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The Tetherballs of Bougainville : A Novel…
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The Tetherballs of Bougainville : A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries) (original 1997; edição 1998)

por Mark Leyner

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283770,559 (3.32)7
From his cult classic,  I Smell Esther Williams, to his wildly popular and insightful column "Wild Kingdom" appearing in Esquire magazine every month, Mark Leyner has been giving us up close and personal encounters of the most hilarious kind for over a decade. Now, in his new novel The Tetherballs of Bougainville, Leyner shares with us,  long last, the quintessential coming of age story that every writer, at some point, is compelled to tell.  In the novel we meet young Mark Leyner, 13-years-old to be exact, as he waits in a New Jersey prison to witness his father's execution.  Adolescence is never easy, and it just so happens that this junior high schooler is on deadline to turn in a screenplay for which he has already been awarded the Vincent and Lenore DiGiacomo/Oshimitsu Polymers America Award.  And, as it was for all of us during out teenage years, nothing seems to go as planned. Written as autobiography, screenplay and movie review, The Tetherballs of Bougainville twists three familiar narrative forms into an outlandishly compelling story.  Leyner's use of the media-driven formats brilliantly reflects our secret, shameful and hilarious desire to experience our private lives as mass entertainment.  The Tetherballs of Bougainville skewers and celebrates American pop culture in the late twentieth century.  Leyner's version of our lives is so deeply funny because it is so painfully true.… (mais)
Membro:hawkmcgee
Título:The Tetherballs of Bougainville : A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries)
Autores:Mark Leyner
Informação:Vintage (1998), Edition: 1 Vintage, Paperback
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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The Tetherballs of Bougainville por Mark Leyner (1997)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 7 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Read Et Tu, Babe instead. ( )
  Stubb | Aug 28, 2018 |
It had a few cute ideas. But it got really annoying and stupid. I didn't finish it. ( )
  nx74defiant | Feb 4, 2017 |
When I first read The Crying of Lot 49 I thought: well at least an author has found a way to dazzle us with language enough that we don't immediately figure out we're dealing with a cry for attention (a lot). Of course then you read Portnoys Complaint and The Tetherballs of Bougainville and you realize this is common practice. Most of the time there is something to be had in such novels that makes the reading worth while. In Lot 49 there is an interesting plot and in Portnoy we learn much more about mother-son and other family relationships. In Tetherballs we get absolutely nothing but the raw cry for attention by an author. Before we've figured this out we've gone through countless litanies of objects, people, places, situations, and anything else you can list or recite.

It's supposed to be funny, and it is for the first fifteen pages or so, but then the constant use of 'clever' metaphors, interlinked symbols, inappropriately yet sophisticated sexual remarks and blatantly in-your-face physicality eventually wears you out. There is a somewhat detectable plot line somewhere and it does seem to involve some of the main characters but it doesn't really matter much. It's not about them, it's about the author. Of course the author himself is clever enough to understand we eventually figure that out. He therefore included a review about his own book/plot in which he explains how self-gratifying his own writing is. Clever, but it doesn't fix much. By then the damage is done.

How does it all work? What I mean by that is, what's the literary device employed here that makes us read this text without wanting to yell at the author? There seems to be a basic rule in public speaking and entertainment that if you want to say something important that people remember, then you have to say it in all seriousness. If on the other hand if you want to say something important and have people pay attention, then you need to say it with humor. In fact if you say anything funny you can make people overlook any offensive content or direct insults you wish to hide. Most stand-up comedians are living proof of this principle. Even though a lot of the content in Tetherballs isn't actually funny, it sounds funny, or we know it should be funny. That keeps our emotional brain busy enough to not see the forest through the trees.

Essentially Mark Leyner is writing about himself. He's writing about all his frustrations, desires, needs and urges. For Leyner it is not enough to weave his own needs into an intricate story with many vivid characters that each evolve and come to grips with the maddening world around them. No, Leyer quite literally screams at us through his words. I find it difficult to label any book or novel offensive because you can always decline to read it. I also find it difficult to call a novel manipulative, because we all know they are and we all willingly participate. So I wouldn't call Tetherballs offensive or manipulative because I willingly read it and I never fell for the surface text. I will call the novel sad though. ( )
1 vote TheCriticalTimes | Sep 19, 2011 |
I'm pleased to say I understand all of these other, negative reviews, but I still loved this book. I had to stop reading it on the train because I looked like a laughing-until-tearing-up lunatic. You will know after the 5 pages of preface what you're in for. What I don't understand is if the book is so terrible, why read it? If you take a bite out of a rotten apple and get a worm do you keep eating, hoping it's going to get better? "A crow doesn't suddenly start to sing like a canary" as one of Voinovich's characters said in The Fur Hat. ( )
2 vote rickstill122 | Nov 25, 2010 |
Well could be fancy and say its a post modernist novel with a form that counters the tyranny of the outdated narrative and naturalist tradition. Its plot: son at father's failed execution; father enrolled in the State's lotto prisoner execution programme, son writes a screenplay is merely a rack for lots of streams of conciousness/montage pieces.

I love books that break with conventions but when they engage me and not being just fun for the writer. I loved 253 or The Saddlebag for example. This is supposed to be his most novel like book but it reads like he lacks the discipline to write for the reader. Or at least not the sober drug free reader...it must be a profound read if stoned

( )
2 vote ablueidol | Feb 24, 2008 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 7 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Author’s way of storytelling is so good, I suggest you join NovelStar’s writing competition, you might be their next big star.
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From his cult classic,  I Smell Esther Williams, to his wildly popular and insightful column "Wild Kingdom" appearing in Esquire magazine every month, Mark Leyner has been giving us up close and personal encounters of the most hilarious kind for over a decade. Now, in his new novel The Tetherballs of Bougainville, Leyner shares with us,  long last, the quintessential coming of age story that every writer, at some point, is compelled to tell.  In the novel we meet young Mark Leyner, 13-years-old to be exact, as he waits in a New Jersey prison to witness his father's execution.  Adolescence is never easy, and it just so happens that this junior high schooler is on deadline to turn in a screenplay for which he has already been awarded the Vincent and Lenore DiGiacomo/Oshimitsu Polymers America Award.  And, as it was for all of us during out teenage years, nothing seems to go as planned. Written as autobiography, screenplay and movie review, The Tetherballs of Bougainville twists three familiar narrative forms into an outlandishly compelling story.  Leyner's use of the media-driven formats brilliantly reflects our secret, shameful and hilarious desire to experience our private lives as mass entertainment.  The Tetherballs of Bougainville skewers and celebrates American pop culture in the late twentieth century.  Leyner's version of our lives is so deeply funny because it is so painfully true.

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