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3.66  ·  Rating details ·  2,117 ratings  ·  528 reviews
Чарли Кауфман знаком нам по фильмам, но пора признать: до сих пор автора «Адаптации» и «Вечного сияния чистого разума» сдерживали бюджет и ограничения предметного мира. В дебютном романе о неудачливом кинокритике он сбрасывает оковы: повествование простирается на миллионы лет вперед и назад, населено вымышленными и подлинными звездами кино, роботами-клонами Трампа, рассужд ...more
Paperback, 704 pages
Published December 3rd 2020 by Individuum (first published July 7th 2020)
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Frank There are only a handful of books I could think of that would be a worse start for any non-native English speaker.

Unless you are a highly confident r…more
There are only a handful of books I could think of that would be a worse start for any non-native English speaker.

Unless you are a highly confident reader of English, I would say to steer well clear of this one.(less)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,117 ratings  ·  528 reviews

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Vit Babenco
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve already read three great postmodernistic novels about cinema: The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West, Blue Movie by Terry Southern and Zeroville by Steve Erickson. This is the fourth and it is the most original one.
Antkind is an absurdist comedy written in the unhinged style of postmodern.
A fraud movie critic…
My beard is a wonder… defiantly heterosexual, unkempt, rabbinical, intellectual, revolutionary. It lets you know I am not interested in fashion, that I am eccentric, that I am serious
L.S. Popovich
A literary apocalypse of compulsive cinematic ungendering.

More Kafkaesque than Kafka. More borgesian than Borges. Less Shakespearean than Homer. These accolades mean everything and nothing. Because accolades, in any form, tell partial half-truths, like any communicable piece of information, as Kaufman shows us ad nauseam, in this Rabelaisian charade of a novel of a singularity, of a Big Bang, of a black hole. Or is it a white hole?

Hilariously obscure references and arcane film and literature sha
Paul Bryant
Oct 05, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned, novels
I have been such a well-behaved reader this year, ploughing my way through many throbbing mountainous classics and hardly reading anything written less than a hundred years ago, so I thought I’d have a holiday and frolic with something almost guaranteed to put a smile on my fizzog and rescue me from the sturmy drangy skies over Petersburg.

But look what happened.

I would say by the time page 200 came into view I was just about approaching Bitterness with this damned annoying book. Charlie Kaufman,
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
THIS BOOK! Truly difficult to describe, but I'd call it The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Twitter Era, or Chuck Palahniuk on a cocktail of mind-expanding future-drugs. If there were a Criterion Collection for books, this would be the first inductee. Over 700 pages of intolerable bloviation from literature's most punchable narrator - and I loved every moment. Absolutely bonkers, but overall an incredible reading experience! I found myself highlighting passages and forcing my husband to read them beca ...more
Reading this book made me fantasize about how wonderful it might be to watch paint drying on the wall. My tolerance for pretentious, pseudo-intellectual stream-of-consciousness is less than zero. Please understand that this only represents my own personal opinion which is contra-balanced against the masses who find brilliance in this bloated mess. I guess it's like some of the modern art that the critics love and ordinary folks just shake their heads at, wondering what all the fuss was about. ...more
Balaam Rosenberger Rosenberg is a writer or film critic or something. He goes by B. “so as not to wield my maleness as a weapon”. He has an African American girlfriend, as he tells us about a thousand times. I assume this is meant to be ironical. He meets Ingo Cutbirth, an “ancient, reclusive, eccentric, likely psychotic African American filmmaker“ who has created an animated film that takes three months to watch (including bathroom breaks). It is undoubtedly a masterpiece which Rosenberg is des ...more
Joey Shapiro
Aug 20, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn’t finish this book, I escaped it. This is such a fascinating reading experience because, as you trudge through all 700+ pages, you’re actively watching a writer, who was obviously winging it from beginning to end and making it up as he went along, run out of ideas. I genuinely loved the first hundred or so pages despite some uncomfortable jokes about gender that your young-people-today-are-too-sensitive uncle would make (which don’t really slow down until 600ish pages in), but as it goes ...more
Paul Dembina
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the 1st couple hundred pages I was thinking this might be a 5* jobbie. But as the pages roll by any pretense to a coherent plot goes out of the window. Don't get me wrong - it still a fun ride but by the end I had no idea what was going on and I wonder if Kaufman himself did.

An interesting reference in the book is to a chap called Henry Darger ( an outsider artist who I think was a real person (you can't be too sure these days) and whose huge 15,000 p
Paquita Maria Sanchez
In a plot twist, something good did happen in this Year of Our Dark Lord, 2020, and it was this book. Man, I really needed this. I've been reading so much depressing shit lately about CIA coups and serial murders and global warming and, like, the actual reality on Earth that I just summarized and whatnot, and as always, Kaufman's work was the therapy I needed, right when I needed it. I mean, sure, it probably technically won't make anyone less depressed. Not a chance, actually. It will make you ...more
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have no idea how to review this book. It might be an all-time favorite, though. Holy crap.
Lucas Chance
Literally every other postmodern novel

If I wanted to read a white dude navel gazing about how fought privilege is while obsessively discussing obscure topics, I would just read reddit for free.

It really doesn’t have enough flair in the prose to make it worth reading and definitely not enough plot to make this anything more than “author takes on the perspective of someone toxic purposefully” but without any flair or a hook.

Such a shame since Kaufman is one of my favorite screenwriters.
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5
This book is 'Gravity's Rainbow Framed/Censored Roger Rabbit' AND Punch and Judy in the Marx Bros' script-doctored 'Waiting for Godot' AND 'Barton Fink' directed by the Zucker Bros. AND The Last 20-odd minutes of '2001' as a Pigs in Space sketch ALL wrapped up in one anthill. It's highbrow AND lowbrow. It's UNIBROW, like Bert and Ernst. It's comedy punches up AND down, like Intendo's 'Punch Out' (pun nintended).

All silliness aside: There was an episode in season 2 of the 1990-92 show 'Get a Life
May 30, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Netgalley for an advance copy.

I got halfway through Antkind and needed a pause. The book was draining me, spinning in circles around the same joke and a narrator that was increasingly frustrating. I told myself I would go back after a break, but I honestly knew that day would never come.

To me, this book needed an editor to tell Charlie that less is more. I found it repeating the same points (and jokes about Charlie Kaufman movies) over and over, to the point that it felt like chapters
Steve Tannuzzo
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I just read something brilliant, but it was so drawn out it lost some of its sparkle. Antkind is a book about a lot of things, but its primary story is about a film critic who finds the masterwork of a reclusive auteur who created a three-month-long stop-motion film that took him 90 years to complete. Unfortunately all that remains of it is a single frame of film, and that is the starting point of his journey. Along the way there are some odd characters, a futuristic ant named Calcium, a ...more
K.K. Wootton
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At 700 pages, Antkind is 300 pages too long. And the story often hangs by a thread.
But good Lord, it's brilliant and funny.
It's as if Kaufman just said, 'well, here's my brain barf. I'll put it in a few piles for you. Do with it what you will.'
I'm not usually down for sorting such things. But in this case, well - I'm glad to have waded through.
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A genuine achievement, a great American novel. Its first thirty pages or so ticked me off something fierce, with its snide caricature of a Brody-resembling film critic. But the protagonist's resemblance to any real-life figure is a kind of red herring. This is not any "a clef" novel. When David Ehrenstein commented here that Kaufman is the North American Borges, he hit the nail squarely on the head. This resembles a Kaufman script more than it does a prose work by the postmodernists Barth, Pynch ...more
Simon Robs
Jan 25, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charlie Kaufman's "Finnegan's Wake" or "Gravity's Rainbow" or "Infinite Jest" or "Take Five" but meta removed, removed, removed, and oh so gender correct(ed) with BIG magical Trump/k(s), and self parodies a la loathing ... and so much more! ...more
Merl Fluin
Antkind is so huge, complex and diverse that I feel as if I should give it five separate star ratings: a one-star, a two-star, a three-star, a four-star, and a five-star.

Then I hate myself for being such a smartarse.

Then I realise that this is exactly how the book's narrator proceeds, then I hate him as much as I hate myself, then I can't stop laughing, then I realise this bloody book has given me a brain virus.

The book's central thesis is the block theory of space-time, according to which pas
Bob Wake
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At 720 pages, Antkind succeeds as a large-scale comic novel. This is an impressive feat for a first-time novelist (albeit a first-time novelist who happens to be an Oscar-winning screenwriter). Line for line, page for page, Antkind is frequently deliriously funny. Kaufman’s 1990s TV scripts for comics like Chris Elliot are a clear influence. Antkind’s narrator and protagonist, B. Rosenberger Rosenberg, a self-important film critic, has the snotty arrogance that Elliot mastered so perfectly. Chri ...more
Evan Soloway
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book hasn't been released yet--but I just feel a compulsion to write that I've awaited this thing's release for 7 years. I'm desperate for HarperCollins to keep their promised February 6th, 2020 release date. Synecdoche, New York and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind are among the most brilliant works of film *or* literature created this century, and to read Kaufman in novel-form seems a tantalizing prospect. I'm also curious how much reading Kaufman will resemble reading David Foster Wallac ...more
Guillaume Morissette
I've read this book 7 times, including an upside-down reading & a back-to-front reading. There's a lot going on in this novel, which probably has the most going on of any book I've read this year, but in the end, it might be about how writing can be bad for you.
Aiden Heavilin
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: experimental
"It is obvious that he has only one subject, the mind, and only one plot, how the mind negotiates with reality, fantasy, hallucination, desire and dreams. "Being John Malkovich." "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." "Adaptation." "Human Nature." "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind." What else are they about? He is working in plain view."

- Roger Ebert's review of Charlie Kaufman's "Synecdoche, New York."

I genuinely don't know what to make of this one. Charlie Kaufman's "Antkind" is one of the m
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a dark, weird, wild ride. For me, it is like Pynchon, DeLillo (particularly the overeager, overwrought, poseur sense of academia presented in WHITE NOISE), Kafka, and all of Kaufman's films (again, particularly: Being John Malkovich and Adaptation) went into an updated blender and out this came. One thing I really like is how Kaufman is able to drop in all kinds of erudite references but still be just damn funny/entertaining. His protagonist is an Ivory Tower neurotic living in an a ...more
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC.

This complex masterpiece is a cyclonic swirl of complicated and masterful characterization of a brilliant, awkward, sometimes scary-abnormal, hilarious man. Every page made me laugh and smile. When I thought of the book I would smile.

I hope Kaufman steps into the realm of literature more often in the coming years.
Kasa Cotugno
Dense, macabre, hilarious. Could not read at one go and had to pick away piecemeal, but worth the effort if you stick with it.
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for an ARC of this book.

I love the weird, brainy, meta things Charlie Kaufman does with his movies, and I was excited to see what he'd do within the frame of a book, especially with the description of what Antkind was all about.

And yet.

This is too long and needed an editor to get this down by a third or even a half. There's some cool ideas here, especially in the beginning and the end, but the middle spins its wheels for too many pages in a way that's hard to
Mar 22, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rather too much of a good thing. Every page has much to admire, and it's consistently hilarious, but by page 450 I was exhausted and had to struggle not to speed through the rest, ...more
Kevin Adams
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ahh, Charlie Kaufman. You can do it all. This 700-page, incredibly readable first novel. Better not be his last. It’s a TON of fun. Never takes itself too serious while still being brilliant, self-referential and full of jabs at really famous people. I loved it. I had done a quarantine rewatch of everything Kaufman in anticipation of this. Adds to oeuvre perfectly. Did I mention it’s just plain fun? Good. It is. Read it. Wacky as all hell. Happy Summer.
Jason Bovberg
ANTKIND is a sometimes hilarious, often stream-of-conscious narrative that is by turns self-referential, navel-gazing, and mystifying. This is not an easy read. It’s all over the map in terms of tone and style and pace, but that’s par for the course for Charlie Kaufman, I guess. Prepare yourself for strange bits of Abbott and Costello parody, off-kilter film references (dominated by Judd Apatow, for some reason), ferocious anti-Trumpism, changes in perspective, and weird detours. You might call ...more
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not entirely sure what to make of this mammoth book, which I breezed through during COVID-19 unemployment. I'll have to think more about the politics being espoused here (not to mention the insanity of the plot), but I laughed out loud (extremely rare that a book does this to me) for 700 pages and feel like the experience of reading this actually made me slightly deranged. So, that's worthy of 5 stars. ...more
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Charles Stuart Kaufman is an American playwright, film producer, theater and film director, and an Academy Award, BAFTA, and Independent Spirit Award-winning screenwriter. Often regarded as one of the finest screenwriters of the 21st century, his work explores themes of death, insecurity, the artistic process, and the passage of time.

In 2003, Kaufman was listed at #100 on Premiere's annual "Power

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