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message 1: by Stephen M, Tome Terminator (last edited Sep 21, 2012 11:29AM) (new)

Stephen M | 81 comments Place your reviews here!

Also, you track everyone's progress and see reviews here: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show_b...


message 2: by Stephen M, Tome Terminator (new)

Stephen M | 81 comments All taken care of.


message 3: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 497 comments Here's my review:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

Or you can go directly to My Writing, since the word count was maxed out in the above and I had to continue there.

http://www.goodreads.com/story/show/3...


message 4: by Nathan "N.R.", James Mayn (last edited Jul 10, 2013 05:34PM) (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 662 comments Coupla new reviews today:

Jonathan's excellent piece:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

And another from yours truly:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

[don't miss Aloha's review in the preceding Comment Box.]


message 5: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 497 comments This is the most fun? torturous? review I've done because this book is very hard to pin down. I feel like I need to do a bunch more reviews, all different, just to cover this book.


message 6: by Nathan "N.R.", James Mayn (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 662 comments Friend and talented reader Brian Dice recently posted a lovely review of Women and Men :: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 8: by Perifian (last edited Oct 05, 2013 04:57PM) (new)

Perifian | 9 comments Incomplete Review - I suspect that this is a faux pas but I wish to feel that I have accomplished something, for now at least; chapter-by-chapter/character-by-character/stylistic thoughts and various interpretations will ASAP their way onto that page (recommendations of similars are welcomed).


message 9: by Aubrey (new)

Aubrey (korrick) I have a review! Behold: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 10: by Ronald (new)

Ronald Morton | 2 comments Holy shit, I finally read this!

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 11: by Nathan "N.R.", James Mayn (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 662 comments The following is a copy of Jonathan's review of W&M. A while back he accidentally deleted some stuff ;; and since his contribution to this Group was huge, I wanted to restore as much as possible ::


________________

1711213
J's review
Nov 12, 14

5 of 5 stars
bookshelves: english, leftists, feminism, childhood, female-friends, origin-story, the-final-frontier, nyc, science-fiction
Read from October 08 to December 14, 2012

Like Jimmy Banks, the “retarded” bike messenger in Women and Men (starts his own messenger service, organizes a union for those messengers with retardation and/or physical problems), to make decisions we “build on what we know”. Jimmy knows about lanes, body-signals, potholed avenues, and is learning more every day so he can keep on riding. What do we know about W&M to help us choose to read or not read it? (“I read wherever I go” interrupts Alexander from the late 19th century, before setting out to find his future wife, supposed to be marching toward D.C. with Coxey's Army of The Unemployed) Many early reviewers (skimmers?) emphasized difficulty over complexity, length over scope, a cold intelligence over the novel's ignored emotional content (Jim Mayn looks up at the “gigantic, partly slumped thing” that is Ship Rock in New Mexico. Is its grandeur captured by the datum “fifteen hundred feet high”?). Garth Risk Hallberg did better in 2009 (first edition of W&M published back in '87) I think, as have several of our fellow goodreaders over the past months. What did Hallberg make known ? The novel's “wit, urgency, and human warmth”. While the future call to do so wasn't yet a whisper, Joseph McElroy wrote a novel that wasn't naive of postmodernism, but moved forward from cynicism, an overuse of irony, and an unwillingness to be constructive.

Let's continue to build, give W&M some more names. It's a novel of sons (one whose mother left him, another whose mother stayed but in an open marriage and it's driving him crazy), daughters (of the revolution, sexual and green), siblings (half, full, secret), parents and grandparents ("Dumb old Poppy."/"Yes, you're very old."), wives and husbands and varieties of lovers (including a Chilean opera diva and her military cohort who may be key to releasing diva's father from house-arrest under the Pinochet regime).

It's the great bicycle novel ("but there she was-up-leaving the last wobble behind her-accelerating"), a tale of two (or more) feminism(s) (Margaret in prison for a suffragette who had taken a meat cleaver to Venus at the National Gallery, seventy-some years later Grace at her Body-Self workshop shares information or happily jerks off together with her sisters), a novel about journalists (from a science reporter switching to science itself to a seedy individual not above fabricating stories), a novel of the indigenous peoples of North America (as evocative and specific as Vollmann in what I've read of his Seven Dreams), a celebration of the U.S. space program and a look toward our (open?) future in space (a station, a torus at the libration point between Earth and Moon), a staggeringly detailed novel of New York City (especially the 1970s City)(its streetscapes, its railroad flats).

All this, and I haven't been exposed to any novel published since that can boast as original a style as W&M. Some sentences are short and simple, but others, especially in the complex BREATHER sections have to be read to be believed. I'll type out part of one (I don't want to lose you, reader), you won't understand it out of context (but you will hopefully read it in someday, and then you'll understand my hesitation to cut any sentence of this novel off before it concludes), but admire the strange beauty:

Aren't you the Mayn boy? (as we ghosted him prolixly, to be in the very difficulty of what it is to be) but giving what Jim ever after knew was almost love, from a stranger, a stranger with no hole in his head and no double moon in his brown eye and cheek stubble, inquiring if Jim would join him in a cup of canned Manhattan clam chowder, but who asked Jim what he knew he'd been asking to be asked-so that it wasn't until he got into the front hall at home in Windrow two days later, and stared at his new raincoat that had been hanging there since he got home from the beach almost two days before, that his daydream of a near-naked mother (never turning around yet turning and turning and turning in the sea just like a body) returned together with, again, the absence of Bob Yard and the emptiness of this house...

The claims of difficulty, the page count, those things aren't misinformation, but they don't even begin to get at the real story. With patience, trust, openness to a new style, a dictionary, the willingness to leave a Don't Know, maybe some folk to read with you (shout out to Nathan, Aloha, obfuscations, Sean), anyone can enjoy Women and Men.
20 likes · Unlike



Graph
Reading Progress
10/08/2012 "I look at my bookmark and see I was on page 255 when I was defeated going at this alone. Now I open up to the beginning again, scour notebooks looking for my old W&M notes, and hope You All will help drag me through this thing if(?)/when(.) I fall down." 1 comment
10/08/2012
30.0% "Take notes, read slow, stop BEFORE you get tired, and think about what you just read. You can't just be "there for the ride" like you can (not that I really advise it) with Pynchon, DFW, Gass..."
10/10/2012
9.0% "So, tomorrow I have one of those all-lower-case-titled chapters to read. Thank God."
10/10/2012
9.0% "So, tomorrow I have one of those all-lower-case-titled chapters to read. Yess!"
10/16/2012
15.0% "I'm at a point with this book where I look at the table of contents page, read the strange and fascinating titles of chapters to come, and become almost giddy."
10/22/2012
24.0% "Just finished The Departed Tenant. McElroy story that fit comfortably on the pages of The New Yorker? Yes. Last update I was thankful for a lower-case chapter. Now, I'm excited about an upcoming BREATHER. To people who don't know what I'm talking about, that means I've drank the cool aid."
10/22/2012
24.0% "Just finished The Departed Tenant. McElroy story that fit comfortably on the pages of The New Yorker? Yes. Last update I was thankful for a lower-case chapter. Now, I'm excited about an upcoming BREATHER. To people who don't know what I'm talking about, that means I've drank the Kool-Aid."
10/22/2012
24.0% "I just read Larry. Tomorrow, I will read Larry. Then maybe a third time. This chapter reads like one of DFW's character's obsessive internal rants, but fresh from a hit of crack, and I'm saying this with awareness that DFW has had a character internally rant to herself while literally having just smoked crack. And the last page of Larry! Holy."
10/28/2012
37.0% "post-BREATHER reading easy peasy"
11/01/2012
41.0% "the unknown saved"
11/05/2012
50.0% "Breathing thick and fast"
11/13/2012
65.0% "rent"
11/13/2012
56.0% "677 the message for what it was worth. Botched that last status."
11/13/2012
56.0% "677 the message for what it was worth"
11/14/2012 "OPENING IN THE VOID (smile)"
11/21/2012 "rent"
11/26/2012
66.0% "rent. I'm back."
11/28/2012
75.0% "THE HERMIT-INVENTOR OF NEW YORK, THE ANASAZI HEALER, AND THE UNKNOWN ABORTER"
12/02/2012
78.0% "0927 Wall-to-Wall High Reaching for the Ground"
12/04/2012
80.0% "known bits II. W&M is very tightly composed. No bloat. Really." 1 comment
12/07/2012
83.0% "IN FUTURE"
12/07/2012
83.0% "Tribute to Hadrian: Trace Windows in Windrow. Cause? crypto-thorium, "and in those days it might cause...a hole in your head no less"(!) Getting in the wrong New York Plated Blue Car. In the other, Ray Vigil. Who or what is in the second grave? "Yes, I do remember you. I think you were crazy that day, but the allow had been in you a long time.""
12/07/2012
83.0% ""Tribute to Hadrian: Trace Windows in Windrow. Cause? crypto-thorium, "and in those days it might cause...a hole in your head no less"(!) Getting in the wrong New York Plated Blue Car. In the other, Ray Vigil. Who or what is in the second grave? "Yes, I do remember you. I think you were crazy that day, but the alloy had been in you a long time.""
12/07/2012
83.0% "Tribute to Hadrian: Trace Windows in Windrow. Crypto-thorium, "and in those days it might cause...a hole in your head no less"(!) The Wrong New York Plated Blue Car. In the other, Ray Vigil. What's in the second grave? "Yes, I do remember you. I think you were crazy that day, but the alloy had been in you a long time."
12/07/2012
83.0% "Tribute to Hadrian: Trace Windows in Windrow. Crypto-thorium, "and in those days it might cause...a hole in your head no less"(!) The Wrong New York Plated Blue Car. In the other, Ray Vigil. What's in the second grave? "Yes, I do remember you. I think you were crazy that day, but the alloy had been in you a long time.""
12/07/2012
83.0% "Tribute to Hadrian: Trace Windows in Windrow. Crypto-thorium. "and in those days it might cause...a hole in your head no less"(!) The Wrong New York Plated Blue Car. In the other, Ray Vigil. What's in the grave? "Yes, I do remember you. I think you were crazy that day, but the alloy had been in you a long time.""
12/09/2012
88.0% "news"
12/09/2012
89.0% "THE CURVE SPEAKS UPON THE VOID"
12/11/2012
93.0% "BETWEEN US: A BREATHER TOWARD THE END"
12/11/2012
95.0% "what?"
12/13/2012
97.0% ""We..." and then again and simultaneous, "We..." they said and touched each other laughing, and then it started all over again and all unexpectedly said "We" together a third time but then said together like a longer effort, "We're onto" but stopped and said, rehearsed, "something.""
06/30/2013 marked as: currently-reading
06/30/2013 marked as: read
show 4 hidden updates…


message 12: by Kyle (new)

Kyle | 13 comments Thank you for doing this, Nathan. Really cool of you to re-post all of this!


message 13: by Nathan "N.R.", James Mayn (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 662 comments My pleasure!


message 14: by Franco (new)

Franco  Santos (santosfranco) | 7 comments Here there are my reading notes in English. I hope this can help a bit:

https://medium.com/@FrancoSantos/wome...


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