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Nietzsche and the Burbs

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  127 ratings  ·  25 reviews
This highly anticipated followup to the acclaimed Wittgenstein Jr. finds a young Nietzsche experiencing the excitements and the humiliations of finals season in a modern high school.

When a new student transfers in from private school, his public school peers nickname him Nietzsche thanks to his mysterious charisma. Nietzsche, like his philosopher namesake, is brilliant but
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 3rd 2019 by Melville House
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Paul Dembina I disagree, some familiarity with Nietzsche's life and work means that some of the references will be picked up, although the book is still very enjoy…moreI disagree, some familiarity with Nietzsche's life and work means that some of the references will be picked up, although the book is still very enjoyable even if you don't do the research (less)

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Average rating 3.42  · 
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James Beggarly
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a fun book. The author always writes his novels with hyper wordplay and characters obsessed with philosophy. This time out, he’s set the book in the English suburbs and follows a small group of students in their last weeks of school before university. I could have spent another five hundred pages with these funny, hyper articulate characters and their embrace, and sometimes misunderstanding, of the world’s bleaker philosophical writings.
Paul Dembina
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lars Iyer is one of my favourite authors and this is yet another funny, entertaining and above all intelligent novel. Who'd have thought that nihilism in the M4 corridor could be so much fun? ...more
The Lazy Reader
"But won’t the suburbs defeat philosophy? Don’t the suburbs mean the impossibility of philosophy? Won’t the suburbs mean the destruction of all philosophical inquiry, including Nietzsche’s? Won’t we have to reconcile ourselves to suburban lives? To depression and suicide attempts in the suburbs?"

The violently nihilist version of Perks of Being A Wallflower. Strange, lyrical and fast paced. Exceedingly funny. Consider this charming excerpt on parents:

"They won’t leave us alone. They round us up f
...more
Kirsten
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious, touching, wonderfully wordy. A group of sixth-formers search for meaning in the suburb of Wokingham, philosophize about the meaning/meaninglessness of life in the suburbs. Sort of series of riffs on various themes.
dirt
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People with awesome nicknames.
Nietzsche and the Burbs is a book that should be savored, but you can't help but devour it like a tasty dish of pad thai. You keep reading even when you are way past full because the words and ideas are so delicious. The story revolves around a group of self-described misfits who are dear friends, love each other immensely, and enjoy riding their bikes around town.

This group of friends is finding their way through life and the last weeks of school, balancing on the edge of transition, vacillati
...more
Heather Pace
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Reading this book was reliving so many teenage existential crises on the unwieldy emotional spectrum from Kurt Cobain to ABBA... in a good way. It was funny, smart, relatable, yet awkward, inducing eye-rolls and cringes. I did not want it to end, and I will read this again.
Connie
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
As I read this book, I found myself alternately cringing, laughing, nodding knowingly, and re-reading, especially the passages having to do with the characters' efforts to understand nihilism. As a "senior" (derided for their smugness and self-congratulatory attitudes at one point in the book), I feel I gained valuable insight into the minds of young people today who are facing what appears to be a bleak future. It reminded me that the world looked pretty bleak when I was at that age, myself, an ...more
Bob Garlitz
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Incomparable riotous delight. Bernhard, Beckett, Blanchot, Bataille, Woolf, Golding, Wilde, Jung, Joyce, heck, all of ‘em, are twirling and cavorting under their headstones at the way Iyer pulls off this homageous reincarnation of N’s vision. Iyer’s career trajectory proofed, perfected, epitomized, proactively personalized. A genital-tickling wonder. A triumph of sensibility, wisdom and compassion. Venus in slashed jeans.
connie
get these kids some THERAPY
Symon Vegro
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely ADORED this book. From the first sentence to the last, it was brilliant. I’ve never read anything quite like it. And that’s all I want to say apart from the fact that I’ve now got a copy of ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’ by the side of my bed ...

Man muss noch Chaos in sich haben, um einen tanzenden Stern gebären zu können. (You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.)

Richard
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was an incredibly fun read. It captured the feeling of being in the last year of 6th form in the UK well (even though it is set today, it seems as though not too much has changed since I was at that point in time). The author is clearly as scholar of philosophy, as can seen by his non-fiction works, and this shines through in the discussions the friends have. The characters are fully formed and thoroughly engaging, and I felt like could listen to their rambling conversations on the meaning ...more
Harker US Library
May 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I just finished the book Nietzsche and the ‘Burbs by Lars Iyer. Overall I enjoyed it, however, sometimes the main characters were far too edgy for me. They often lament life rather than embrace it, rejecting the concept of amor fati that the real Nietzsche held so close to heart. The book is about a suburbian band of British misfits who try and make music to escape their boring lives as well as adventuring to entertain themselves. Most of the plot points, relationships, parties, whatever, are pr ...more
Jonny Thomson
May 14, 2020 rated it did not like it
Couldn't finish this. I have a rule that I give a book no longer than 1/3 to get enjoyable. This failed.
The book is almost entirely speech which would be okay if not for:
1) No speech marks are used which annoyed me more than it really ought
2) The pace is so stop start and jerky that it felt exhausting.
3) The characters talk in the quick quips of Tarantino characters which comes over as hugely unbelievable.
4) The "banter" is basically The Inbetweeners without the wit.
5) Even with only a 1/3 d
...more
Harini Padmanabhan
Apr 28, 2020 rated it liked it
The premise of the book was quite interesting - a bunch of adolescents trying to weave through life and seeking a philosophical basis to it...a greater meaning. The new kid, nicknamed Nietzsche is the centrepiece of their exploration here as he, in their eyes, embodied nihilism and its teachings. Them trying to explore these notions even with their band was amusing. I felt like their observations and conversations throughout the book had a lot of overlap, which made it slow at various points. Bu ...more
Namo
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Incomparable riotous delight. Bernhard, Beckett, Blanchot, Bataille, Woolf, Golding, Wilde, Jung, Joyce, heck, all of ‘em, are twirling and cavorting under their headstones at the way Iyer pulls off this homageous reincarnation of N’s vision. Iyer’s career trajectory proofed, perfected, epitomized, proactively personalized. A genital-tickling wonder. A triumph of sensibility, wisdom and compassion. Venus in sliced jeans.
Rebekah Franklin
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
After a shaky start, I ended up really liking this book! (and by start I mean setting aside and reading another book by the same author). His sentance style is staccato at times. It 's a great book for teenage angst. ...more
Rachael
Jul 29, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2020, dnf
Dfn at page 126. Could not keep up with the teenage banter.
Chang Garcia
Jun 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Odd and strange...so abstract.
Shelley
May 03, 2020 rated it did not like it
This was not my kind of book. I didn't like the choppy writing style and lack of character development. I also found the narrative to be depressing and repetitive. ...more
Rachel Sulik
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was funny but felt long to me. I did enjoy the friend group's discussions and dynamics but it wasn't a quick read for me. Overall, I enjoyed it. ...more
Dan Hamilton
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Bleak and repetitive. Gave up one third in.
Ian
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is pretentious and repetitive and probably not for everyone, but it did make me laugh out loud consistently during a pandemic and for that I am eternally grateful.
Emma
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: tried-to-read
I’m not a huge fan of choppy angst-filled narrative, but I appreciate the story told.
Christine Schwab
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, unique. Got a little long-winded, but such modern teenage insight.
Georgette
Aug 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, philosophy
Decent, and some laugh out loud parts. If you aren't into nihilistic philosophy, you may not get all the jokes. ...more
Alex
rated it liked it
Feb 28, 2020
Katy Spitz
rated it really liked it
Dec 31, 2020
Lois Plale
rated it liked it
Dec 24, 2019
Bex
rated it did not like it
Oct 18, 2020
Sumiré Aurora
rated it it was ok
Nov 16, 2020
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Lars Iyer is the author of the novel Wittgenstein Jr (2014). He has also written a trilogy of novels – Spurious, Dogma and Exodus. Iyer has also written two scholarly books on the work of Maurice Blanchot. He teaches philosophy at Newcastle University in the UK.

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