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The last samurai : [a novel] por Helen…
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The last samurai : [a novel] (original 2000; edição 2000)

por Helen DeWitt

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,611518,407 (4.22)61
Sibylla, an American-at-Oxford turned loose on London, finds herself trapped as a single mother after a misguided one-night stand. High-minded principles of child-rearing work disastrously well. J.S. Mill (taught Greek at three) and Yo Yo Ma (Bach at two) claimed the methods would work with any child; when these succeed with the boy Ludo, he causes havoc at school and is home again in a month. (Is he a prodigy, a genius? Readers looking over Ludo's shoulder find themselves easily reading Greek and more.) Lacking male role models for a fatherless boy, Sibylla turns to endless replays of Kurosawa's masterpiece Seven Samurai. But Ludo is obsessed with the one thing he wants and doesn't know: his father's name. At eleven, inspired by his own take on the classic film, he sets out on a secret quest for the father he never knew. He'll be punched, sliced, and threatened with retribution. He may not live to see twelve. Or he may find a real samurai and save a mother who thinks boredom a fate worse than death.… (mais)
Membro:brett.sovereign
Título:The last samurai : [a novel]
Autores:Helen DeWitt
Informação:New York : Hyperion, cop. 2000.
Colecções:Main collection
Avaliação:*****
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

Pormenores da obra

The Last Samurai por Helen DeWitt (2000)

  1. 10
    Franny and Zooey por J. D. Salinger (girlunderglass)
    girlunderglass: More young prodigies one falls head over heels with.
  2. 10
    Lighthousekeeping por Jeanette Winterson (camillahoel)
  3. 00
    An Abundance of Katherines por John Green (Katya0133)
    Katya0133: another book about a child prodigy, very different in style, but I enjoyed both
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Inglês (49)  Russo (1)  Espanhol (1)  Todas as línguas (51)
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Someone’s mother once said “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Well, I was never one to take unsolicited advice. I think many reviewers are afraid of appearing shallow by stating the truth: THIS BOOK IS SIMPLY AWFUL. I quit at page 196. It’s probably been a decade since I haven’t finished a book – I think it was Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner. Actually, I am now remembering quitting From Hell by Alan Moore more recently.

Dewitt's book rambles on and on, skittering over endless senseless topics; it is cloaked as an “intellectual, tour de force, playful, multi-layered, but wonderfully readable” (according to the jacket flap so it must be true.) She interrupts her vignettes, with even less meaningful interludes. If there was a central theme, it was lost on me. I love one reviewer’s comment: “No wonder she never finished college. She can’t seem to think in a straight line.” Her disdain for traditional education, especially for the gifted, is repeated ad nauseum, which I am quite sure was her own personal experience. And why does she think “&’s” are so cool? An utterly unnecessary affectation. Do yourself a humongous favor, skip this one. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
Novels that deliberately pitch themselves as "for smart people" often draw much more attention to the author than to the story itself (the works of James Joyce being the most extreme example), so I was delighted to read this really entertaining novel that integrated a tremendous amount of advanced linguistics, music, film, physics, and other "just go look it up" subjects into the plot in a way that both showed off DeWitt's intelligence yet still had those qualities that make for a satisfying novel instead of a particularly long Wikipedia session. It begins from the point of view of of Sybilla, a smart but unambitious single mother who gets knocked up after a one-night stand, and her attempts to raise her child prodigy son Ludo. Ludo comes off as mildly Aspergery, and he's absolutely determined to learn out who his father is over his mother's objections that she can raise him by herself. As he becomes the primary character and finally discovers and is then disappointed by his true father's thoroughgoing mediocrity, he decides to visit several candidates to be a surrogate father to him, inspired by the assembly of the characters in Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, which his mother rewatches endlessly. The pleasure of the novel is not just in watching Ludo grow up over time, but in how his life exemplifies so many things: the joy of learning, the challenges of fitting in, the power of chance, the struggles of making sense of life, the enrichment we get from art, the difficulties of fatherhood, how potential is achieved (or not), and the question of what separates knowing a bunch of facts from an actual education. Among many many other things, DeWitt explicitly references John Stuart Mill's Autobiography, which I had just read, and Mill's quest for wisdom is well-echoed here. ( )
  aaronarnold | May 11, 2021 |
I’d never heard of this book until a Vulture list named it the best book of the 21st century so far. Can’t say I agree but it’s funny: e.g., an eccentric cackles as she calls her 6yo son jinsai (Japanese for man-made disaster), her polymath son claps back it’s a shame matricide is taboo. People who concern themselves with the notion of genius may enjoy (e.g., literary critics, academics, people that tell you they’re a member of Mensa), but those with a sense of humor will like it even more for the cutting satire thereof. ( )
  jiyoungh | May 3, 2021 |
This is a peculiar and awkward book but I really liked it. It really made me question why my child can't already read Japanese and do complicated maths - maybe I just don't have high enough expectations for what children can learn! How hard can it be to learn one Kanji every day?

We start with the mother's viewpoint and although she's clever and strange she is also trapped by her immigration status, by being a single mother and by her outlook on life. Later we get more from her sons point of view, who is by all measures a genius and educated beyond his years. But both of them lack human understanding and emotional intelligence.

I found this mix really fascinating and entertaining - there are lots of funny conversations and it's a very self consciously clever book. Ludo's search for his father is a little longwinded in places, and breaks the earlier flow a bit, the structure feels a bit uneven and odd. But it's very original and really thought provoking too. ( )
  AlisonSakai | May 2, 2021 |
I cannot think of a flaw in this linguist’s feast! ( )
  chrisvia | Apr 29, 2021 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (5 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Helen DeWittautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Dal Pra, ElenaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Guglielmina, PierreTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Johansson, IngerTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Moral Bartolomé, GemmaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Nowakowski, WitoldTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Risvik, KariTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Risvik, KjellTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Talvio 'Elone, Anna-LauraTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Timmermann, KlausTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Wasel, UlrikeTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Рейн, Н.В.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Sibylla, an American-at-Oxford turned loose on London, finds herself trapped as a single mother after a misguided one-night stand. High-minded principles of child-rearing work disastrously well. J.S. Mill (taught Greek at three) and Yo Yo Ma (Bach at two) claimed the methods would work with any child; when these succeed with the boy Ludo, he causes havoc at school and is home again in a month. (Is he a prodigy, a genius? Readers looking over Ludo's shoulder find themselves easily reading Greek and more.) Lacking male role models for a fatherless boy, Sibylla turns to endless replays of Kurosawa's masterpiece Seven Samurai. But Ludo is obsessed with the one thing he wants and doesn't know: his father's name. At eleven, inspired by his own take on the classic film, he sets out on a secret quest for the father he never knew. He'll be punched, sliced, and threatened with retribution. He may not live to see twelve. Or he may find a real samurai and save a mother who thinks boredom a fate worse than death.

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