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Fieldwork por Mischa Berlinski
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Fieldwork (original 2007; edição 2008)

por Mischa Berlinski (Autor)

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7135423,956 (3.68)59
When his girlfriend takes a job in Thailand, Mischa Berlinski goes along for the ride, planning to enjoy himself and work as little as possible. But one evening a fellow expatriate tips him off to a story: a charismatic American anthropologist, Martiya van der Leun, has been found dead--a suicide--in the Thai prison where she was serving a life sentence for murder. Curious at first, Mischa is soon immersed in the details of her story. This brilliant, haunting novel expands into a mystery set among the Thai hill tribes, whose way of life became a battleground for the missionaries and the scientists living among them. "Fieldwork" is a 2007 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction.… (mais)
Membro:Raechill
Título:Fieldwork
Autores:Mischa Berlinski (Autor)
Informação:Picador (2008), Edition: First, 356 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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Etiquetas:to-read

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Fieldwork por Mischa Berlinski (2007)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 56 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Thailand is the setting for Mischa Berlinski's Fieldwork. But modern Thailand plays the most minor and unimportant role of the three scenarios Berlinski depicts. Of the three, the fictional Dyalo, a remote hilltribe in Thailand's far north is the most interesting. Taking the perspective of an anthropologist who has situated herself among them, the novel is fascinating not only for the rituals it examines and the utterly exotic ways it explains but also for its incorporation of mostly unheard of academic theories of social anthropology. At times, the book even seems a condensed history of the discipline. There aren't too many works of fiction, after all, that are capable of working James Frazer's The Golden Bough into the plot in a meaningful and interesting way.

Otherwise, the form of the novel is almost a literary version of Citizen Kane, revolving around a mysterious death and a murder. This in turn leads to the exploring of the second group due anthropological uncovering--fundamentalist American missionaries devoted to converting the heathen Dyalo to Christianity. What the narrator and sometimes protagonist in the story reveals is that both the Dyalo and the missionaries operate from a similar perspective on the world. Both peoples are encased in a worldview where demons and spirits populate the world and determine human fate. It's to Berlinski's credit, by the way, that he represents the missionaries as deserving of sympathetic observation as much as would normally be the case for the Dyalo alone. The exotic and unknown and sometimes unknowable worlds of both peoples are rendered with some subtlety as well as nuance.

Mischa Berlinski, finally, is not only the author of this mystery, the name is also that given to the lead narrator/protagonist. And it is his story that is used for the side trips into modern Thailand. This is also the weakest part of the novel. Berlinski's observations about expats in Thailand mostly do little beyond presenting cliched images. It sometimes seems as if he has made a checklist of foreigners' faults and oddities from sources such as Thai Visa Forum--available online, for anyone interested. He also gets a few things wrong. But he also gets one thing very right, the world of Thailand right before the smartphone revolution brought global immediacy to the remotest of Thai villages. Berlinski's Thailand, barely 12 years in the past, is now long gone. In its place is something that may be much more harsh and violent, with fading traditions replaced with a megamall in every provincial Thai capital or major city. ( )
  PaulCornelius | Apr 12, 2020 |
A good read. The story of a young anthropologist who becomes obsessed with her work with a small tribe in northern Thailand. I loved the way the author gradually unfolded her story. ( )
  gbelik | Dec 7, 2019 |
Flash back to my school’s “Blind Date with a Book” exercise last January. The librarians wrapped library books like Christmas presents with codes on them, and you could pick one up, let them use the code to check it out for you, and take it back to your dorm to unwrap it. In my package, I found Fieldwork, Mischa Berlinski’s debut novel. I consider myself quite lucky to have done so, because I never would have noticed it otherwise — it’s a captivating story masked by a rather bland title and cover design. Stephen King noted this in his otherwise complimentary review in Entertainment Weekly, saying, “why, why, why would a company publish a book this good and then practically demand that people not read it? Why should this book go to waste?”

Feeling obligated to at least try the book, even though it focused on subjects that don’t ordinarily grab my attention, I started in. By the end of the second chapter, I was snared – I couldn’t put it down. Don’t be fooled by appearances; read this book. ( )
  hungrylittlebookworm | Mar 27, 2017 |
My favorite book of 2008. Fascinating perspectives told from 3 points of view. Cannot recommend it high enough ( )
  ellenuw | Jan 27, 2016 |
A wonderful book despite its flaws, this book started out as non-fiction. The author was not able to find anyone who would publish an anthropoligical examination of missionary work with the hill tribes in Thailand. When the pagan tribes start converting, we see the resulting disintegration of a truly unique way of life. Shares many themes with Shusaku Endo's 1996 novel _Silence_. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 56 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Fieldwork is a clever book, chock-full of David Foster Wallace–esque footnotes and moments of direct address. The arc of the story is interrupted by a variety of informants: Martiya’s roommate from Berkeley; Martiya’s advisor/lover (who once arrived at his cultural anthropology class “wearing nothing but a handsome, three-foot-long embroidered penis sheath”); Martiya herself, in letters. There is pleasure in piecing these bits together, but we occasionally lose sight of Mischa, despite his self-referential devices.
adicionada por paradoxosalpha | editarThe Believer, Lara Tupper (Mar 1, 2007)
 
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When his girlfriend takes a job in Thailand, Mischa Berlinski goes along for the ride, planning to enjoy himself and work as little as possible. But one evening a fellow expatriate tips him off to a story: a charismatic American anthropologist, Martiya van der Leun, has been found dead--a suicide--in the Thai prison where she was serving a life sentence for murder. Curious at first, Mischa is soon immersed in the details of her story. This brilliant, haunting novel expands into a mystery set among the Thai hill tribes, whose way of life became a battleground for the missionaries and the scientists living among them. "Fieldwork" is a 2007 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction.

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