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Tämä sivusto käyttää evästeitä palvelujen toimittamiseen, toiminnan parantamiseen, analytiikkaan ja (jos et ole kirjautunut sisään) mainostamiseen. Käyttämällä LibraryThingiä ilmaiset, että olet lukenut ja ymmärtänyt käyttöehdot ja yksityisyydensuojakäytännöt. Sivujen ja palveluiden käytön tulee olla näiden ehtojen ja käytäntöjen mukaista.
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The Index of Self-Destructive Acts

– tekijä: Christopher Beha

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
383495,271 (3.58)-
"The day Sam Waxworth arrives in New York to write for The Interviewer, a street-corner preacher declares that the world is coming to an end. A sports statistician, data journalist, and newly minted media celebrity who correctly forecasted every outcome of the 2008 election, Sam's familiar with predicting the future. But when projection meets reality, things turn complicated. Sam's editor sends him to profile disgraced political columnist Frank Doyle. To most readers, Doyle is a liberal lion turned neocon Iraq war apologist, but to Sam he is above all the author of the great works of baseball lore that sparked Sam's childhood love of the game-books he now views as childish myth-making to be crushed with his empirical hammer. But Doyle proves something else in person: charming, intelligent, and more convincing than Sam could have expected. Then there is his daughter, Margo, to whom Sam becomes desperately attracted-just as his wife, Lucy, arrives from Wisconsin. The lives of these characters are entwined with those of the rest of the Doyle family-Frank's wife, Kit, whose investment bank collapsed during the financial crisis; his son, Eddie, an Army veteran just returned from his second combat tour; and Eddie's best childhood friend, hedge funder Justin Price. While the end of the world might not be arriving, Beha's characters are each headed for apocalypses of their own making"--… (lisätietoja)

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näyttää 3/3
This is not usually my cup of tea but for some reason, found a review fascinating so tried it with the idea that I would just "try" and not force myself to finish if I didn't want to. I had no trouble finishing it. The characters are all on their way to self-destruct, but there isn't a lot of the "internal whining" that so often is found in contemporary fiction.

Frank Doyle is a "celebrity" writer, political and sports analyst who has just disgraced himself with racist remarks during a major ball game broadcast. His wife is the head of a financial house on Wall Street. One son, Eddie, has just returned from a tour in Iraq and the daughter, Margot, is attempting to find herself as a poet. Sam Waxworth is a young star of "statistics" on the Internet having just made some major predictions. He is recently married to Lucy who remains in Wisconsin while he is recently hired in NYC. One of Sam's first assignments is to interview Frank - his exact opposite whom he is sure to mislike. That interview leads to Sam's relationship with Margot. Meanwhile, Frank is slipping fast into a sort of dementia, his wife, Kit, finds herself mixed up with some insider trading leading to other problems. Eddie takes up with an old man who is a street corner preacher predicting the end of the world.

All the characters do what they think is reasonable at the time but often just digging themselves deeper in trouble. There is quite a bit of baseball lore and financial jargon which I'm not all that attuned to, but overall the book was a good read and I felt the characters were believable. However, there were just one or two "circumstances" which seemed a stretch at the ending: Eddie taking a call as an EMT to an old man on the street which is Frank and a "random" sighting of people on the busy streets of NYC.

Overall good read. Liked the author's style. ( )
  maryreinert | Oct 29, 2020 |
For the most part, the book was OK. I think the general plot was the only thing getting me to finish the book. I really only liked Lucy's arch. I like Beha's take on a love triangle/affair story. It was probably the only story line that I thought really made sense.
The weakest parts are when Beha tries to make his characters speak for more than a few sentences. Be it Waxworth or Frank, they're thoughts on baseball/stats/etc...were tired. Plus, the trope of a numbers guy being basically devoid of feeling is lazy. Also, how creative that the writer is an alcoholic!
The plot takes place in NYC, but it didn't really add to anything. Might as well have been in Boston or Connecticut. They talk of Madison, but didn't really capture much of Madison besides Lucy's parents being open-minded liberals. Baseball makes an appearance in the book, for no real reason. The element of financial crimes didn't really add to anything, and the sting operation for insider trading doesn't seem realistic to me.
For Beha being an editor, it was kind of disappointing to see two obvious typos (six feet six inches, "the" instead of "they"). But that is forgivable. But as an employee of MLB, former trader, Badger, and math major, I felt no real connection to this book.
The writing was very good, and the plot kept going. But the book kind of flopped, much liked everybody's lives (except Lucy, go Lucy) in this story. ( )
  mbeaty91 | Sep 9, 2020 |
The title of Beha’s character-driven novel comes from one of Bill James’ baseball metrics. This index measures the various ways a pitcher can sabotage himself by committing unforced errors. Not only is it a wonderfully clever title, but it also captures the essence of the story. Beha succeeds in creating a superb ensemble of interesting and nuanced characters, each of whom seems to be a master of self-sabotage. In considering them, the Rolling Stones lyric on wants and needs comes to mind (i.e., “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes you just might find you get what you need.”) You find yourself liking them all and hoping they get what they want, but in your heart, you know they might just get what they need.

Frank once was a successful writer who has a need to be loved and admired. After achieving success from his witty baseball writings, he has convinced himself that he as a “big book” in him but spends most of his time just drinking. His daughter, Margo, has aspirations of being a poet but spends most of her energy chasing a married writer dispatched to interview Frank. Kit, Frank’s wife, is retired from a Wall Street firm she inherited from her father. He probably would have preferred a son as his heir, but he somewhat misogynistically groomed Kit for the job. She mismanages the family’s finances and tries to recover with an insider trading deal. Their son, Ed, wants more out of life than he sees his parents achieved. He needs a noble cause instead of his dull marketing job and the life of leisure and wealth his family has. His naïve first attempt at nobility comes by joining the Army after 911. Yet after a couple of tours in war zones, he returns disillusioned by that. Instead, he drifts into helping a demented old man preach about the end of the world while seeking a career as an EMT. Sam Waxworth, “a young man from the provinces” (i.e., Madison, WI) arrives in NYC after achieving some notoriety by accurately predicting an election outcome. He wants to achieve success as a writer but is immediately sidetracked by the relentless demands of his job and by Margo. Sam has a simple-minded belief that data and statistics hold all of the secrets of the universe. His wife, Lucy, is a small-town girl with unpretentious needs revolving around family ties. She wants nothing more than to return to Madison. However, Sam’s infidelity and a mysterious disease shake her core world view.

Beha masterfully manages his third person narrative by continuously switching perspectives between his characters. This can be a little unsettling primarily because he does not adhere to a linear timeline. Instead, he has a penchant for revealing important events and facts out of the blue and later returning to explain them in subsequent scenes. His strength is clearly dialogue, especially the banter between Margo and Sam on facts vs. art and that between Sam and Frank about what is really important about baseball.

This is definitely an entertaining read by an accomplished writer who has a nuanced view of life in America. He sees things with a clear eye but also with considerable empathy. ( )
  ozzer | Jun 3, 2020 |
näyttää 3/3
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Kanoninen teoksen nimi
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Henkilöt/hahmot
Tärkeät paikat
Tärkeät tapahtumat
Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Omistuskirjoitus
Ensimmäiset sanat
Sitaatit
Viimeiset sanat
Erotteluhuomautus
Julkaisutoimittajat
Kirjan kehujat
Alkuteoksen kieli
Canonical DDC/MDS

Viittaukset tähän teokseen muissa lähteissä.

Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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"The day Sam Waxworth arrives in New York to write for The Interviewer, a street-corner preacher declares that the world is coming to an end. A sports statistician, data journalist, and newly minted media celebrity who correctly forecasted every outcome of the 2008 election, Sam's familiar with predicting the future. But when projection meets reality, things turn complicated. Sam's editor sends him to profile disgraced political columnist Frank Doyle. To most readers, Doyle is a liberal lion turned neocon Iraq war apologist, but to Sam he is above all the author of the great works of baseball lore that sparked Sam's childhood love of the game-books he now views as childish myth-making to be crushed with his empirical hammer. But Doyle proves something else in person: charming, intelligent, and more convincing than Sam could have expected. Then there is his daughter, Margo, to whom Sam becomes desperately attracted-just as his wife, Lucy, arrives from Wisconsin. The lives of these characters are entwined with those of the rest of the Doyle family-Frank's wife, Kit, whose investment bank collapsed during the financial crisis; his son, Eddie, an Army veteran just returned from his second combat tour; and Eddie's best childhood friend, hedge funder Justin Price. While the end of the world might not be arriving, Beha's characters are each headed for apocalypses of their own making"--

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