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The Matter with Morris

por David Bergen

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
969283,770 (3.44)28
"When Morris Schutt, a prominent newspaper columnist, surveys his life over the past year, he sees disaster everywhere. His son has just been killed in Afghanistan, and his newspaper has put him on indefinite leave; his psychiatrist wife, Lucille, seems headed for the door; he is strongly attracted to Ursula, the wife of a dairy farmer from Minnesota; and his daughter appears to be having an affair with one of her professors. What is a thinking man to do but turn to Cicero, Plato, and Socrates in search of truth? Or better still, to call one of those discreet 'dating services' in search of happiness? But happiness, as Morris discovers, is not that easy to find."--P. [4] of cover.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 9 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Family Drama
  BooksInMirror | Feb 19, 2024 |
If it's possible for a "coming of age" novel to have a 51 year old protaganist, this is the book. Morris is on a leave of absence from his job as a columnist because the death of his son (friendly fire in Afghanistan) has him unravelling. The book is about him further unravelling and trying to discover and reknit himself together. There are many references and quotations from philosophers (eg Cicero, Plato, Adorno, Tillich), as well as well-crafted biblical allusions.

Four stars for being good literature and well-written, because I suspect the more carefully you examined the prose and story, the better the novel would reveal itself to be truly great. However, as far as "enjoyable" fiction goes, I didn't love it. It reminded me of [b:Barney's Version|196564|Barney's Version|Mordecai Richler|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41C1dLlnsKL._SL75_.jpg|190111] by [author Mordecai Richler], even though they are not the same.

( )
  LDVoorberg | Apr 7, 2013 |
I love a book where I can luxuiate in the writing and come to care about the characters. The story was compelling--a man about my own age, coming to terms with the death of his son and the arch of his life. ( )
  VickiFoxSmith | Mar 29, 2013 |
Disappointing... was expecting much more. Seemed draggy and dull. Nothing remarkable. Characters were flat and depressing. The plot was flat and depressing, too. The references to philosophy were uninspiring. Yawn... ( )
  Becks12 | Jun 24, 2012 |
This is the story of a middle-aged man dealing with the death of his son -- to be more accurate, he is not dealing with it. Instead, he is preoccupied with himself: searching for a connection with paid escorts and pen-pals; searching for knowledge by reading Cicero, Plato and others; searching for escape by withdrawing from his work, his marriage and the world.

Morris Schutt is a well drawn, complicated character. Author David Bergen paints a deep and vivid picture of this character -- Morris was so real to me. As we examine Morris's life along with him, we see what grief can do in middle age. Extremely well written. ( )
  LynnB | May 9, 2012 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 9 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
This is a moving and engaging novel of grief and loss, impeccably written and fully imagined.
adicionada por vancouverdeb | editarThe Star
 
The death of his son sends Morris into a tailspin; this, along with the question of whether he can pull out of it - indeed, whether the concept of recovery has any meaning at all when one is faced with such a devastating loss - is the subject of this immaculately written, trenchantly honest, hugely compelling novel.... For all its darkness, this novel about mourning and melancholy remains an optimistic book; in it, we are presented with some of the irresolvable ambiguities of human existence by a character who is twisted up inside, who at the same time successfully asks to be recognized as sombre and tender and wise.
 
The scenes of Morris grappling with his grief and the larger ramifications of Martin’s death are realistic and touching. Morris is too cognizant of the historical/­sociological forces at work in his son’s death to completely blame himself, but guilt clings to his every thought, lacerating him for his real and imagined failures as a father and husband...In his relationships with other characters, Morris acquires an undeniable vividness and depth, qualities that are often lacking from his interior monologues and letters. Morris ripples with bizarre tics and conflicting desires that erupt when confronted by the contrary needs of friends, colleagues, lovers, and family.

Luckily, Bergen has peopled his novel with a sufficient number of finely drawn characters to ensure that readers aren’t trapped alone for too long with the hapless but endearing Morris.
 
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"Oh, for a change of heart, a change of heart - a true change of heart!" SAUL BELLOW, HERZOG
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Morris Schutt, aged fifty-one, was a syndicated journalist, well like and read by many, who wrote a weekly column in which he described the life of a fifty-one-year-old man who drove a Jaguar, was married to a psychiatrist, played pickup basketball, showed a fondness for Jewish novelists, suffered mildly from tinnitus, had sex once or twice a week depending on how much wine he and his wife drank, and who cared for his mother, a hypochondriac and a borderline narcoleptic.
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"When Morris Schutt, a prominent newspaper columnist, surveys his life over the past year, he sees disaster everywhere. His son has just been killed in Afghanistan, and his newspaper has put him on indefinite leave; his psychiatrist wife, Lucille, seems headed for the door; he is strongly attracted to Ursula, the wife of a dairy farmer from Minnesota; and his daughter appears to be having an affair with one of her professors. What is a thinking man to do but turn to Cicero, Plato, and Socrates in search of truth? Or better still, to call one of those discreet 'dating services' in search of happiness? But happiness, as Morris discovers, is not that easy to find."--P. [4] of cover.

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