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The Committed – tekijä: Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Committed (vuoden 2021 painos)

– tekijä: Viet Thanh Nguyen (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1298164,417 (3.88)4
Teoksen nimi:The Committed
Kirjailijat:Viet Thanh Nguyen (Tekijä)
Info:Grove Press (2021), 400 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):

Teoksen tarkat tiedot

The Committed (tekijä: Viet Thanh Nguyen)


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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 8) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Well, I read The Sympathizer in just a few days, couldn't put it down - this follow up was different but I can't really explain how - just that it felt like it took me forever to finish and really, by the end I was skimming.Well, I read The Sympathizer in just a few days, couldn't put it down - this follow up was different but I can't really explain how - just that it felt like it took me forever to finish and really, by the end I was skimming. ( )
  viviennestrauss | Jun 12, 2021 |
The Committed picks up where The Sympathizer left off, with the narrator arriving in Paris as a refugee. The ideological war between communism and capitalism is still being waged by the dispersed Vietnamese, and he also finds himself involved with a gang dealing drugs, at the risk of friction with Algerian immigrants. It’s an intense story peppered with sex and brutal violence, and Nguyen holds nothing back in his scathing observations about Americans, the French, and Vietnamese people. At times it seems like he’s almost trying too hard with his glib wordplay, but there is great truth in what he offers us, and it’s an intelligent work. He glides effortlessly across topics of colonialism, philosophy, religion, racism, history, and economic systems, and does so with humor mixed into things which may otherwise be too dark or dry. At times I thought he was a little repetitious, including covering plot points of the previous book too far into this one. There is something touching about the story though, through all of its violence. The narrator trying to come to terms with his countrymen (symbolized most in his two blood brothers) who have such different views, as well as his own mind which sees both sides, living in a world where he’s an outsider, and trying to heal from the deep scars of the past – it’s poignant stuff.

A few quotes:
On America and France:
“Americans loathed symbols, except for patriotic, sentimental ones like guns, flags, Mom, and apple pie, all of which the average American proclaimed he would defend to the death. One had to love such a practical, pragmatic people, impatient with interpretation, eager just to get the facts, ma’am. If one tried to interpret a movie’s deeper significance with Americans, they would reflexively claim that it was just a story. To the French, nothing was ever just a story. As for facts, the French thought them rather boring.”

On capitalism:
“Capitalists love to point out how many tens of millions have died under Stalin and Mao, all while conveniently forgetting how hundreds of millions have died under capitalism. What were colonialism and slavery but forms of capitalism? What was the genocide of the natives of the Americas but capitalism?”

On revolution:
“…when the revolutionaries take themselves too seriously, they cock their guns at the crack of a joke. Once that happens, it’s all over, the revolutionaries have become the state, the state has become repressive, and the bullets, once used against the oppressor in the name of the people, will be used against the people in their own name.” ( )
2 ääni gbill | Jun 8, 2021 |
Nguyen is a brilliant writer, but beware these novels are dense with ideas and thin on plot. ( )
1 ääni ghefferon | May 2, 2021 |
The Committed, a sequel to Nguyen's Pulitzer Prize winner, The Sympathizer, picks up in the 80's where the narrator has graduated from his reeducation camp and now tries to get by in the criminal underworld of Paris by selling drugs to rich aristocrats and intellectuals. I loved the first novel and admire this one but have to admit that the political explorations are less engaging than the first. The "narrative threads that carry us through the major political, economic and societal aftershocks of late 19th-century colonial expansion: capitalism, the rise of communism, immigration, assimilation, hypercapitalism, religious extremism."(Guardian) are a bit long winded. The writing however continues to be both funny and fascinating. The main character's relationship with Bon and Man, continue to develop from the first novel. The three are promised blood brothers who years later wind up on very different political sides with our narrator in the middle trying to prevent them from killing each other. The novel's ending leaves room for yet another exploration into half-Vietnamese and half-French, narrator who is a communist spy and refers to himself as “a man of two faces and two minds." Nguyen is an important, intelligent author. I should look into his other works.

I held on to the leather bag for this same nostalgic reason. Even though it was not very large, the bag, like Bon’s, was not full. Like most refugees we barely had any material belongings, even if our bags were packed with dreams and fantasies, trauma and pain, sorrow and loss, and, of course, ghosts. Since ghosts were weightless, we could carry an infinite number of them.

As for America, just think of Coca-Cola. That elixir is really something, embodying as it does the addictive, teeth-decaying sweetness of a capitalism that was no good for you no matter how it fizzled on the tongue.

When I explained that the luwak, the civet cat, ate the raw beans and excreted them, its intestines supposedly fermenting the beans in a gastronomic way, she burst out laughing, which rather hurt. Kopi luwak was very expensive, especially for refugees like us, and if there was anything that the French should love, it should have been civet-percolated coffee.

They, too, wore shirts and slacks and had arms, legs, and eyes as I did. But while we shared the same elements that made us human, they were clearly filet mignon, rare and perfectly seared, while I was boiled organ meat, most likely intestine.

Over the next few weeks, I made my deliveries with the nonchalant air of the law-abiding citizen, assured in the knowledge that the police tended not to look twice at Asians, or so Le Cao Boi had reassured me. At the restaurant, he pointed to how the Arabs and the blacks did us the unintentional favor of being our racial decoys, drawing the attention of police who thought them to be as brown, sticky, and aromatic as hashish itself.

To drink whiskey, in sufficient quantities, regardless of sufficient quality, is to polish the fuzzy mirror of one’s self and to adjust, in the manner of an optometrist, the focus of one’s lenses.

Organized religion was the first and greatest protection racket, an economy of perpetual profit built on voluntary fear and coerced guilt. Donating money to churches, temples, mosques, synagogues, cults, et cetera, to help ensure a spot for one’s soul in the express elevator to that penthouse in the sky known as the afterlife was marketing genius!

He opened the tin to reveal the sweetest cookie of all, the ultimate male prosthesis, a perpetually hard gun capable of rapid-fire ejaculation. ( )
  novelcommentary | Apr 28, 2021 |
“We were the unwanted, the unneeded, and the unseen, invisible to all but ourselves. Less than nothing, we also saw nothing as we crouched blindly in the unlit belly of our ark… Even among the unwanted there were unwanted, and at that, some of us could only laugh. “

“Politics is always personal, my dear, she said. That’s what makes it deadly.”

The Sympathizer returns, arriving in Paris, as a refugee, along with his blood brother, Bon. He is still struggling with the aftermath of his cruel, reeducation, and hooks up with a group of left-wing intellectuals. Unfortunately, he is also pulled into a band of Vietnamese, drug-dealers, which leads into all kinds of bloody mayhem. The Sympathizer has not escaped anything.
There is so much good writing here, plenty of introspection, along with deep looks at colonialism but these 400 pages felt like 600 pages, while I was reading it. Never-ending philosophical asides, teamed up with gruesome bouts of torture, made this an uneasy read. I loved the original novel and there are plenty of glowing reviews on this one, so you may want to judge for yourself. I remain Uncommitted. ( )
1 ääni msf59 | Apr 1, 2021 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 8) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Kanoninen teoksen nimi
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Tärkeät paikat
Tärkeät tapahtumat
Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
We were the unwanted, the unneeded, and the unseen, invisible to all but ourselves.
Viimeiset sanat
Kirjan kehujat
Alkuteoksen kieli
Canonical DDC/MDS

Viittaukset tähän teokseen muissa lähteissä.

Englanninkielinen Wikipedia


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