Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Loitering: New & Collected Essays” as Want to Read:
Loitering: New & Collected Essays
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Loitering: New & Collected Essays

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,241 ratings  ·  177 reviews
Charles D’Ambrosio’s essay collection Orphans spawned something of a cult following. In the decade since the tiny limited-edition volume sold out its print run, its devotees have pressed it upon their friends, students, and colleagues, only to find themselves begging for their copy’s safe return. For anyone familiar with D’Ambrosio’s writing, this enthusiasm should come as ...more
Paperback, 358 pages
Published November 11th 2014 by Tin House Books (first published October 20th 2014)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Loitering, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Julia Brown He's been in Best American three times with The Point (1991), Screenwriter (2004), and The Scheme of Things (2005).

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Orsodimondo
PERDER TEMPO
Il capitolo su Salinger (Holden e alcuni racconti) è decisamente il migliore, l’unico che mi sia davvero piaciuto.
La lettura che D’Ambrosio offre del grande autore è resa pulsante e vibrante dal dato biografico (che altrove è, invece, intralcio, gabbia, rallentamento): prendendo spunto dal suicidio del fratello minore, e da quello tentato dall’altro fratello (il primo si sparò in testa nella stanza da letto di Charles dopo avergli scritto una nota d’addio, il secondo saltò da un po
...more
Lori
Dec 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My friends are sick and tired, I imagine, of hearing me go on and on about this book. Since I read the beginning of the Preface, I have been unable to stop trying to get everyone to read it, and that continued while I savored every word. This was my first time reading D'Ambrosio, and I regret that I've not known his work until now. Better late than never.

A caveat is that I feel an enormous kindredness to him: suicide in our families, severe discomfort with rigid categorical thinking and a greate
...more
Ctgt
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays
Initially I rated this 3 stars but after looking over the spots I marked it became obvious I couldn't rate this type of writing in the same way I rate fiction. I don't read a ton of essays, I'll catch one or two in a magazine or online but it is sporadic at best. I suppose I went in to this with the same mentality as I would when reading a collection of fictional short stories. I figured there would be a fairly even split between essays I enjoyed and those that didn't hit the right note. And whi ...more
Barbaraw
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anche per un solo saggio, la raccolta vale altamente tutto il volume: Salinger e i singhiozzi è una lettura sapiente, dolorosa, coinvolgente del giovane Holden, attraverso l'esperienza di D'Ambrosio.
Scrive D'Ambrosio a cerchi concentrici, si allarga, sembra "perdersi" ma non manca mai il centro, il cuore oscuro del suo racconto.
Colpisce l'originalità: Se il giovane Holden è chiassoso nella sua ricerca dell'autenticità, il resto del'opera di Salinger cerca ciò che è reale arrestando il motore
...more
gwayle
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it
I'll bet Charles D'Ambrosio likes the song "My Way." He's no straight-outta-Iowa crooner, that's for sure, and I admire that. He identifies with the Pacific Northwest, but I'm not sure his circumlocutions are characteristic. He's at his best when exploring the fringes—whaling, dive bar gambling, religious hell houses, eco-uptopias—especially when he manages to convey more strangeness and empathy than cranky judgement (which is not always). His prose is lush, his approach slant. He takes to heart ...more
Tobias
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read2014
Fantastic stuff. Highly recommended to everyone, basically.
Simone Subliminalpop
Seattle, 1974 ★★★
Ciondolare ★★★★
Caccia alle balene nel profondo Ovest ★★★★
In giro sui treni ★★
Questa è vita ★★★★★
Documenti ★★★★★
Novità americana ★★★★
Vincere ★★★★★
Hell House ★★
Un paradiso in più ★★★
Orfani ★★★
Salinger e singhiozzi ★★★★★
Lettura sbagliata ★★
Scagliare pietre ★★★
Col passar del tempo, un motivetto innocuo: Richard Brautigan ★★★
Qualunque somiglianza con persone viventi ★★★
Gradazioni di grigio a Philipsburg ★★★

Cit.



Tim
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A real delight, contrary in argument, beautiful in construction. Essays collected over time and space, they address issues of his family, his mentally ill father and his two brothers, one successful and one unsuccessful in their suicide attempts, but are also about his work, his literary interests, and his quasi-journalistic explorations.

He quotes Patricia Hampl, quoting Augustine's Confessions in his introduction (having read and reread each recently, it felt he was hitting close to home earl
...more
Tuck
Classy essays about dambrosio’s brain, haunts in seattle, family, arts, books, brautigan, indian rights, holy rollers, Brodsky, books, geography, mental ism, suicides, books
Sad essays, but with a special d’ambrosio sauce that is all his own. and much of the pov is of the loitering class.
James Murphy
Oct 01, 2018 rated it liked it
I was impressed with the lyricism of D'Ambrosio's writing. He really is a nimble stylist, really writes interesting sentences with energetic wordplay. But the more of these essays I read in Loitering, the less interested I became in what he has to say, until finally I began to think it was beautiful writing going nowhere. It's a beautiful emptiness. I walked its landscape from end to end and found few ideas in the fabulous prose. As a result, I returned home empty-handed, too.
Mircalla64
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perdersi tra gli scaffali del dolore di quest'uomo

appunti, recensioni di case mobili, racconti personali, critica letteraria, lettere di addio e pezzi di vita di Charles D'Ambrosio la cui storia familiare trapela qua e là, fratelli pazzi e/o suicidi, padre e madre fuori di testa...insomma tutto il campionario per diventare scrittori di questi tempi
una lettura interessante se fai il terapeuta, educativa se hai illusioni sul genere umano, in ogni caso un'occhiatina la vale, ma astenersi persone gi
...more
Marcello S
Tra il saggio narrativo e il racconto autobiografico.
Per farla breve, D’Ambrosio lo reggo a fatica per 300 pagine.
A volte è l’argomento ad essere poco interessante, altre il modo di raccontarlo.
Una manciata di momenti limpidi, quelli più personali.
Poi un po’ di noia. [66/100]

Seattle, 1974 ✖✖
Ciondolare ✖✖✖✖
Caccia alle balene nel profondo Ovest ✖✖✖
In giro sui treni sv
Questa è vita ✖✖✖✖ / A tarda notte mio nonno sbriciolava dei cracker in una tazza e la riempiva di latte freddo. Era il suo spunti
...more
Celeste - Una stanza tutta per me
Bello, bellissimo, quasi fondamentale il saggio su Salinger.
Jonathan Hiskes
Mar 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
These stories reflect D'Ambrosio's wandering through his own life, strolling, sprinting, loitering, probing, dissecting, demonstrating, in so many beautiful ways, a ferocious attention to the stuff of life. I read several rave reviews of this book that left me uninterested, and it took the urging of a good friend (thanks, Chris!) to compel me to read it. I see now why it's tough to explain this book. D'Ambrosio writes about his father and brothers (subjects of deep sadness), about tract homes an ...more
Elalma
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In apparenza è un saggio, in realtà sono piccole dissertazioni narrative scritte in modo elegante, sia che si parli di Seattle, di letteratura o di cronaca. Il tema che accomuna tutti i capitoli è la solitudine e l’alienazione che quell’ambientazione della periferia tipica del nord ovest degli Stati Uniti incombono sull’individuo. Ci sono pezzi autobiografici dove si racconta della voglia di evadere, di andarsene e del legame profondo con la sua famiglia, o meglio, con la parte maschile della su ...more
Jana
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Charles is remarkable. If you need a strong dose of masculinity and daily tidbits intertwined with potent independent thinking, read Loitering. God, his writing is just astounding. There is no dramatics and exaggeration, and his thoughts on small and meaningful life are so resilient. He pummels his thoughts but D'Ambrosio is clueless about what it means to escalate and catastrophize. Strong, quiet, persistent but crushing writing. A male book without any (self) destruction. You just want to eat ...more
Ann Douglas
Apr 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
It took me about a year and a half to finish reading this book. Some of the essays in the collection were really tedious -- the worst kind of literary criticism: plodding and nitpicking. The only thing that carried me through to the final page was my curiosity. How did this book become a cult classic? When was I going to hit upon the truly great parts? I'm still wondering.
Ryan
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
(3.5 stars) Full disclosure: I have never read anything by D'Ambrosio and I absolutely loved the first two sections, swinging back and forth while targeting a clear point and focus; blending personal empirical. The spell for me was broken, however, once I reached the final portion which focused on other writing and concluding with essays that felt labored and wandering.
Kaitlyn
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
*Received an advanced readers copy through Goodreads first reads

Charles D'Ambrosio's writing is fantastic. I'd give this collection 4.5 stars instead of five, only because there were one or two essays that I just wasn't in love with, but the writing... it was spot on, throughout. Thoughtful and fluid- a great addition to my shelf I'll be sure to visit again.
Elizabeth
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: december-2014
The Michael Chabon of essayists, by which I mean that every sentence is finely crafted and a sensual pleasure to read. Deeply personal, these pieces are ring as true as crystal and skillfully use the intimate to cast a light on the human condition.
Lea
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it


Highly recommend for my more erudite friends, but this one was too much for a low brow like me. Splitting the difference between my 3 star rating and the 5 stars the writing probably deserves.
Tony
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: essays
LOITERING. (2014). Charles D’Ambrosio. ***.
This was my first encounter with this writer. Although the book was classified as ‘essays’ by the publisher (I presume), it really didn’t contain any essays as we have been trained to perceive them. Each contribution was really a short story about an event in the author’s life and his subsequent take on the thoughts it brought forth. The issue here is that we are always looking at the past – the time when the author has already mulled over the events an
...more
SStefano
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nel candore spiazzante delle vicende letterarie e non di D'Ambrosio, c'è il segreto che regola l'Universo, c'è una linea immaginaria che unisce più mondi : sobborghi metropolitani e nature incontaminate, storia personale e Storia collettiva, incertezze morali e certezze illusorie.....
Un libro che inizia nel presente con una storia del passato : la vita vissuta che s'intreccia con quella che si sarebbe voluto vivere sullo sfondo di quella che si sta vivendo. Un'ingenuità che non diventa mai banal
...more
Andrew
Oct 02, 2017 added it
Shelves: essays
The man has a hell of a writing voice, the kind that can use words like "prolepsis" in his essays without sounding like a pompous ass. And even more than that, he has a hell of a sense of time and place. D'Ambrosio, it seems, seeks to place himself within that peculiarly Pacific-Northwest kind of miserabilism, the kind you associate with endless rainy days, suicidal tendencies, and the daily rhythms of a place predicated on the extraction of minerals, wood, and fish from the unforgiving natural ...more
Piego di Libri
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
D’ambrosio crea una subitanea empatia con il lettore, che è costretto a seguirlo come un Virgilio, fino nei recessi della sua anima travagliata, obbligato dalla sua estrema lucidità a una dolorosa sincerità.
http://www.piegodilibri.it/recensioni...
Pamela
Dec 29, 2014 added it
D'Ambrosio writes out of a deep engagement with human pain--the pain of an abusive and then absent father (and that father's own pain, due to his own history and circumstances), the pain of one sibling lost to suicide and another to mental illness, the pain of failed relationships and sometimes bewildered solitude. He combines this emotional urgency with as flexible and vigorous a use of the English language as one can find anywhere. D'Ambrosio pushes his inquiries (that is how I think of them) ...more
David
Nov 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm not huge for essays on the whole, but maybe I'd dig them more if more were like D'Ambrosio's writing. There is an immense swath of compassion running through his work at the same time that he is meticulous and cuttingly observant. He manages to bring both himself and the subject together at a crossroads and though the essays wander back and forth across that line, the line is still where the essays start on the page and where they stay grounded. I'm probably not going to become a heavy essay ...more
Philip
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, favorites
Many of these essays felt like old friends from either reading them in their original publications or in the Clear Cut Press collection, Orphans. And seeing these old friends at this party made it one of my favorite parties of the year. And like any good party, their were new friends to make. Goddamn, excruciating, smart-as-fuck friends who I'm going to do my damndest to remember and call on, frequently, to remind me of what I need to know.
Molly Mccombs
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Charles D'Ambrosio has it all going on—an extremely interesting and messed up family history (the two usually do go together), hard-gained wisdom, and erudition to boot—a mind-blowing combination. YEP.

And I expanded my vocabulary (maybe). Here are a few of the words he employed:

intrigants
aporia
parsonic
anadromous
ochlocratic
desuetude
peripeteia
pleonasm
prolepsis

Considered me worded-up for the next social gathering! :)

Tania
Jan 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
I don't like to rate a book I haven't finished, though not being able to get past 60 pages speaks for itself, as typically I am good at dragging myself through writing I find uninspiring, but my eyes are glazing over with effort, my mind is constantly wandering and I am completely un-engaged. I must acknowledge that I am in a very small minority of this book's reviewers, infact, I might just be the only one not to like it so far.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Otherwise Known as the Human Condition: Selected Essays and Reviews
  • The Best of McSweeney's
  • The Deep Zoo
  • Let Me Clear My Throat
  • The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness
  • This Is Running for Your Life: Essays
  • Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays
  • Neck Deep and Other Predicaments: Essays
  • The Best American Essays 2013
  • Art and Ardor
  • Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures
  • After the Tall Timber: Collected Nonfiction
  • Against Joie de Vivre: Personal Essays
  • Between Parentheses: Essays, Articles, and Speeches, 1998-2003
  • The Boys of My Youth
  • The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New
  • Critical Mass: Four Decades of Essays, Reviews, Hand Grenades, and Hurrahs
  • Preparing the Ghost: An Essay Concerning the Giant Squid and Its First Photographer
102 followers
Charles D'Ambrosio attended the Iowa Writers Workshop after getting his BA in English at Oberlin College in Ohio. He is the author of two collections of short stories, The Point and The Dead Fish Museum, and one collection of essays, Orphans. He has taught at several universities and workshops, including Reed College and The Tin House Summer Workshop, both in Portland, Oregon where he lives with h ...more
“I've often thought that the unit of measure that best suits prose is the human breath” 2 likes
“it’s nearly impossible to convey our deepest passions yet damned easy to share what’s dullest and worst about ourselves.” 2 likes
More quotes…