What I Loved

by Siri Hustvedt | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0340682388 Global Overview for this book
Registered by karjim of Skyros - Σκύρος, Evia Greece on 12/2/2012
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by karjim from Skyros - Σκύρος, Evia Greece on Sunday, December 02, 2012
This is the story of two men who first become friends in 1970s New York, of the women in their lives, and of their sons, born the same year. Both Leo Hertzberg, an art historian, and Bill Weschler, a painter, are cultured, decent men, but neither is equipped to deal with what happens to their children - Leo's son drowns when he's 12, while Bill's son Mark grows up to be a delinquent, and the acolyte of a sinister, guru-like artist who spawns murder in his wake. Spanning the hedonism of the eighties and the chill-out nineties, this multi-layered novel combines a plot of mounting menace with a deeply moving account of familial relationships and a superbly observed portrait of an artist, set against the backdrop of a society reaching new depths of depravity in its frenetic quest for the next fashion, drug and thrill.

Journal Entry 2 by karjim at Skyros - Σκύρος, Evia Greece on Wednesday, January 09, 2013
To begin talking about this book i have to declare I usually don't enjoy contemporary north american literature. And this is a quite typical sample. So, didn't I like this book? No, I liked it! Beautifully written, excellent language, punctual and clear , nicely worked. Nice and real characters, well built up plot, good twists. But...
Where is the "but" in all these?
It is an inner and confessive book about a middleaged man's life. He is an art professor in the university, married to wife of a similar profession and his best friend is an artist, (painting, sculpture, installation) and his sociologist - writer second wife, also and mainly the story of their two sons of similar age. The peak of the book seems to be the beginning of the second part where the narrator's son dies at the age of eleven. That is something that you could write a book about. But the book goes on. It shows how the life of the narrator turns and changes , he is separated from his wife, he loses his best friend and he becomes more and more attached to his second wife and son who is actually a very problematic child and teenager.

The part of the book that he is into his friend's son's problems turns into a thriller. A psychopath artist that the boy - and the art community- comes across brings crime into the plot.It changes the rythm and character of the book. It turns more exciting but less solid.

My biggest restrain about the book is the choice of characters whose life we watch. They are all intellectuals, New yorkers with every bit of the definition in them, people with academic careers and inerests, art addictive and self analysing. Art, history of art, sociology, psychiatric research take up a large part of the book's pages. It's the american way of research to write a book, stuffing details that the reader doesn't know (and possibly doesn't care to read in a novel). The heroes don't apply to the average reader, few can identify with them, few can feel the elitist way of living described in the book.

There comes my strongest objection. I can see that the writer writes about the way she is living, the way she is consuming life, the way she is absorbing things and emotions. But for me it;s still a blink of the eye to the intellectual "clan" of critics, artists, academics, the people that will see it has to do with the "few and enlightened" and will appreciate it for that alone. It's a very good book for the critics and an interesting but not so exciting book for the average reader at least in a big part of it.

I really liked it, but I think it misses the goal to overwhelm all kind of readers. It stays in the academic side too much.

Journal Entry 3 by karjim at Καφέ - μπαρ "Οινώ" in Skyros - Σκύρος, Evia Greece on Sunday, January 20, 2013

Released 8 yrs ago (1/20/2013 UTC) at Καφέ - μπαρ "Οινώ" in Skyros - Σκύρος, Evia Greece

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