Non sono Sidney Poitier
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Non sono Sidney Poitier

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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  819 ratings  ·  149 reviews
Los Angeles, 1968. Nato al termine di una gestazione di due anni, "Non sono Sidney Poitier" deve fare i conti con un nome assurdo e ingombrante, una madre disturbata e il colore della propria pelle. La madre lo lascia orfano a undici anni, non prima di aver effettuato un lungimirante investimento nell'allora sconosciuta Turner Broadcasting System, che di lì a poco renderà...more
Paperback, Greenwich, 256 pages
Published September 22nd 2010 by Nutrimenti (first published 2009)
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Mmars
It's unfortunate that a lot of people read this book thinking it’s going to be a "funny" book. It's not. It's satire. A biting satire on race that could make many a reader squirm. Yes, there is a running joke on “I am not Sidney Poitier and I am Not Sidney Poitier” and you groan every time you see it coming. But even that joke made a statement on individuality and race.

Percival Everett, born in 1956, undoubtedly remembers Sidney Poitier’s movies being beamed into white America’s living rooms in...more
Margaret Gillette
Wow. I have no idea what happened but I loved this book. I wish I had someone to explain it to me. Little bits sink in here and there, ferment and then I'll be somewhere random like class or at work and - oh *&&^! I understand that part now.

One of the most intriguing aspects of this book - that is completely beside the point (and this is, therefore, a completely appropriate non-sequitir) is that the character of Ted Turner, who we assume to be Not Ted Turner, is remarkably like me. If yo...more
Cheryl Klein
This book is crazy. It MIGHT be about the arbitrariness of race and fortune and other identities, but there's such a firm commitment to nonsense in these pages (a Morehouse prof named Percival Everett teaches an indecipherable class called The Philosophy of Nonsense) that I'm not sure Percival Everett (the author, that is) even wants me to come to a conclusion. One part Don Quixote, one part Huckleberry Finn, this novel is a patchwork of allusions and genres. I can easily get turned off by such...more
Peter
I've found Erasure, Wounded, and now this novel, all in very and impressively different ways unsettling and utterly compelling explorations of problems of identity in relation to class, race, and other social divisions, and the violence bound up with them. This novel unsettles hilariously. The characters of Ted Turner and Percival Everett are terrific. Like Not Sidney, neither of them seem to have found a role they're completely comfortable playing either, but they muddle through cheerfully, rid...more
Chris Horne
Last Friday, a half hour after I finished reading Percival Everett's "I Am Not Sidney Poitier," the UPS man walked up the stairs on our front porch and laid down a package containing the next book I'm going to read. It's also a Percival Everett novel, "Erasure." I'm already halfway through meaning it's time to place an order for my next Everett work, either "Glyph" or "A History of the African-American People (proposed) by Strom Thurmond, as told to Percival Everett and James Kincaid."

Either way...more
Caroline
When a boy is named Not Sidney by his eccentric mother, you can see how this would cause some problems with other kids in the neighborhood and at school. "“What’s your name?” a kid would ask. “Not Sidney,” I would say. “Okay, then what is it?” This usually resulted in Not Sidney getting beaten to a pulp.

When his mother passes away, he discovers that he's inherited a lot of money, she being a major shareholder in Ted Turner's company. Ted, an executor to his mother's will, brings him home to Atla...more
Jamilla Rice
I finished this yesterday, but was too high on oxy (yes, it is my prescription and it’s legal--sprained ankle) to write the review. Although, it WOULD have been interesting. You could say that I wasn't myself yesterday. Which would have been so fitting, considering the content of this novel.

Bildungsroman, odyssey, social commentary, confessional, fan fiction, picaresque pictorial, call to action . . . this novel does so much, so elegantly, so deftly—sleight of words, is how I'd describe it. So m...more
Rebecca
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Don Hackett
Or maybe 4 1/2. This is one of the funniest books I have read recently. The setup is a boy named Not Sidney Poitier, orphaned when his mother dies. His mother, though she worked a menial job, had invested her money (including $30,000 from a Worker's Comp settlement) in a little company called Turner Communications; this is one rich orphan. Ted Turner gives the boy a home--not Ted's, but a cabin on the grounds of Turner's estate. He is provided with tutors and caretakers, has the opportunity to c...more
John Pappas
A hilarious romp -- probably the funniest novel I've read since Russo's Straight Man, and definitely the funniest "experimental" novel since Barth's Sot-weed Factor. The protagonist of I Am Not Sidney Poitier is a young black man named Not Sidney Poitier who looks just like the actor Sidney Poitier, is "adopted" by Ted Turner, teaches himself how to "Fesmerize" (not Mesmerize) people and is plunged into a series of misadventures that resemble the plots of Sidney Poitier movies. This satire brill...more
Alex Scales
This is another 3.5 book. But Ted Turner's dialogue gets 5 stars.

You know, I don't know what to say. This is an ambitious novel, and some interesting tricks are being used here, but I'm not sure how well they're working. Everett's novel relies on the reader being capable of catching the references to actual Sidney Poitier novels, as Not Sidney winds up in situations straight out of In The Heat of the Night, The Defiant Ones, etc. otherwise there's a lot of running to google. But even if you get...more
Eugene
a hoot and at least a few halves. question for anyone: how true a confession do you think when the everett xter says he didn't like writing ERASURE and didn't like it when he was done with it (226). anyway. devoured this picaresque romp. not quite as funny as i expected but that was probably my/hype's fault.
Dan
Jan 16, 2012 Dan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dan by: Patty and Patrick
Rarely do I come across a book that I truly do not want to end. This book is one of them (the last I can recall prior to this was Lonesome Dove). IaNSP is simply a ton of fun to read.

I've not yet read any of Everett's other works but will certainly be doing so in the coming weeks.
Les
Wonderful. Clever, brilliant, and hilarious.
4- 4.5

Will not be my last Everett.

Thanks Patty and Slowrabbit!
Paul
This was a book club selection under the "Happy Books" category. I would call it a comedic novel.

One of the earliest literary traditions is allegory, where the author creates a character to act as a straight man or foil in contrived situations, the outcome of which are supposed to teach us something. Some allegories are comedic (Candide), some are tragic (Oedipus Rex). If I'm going to read about contrived characters in contrived situations ... just as a personal preference, mind you ... I want t...more
Aaron Mcquiston
Not Sidney Poitier, the main narrator in Percival Everett's book, "I Am Not Sidney Poitier" is one of the funniest characters I've read in a long time. After being in the womb for two years, Not Sidney Poitier is born and goes through a tremendous amount of adventure. "I An Not Sidney Poitier" is a road novel that does not get anywhere. Anytime he leaves home, bad things happen, bad things that slightly resemble the plots to Sidney Poitier movies. I caught "In the Heat of the Night", "Guess Who'...more
Darryl
I Am Not Sidney Poitier, the latest book by Everett, a distinguished professor of English at USC, is a hilarious novel about Not Sidney Poitier, who was given that name by his eccentric mother Portia. Her pgnancy lasts for 104 weeks before she gives birth to him in public view on a street in inner city Los Angeles. Not Sidney never learns who his father is, or why his mother chose that name for him. Although Portia is certifiably "crazy", she is fabulously wealthy, after she invests her savings...more
Kirstie
Oct 23, 2012 Kirstie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: My mom, those interested in race and experimental fiction
This is a good example of experimental fiction working! It's really more like a 4 1/2 star novel. It offers equal parts adventure and an examination of racial prejudice/discrimination. Not Sidney Poitier is the main character, which in and of itself sparks a great deal of hilarity whenever he is asked his name. He's an African American boy whose mother invested some money and made him incredibly wealthy, then named media legend Ted Turner as executor of her will when she passed away while Not Si...more
Raül De Tena
Desde su propio título, “No Soy Sidney Poitier” (editado en nuestro país por Blackie Books) apela al absurdo y al cachondeo. Porque, además del título de esta novela de Percival Everett, ganadora del Believer Book Award en el año 2009, No Soy Sidney Poitier también es el nombre del protagonista. Esto viene a arrojar continuos juegos de lógica sobre todo lo que ocurre en la novela, porque evidentemente el personaje no es Sidney Poitier y su madre, Poitier de apellido, le puso No Soy Sidney como n...more
Jim Leckband
I just loved this crazy book. Its structure is kinda loosely tied to Sidney Poitier movies - which adds a resonance to the novelist's themes of identity and race. This is because Sidney Poitier's films in the 50's through the 70's arguably presented a template of how Americans should see black men. Whether this template is right or wrong is up to debate of course, but still it exists and this book grapples with it.

That being said, you don't need to know the movies to enjoy the book, in fact it c...more
Mswallow
This was a book club selection. We were searching for a funny/happy book to read. For me this wasn't it. I didn't find the book humorous or engaging. I did finish it but reading it felt more like a chore.

I found the story disjointed and non-sensical. The main character was not likable or even well developed. Perhaps this book is too cerebral for me. Someone in book club pointed out that Not Sidney's adventures were similar to plots in Sidney Poitier movies... perhaps reading the book through th...more
Elizabeth
I was so enjoying this, then it ended in a very odd fashion...and too quickly.

We just read through the synopses of Sidney Poitier's films on Wikipedia...boy do we feel dumb now. If you've read the book, it'll suddenly get much more interesting and beguiling...or lazy...up to you.
Núria

'No soy Sidney Poitier' es un título de aquellos que me llaman la atención. Saber el por qué del título no hizo más que augmentar mi curiosidad; el protagonista es un chico sin padre conocido, nacido después de 24 meses de gestación y que se llama No Soy Sidney de nombre y Poitier de apellido, algo que evidentemente le reporta no pocas confusiones y miradas perplejas a lo largo de su vida. Y para complicarlo todo un poco más, a medida que se hace mayor se va pareciendo cada vez más a Sidney Poit...more
Larry
The first novel ever to raise the burning question: "What, exactly, is a smithereen?"

A young man bestowed with an absurd name and a significant shareholding in Turner Broadcasting moves in with Ted Turner, encounters bigoted Southern cops, inbred rednecks, snooty upper-class light-skinned blacks, an oddball community of nuns, and an irritating professor who spouts geysers of meaningless academic jargon and shares the same name as the author himself.

I adored Everett's Erasure and consider him one...more
Kristin Boldon
I picked this up after reading a good review of it in Rain Taxi. A satire on being black and not poor in the south, it reminded me of Confederacy of Dunces and Colson Whitehead's John Henry Days. Our narrator is Not Sidney Poitier. Since his last name was Poitier, his mother thought she'd be making it clear who he wasn't. Instead it just inspired the running joke of the book.

What's your name?

Not Sidney.

Okay, then what is it?


I got the sense there was a lot going on in the background of the proce...more
Christopher Richard Cook
Percival Everett's novel I AM NOT SIDNEY POITIER is easily one of the strangest, most unconventional novels that I have ever read, right up to the sheer fact that the author features a character in the novel with his own name, Percival Everett. I AM NOT SIDNEY POITIER tells the story of Not Sidney Poitier (his actual birth name, indeed), who is rich with more money than he can even conceptualize. At one point during the story, in fact, we learn that $50,000 is a mere drop compared to what is ava...more
Sarah
I’ve read Percival Everett before. His novel Erasure was quite unlike anything I’d ever read. Until this one, which is again unlike anything I’ve ever read. The best word I can use to describe I am Not Sidney Poitier is meta.

Now I’m not a huge fan of the term meta, but it fits. See, Percival Everett is a character in his own novel. Not the main character, but the main character’s sometimes-wise college professor and mentor. It’s a great self-insertion and simply continues Everett’s ability to bl...more
Carl Brush
Here we are again with Percival Everett and his cast of the wildly unpredictable. Start with the title and eponymous character I Am Not Sidney Poitier. As is his wont, Everett throws us a double meaning on the first pitch. The title sentence is both negative and positive. How so? Well the protagonist’s eccentric black ghetto mom named him Not Sydney. So you see the possibilities (paraphrased):


What’s your name?

Not Sidney.

So you’re not Sidney.

Yes.

Then who are you?


I see your name’s Poitier.

Yes.

Not...more
LiA
It's true: when I visited the Bookshop Santa Cruz a while ago, just to browse, because I happened to be there, and I cannot not enter a bookstore, when I walk by, I saw the title and I thought, I need to read this one. It was worthwhile: Funny, ironic, close to reality and yet wonderful fiction. Not Sidney Poitier looks like Sidney Poitier (they say). Why he has this name, he does not know. But he tries to cope. He is rich. Very rich. And since his actually poor mother provided him with a genero...more
Beth
The premise is that the narrator's mother, a sound investor who happens to be friends with Turner after making millions investing in his company, gives her charismatic and Sidney P. lookalike son the name Not Sidney (which of course, causes ALL sorts of problems with his peers - "What's your name?" "Not Sidney" "Ok, what's your name, then, if it's not Sidney?" "Not Sidney!" *punch*).

Mom passes away, Not Sidney is with vast wealth and becomes a ward of Ted, who sets him up in a house of his own o...more
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I Read Therefore ...: I Am Not Sydney Poitier-Percival Everett 3 4 Sep 15, 2013 08:02AM  
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Percival L. Everett (born 1956) is an American writer and Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California.

There might not be a more fertile mind in American fiction today than Everett’s. In 22 years, he has written 19 books, including a farcical Western, a savage satire of the publishing industry, a children’s story spoofing counting books, retellings of the Greek myths...more
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“Read. Always read. No one can take that away from you.” 7 likes
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