writers’ Workshop

“Arresting . . . One of the best pieces of fiction about the Vietnam war—and by a Vietnamese. . . . Stunning . . . Could it be that Nguyen has captured the shape of the devolution of war itself, from grand ambition to human ruin? . . . One of the finest novels of the Vietnam War published in recent years.”—The Daily Beast

“[An] intriguing confessional . . . [a] tour de force . . . So taken was I by the first quarter of the book that I believed myself to be reading an actual confession . . . The character himself . . . and the quality of the narration seized me, leaving me almost breathless in my pursuit of an ending.”Sewanee Review

“Tremendously funny, with a demanding verbal texture . . . Both tender and a bit of a romp, the book reminded me of how big books can be.”Guardian (Best Books of 2015)

“Astounding . . . [The unnamed narrator] will be compared to the morally exhausted spies, intelligence officers and double agents of Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene, and John le Carré.”Toronto Star

Notă biografică

Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Vietnam and raised in America. He is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the academic books Race and Resistance and Nothing Ever Dies. He is a cultural critic-at-large for the Los Angeles Times and teaches English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He lives in Los Angeles.

Extras

I am a spy, a sleeper, a spook, a man of two faces. Perhaps not surprisingly, I am also a man of two minds. I am not some misunderstood mutant from a comic book or a horror movie, although some have treated me as such. I am simply able to see any issue from both sides. Sometimes I flatter myself that this is a talent, and although it is admittedly one of a minor nature, it is perhaps also the sole talent I possess. At other times, when I reflect on how I cannot help but observe the world in such a fashion, I wonder if what I have should even be called talent. After all, a talent is something you use, not something that uses you. The talent you cannot not use, the talent that possesses you—that is a hazard, I must confess. But in the month when this confession begins, my way of seeing the world still seemed more of a virtue than a danger, which is how some dangers first appear.

The month in question was April, the cruelest month. It was the month in which a war that had run on for a very long time would lose its limbs, as is the way of wars. It was a month that meant everything to all the people in our small part of the world and nothing to most people in the rest of the world. It was a month that was both an end of a war and the beginning of . . . well, “peace” is not the right word, is it, my dear commandant?