Doxology: A Novel
Pam, Daniel, and Joe might be the worst punk band on the Lower East Side. Struggling to scrape together enough cash and musical talent to make it, they are waylaid by surprising arrivals—a daughter for Pam and Daniel, a solo hit single for Joe. As the ‘90s wane, the three friends share in one another’s successes, working together to elevate Joe’s superstardom and raise bab...more
Even blindfolded, I would know that is a sentence by Nell Zink. That subtle intersection of the ordinary and the absurd is her trademark maneuver. Wit ricochets around her straight-faced sentences like marbles in a can. Every funny phrase sounds tossed off under her breath, an irreverent little prize for the attentive reader.
Even the facts of her life sound slightly surreal. For a few years she produced a zine about punk musicians and their ...more
The beauty of art is that it’s subjective, entirely what you make of it. Look at a painting from afar and it may appear as nothing more than splatter. But move closer, take it all in. Your perspective may change as certain layers begin to reveal themselves. What at first could’ve been dismissed as erratic or lacking aesthetic may actually be quite beautiful, provocative.
On the other hand, maybe it was and always will be complete and utter bullshit. I suppose my point is that all art d ...more
Doxology: a usually liturgical expression of praise to God (Merriam Webster). I have no idea how this pertains to this book.
The first noticeable thing about this story is the short sentences delivered like bullets or perhaps oneliners for a standup comedian (that kind of rhythm). The *whole* book. It is wearisome when I notice the writing in a book instead of being drawn into the story. It ...more
But since it's a Zink story, so there are plenty of other artistic, political, and ethical ironies to mull over as she attempts to account for the societal changes that influence family relationships and how they impact the way two women (one ...more
It’s a big book, sprawling in fact. Her knowledge and use of rock and roll is amazing, probably some of the very best in contemporary fiction. But she is seduced by the now#2. That is anything that has been written about politics, sexual identity, feminism, you name it, it’s here, in spades.
She writes of a world of privilege and sn ...more
This novel is, at best, wildly overrated. I picked it up after reading a rapturous review, spurred by nostalgia for what promised to be a paean to the punk rock scene in my old hometown in the decades prior to 9/11. The book turned out to be peopled almost exclusively with privileged mercenary types, whose salient character trait is the ability to make bad choices and come out ahead. Everyone speaks in repartée; there is some beautiful lyrical writing, mostly about place, buri ...more
It’s undeniable that Zink ha ...more
I sometimes got bogged down in the political/philosophical discussions, espe ...more
I enjoy Zink's direct turn of phrase, she does not beat around the bush and tells it as it is. The section dealing with 9/11 had a neat summation along the lines of the terrorists were from Saudi and were funded by Saudi, so it was imperative that the USA bombed Afghanistan and Iraq.
The build up to the election of Trump was interesting - the political ad man pitched a negative ad about Trump, but the Democrats would not go there, partly because ...more
But I can’t connect with this book.
I am not sure Nell connects with it either.
She doesn’t love her characters, so why should I?
Two books for the price of one here, and neither the first or second part grabbed me.
Although, if I am completely honest the first part was the more interesting bit.
Disappointed ☹ ...more
Zink has worked as a secretary at Colgate-Palmolive and as a technical writer in Tel Aviv. She moved to ...more