This is very short book developed out of Paul Madonna's personal experience of being evicted out of his home in San Francisco. Yes, a renter, but at tThis is very short book developed out of Paul Madonna's personal experience of being evicted out of his home in San Francisco. Yes, a renter, but at the same place for about ten years. Seemed unfair, especially since the landlord was likely breaking tenant rights law.
The surreal experiences talked about in the book reflects what Paul felt going through this process. His drawings were good, but sometimes didn't seem to me to match what was going on in the story.
As I said, a very short work, and most the time while reading this I felt like the book was written for just people of San Francisco. I felt like such an outsider. Sometimes the specific reflects to the larger, but in this case I didn't get that sense at all. I'm no stranger to San Francisco, although I do not now, nor in the past, lived in the city. I have been a frequent visitor for the past, (wow) thirty years now (i'm getting old!). My frequent visits have caused me to know the place better than Los Angeles, which is near where I live now and spent most of my life. So why do I feel like such an outsider with this book?
PS: Final thought, little funny to me as it opens with "Imagine you're on an airplane...." well that was easy for me, because I was on one while I read this book. :)...more
The best autobiography told by a comedian that I've read. Okay, I haven't read many (4 or 5), but this is the best yet. Trevor has a way of telling aThe best autobiography told by a comedian that I've read. Okay, I haven't read many (4 or 5), but this is the best yet. Trevor has a way of telling a good funny story. Most of his childhood is not humorous, growing up very poor and having an abusive step-father, let alone the extreme racism in his country, and still he tells a good funny story. Actually the book is very eye-opening about what it's like to live in South Africa. Since there is that lighter side it isn't overwhelming in sadness. I hope his life only gets better.
I recommend the audio book which is narrated by Trevor. His voice adds another layer of enjoyment of the tales....more
Oh the detail! And in that detail the book sometimes becomes a little boring, but also is what makes it so compelling. This book is the first of six vOh the detail! And in that detail the book sometimes becomes a little boring, but also is what makes it so compelling. This book is the first of six volumes that is autobiographical in nature, but also labelled fiction. So the line between truth and not truth is slightly blurred, but that doesn’t seem to matter. In those details is likely where the fiction resides and the larger overarching story line of Knausgaard’s life is autobiographical. Really how much finite detail can one remember, particularly when going back decades? The exact conversation, the particular clothes, the minute and ever changing feelings? Yet it is those precise details that makes this writing engaging, that feels so authentic and honest. Compelled by this honesty you want to know what happens to this character, this author. The details are not just of what happened, although there is quite a lot of that, but also Karl Ove’s thoughts, feelings, musings. It’s actually very interesting. I saw myself there. I think everyone who reads this sees their self, which is why this book (no, books) has been such a phenomenon.
And so after already a large book I’m ready to engage in book two, which is longer and perhaps yes, take on all six volumes. I imagine at the end either being smothered by all of the detail or still clamoring for more. My best guess – the later.
One example: “I got into the car, strapped myself in. Yngve plumped down in the seat beside me, inserted the key in the ignition, twisted it, craned his head and began to reverse down the little slope. Grandma was standing on the top step. I waved to her, she waved back. As we reversed into the alley and could no longer see her I wondered if she was still waiting, as she had always done, because when we moved forward again we could see each other for a last time and wave a final goodbye, then she would turn to go in and we would enter the road.
She was still there. I waved, she waived, and then she went in.” pg. 406
Didn't find much humor in this, but you could tell she's trying to be funny. Maybe I'm not her target audience, too old or something, but unlikely. ItDidn't find much humor in this, but you could tell she's trying to be funny. Maybe I'm not her target audience, too old or something, but unlikely. It wasn't horrible, just not very interesting. If the book wasn't so short, I wouldn't have finished it....more