• Title: MacArthur Park
  • Author: Andrew Durbin
  • ISBN: 9781937658694
  • Page: 445
  • Format: Paperback
  • MacArthur Park After Hurricane Sandy Nick Fowler a writer stranded alone in a Manhattan apartment without power begins to contemplate disaster Months later at an artist residency in upstate New York Nick finds
    After Hurricane Sandy, Nick Fowler, a writer, stranded alone in a Manhattan apartment without power, begins to contemplate disaster Months later, at an artist residency in upstate New York, Nick finds his subject in disaster itself and the communities shaped by it, where crisis animates both hope and denial, unacknowledged pasts and potential futures As he travels to LosAfter Hurricane Sandy, Nick Fowler, a writer, stranded alone in a Manhattan apartment without power, begins to contemplate disaster Months later, at an artist residency in upstate New York, Nick finds his subject in disaster itself and the communities shaped by it, where crisis animates both hope and denial, unacknowledged pasts and potential futures As he travels to Los Angeles and London on assignment, Nick discovers that outsiders their lives and histories disturbed by sex, loss, and bad weather are often better understood by what they have hidden from the world than what they have revealed.

    One Reply to “MacArthur Park”

    1. This novel, which is about literal and metaphorical extremes of weather (it opens with Hurricane Sandy in NYC), could not feel more timely at this juncture, when our country (and maybe the world) seems to be splintering apart (from extremes of weather, however you want to define it). With so many of us/everyone trying to cope with this reality, the book, though not "structured" in any traditional sense, feels like a roadmap through this process, at least for the narrator and, by extension, the r [...]

    2. I am not the first reviewer to point out that Andrew Durbin is reminiscent of Ben Lerner. However, while Lerner makes writers ‘writing about writing’ seem vaguely interesting, Durbin is determined to subject the process to an excruciating autopsy-like, blow-by-blow investigation.The unfortunate side-effect of this – and it is a big problem I have with a lot of these ‘writerly’ novels – is that the characters seem embalmed as a result. It is difficult to connect with them on an emotio [...]

    3. The real beauty of reading "MacArthur Park" comes in the frustration a reader experiences in being left completely unable to classify the book they are reading. At times autobiography, at times nonfiction essay, and still at other times complete fiction, Andrew Durbin leads his readers deep inside his own mind as he considers and critiques the social structures that underly contemporary society - including the act of writing itself. While this book is at times a failed experiment in rethinking t [...]

    4. This started out looking like an interesting meditation on climate change, starting with Hurricane Sandy in New York, then flitting about the art and poetry world, concerning itself largely with questions of literary authenticity, cults, history and the romantic life of the gay narrator. It meandered to a close. It was well-written and held my interest, but someone else will have to explain to me what it was all about. It's pretty hard to categorize, and I might have been more forgiving if it we [...]

    5. This reminded me a lot of Ben Lerner's semi-autobiographical novels, which I love. Following a twenty-something author in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy as he tries to cobble both a book and his life together, the writing is honest and warm, and you can't help rooting for this guy to muddle through. Less relatable for me than Lerner, but of course I'm a lot older and straighter than the characters here. Three and a half stars; I'll gladly come back to Durbin and see what he's writing about a f [...]

    6. Durbin's at the brink of a real career. This prose was contemporary at best, mixing the self with the fiction and all of the lovely autobiographical tendencies in between. Durbin is a thinker and he's got more to do, more to think, he's working and I'm happy to listen. I find him entertaining, which is not a critique.

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