The Sky Below
An obituary writer for a half-assed tourist newspaper in post-9/11 Manhattan, Gabrie ...more
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Not me-I found it to be disturbing, confusing and meandering.
Story kicks off in happyville, the idyllic magical childhood of a young boy in rural Massachusetts. I loved this first chapter and settled in with a satisfied smile for a captivating story. But I was sucked in too soon. By the second chapter the protagnonists family life dissolves and he ...more
While reading it, I acknowledged the curious styling, interesting ideas, unique thoughts, free flowing feel of it but it just escaped me. None of the characters moved me or captured me. ...more
Then all of a sudden, the storyteller goes a little loco. And you're like "I was with you up until the point wher ...more
The friend who recommended this book to me said that it would make a great indie movie. And since I've seen many many indie movies about whiny self-indulgent losers suffering from mid-life crises, I'd have to agree. But that doesn't make this book -- or those movies -- any more enjoyable.
Gabriel, the main character of the story, is miserable. And because he's also a despicable person, he uses his misery as an excuse to treat his family and loved ones like horse manure. He does this for 190 ...more
D'Erasmo walks a fine line in this unruly fairy tale of a novel: her characters, quirky to the point of becoming neurotic, inhabit a pseudo-enchanted world that hovers between fantasy and reality. Despite being "D'Erasmo's most complex and accomplished character to date" (New York Times Book Review), Gabriel isn't very likeable, but his self-absorption and amorality have their roots in a longing for meaning that resonated with critics, who described him as "unnervingly compelling" (Boston Globe)...more
When we follow him as a damaged, dangerous queer youth who gets involved in sex for money, selling petty drugs and theft is the best part. He is not your "typical" criminal and breaks into houses looking for things, often not expensive, to use to create memory boxes. Eventually, he uses found object, the detritus of the city to make art memory type boxes. The relationship he has with his best friend who happens to be female is also interesting to read and engaging, as is his obses ...more
There is magical realism that runs throughout the entire book. And there is a chance for something really crazy and magical to happen, and then it just slowly dissipates. So I was sad about that.
But the majority of the book is entertaining, enlightening, inspiring, dynamic, and extremely interesting. The relationships are heartfe ...more
She has captured the plight of the Contemporary New York Gay Man Nearing Middle Age in a unique and pioneering way.
One thing I ask myself when I'm reading a good book is "Has anyone else written this novel?" I don't believe they have. Creating a character that hasn't been explored yet is essentially inventing our own lives.
This is stuff is Michael Cunningham caliber, and I don't think I've ever ...more
In her conceptually brilliant, imaginative, brimming and suspenseful novel, her evocations of place are ravishing; her characters are at once richly human and magical and their confounding predicaments are both commonplace and cosmic. Erotic and mystical, intricately made and deeply felt, The Sky Below is a vivid tale of profound dimension and resonance.
Hmmm, all by itself like this, that sounds kind of vacuous and over-dramatic, but the review as a whole ...more
another reminder not to trust blurbs, nor the gently and lovingly rendered book cover art.
The overall sorrow that is presented makes one question if the author is expiating her own demons with her ink.
Good, but take the caution: this is not a happy book.