I adore this novel. I am still riding the immediate post-read high, but the consistent return to the question of being or going "underground" is treatI adore this novel. I am still riding the immediate post-read high, but the consistent return to the question of being or going "underground" is treated with a simultaneous delicacy and directness that is haunting. Questions regarding what it means, specifically, to be American, counter-cultural, radical, resistant, alternative, activist, artistic, intelligent echoes throughout this book without ever feeling prescriptive, and she does so by using and perusing the *stuff* that signifies and sustains those cultural categories, the echoes and ephemera between the seventies and nineties, the cacophony and the consequence. The diversity of the novel's characters, the different kinds of activists and idealists, support "Eat the Document" as both archive and discourse. ...more
I read a very good review of this book, that I will mimic here:
"I mainly give Tree of Codes this middle of the road rating, not as a testament to theI read a very good review of this book, that I will mimic here:
"I mainly give Tree of Codes this middle of the road rating, not as a testament to the book -- which I feel might actually be too personal of a reading experience to really rate and explain why to others -- but because I feel that it requires more time, more rereading, before I can give it a really thoughtful star or two, one way or the other."
Tree of Codes is hypnotic, beautiful & sad, simple and impossible in much the same way as Foer's two other novels. The choppy, palimpsestic form of the novel somehow seems to lend even more weight to Foer's brillant sentences. I found that I had to pay more attention to each word and it's relationship to those around it. The downfall of this trick is that I am still not sure how I feel about the whole, distracted as I was from the continuity of the sentences with one another.
As usual, the heady technique, creation, and style behind the novel persuades me to be enamored. However, I am slightly more skeptical of this novel than I was of either Everything is Illuminated or Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. It certainly deserves a re-reading. Or two. Or three. ...more
"Can the imagined gaze of future generations shame us, in Kafka's sense of the word, into remembering?" (251) Into choosing compassion over convenienc"Can the imagined gaze of future generations shame us, in Kafka's sense of the word, into remembering?" (251) Into choosing compassion over convenience, because that choice is possible (in this way, at least) for us?
Like all of JSF's work, this book is something that I desperately wish I could telepathically transmit to everyone that I love--that I could force (if only that force would not also constitute a violence) everyone to read. This book has influenced me wildly during the reading process, and as expected, will surely continue to influence me throughout the rest of my life. Par for the course for JSF, I am inspired especially to live deliberately, cultivate different (better?) stories, and learn to forget and (perhaps more importantly) to remember /differently/. However, with this work of nonfiction, the subsequent action holds a different kind of weight--one that is engaged specifically with /this/ world, with this moment presently occupied....more