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My Absolute Darling

– tekijä: Gabriel Tallent

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1,0817114,189 (3.83)25
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  LA TIMES BOOK PRIZE FINALIST NBCC JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FINALIST ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES'S MOST NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2017 ONE OF THE WASHINGTON POST'S MOST NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2017 ONE OF NPR'S 'GREAT READS' OF 2017 A USA TODAY BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR AN AMAZON.COM BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR A BUSINESS INSIDER BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR "Impossible to put down." --NPR "A novel that readers will gulp down, gasping." --The Washington Post   "The word 'masterpiece' has been cheapened by too many blurbs, but My Absolute Darling absolutely is one." --Stephen King A brilliant and immersive, all-consuming read about one fourteen-year-old girl's heart-stopping fight for her own soul. Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father. Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high-school boy who tells jokes, lives in a big clean house, and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her. What follows is a harrowing story of bravery and redemption. With Turtle's escalating acts of physical and emotional courage, the reader watches, heart in throat, as this teenage girl struggles to become her own hero--and in the process, becomes ours as well. Shot through with striking language in a fierce natural setting, My Absolute Darling is an urgently told, profoundly moving read that marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer.… (lisätietoja)
  1. 00
    Where the Crawdads Sing (tekijä: Delia Owens) (shaunie)
    shaunie: Both have a girl growing up in unusual, deprived circumstances at the centre of the story. My Absolute Darling, whilst flawed, is far better written.
  2. 00
    Elmet (tekijä: Fiona Mozley) (hairball)
    hairball: Leave civilization behind, and varieties of disaster ensue. The fathers and reasons are different, but it always ends in flames.
  3. 00
    All the Ugly and Wonderful Things (tekijä: Bryn Greenwood) (KatyBee)
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englanti (67)  ranska (3)  saksa (1)  Kaikki kielet (71)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 71) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
This is going to be a tough one, because there's a lot of stuff I liked in this novel, and a lot of stuff I didn't...and some that straddles both sides. I'll try to unpack it all here, leaving the elephant in the room to last.

I have no question in my mind that Gabriel Tallent is a gifted writer. When he's describing things, when he's working up relationships, when he's writing action, he's brilliant. On the other hand, there's some stuff that simply drove me nuts. For example, no one seems to be able to grab something like a gun stock or a steering wheel. Nope, in each case, their "hands wrapped and rewrapped" around it. That's a singular expression, and it's used at least three times in the novel.

Then there's Tallent's dialogue. At times, it's wonderful. But he's given to allow his characters to monologue and monologue and monologue. Particularly Martin. And the author also seems to run out of words when his characters are in the throes of depression or anger or stress. Martin will say "Christ" and "Christ" and "Christ" and "Christ" and "Christ" and "Christ" and...yeah, you get the idea.

Speaking of dialogue, let's talk about two of the brightest sparks in this novel, Brett and Jacob. These two are pot-smoking, E-Z-Cheez consuming teens who seem to constantly need saving by Turtle. They're funny as hell, and I love them both dearly, however, even as I laughed and loved their dialogue, it was just so stunningly unrealistic that it bordered on satire. I think it might be difficult to find one person who's in their mid-teens who is both insanely well-read on not only classic literature, but also the classics of philosophy, let alone two. Yet here they are, throwing out their vast wells of knowledge like chicken feed.

In fact, there seems to be a few deeply self-educated people in this novel, yet, aside from aside, the only one that is actually seen reading is 10-year-old Cayenne, and she's reading Twilight.

On the plus side, though the novel seems a touch rambling at time, Tallent does make most of the stuff pay off, and the story zips along quite well. And the action-packed denouement is very well done. I have to say, however, that it should have ended right then and there. The protracted end—much like the end of the Lord of the Rings final movie, where the elves were leaving, but just...didn't...ever...seem...to...leeeeeeeeave....—just went on, pointlessly, for pages and pages, with little to show for it.

Now, let's get to the heart of this, the elephant in the room, the numerous scenes of physical, sexual, and mental torture of Turtle at the hands of her father. They were disturbing and they were awful, as they should be. But were they gratuitous?

Up near the top of this page, just below the book description, a reader asks, "Why is it remotely acceptable for white men who've never experienced incest or sexual abuse to write about it?" And someone answers back, "The same reason that it's acceptable to write about living on another planet even if you haven't. It's literature. Fiction. Entertainment."

I have to say, I smiled at the naivete of the question. White guys have been writing about all races, all sexes, and all situations forever, some very well, most not. It's the way of the world. But to demand of any writer to have experienced everything they write about firsthand? Man, would that limit what's actually written about. Let's put the question down to inexperience on the part of the questioner. But the answer made me thing. "It's literature. Fiction. Entertainment."

It was that last word that got me. Entertainment. I asked myself, when I read a book like this one, or Jack Ketchum's harrowing The Girl Next Door, or watch a movie like Platoon or Natural Born Killers...are any of them entertaining? They're though-provoking and all are fiction, but are they entertaining? I'd say no.

Then I had to ask myself, does rape and child abuse have any place in fiction? Well, as far as I'm concerned, they're both the worst things that can happen to a human being, because the recipient of those atrocities live with them for the rest of their lives, and often the perpetrator gets away with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Torture would also be on that list. But then again, so would murder. And those are just the top things. There's also all the hate and abuse directed at people who are seen as "different" due to race or gender or sexual preference or even just appearance or mental capacity.

So, really, do any of them have a place in so-called entertainment? Well, for the most part, they all already have it. And sometimes it's handled very well, and sometimes it's exploitative, such as any of the deaths in any Halloween, Friday the 13th or Saw movie. And yet, we will experience these, and even sometimes cheer at a death.

Anyway, it's for wiser minds than mine to answer that question. I guess, for me, the yardstick is, is it handled in a way that doesn't romanticize it, or handle it gratuitously. It's not there for titillation, but to illustrate a point, or make a statement.

Does this book do that? Does it exploit? Does it titillate? It sure as hell didn't titillate me. I found those scenes ugly and reprehensible, and I felt confusion as to how Martin could shift back and forth, loving, then abusive, often in seconds, and I'm sure anyone in one of those situations would feel that same confusion.

So, the best I can say for these scenes was, I was not entertained by them. They bothered me, and angered me. And I guess that's likely what any sane human being's reaction should be.

This was, for me, not necessarily an entertaining book, but I was also frustrated because there weren't a lot of answers either, but I guess that's life as well, isn't it?

If nothing else, I know I spent more time thinking about this book and the situations I was shown than most of the books I consume. I guess that says something for it.

( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
A dark but inspiring tale of a young girl's search for a real life. ( )
  VashonJim | Jul 13, 2021 |
adult fiction (drama/suspense). Brutal and intense, not for the faint-hearted (you may want to skip certain passages), but just as immersive and engrossing as the reviews indicate. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
What a read! This is an edge of your seat, stay up half the night, can't put it down debut novel! Turtle, the protagonist, is a 14 year old living with a deranged, abusive father in the forest of the northern California coastal region. Martin, the father, is raising his daughter to survive the apocalypse he sees coming, yet the apocalypse is his own behavior. The author juxtaposed the harsh ugliness of Turtle's life of survivalist, weapons trained, agony with vivid, lush prose describing nature's forest life cycle and power. How will nature and the unnatural resolve? You will have to read the book. Themes included sexual & physical abuse, the undaunted love of a child for its parent, and above all, hope and the value of never giving up on a wounded child! I must say that the ending was well done. Nothing sappy or trite, but the continuing struggle of trying to force nature to behave according to expectations and nature's perpetual ability to proceed on its own terms. Great read! ( )
  hemlokgang | Jan 29, 2021 |
****
  Eliseur | Jan 2, 2021 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 71) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  LA TIMES BOOK PRIZE FINALIST NBCC JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FINALIST ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES'S MOST NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2017 ONE OF THE WASHINGTON POST'S MOST NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2017 ONE OF NPR'S 'GREAT READS' OF 2017 A USA TODAY BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR AN AMAZON.COM BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR A BUSINESS INSIDER BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR "Impossible to put down." --NPR "A novel that readers will gulp down, gasping." --The Washington Post   "The word 'masterpiece' has been cheapened by too many blurbs, but My Absolute Darling absolutely is one." --Stephen King A brilliant and immersive, all-consuming read about one fourteen-year-old girl's heart-stopping fight for her own soul. Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father. Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high-school boy who tells jokes, lives in a big clean house, and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her. What follows is a harrowing story of bravery and redemption. With Turtle's escalating acts of physical and emotional courage, the reader watches, heart in throat, as this teenage girl struggles to become her own hero--and in the process, becomes ours as well. Shot through with striking language in a fierce natural setting, My Absolute Darling is an urgently told, profoundly moving read that marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer.

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