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The author of the international bestseller Silk now delivers a ravishing and wildly inventive novel about friendship, genius and its discontents, and the redemptive power of narrative. Somewhere in America lives a brilliant boy named Gould, an intellectual guided missile aimed at the Nobel Prize. His only companions are an imaginary giant and an imaginary mute. Improbably—and yet with impeccable logic--he falls into the care of Shatzy Shell, a young woman whose life up till that point has been equally devoid of human connection .

Theirs is a relationship of stories and of stories within stories: of Gould’s evolving saga of an underdog boxer and the violent Western that Shatzy has been dictating into a tape recorder since the age of six. Out of these stories, Alessandro Baricco creates a masterpiece of metaphysical pulp fiction that recalls both Scheherazade and Italo Calvino. By turns exhilarating and deeply moving, City is irresistible.
Published: VintageAnchor an imprint of Random House Publishing Group on Dec 18, 2007
ISBN: 9780307425270
List price: $9.99
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One of those books I saw at Borders & picked up because of the cover but bought because the first 2 pages just sucked me in. I may read it again -- i feel like it flew by.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I am really not sure what to say about this one. It is billed as being a metaphysical pulp fiction - didn't know that when I picked this one up! - and I can agree that the metaphysical is present: the examinations of Monet's Waterlilies and the topography of rivers as well as the idea of man as a porch are examples that jump out at me, as well as the pulp fiction angle. While this book didn't make a lot of sense to me, I take it that it isn't supposed to in the normal sense. This was more of a sad, surreal meandering experience with weird characters and unreliable narrators - Gould's imaginary friends do a fair bit of the talking here, including the 'mute' one, Poomerang. It is recommended that the reader wrap their mind around that and get comfortable with the idea before diving too far into this one. Shatzy's spaghetti western and Gould's underdog boxer Larry 'Lawyer' Gorman tend to steal the show at times, and a good thing too as they are relief from the heavier metaphysical elements. Overall, when reading this one it is best to just let all that is going on wash over you.... otherwise you might find yourself hopeless lost trying to decipher the hidden meanings that might... or might not... exist. The layers of stories became hypnotic for me with some really good comic bits worked into this exploratory work. An exploratory work that would fail except for the skilled writing of Baricco and Goldstein's translation which keeps the story conversational in tone. What really surprised me is how different City is from Baricco's other works - namely the stunning and lyrically beautiful Silk and the quietly thought provoking Emmaus. I never expected this style of writing/genre to exist in Baricco's repertoire. Once I got past the shock, I was able to settle in and enjoy the book. Part of me wonders what I will be in for when I pick up my next Baricco to read.....read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.

Reviews

One of those books I saw at Borders & picked up because of the cover but bought because the first 2 pages just sucked me in. I may read it again -- i feel like it flew by.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I am really not sure what to say about this one. It is billed as being a metaphysical pulp fiction - didn't know that when I picked this one up! - and I can agree that the metaphysical is present: the examinations of Monet's Waterlilies and the topography of rivers as well as the idea of man as a porch are examples that jump out at me, as well as the pulp fiction angle. While this book didn't make a lot of sense to me, I take it that it isn't supposed to in the normal sense. This was more of a sad, surreal meandering experience with weird characters and unreliable narrators - Gould's imaginary friends do a fair bit of the talking here, including the 'mute' one, Poomerang. It is recommended that the reader wrap their mind around that and get comfortable with the idea before diving too far into this one. Shatzy's spaghetti western and Gould's underdog boxer Larry 'Lawyer' Gorman tend to steal the show at times, and a good thing too as they are relief from the heavier metaphysical elements. Overall, when reading this one it is best to just let all that is going on wash over you.... otherwise you might find yourself hopeless lost trying to decipher the hidden meanings that might... or might not... exist. The layers of stories became hypnotic for me with some really good comic bits worked into this exploratory work. An exploratory work that would fail except for the skilled writing of Baricco and Goldstein's translation which keeps the story conversational in tone. What really surprised me is how different City is from Baricco's other works - namely the stunning and lyrically beautiful Silk and the quietly thought provoking Emmaus. I never expected this style of writing/genre to exist in Baricco's repertoire. Once I got past the shock, I was able to settle in and enjoy the book. Part of me wonders what I will be in for when I pick up my next Baricco to read.....
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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