Scott Gilbert's Reviews > Zona: A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room

Zona by Geoff Dyer
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's review
Jan 12, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, arts
Read from April 20 to 27, 2012

The struggle of Dyer's writing (and perhaps his life) has been to find out what he really wants. His books are generally him viewing himself through the cognitive lens of other people's thoughts and art. This time the focusing device is Tarkovsky's film, STALKER, which Dyer ruminates, is all about finding out what one really wants, and the perils that lie within (and at the conclusion of) such a quest. One of Dyer's lightest writings, ZONA is just barely a book rather than an essay, due only to the sheer volume of personal illustrations and digressions he attaches to his main text. These textual turns upon himself, like the over-arching task/quest mentioned previously make this also his most personal and seemingly cranky book (how he hates cigarettes! And burnt matches! OH!!), well in the literary tradition of those other UK cranks, V. S. Naipaul and Martin Amis. However, finding what he wants, what is worth wanting & hoping for, as well as the worth of hope are revealed in these grumpy, yet thoughtful details as they were to him in Tarkovsky's classic.
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Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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message 1: by Mark (new)

Mark I've read some intriguing reviews, but the book sounds like a mixed bag. Love the idea. (Adore the film.). Let me know what you think!

Scott Gilbert This is his weakest effort, although I'm only 1/2 way through, I can see it. He's uncertain, a book about a movie, WTF? But he makes many right connections. It's annoying knowing his twin, Marc Weidenbaum... the connections turn out to be merely what you know he stumbled over this week. Hope he brings it to a properly splendid conclusion. None of this has anything to do with how wonderful Tarkovsky's film is, particularly in combination with the previous film, MIRROR. So beautiful merely as visual creations. Dyer doesn't seem to be able to maintain on that concept.

message 3: by Mark (new)

Mark "his twin, Marc W." ?!

Scott Gilbert Visually Matt Madden is Marc's twin, but intellectually, and in cognitive terms, Marc & Dyer are one.

message 5: by Mark (new)

Mark Interesting. I know I have read Dyer, and have generally had a good opinion, but scanning his Wiki it seems I've never read one of his books--so I guess only essays. Is there anyplace you'd recommend starting with him?

Scott Gilbert But Beautiful, Out of Sheer Rage, and Yoga for People Who Can't Be Bothered to Do it, in that order.

message 7: by Mark (new)

Mark I'm on it. Strong recommendation?

message 8: by Marc (new) - added it

Marc Weidenbaum This is so weird. I'm barely awake, clicked to read this review, and then see myself.

I've been meaning to read this, mostly as a fan of the movie's score.

message 9: by Mark (new)

Mark Sorry to be talking about you.

By the way, add Austrian cartoonist Nicolas Mahler (good friend, and I love his work) to the look-a-like gallery here.

message 10: by Marc (new) - added it

Marc Weidenbaum No sweat -- flattering, to say the least.

I will Google Image my fellow clone.

message 11: by Mark (new)

Mark Clones!

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