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Austin Ratner

Teoksen The Jump Artist tekijä

5 teosta 89 jäsentä 7 arvostelua

Tekijän teokset

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Kanoninen nimi
Ratner, Austin
20th century
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
New York, New York, USA
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (MD)
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
The Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Lterature (2011)
Lyhyt elämäkerta
Austin Ratner’s first novel, The Jump Artist, is the 2011 winner of the Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. It was praised as “a remarkable work” by Harper’s Magazine and featured in Publishers Weekly in 2009 as one of ten promising debuts. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and has been honored with the Missouri Review Editors’ Prize in Fiction. He attended the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Before turning his focus to writing he received his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and he is co-author of the textbook Concepts in Medical Physiology.

He grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and now lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and two sons.



Received my copy from the Penguin Books UK Proof Readers circle.

This is a fictionalised account of a little known event in history - Halsman is accused of patricide after the death of his father whilst the pair are walking in the Alps. He is found guilty, spends several years in jail, but is finally pardoned on condition that he leaves Austria, never to return.

He recovers from Tuberculosis whilst in France, trains as an engineer, but ends up taking photographs. His talent increases, and he starts to become well known for portrait photographs (doing the covers of Vogue etc). Finally, WWII starts, and he and his family escape France for America, where he finally achieves fame as a photographer of the famous.

This is not a dry, non-fiction biography. Especially in the first section of the book there are jumps in narrative time, sometimes in the same chapter, once in a while the same paragraph. Slightly disconcerting, it however makes the story telling quite fluid.

I didnt feel emotionally connected to Halsman very much throughout the book. I dont know whether that was on purpose or not by the author. Halsman did come across as rather emotionally restrained, feeling the need to punish himself if he felt his emotions were too out of control. There were times where he comes across as OCD and almost autistic in not being able to react the correct way towards others (and especially girls).

The title refers to a series of portraits (including Monroe) where he takes their photos whilst they are jumping.
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nordie | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 14, 2023 |
The historical part of this book was very interesting and enlightening, as were the deatails of Halsman's survivor guilt. However, there were too many tedious, unimportant details that I did not appreciate plodding through. This is a frightening book to read at this time.
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suesbooks | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 6, 2022 |
Sometimes you read a book and it's not particularly great, but it's not terrible, and you reach the end going 'What was the point, exactly?' And In the Land of the Living is definitely one such book. A story covering the life of Isidore Auberon and his two sons (though one far more directly than the other), this was one that was difficult to connect to or relate with on any level for me - not because the characters didn't go through things that I can personally identify with, but because there just wasn't a depth to them that really allowed the reader to get beyond the surface.

The narrative has some interesting moments, but has just as many that weren't all that engaging. And the characters themselves were posited in such a way that they seemed like they were meant to be larger-than-life, but their actions weren't congruent or consistent with that and it made the whole story seem even more distant.

That said, I didn't really dislike the book, which is why I've given it 3 stars. It's possible someone else might read it and find it easier to relate to, but otherwise it's just a quick, somewhat mindless read, to me...

(eGalley provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)
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crtsjffrsn | Aug 27, 2021 |
I loved this book! Its an interesting perspective of the interbellum, with very engaging characters. horrible things happen, and the characters deal with it horribly under the influence of fascism. It shows how good people can be destroyed by something early on and the struggle to become whole again.
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stormnyk | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Aug 6, 2020 |




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