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Manifesto

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  185 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Manifesto accomplishes two things that books like James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces could not – using experimental format to show one man’s raw life. Opening up the blank casing, a very unapologetic page one sports nothing but black text that starts at the top of the page and small numbering printed on every bottom corner. There are no chapters and there is no chronolog ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published 1980 by Dedrabbit International Artists Collectives
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3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  185 ratings  ·  26 reviews


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Mercutio
Oct 30, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people who have their minds set on being sad about nothing.
Oh my god how many times can you say that you hate life?
Turns out, a book's worth.
Evan
Jun 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
An interesting piece of work: not so much a novel as a series of terse personal-statement paragraphs, not in any real order or structure. The narrator is an upper-middle-class kid from the Midwest who got into a big-deal East Coast college or two (the text mentions Harvard and Middlebury) and dropped out, alienated and fed up, to wander the country, but it doesn't present the decision - or anything else - as redemptive or revelatory. The mood of alienation carries throughout, which makes it a bl ...more
Dana Jerman
Jun 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is American, anarchistic and important.
Jess
Feb 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, own
(I'm copying this from my review I posted on my blogspot here)

I found Manifesto stuck between bright, colorful titles I was already familiar with in a Boston Newbury Comics. The whole marketing strategy here is brilliant: a completely blank cover, spine, no publishing info on the inside, just a blank white shell full of white pages with black text.

There are no chapters, it has no plot. Arguably, there are no characters, besides the anonymous narrator. The paragraphs don't even connect. Most of
...more
Jabari
This book came to me at a time of sadness and introspection, it is itself a sad but true introspection, a meditation on the terrifying lightness of being and the terrible choices that modern life offers. This life is yours, and may be impossible to "waste". What you do is what you do, whether you're acting selflessly or being obsessively self-absorbed, embracing society or rejecting it or coexisting in some tortured manner as this anonymous did. He resisted doing what society prescribes for peop ...more
Jon Cone
Dec 14, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Late high school, early college.
This book manages to both mesmerize and bore. It is essentially a catalog: a two-hundred page list of disappointments, confusions, rejections, contradictions, desires, and existential observations. The book moves between what saddens us to what merely annoys and distracts, yet it struggles even so to discover what is good in the world. The considerable power of this book is weakened by its own relentless persistence: cut in half the book, which is more prose poem than novel, would have been a wo ...more
Steev Hise
Aug 01, 2009 marked it as abandoned
Shelves: novels
just started it, intrigued but not earth-shattering yet. it's like a modern "On The Road" or "Catcher In The Rye". Still waiting to see how it might depart from those antecedents in any real or innovative way.
Alex
Feb 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Get lost in another life.
Josh Pendergrass
I was surprised that this secret book has a reviews page! The front cover, back cover, and spine are all blank. No title, no author, no summary, no anything. I found it sitting by the register at Bluestocking bookstore and I asked the young woman who was working there what it was. “ohh, we call that one the ‘White Boy Manifesto’”. Ok...I guess I had to read it!

The book is a portrait of Ennui. Think the misanthropy of Holden Caulfield x 100. The un-named narrator dropped out of Harvard. He has tr
...more
Cardine
Aug 12, 2009 rated it it was ok
If I wrote down a post it note for every random thought and action I made and any little thing I'd ever witnessed, and taken all those scraps and put them in a binding in somewhat of a chronological order, it would be this book.

This may be one of those books that is impossible to put down when you are in a slum in your life and feel the common ache, but one you can't make yourself pick up when you are feeling content with life.

It is disorganized and lacks a plot, but it's personal, identifiable,
...more
Jack
Apr 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Will you be my friend? Please be my friend.

I am not your friend.
Garrett Zecker
Nov 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
"I was the typical American asshole." (142)

Manifesto reminds me of the novel that I wrote when I was twenty-four years old. It is a rambling stream-of-consciousness self-indulgent novel about, yes, an American asshole. One element of this book that is different than the one that I wrote in my own self-indulgent, rambling book is that this character seems to lack a clear awareness of how lucky he really is. He has women in his life he seems to not even be aware of and hardly names. He has a reli
...more
Tony Laplume
Aug 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
I gave up reading after thirty or so pages. Because it repeats the same basic thoughts every other paragraph.

Because it repeats the same basic thoughts. Over and over again.

It's the kind of project, apparently undertaken by a whole collective otherwise identified as derabbit something-something, that believes it represents the whole of the counterculture, but it ends up reading like an event less coherent version of William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch. I read Naked Lunch months ago, famous for bei
...more
A.gasior
Jun 04, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book reminded me of On The Road by Jack Kerouac; a book I picked up in high school that I just couldn't bring myself to finish.

I enjoyed the stream of consciousness writing style because it reminded me of my own thought pattern, and it didn't require focus or concentration to follow. The vivid descriptions of seemingly insignificant items, such as a piece of trash on the side of the road, brought the author's world to life for me. I found his experience and world view completely relate-able
...more
Steve
Dec 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Only two hundred pages, but it took about three months of picking it up, reading a page, putting it down, forgetting that I had it, finding it stuffed somewhere, reading large chunks at once, forgetting about it again, and rediscovering it to finally finish. Each paragraph is non-sequential (not entirely true, there were two or three times when a thought/event was carried over), and there is no real plot to connect everything. It is just a series of snapshots of someone's life; at times relatabl ...more
David Michael Felt
Oct 21, 2013 rated it liked it
As a concept this was an ambitious work and no doubt a very heavy undertaking that made for interesting discussion- however the book itself struggled to tell a narrative and instead read like a string of thoughts and ideas. Although this may have been the intention, and may great works are written as a stream of consciousness, this work in particular read more like it was trying to develop a sense of it's own plot as it went along.

It has been a good while since I have read it so perhaps a second
...more
Dwight
Jul 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Dwight by: Thomas Knoll
I probably wouldn't have kept at this book if my brother hadn't recommended it. The writing style it tedious, although after plugging along for a while you kinda fall into its rhythm.

(view spoiler)
...more
Tyler
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this every now and then because it’s so different from what I normally like. It grabs me into the pages and I just need to keep reading it. It kind of reminds me of a more adult Holden Caulfield (Catcher in the Rye, which is probably one of my favorite books and I read multiple times a year).

Is it good? Sure. Is it bad? Sure. But it’s definitely an interesting read that gives you an inside perspective on a complete stranger whom you sort of feel connected to while reading.
Andrea
Feb 16, 2015 rated it liked it
It wasn't a waste of my time, but it pretty much had no plot and the main character lacked so much personality. You hate life so badly? Boohoo, go out and do something about it. Don't spend your life soaking on your misery. I liked the writing and the special way the world is portrayed, yet I didn't like this book at all. Guess I learned not to buy a book with a blank cover in the future.
Rachel-Morgan Lanouette
this is such a weird book. As someone struggling with depression, if you have depression I don't suggest you read it because it will pull you under until you are finished. If you don't have depression but what to know what it's like I suggest you do read it. Super monotone.
Mike
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Its a really interesting looking book because the cover is completely white. It is written as if it is the narrators train of thought for the entire book. It's basically a long complaint about life, but it's easy to relate to and insightful.
Alexander Souther
Nov 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Necessary.
Jackson
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
I wouldn't put my name on this either.

Seriously though, there were a few moments of blunt poeticism, but not nearly enough to sustain the scant 200 pages. Xanga in book form.
Jesse Houle
Dec 07, 2008 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Jesse by: Mark LaMountain
Only read about 2 pages and then got sidetracked by life before packing it in a box. Seems like it'll be at least interesting even if it doesn't blow my mind.
Johanna
This book seemed like a recycling of what has been written/done before on existential angst. I waited for the main character to get unstuck and he never did.
Ernie
May 09, 2011 rated it liked it
I wrote the author a postcard and he never wrote me back.
Abby
rated it did not like it
May 16, 2014
Jasmin
rated it liked it
Jul 11, 2012
Chan Delier
rated it it was amazing
Jun 15, 2015
Aurora Desmond
rated it it was amazing
Jan 27, 2013
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Like "Manifesto" the book? Now check out the movie! 1 14 May 14, 2011 07:13AM  

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