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The Guardians: An Elegy

– tekijä: Sarah Manguso

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
624326,606 (3.19)9
Presents the author's elegiac ode to love, death, and intimate friendship that describes how her life was profoundly changed by the suicide of a mentally ill friend and roommate with whom she shared poignant formative experiences.
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näyttää 4/4
The Guardians by Sarah Manguso is a strange tribute to Maguso’s friend, Harris, who committed suicide by stepping in-front of a moving train. The book is egocentric and Manguso shares some alarmingly personal thoughts about her friend, with allusions to a romantic relationship that might-have-been.

She writes: “…I think my life wouldn't have been swallowed by disappointment if I’d married someone else – that if I’d married Harris, I would always be happy and he would have lived.”

She goes on at length about how Harris’ death has traumatized and incapacitated her for years. What is most surprising is that Manguso is married, though some of her assertions showed a worrying disregard for her hapless husband. I don’t what the point of the book was. Not a book I would recommend. ( )
  akeela | Oct 19, 2013 |
"I want to set aside every expectation of how I should feel or act given that my friend had a bad death, and try to explain what has actually happened to me—if, in fact, anything has actually happened to me." (p. 86)

This brief book is Manguso's attempt to make sense of the death of her close friend Harris. When she had been out of the country and hadn't seen him for a year, he escaped from a psychiatric hospital and threw himself in front of a train. But the Harris she knew had not been troubled or crazy or suicidal, certainly not at first, and Manguso parses every step in the evolution of her feelings toward the Harris she remembers and the Harris, perhaps somehow a different one, who committed suicide.

At the start, in its portrait of young people feeding and feeding on the artistic energy of New York, it reads like Patti Smith's [b:Just Kids|341879|Just Kids|Patti Smith|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1259762407s/341879.jpg|332242]; in its later search for an authentic expression of her grief, it reads like Peter Handke's [b:A Sorrow Beyond Dreams|24482|A Sorrow Beyond Dreams|Peter Handke|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1320440376s/24482.jpg|1344773]. It's not quite as resonant as either of those, but then that would be a very tall order. ( )
  localcharacter | Apr 2, 2013 |
This was a mercifully short elegy to a dear friend of the author, who checked himself out of a mental hospital in NYC and committed suicide by stepping in front of a Metro North train in Riverdale roughly 10 hours later. I enjoyed Manguso's earlier book The Two Kinds of Decay, a memoir about her own illness, but this short book came across as little more than a self absorbed form of written diarrhea by a spoiled rich girl about the effect that Harris's death had on her, which I found to be macabre and more than a little disturbing. Some thoughts should not be shared with others, and some books should not be published, which is the case for The Guardians. I'll give it a generous 2 stars, and at a cost of £14.99 it is overpriced by at least 10 fold IMO. ( )
5 ääni kidzdoc | Sep 17, 2012 |
Her hypothesis is frightening and convincing--that her friend may have killed himself because of torturous side effects from anti-psychotics, side effects Manguso herself has experienced firsthand. But the book is... leaden and and dull and self-congratulatory. Perhaps all memoirs are repugnant? This one doesn't even seem to be trying, though. The most complex move the book makes is repositioning self-regard as insight by taking a chilly, ominous tone and noticing the constant self-regard. But almost all memoirs do that. Only the real dummies miss that sharp little half step.

I wanted to like this book. I remember loving, even envying many of her poems, and I'm obviously needful of a book about suicide that can console me or accompany my grief. But this ain't it. This book barely bothers to care about any aspect of itself besides maybe the author photo. ( )
1 ääni wordlikeabell | Apr 28, 2012 |
näyttää 4/4
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Presents the author's elegiac ode to love, death, and intimate friendship that describes how her life was profoundly changed by the suicide of a mentally ill friend and roommate with whom she shared poignant formative experiences.

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