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Requiem

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really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  42 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Requiem is a darkly comic novel about what it means to be human in a culture obsessed with sex and death. With a structure loosely based on the Mass for the Dead, this ambitious novel includes letters-to-the-editor, an e-mail correspondence with a porn queen, scenes from the lives of classical musicians, and retellings of biblical stories. In the process, White charts the ...more
Paperback, 332 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Dalkey Archive Press (first published 2001)
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MJ Nicholls
Apr 18, 2011 MJ Nicholls rated it it was amazing
Quite astonishing. On a par with the finest Sorrentino, but with a more devastating moral beauty. It's a "documents" novel structured around a Catholic Mass for the Dead that takes a scathing look at modern moral degeneracy. Like the finest experimentalists, White is in a league of his own. And often shockingly religious. (How uncool!)

Curtis White spoke about this novel on Bookworm at KCRW.
Aaron Mcquiston
Jul 21, 2013 Aaron Mcquiston rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dalkey-archive
Curtis White is badass. There could be other things that I could say, other expletives that I could use, but badass pretty much sums it up. In "Requiem", he tries to convey and understand that there is something in human nature that we set ourselves in situations where there is not going to be a good outcome, that wishful thinking is something that makes us hope for the best, even when we know, deep down, that it isn't going to happen. Or maybe it's about the ambitions of human nature, that we f ...more
Marissa
Sep 14, 2010 Marissa rated it really liked it
A friend gave me this book, but the cover for some reason made me think this book wasn't going to be as good as it was (obviously the old adage needed to be thought about before I hastily judged this book). It was such an interesting format i.e. email correspondences, poems, letters to the editor that made this book so much more enjoyable to read. There are many stories intersecting that flow in such a seamless way. There are many parts of this book that are racy and definitely sexually graphic ...more
Aaron
Oct 27, 2008 Aaron rated it really liked it
An odd collection of short stories, some of which are more like displaced chapters. Dunno, spent a lot of time scratching my head over all those stories about the sordid backstories and peppy inner monologues behind an entire pantheon of barely remembered classical musicians about whom I have no particular interest or insight. Enjoyed the writing but felt like I missed the point.

Not the story about the girl getting it on with the golden retriever, though. That one was straightforward.
Paul
Dec 05, 2007 Paul rated it really liked it
this is a hodgepodge of porn, classical music, and terry gross. the book is incredibly funny and disturbing. the overall themes are consistent, loosely tied together though a crazed collection of traditional character development (the police officer storyline seemed the most grounded), mock interviews, histories, and e-mails. If you’re a fan of the avant garde and like a touch of humor with your bestiality, this is the book for you.
Chris
Feb 21, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: My wife
"Hey, can I read you something."
"What is it?"
"It's something from this book I'm reading. It's kind of dirty."
"Is it funny?"
"I think so."
C.B. starts to read from Requiem. Two minutes later his wife asks him to stop.
"That's not funny."
"Sorry."
"Women having sex with dogs is not funny."
"I thought it was funny."
"You did? You think that's funny?"
"I guess. No. Not really."
Debra Baumann
Aug 15, 2011 Debra Baumann rated it it was amazing
My favorite book of all time. Loosely based on Mozart's Requiem and chock full of social commentary. Innovative in the way it switches literary formats along with story lines. Intelligent, twisted and captivating.
Tanya
Jan 27, 2009 Tanya rated it really liked it
marvelous. read the whole thing camping in the hoh national rainforest, under a canopy in the rain. it's a brillantly dirty book and renewed my interest in clara schumann.
Brooke
Nov 17, 2008 Brooke rated it it was amazing
Loved it. This book is the reason I began to like reading again. It is also the reason I went to grad school. It's that good.
Sam
Dec 08, 2008 Sam rated it liked it
Wow, what a strange book. I don't really know if it's good or bad. It is just a strange book.
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