An American Dream
A murderer tries to hide his guilt, which sounds a straightforward enough story, but along the way Mailer examines the nature of sex, of love and of the difference between the two. It's a dark world, the nastier side of life, but the human - inside and out - is what interests him - and...more
After finishing it my general impression was: filthy and dark.
I read a Mailer before but don't have strong memories of it. So I don't really have a handle on his style yet. But overall this was heavily laden with metaphors, and I don't mean some grand over-arching metaphor of a plot, I mean every single blasted thing was compared to something else, often quite random. Similes everywhere. During particularly dense pass...more
Written in 1965, it must have been the America Psycho of its time.
Stephen Roscak is a Congressmen and former war hero. His exploits on a hill in Italy in the war are retold and set the scene for what the man is. He kills four germans whilst storming a machine gun post.
Back in America - his career takes off and he marries a society beauty who it quickly becom...more
To cushion the review I'm about to give, let's just put some things into perspective (facts I myself only looked up after reading the book and seriously disliking it): this particular novel, his fourth, was actually initiated as a series of installments in Esquire magazine. Now that I know this, I'm som...more
anyway. yeah, so, this bo...more
Much of the story...more
Three things come to my mind after reading this book: violence, metaphorical language, and great writing. This book is entirely about violence, but Mailer uses beautiful language techniques (similes and metaphors) that help romanticize violence in a way that I've never experienced before. Also, Norman Mailer knew how to wr...more
And he does - sometimes. There are passages which grip you by the throat, there are others which you can't peel your eyes away from.
But ultimately the plot is stretched beyond credulity, characters come and go almost without explanation and certainly without reason, so the overall effect is ra...more
Partly because, if those were my dreams, I'd change something radically in my life — more meditation, read more wholesome novels, do more gardening, stop drinking, seek counselling… get the sexual aggression sorted out somehow.
Partly because it was an unmeshed mess of heavy depravity and pseudo-intellectual insight.
Partly because the character of Rojack was in almost every way repulsive, all potential sympathy unfound.
Partly because the trail of 'u...more
At this very moment I would like to express my dislike of Jay-Z... The following is from The Book of Isaiah:
18 “And I, because of what they have planned and done, am about to come[a] and gather the people of all nations and languages, and they will come and see my glory.
19 “I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations—to Tarshish,
Along with Truman Capote, Joan Didion, and Tom Wolfe, Mailer is considered an innovator of creative nonfiction, a genre sometimes called New Journalism, but which covers the essay to the nonfiction novel. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize twice and the National Book Award once....more