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Little Failure: A Memoir por Gary Shteyngart
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Little Failure: A Memoir (edição 2014)

por Gary Shteyngart (Autor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
6396028,115 (3.62)37
Traces the author's experiences as a young bullied Jewish-Russian immigrant in Queens, his haphazard college pursuits, and his initial forays into a literary career.
Membro:SamBortle
Título:Little Failure: A Memoir
Autores:Gary Shteyngart (Autor)
Informação:Random House (2014), Edition: First Edition, 368 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:abandoned-momentarily, to-read

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Little Failure: A Memoir por Gary Shteyngart

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» Ver também 37 menções

Mostrando 1-5 de 61 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Life is a meaningless, aimless thing. Some memoirs do justice to life. Other books try to -- incessantly, frantically, hammering away with madness at the general fatuousness of daily living. Igor/Gary is of the latter kind. He's really trying to pour meaning and comedy into the first forty years of his life and, needless to say, his effort isn't entirely successful. It is an aimless, wild book itself, but not in the way that reflects real life -- more like in the way that writers try to connect the dots of life, doodling sticky webs of ink that smear and get all over your fingers.

I never laughed out loud. I barely snickered. Maybe that's the problem I had -- I was promised the inability to hold water in my mouth, or in my bladder. But Gary was trying too hard. He tried exacting humor out of humorless things. His parents, in many ways too similar to mine, irritated me plenty -- and this book, as a sort of comic ode to them, mythologized their journey and their lives and their personalities in a way that bothered me. Sure, show me their lives in the USSR, but why are you constantly referring back to them in such a grandiose way? This is a pair of ordinary, extremely extremely flawed individuals, and maybe if this book had been entirely about them, I'd have liked it.

But the book wasn't that. It was just a frazzly, blurry movement through this man's childhood, adolescence, maturation (or lack thereof.) It's kind of a normal life. I don't know why he'd need to write a memoir. He's also such a jerk sometimes. And his humor falls flat so often. Uch.

The beginning was great. It promised the story of a man in his 20s (like me), liberal arts educated (like me), aspiring to writing success (a bit like me), parents who'd grown up under Soviet conditions (like me), but really feeling like a failure, without guidance, not sure where to go. It was well-written and the humor worked. But that didn't last, of course, unfortunately. ( )
  Gadi_Cohen | Sep 22, 2021 |
Charming, funny, poignant, unexpectedly moving... ( )
  wordloversf | Aug 14, 2021 |
I feel like I ought to come up with something to say about why I gave up on this book just into the second chapter, and all I come up with is "No!" "NO!" This is not something I want in my head. ( )
  MarthaJeanne | Jul 25, 2019 |
This book deserves a stellar review to equal the stellar, innovative, creative, wonderful writing and mindset of this author. My mind just doesn't curl around things the same way that Gary Shteyngart's does; no one's does. He is one unique person. I'll embellish this review later.
_____________

Raise your hand if you had perfect parents. Now, waggle your index finger high where we can see it if you are a perfect parent. Gary's parents weren't perfect and like all parents the world over, they were products of the society and culture in which they grew up. Most readers who take the time to savor this book fully will find snippets of their own lives here, despite the author's immigrant upbringing in two different countries. Brutal honesty defines Gary's witty, tantalizingly clear-eyed rendering of the first few decades of his life.

When Gary writes, it doesn't matter what he's writing about. His writing and twist of phrase, the way his mind links dissimilar words and ideas together, is mesmerizing. What if, I wondered, his brain wasn't sopping wet with alcohol or choking on cannabis chemicals? Would his impressions of that part of his life be different? Would his creative expression be different, sharper?

It's hard to imagine writing sharper than this, memories clearer than these, anguish, love, longing better relayed, and yet, Gary is matter-of-fact. He shows the resiliency of children. Sometimes my heart was still aching for him while he moved right along, particularly where a certain degree of parental abuse was involved. And yet, they loved him in the only ways they knew how.

For all Gary endured in his life, he was a brilliant, imaginative kid, a tough kid, though he never thought so and was told everything opposite. The human spirit is an elusive and marvelous thing. The wonder of the rare times Gary knew triumph are luminous. Writing was his escape from an early age and now he is a resounding success in the writing world.

After reading this book, wouldn't you love to meet him? Just have a tete-a-tete over a cup of coffee?

Oh, the story? You can read about that most everywhere else. It's a memoir, not a whodunit, shootemup action. I disagree with reviewers who think one has to be a certain age to write a memoir. A twelve-year-old can write a memoir, to date. Isn't that what diaries are, loosly? No, you may have to be old to write a biography but memoirs are sections of a life -- a week, a year, 5 years or 40. The photos included in this book enriched the reading experience.

( )
  Rascalstar | Jan 21, 2017 |
I liked it — most of the time. I got a little bogged down at times, mostly in the middle, in the details and the angst. As one reviewer put it, “I couldn't make up my mind if he was incredibly funny or incredibly irritating. . . .” My interest picked up again in the later chapters. ( )
  toniclark | Dec 22, 2016 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 61 (seguinte | mostrar todos)

» Adicionar outros autores (4 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Gary Shteyngartautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Roques, StéphaneTraductionautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ross, Jonathan ToddNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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À mes parents – le voyage ne finit jamais

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L’ÉGLISE ET L’HÉLICOPTÈRE

Un an après avoir terminé la fac, je travaillais au sud de Manhattan, à l’ombre immense des tours du World Trade Center, où je profitais chaque jour de mes quatre heures de pause déjeuner pour manger et m’abreuver en me baladant devant ces deux géantes, remontant Broadway et Fulton Street jusqu’à l’annexe de la librairie Strand. [...]
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Traces the author's experiences as a young bullied Jewish-Russian immigrant in Queens, his haphazard college pursuits, and his initial forays into a literary career.

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813.6 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century

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