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Masters of Atlantis – tekijä: Charles…
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Masters of Atlantis (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 1985; vuoden 2000 painos)

– tekijä: Charles Portis (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
3881650,178 (3.78)6
Lamar Jimmerson is the leader of the Gnomon Society, the international fraternal order dedicated to preserving the arcane wisdom of the lost city of Atlantis. Stationed in France in 1917, Jimmerson comes across a little book crammed with Atlantean puzzles, Egyptian riddles, and extended alchemical metaphors. It's the Codex Pappus - the sacred Gnomon text. Soon he is basking in the lore of lost Atlantis, convinced that his mission on earth is to administer to and extend the ranks of the noble brotherhood.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:Ruy_Blanes
Teoksen nimi:Masters of Atlantis
Kirjailijat:Charles Portis (Tekijä)
Info:Harry N. Abrams (2000), Edition: Reprint, 272 pages
Kokoelmat:Read
Arvio (tähdet):*****
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Masters of Atlantis (tekijä: Charles Portis) (1985)

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» Katso myös 6 mainintaa

Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 16) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Dreadfully uninteresting, dull, and unremarkable. This was a labor to get through and left me wishing the author did anything interesting or amusing (other than the idiocy of the main characters) with the immense potential of the first few paragraphs. ( )
  joshnyoung | Jun 12, 2021 |
I really wanted to like this. I love the idea: incidental discovery of an ancient rome of dubious authenticity, leading to an adventure among bumbling fools and a huckster or two.

Here's the problem: it isn't sardonic. It isn't insightful. It doesn't say anything new. There are funny parts (selling the federal government compressed air as a weapon) but there are also pathetic parts (women aren't people, in this book; they are window dressing at best, perhaps more like pretty servants as the natural order of things). It feels much more old fashioned than a novel written in the 80s. And it just isn't saying anything when it could! Perhaps that's the saddest part: it could have done it, and it just...didn't. ( )
  sparemethecensor | May 25, 2021 |
What makes an American novel? What makes a great novel? And what makes the Great American Novel? Masters of Atlantis isn't the Great American Novel, that elusive white whale of navel-gazing twentieth century writers, but it is great, and, to judge by the jacket copy on every single one of his books, extremely American. I agree with that sentiment, although I really can't say why. Obviously the fact that it's set in America makes it American in some way, but I think what those reviewers are trying to get at is that there's something about the way Portis presents the events in his book that a foreigner just couldn't replicate. Since plenty of non-natives from have written great books both set in and about the US, it's worth thinking about why Portis' works get grouped in with Mark Twain's and not Vladimir Nabokov's. I think it's mostly due to the brilliantly intimate way that Portis sketches his characters, who usually fall into two main archetypes: credulous yokels and self-confident hustlers.

Right from the very first page of this book, when WW1 soldier Lamar Jimmerson is convinced to pay $200 for the secret magisteria of the legendary Gnomon Society by a man who is variously called Nick from Turkey or Mike from Egypt or Jack from Syria or Robert from Malta, Portis sets up a great story with fascinating characters. The actual con that begins the story is over in a matter of pages, but the childlike faith with which Lamar pursues his dreams of being a Gnomon - whose Pythagorean rituals and lore, involving cones and spirals and triangles, are never described completely but alluded to constantly - sustains not only him but at one point thousands of others who flock to his banner. Early on he meets the Englishman Sydney Hen who convinces him to share in his secrets, and with the eventual arrival of diabolically inventive henchman Austin Popper the rest of the book unfolds in hilarious overlapping layers of bullshit, as the Society rises, splinters, and falls, and Popper strikes out on his own all over the map as a demented bibulous überfraud. This is on one level a classic satire of American society, which has always been made up of joiners and mystics and truth-seekers. There is no club or fraternal organization so ridiculous that it can't find a membership of willing dupes; partly this reflects our sheer size, and partly it also reflects the perennial tendency for such a materialistic society to find Higher Meaning in all sorts of things. I think there's a fairly clear continuum from the Great Awakenings through Sixties spiritualism and up to the Jesus Camps of the present day.

But what could have been a bitter polemic about American stupidity is a genial, affectionate comedy about lost souls, and though there's some scenes of decay and humiliation that darken the tone of the book, overall Portis knows that America needs its P. T. Barnums, and that a world without them would be much grayer. Popper's drunken wanderings comprise most of the action in the second part of the book, and if you don't laugh out loud when he tries to convince the War Department to use compressed air as a weapon, or when he tries to conjure gold up out of the earth with Golescu the Romanian's bagweed plants, or at any of the other scenes that rank right up there with Huck Finn's encounter with the Duke and the Dauphin, then you simply have no sense of humor whatsoever. Where Portis falls short of someone like Twain is that he doesn't really tackle serious issues like racism, but no book can be all things to all people so it wasn't a problem for me. I hope he stops not writing books, we could use more from him. ( )
2 ääni aaronarnold | May 11, 2021 |
Honestly, one of the greatest novels I’ve read. Speaks to me so deeply in its philosophy and worldview that it almost doesn’t matter how crazy funny it is. ( )
  brendanowicz | May 9, 2021 |
This is light fare. I read it in two days but a person could read it in a single sitting. The core plot device is some kind of Hermetic mystery text, but there is no exploration of its contents. We do hear about Fludd the Rosicrucian and Churchward's continent of Mu, so the general context of western esoteric lore is sketched out a bit.

What really stands out here is the writing. There is a consistent pacing and tone that shows a master of narrative at work.

I've spent a bit of time circulating in non-elite esoteric realms... this book actually rings quite true. It's all absurdly comical here, but the basic flavor is very real. ( )
  kukulaj | Apr 4, 2021 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 16) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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Lamar Jimmerson is the leader of the Gnomon Society, the international fraternal order dedicated to preserving the arcane wisdom of the lost city of Atlantis. Stationed in France in 1917, Jimmerson comes across a little book crammed with Atlantean puzzles, Egyptian riddles, and extended alchemical metaphors. It's the Codex Pappus - the sacred Gnomon text. Soon he is basking in the lore of lost Atlantis, convinced that his mission on earth is to administer to and extend the ranks of the noble brotherhood.

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