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NVSQVAM (Nowhere)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  37 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Somebody said that alienation was a disease of the middle class. Probably Marx, but Lester Reichartsen doesn t have time to look it up. A decade ago, Lester was kicked out of the most popular punk band in Chicago. Since then he been party to an accidental pregnancy, talked into marrying the other party, and roped into an academic career in Classical Letters, so time won t ...more
Paperback, 334 pages
Published June 2011 by Nine-Banded Books
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Anita Dalton
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There are two reasons to read this book. The first reason is because Sterzinger nails a specific social dissatisfaction I tend to associate with the sorts of men who really love Jonathan Franzen, a sort of Lester Burnham-esque unhappiness that can only be cured by having sex with a much-younger woman and sneering at the daily grind and everyday domesticity. She distills this generational malaise through a single character and refuses to show us the way out, because, most of the time there isn’t ...more
I called it quits at the 17% mark. I wanted to like it, but man, Ann made it so hard.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I wrote this book. It was hard to write... not that pressing keys on a computer is difficult, but in the sense that everything seemed bilious green. It was the only year I ever spent trying to go to grad school, in Classics (like Lester), and I hated it so much--the students, the academic jargon, the Bible Belt, the bullshit--that soon I found I couldn't stand to see the sun. I could only leave the house in the dead of night, so I quit going to my own classes and only graded papers for the profe ...more
Jaime Parker
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ann's writing is relentless tour de force. It was next to impossible to put her book down from the opening paragraph until the ending. I would describe this as a black comedy of midlife crisis, with a deeper message. An issue that I, as a middle aged woman, could surprisingly identify with. Underneath the surface of Lester's actions and daily woes of dealing with people in general, is man that gave up on his dreams, settled for a life that he did not want, and awakens one morning to realize he d ...more
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A brutal psychological fiction. Some readers will be reminded of Dostoevsky, but with a dark comic turn and no possibility of Grace. But *that* would seem to describe Patricia Highsmith, who Sterzinger doesn't write like either. NVSQVAM is, if anything, more relentless and *claustrophobic* than, say, Highsmith's Those Who Walk Away: rather than Venice we find ourselves immersed in the mire of Southern Illinois. Her commitment to representing things as they are winds up lending the novel more cla ...more
Sep 29, 2015 rated it liked it
As a rule I don't read female authors. But I'm glad I followed Matt Forney's recommendation on this one.

I need to amend my rule and start reading Kathy Shaidle books as well.

So far I love it. Here are a couple of excerpts that made me laugh. I'm not proud of myself.

page 100, Lester's wife greeting her father-in-law:
"And How's my girl?"
"I'm OK, Tom," Evelyn said in her Talking-to-the Public Voice. "Merry Christmas." She sounded like a pathologically anxiou
Ben Arzate
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own

NVSQVAM (nowhere) is a very funny and a tragic novel of not just the horror of living in the early 21st century, but of being alive at all. Lester Reichartsen is an excruciatingly human character whose life makes you laugh to keep from crying at how awful and pathetic it is. Between this and The Talkative Corpse, I'm convinced Ann Sterzinger is one of the most underrated writers working today. The attention she receives is far too sparse for someone who can write this well. I hig
Zeno Izen
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'll write something about this book at some point, probably. Meanwhile, I'll just say that it's one of the best books by a living writer that I've read in a long while. That's hardly saying much, though.

In any case, Nvsqvam is dark as fuck and a magnitude more affecting than any horror book I've ever read. As a depressive, I can only thank my maker that I'm not as wretchedly miserable as the protagonist.

Sound too heavy? Well, Nvsqvam is leavened with many many laughs. I never laugh out loud fro
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Misanthropic. Hilarious.
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Mar 15, 2017
Mariah Sullivan
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Feb 25, 2017
Benjamin Sheffield
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May 17, 2015
Eric Brown
rated it it was ok
Jan 09, 2015
Joseph Matheny
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Sep 29, 2016
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Aug 08, 2012
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Mar 01, 2017
James Marquis
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is what I would call a very dark and pretty amazing novel. The story of one middle-aged man's emotional struggles, it comes at you like a dark storm but it's not all depressing...there are many, many laughs here as well. I really admire the writer's energy and style.
Marc Fitch
rated it it was amazing
Mar 07, 2015
Dana Jerman
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Nov 06, 2013
Kevin McAllion
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
No book I’ve read has summed up the deepest, darkest thoughts of middle-aged men more brilliantly than this wonderfully dark comedy. That it was written by a woman makes it all the more remarkable as Ann Sterzinger gives voice to the feelings most men have at some stages of life but never dare to express, especially to their nearest and dearest. Lester Reichartsen has no such fears and regularly rains insults down on both his wife and nine-year-old son. This should make Lester an immensely unlik ...more
Ray Nick
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Nick Rivera
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Erin Curry
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Oct 02, 2015
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Nan Crockett
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