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The Ecstatic Tekijä: Victor LaValle
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The Ecstatic (vuoden 2003 painos)

Tekijä: Victor LaValle (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1974138,711 (3.21)18
Victor LaValle has already established himself as "one of the most eloquent voices of the approaching century" (Kirkus Reviews), a writer of darkly humorous tales full of haunting beauty, astonishing leaps of imagination, and language that "crackles and hums" (Chicago Tribune). The Ecstatic is LaValle's debut novel, a startling tale of love, horror, sex, insanity, faith, morbid obesity, and the modern American family. Something is wrong with Anthony--our 318-pound hero--and it's getting worse. A monster has caught his uncle and his mother; now it wants Anthony. Mental illness has been transmitted through his family's blood. The three women in his life--his mother, younger sister, and grandmother--find him naked and disoriented in his off-campus college apartment and take him home to Queens, each determined to fix him in her own peculiar way. But his presence soon turns their house into a semisuburban asylum. Sweet but wickedly sarcastic, smart and heartbreakingly vulnerable, Anthony narrates his family's surreal adventures through a world of grinning exploitation and fake cures, from storefront evangelists and neighborhood loan sharks to bogus beauty pageants and bootleg medical clinics. He corresponds with a dreadlocked Japanese militant, is haunted by a vicious pack of dogs, and tries to make his own horror movie, all in search of an answer to a question he doesn't dare ask. Written in the tradition of misfit picaresques from Journey to the End of the Night and Invisible Man to A Confederacy of Dunces and The World According to Garp, The Ecstatic is the revelatory story of a family trying to save themselves from a ravenous world and their own unraveling minds.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:QuixoticBooks
Teoksen nimi:The Ecstatic
Kirjailijat:Victor LaValle (Tekijä)
Info:Vintage (2003), Edition: Reprint, 288 pages
Kokoelmat:2023 Catalogue
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The Ecstatic (tekijä: Victor LaValle)

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näyttää 4/4
Reminded me superficially of Junot Diaz's ... Oscar Wao but I think I enjoyed The Ecstatic more. ( )
  monicaberger | Jan 22, 2024 |
I love Victor LaValle's writing - which is why this is getting 3 stars. The story wasn't doing it for me, just in terms of having the most unreliable narrator and being confused as to what Anthony was experiencing versus what was actually happening. Lots of interesting ideas but not enough connective tissue for me. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
Anthony James weighs 315 pounds, possibly schizophrenic and just been kicked out of college. He is rescued by his family (mother, sister, and grandmother) but they may not be altogether sane themselves.

It's a very hard book to review, I am having trouble summarising it. In the afterward LaValle tells us that the ecstatic was a term used to explain people whose actions were impossible to understand, people possessed or touched by God and that's a good a starting point when trying to explain this brilliant but deeply odd debut novel. One that mixes so many themes in order to come up with something funny, emotive, surreal and constantly unique.

James maybe an unreliable narrator but LaValle always ensures that everything that happens lives in the realm of plausibility. From the surreal experience of a diet clinic where the obese watch thin people do everyday tasks through a one way mirror, to a road trip (or rather an epic quest) to get his sister to a beauty pageant of virgins. From his saviour of illegal cleaning jobs to his surely imaginary B movie horror films we follow his life as he is temporarily taken into care by his put upon family.

It doesn't really matter whether its real or not, it's a beautiful ride and one I heartily recommend to anyone. ( )
1 ääni clfisha | Mar 14, 2011 |
As I was first reading this book I thought it was an Ignatius J. Reilly clone story. Far from it! This is actually an outstanding piece of original literature, told from the point of view of the main character, Anthony James, who has just flunked out of Cornell University, lives in a hellhole of a basement apartment, wears colored suits (green and purple are but two examples) and weighs 315 pounds at age 19. He comes from a family with a history of mental illness; Anthony himself is probably schizophrenic, often thinking long monologues in his head but realizing when he comes to the end that he has just given voice to his thoughts. Mom, his sister and grandmother all live together in a house in New York where they bring Anthony to live after rescuing him from a possible lapse into mental illness after his Cornell episode. Mom is beholden to a loan shark, Ishkabibble; Sis is 13 and really is embarrassed by her family -- she enters a pageant in Virginia for "Miss Innocence" where the contestants are those who have managed to keep their virginity; Grandma is in her 90s and can't believe how the family has turned out.

A lot of weird and frankly bizarre things happen in this novel which I cannot even begin to describe; but all and all, it is a novel about family. It is funny, sad, and just weird in places. I absolutely loved each and every character down to the guy who wants to be thin so badly he eats bad salmon to get tapeworms.

I would recommend this novel to serious readers who don't need the standard lines of plot development to enjoy a good read. ( )
3 ääni bcquinnsmom | Jun 17, 2006 |
näyttää 4/4
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

Victor LaValle has already established himself as "one of the most eloquent voices of the approaching century" (Kirkus Reviews), a writer of darkly humorous tales full of haunting beauty, astonishing leaps of imagination, and language that "crackles and hums" (Chicago Tribune). The Ecstatic is LaValle's debut novel, a startling tale of love, horror, sex, insanity, faith, morbid obesity, and the modern American family. Something is wrong with Anthony--our 318-pound hero--and it's getting worse. A monster has caught his uncle and his mother; now it wants Anthony. Mental illness has been transmitted through his family's blood. The three women in his life--his mother, younger sister, and grandmother--find him naked and disoriented in his off-campus college apartment and take him home to Queens, each determined to fix him in her own peculiar way. But his presence soon turns their house into a semisuburban asylum. Sweet but wickedly sarcastic, smart and heartbreakingly vulnerable, Anthony narrates his family's surreal adventures through a world of grinning exploitation and fake cures, from storefront evangelists and neighborhood loan sharks to bogus beauty pageants and bootleg medical clinics. He corresponds with a dreadlocked Japanese militant, is haunted by a vicious pack of dogs, and tries to make his own horror movie, all in search of an answer to a question he doesn't dare ask. Written in the tradition of misfit picaresques from Journey to the End of the Night and Invisible Man to A Confederacy of Dunces and The World According to Garp, The Ecstatic is the revelatory story of a family trying to save themselves from a ravenous world and their own unraveling minds.

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