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Big Bang por David Bowman
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Big Bang (original 2019; edição 2019)

por David Bowman (Autor), Jonathan Lethem (Introdução)

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395521,305 (4)Nenhum(a)
Set in the 1950's, this epic, Warholian novel presents a brilliant and wholly original take on the years leading up to the Kennedy assassination. Where were you when you first heard President Kennedy had been shot? This is a question most people can answer, even if the answer is "I wasn't born yet." In this epic novel, David Bowman makes the strong case that the shooting on November 22nd, 1963 was the major, defining turning point that catapulted the world into an entirely new stratosphere. It was the second big bang. In this hilarious, lightning-fast historical novel, Bowman follows the most famous couples of the decade as their lives are torn apart by post-war's new normal. We see Lucille Ball's bizarre interrogation by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee and Jackie Onassis' moonlight cruise with Frank Sinatra . We follow Norman Mailer and Arthur Miller as they attempt to get quickie divorces together at a loophole resort in Nevada and watch a young Howard Hunt snoop around South America with the newly founded CIA. A young Jimi Hendrix, now the epitome of counterculture cool, tries his luck as a clean cut army recruit. Written with an almost documentary film like intensity, BIG BANG is a posthumous work from the award-winning author of Let the Dog Drive. A riotous account of a country, perhaps, at the beginning of the end.… (mais)
Membro:Terryanne
Título:Big Bang
Autores:David Bowman (Autor)
Outros autores:Jonathan Lethem (Introdução)
Informação:Little, Brown and Company (2019), Edition: First Edition, 624 pages
Colecções:Para ler
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:To Read

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Big Bang por David Bowman (2019)

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Mostrando 5 de 5
This was not my type of book, but given that, there was much I enjoyed and it was mostly well-written. I liked the insight and info on the history and I liked the expansive perspective and the interconnectedness of so many disparate parts. I will always feel that books so focused on white men are limited, though, and wonder what I am missing. ( )
  erikasolberg770 | Nov 17, 2020 |
Posthumously published, this kaleidoscopic non-fiction novel finds the obscure connections between historical figures and the dimly-remembered details of fateful decisions and accidents during the decade from 1953-63 -- the decade of the Baby Boom/Big Bang -- and how it created our world today. Extensive dives into the imagined interior lives of real people -- Arthur Miller, E. Howard Hunt, Alger Hiss, the Ngo Diem family of Vietnam, Robert MacNamara, William S. Burroughs and especially "Jack and Jacks" Kennedy -- turn these icons into the people who must have existed. ( )
  evano | Feb 23, 2020 |
Devil in the White City meets The Great Gatsby in the 1950s. Big Bang was mostly entertaining with the many references to famous people, places, poems, novels, and historic events, but at times I felt lost and had no idea where Bowman was going. An incredibly well researched novel that is creative and expanded much farther into anything most humans can imagine. It's amazing, but long and circular. ( )
  Beth.Clarke | Jun 28, 2019 |
Big Bang by David Bowman is a fairly long read that seems longer because it is not your typical straightforward narrative. While the comparison I have been seeing the most is to Delillo's Underworld (which I think is a fair comp) I would also include Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. Big Bang is similar to both yet is distinctive from each.

The novel spans the years 1950 to 1963 and is, in that sense, very chronological, contrary to what some seem to think. As events happen during this chronology Bowman jumps both backward and forward to let us know what these people have done or, most often, will do. These asides are not difficult to follow. Within each chapter, which covers roughly 6 months to 2 years each, there are multiple snippets, for lack of a better term, each taking place in a different location. These may run from a couple of paragraphs to several pages. As you read you will find yourself making the transitions much more smoothly than at first. There are several key threads centered around specific figures and you just have to remember who is who. The placing of these snippets where they are do create some interesting juxtapositions.

I came to think of this as a mosaic. Each snippet is a single piece. There are many pieces of one hue and many of another. The hues, here, are the historical figures. While you're reading, especially early in the book, it is like being too close to a mosaic and being unable to discern what is what. Also think of a pointillist painting. Too close in and the picture disappears. As you read further in the book you start to see some form and some shapes. When you are finished, you can reflect on the whole and see a picture that makes far more sense than the individual pieces did while you were reading.

In recommending this book, I would say that if you are willing to be patient and wait for the picture to come into view you may well find it to be a powerful book. But I'm not sure that we are all going to see the same picture, so you may well find the picture to be a disappointment, but it won't be because there is nothing connecting all of the pieces. It is because it simply didn't appeal to you. I do believe that this book will be a rewarding experience for anyone who does more than "peruse" the book and throw out asinine comments like "Delillo fanfiction." At least don't advertise that it went over your head by playing pseudo-intellectual, just say you didn't like it. This will ultimately be one of those books that require more time and effort than some might want to give it. In today's world that makes sense for many people. If you like the challenge, even if there is no guarantee you'll love what you find, this could be a fun read for you. The writing itself is quite straightforward and won't present a problem. The mosaic-like nature of the snippets will be what could prevent an enjoyable read for some.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley. ( )
  pomo58 | Mar 9, 2019 |
My Sixth Grade class was in the library that Friday afternoon when Mr. Saffronoff led us back through Northwood Elementary School's ancient hallways to our classroom. We were being let out of school early. The president had been shot. As I walked home alone down the tree-lined street I was filled with vague and unsettling fears. Was America vulnerable and unprotected without the president?

It would be years before I revisited the America I grew up in, hoping to understand as an adult the events that had shaken my childhood sense of security--The Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassinations of President Kennedy and later his brother Robert and Martin Luther King, Jr., the Vietnam War and the daily body count on the television news.

At 600+ pages, I was uncertain I wanted to read Big Bang, but the subject matter was too tempting.

The book begins with Jonathan Lethem's essay on his friend David Bowman, calling Big Bang "docu-fiction," "an epic novel about celebrity and power in the postwar twentieth century," a "mammoth project" about "everything and anything" Bowman knew about postwar America. The Foreword ends by telling readers that all of the people and events are based on "true history."

I found a densely woven correlation of events and personages so intricate as to astonish. Bowen had created a literary, "six degrees" link chart of interconnections that is all-embracing. Of course, the Kennedys are central along with all the necessary Washington figures, but also making appearances are J. D. Salinger, William S. Burroughs, Howard Hunt writing pulp fiction and planning the secret invasion of Guatemala, Richard Nixon and his Checkers speech, Carl Djerassi and Robert McNamara in an Ann Arbor book club, Lucille Ball facing the McCarthy House Un-American Activities Committee...

Just to give you a taste.

Bowen suggests that after the Atom Bomb, the second "big bang" to change the world was the Kennedy assassination. It changed a lot of things, for sure. It set off a chain of other political assassinations.

The novel was a journey into the world that shaped me.

I received a free ebook from the publisher in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. ( )
1 vote nancyadair | Nov 12, 2018 |
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Set in the 1950's, this epic, Warholian novel presents a brilliant and wholly original take on the years leading up to the Kennedy assassination. Where were you when you first heard President Kennedy had been shot? This is a question most people can answer, even if the answer is "I wasn't born yet." In this epic novel, David Bowman makes the strong case that the shooting on November 22nd, 1963 was the major, defining turning point that catapulted the world into an entirely new stratosphere. It was the second big bang. In this hilarious, lightning-fast historical novel, Bowman follows the most famous couples of the decade as their lives are torn apart by post-war's new normal. We see Lucille Ball's bizarre interrogation by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee and Jackie Onassis' moonlight cruise with Frank Sinatra . We follow Norman Mailer and Arthur Miller as they attempt to get quickie divorces together at a loophole resort in Nevada and watch a young Howard Hunt snoop around South America with the newly founded CIA. A young Jimi Hendrix, now the epitome of counterculture cool, tries his luck as a clean cut army recruit. Written with an almost documentary film like intensity, BIG BANG is a posthumous work from the award-winning author of Let the Dog Drive. A riotous account of a country, perhaps, at the beginning of the end.

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