Eat the Document

Eat the Document An Ambitious And Powerful Story About Idealism, Passion, And Sacrifice, Eat The Documentshifts Between The Underground Movement Of The S And The Echoes And Consequences Of That Movement In The S A National Book Award Finalist, Eat The Document Is A Riveting Portrait Of Two Eras And One Of The Most Provocative And Compelling Novels Of Recent Years

Scribner published Dana Spiotta s first novel, Lightning Field, in 2001 The New York Times called it the debut of a wonderfully gifted writer with an uncanny feel for the absurdities and sadnesses of contemporary life, and an unerring ear for how people talk and try to cope today It was a New York Times Notable Book of the year, and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the West.Her second novel, E

[BOOKS] ✮ Eat the Document By Dana Spiotta – 502udns.info
  • Paperback
  • 290 pages
  • Eat the Document
  • Dana Spiotta
  • English
  • 07 April 2019
  • 9780743273008

10 thoughts on “Eat the Document

  1. says:

    If you garnered your notion of the USA solely from literature you d probably end up thinking anti establishment terrorism was a widespread phenomenon You might even feel Edgar Hoover wasn t such a nutjob as he appears The other novel I m currently reading City on Fire takes up this theme as have countless others I ve read books by DeLillo, Roth, Pynchon, Letham, Franzen spring immediately to mind In fact, there are probably novels on this theme than deal with the infinitely influential and important civil rights movement Perhaps because most American writers are white Anyway, this is just an observation Eat the Document introduces us to two young lovers who are sick and tired of the Vietnam war and the ineffectual protests They decide to take meaningful action by planting bombs in the homes of the various chairmen of culpable corporations There are four narrative threads The Mary thread provides the novel with its narrative drive and is the most successful After the bombings Mary and Bobby have to separate and change identity The Mary thread is a compelling dramatization of a woman forced to change her identity and live on the fringes of conventional society The Henry thread, there to provide an outlet for a obscure philosophising on the theme, for me was the least successful, but it doesn t occupy much space so can easily be forgiven Then there s the Jason thread which takes the form of the journal of an alienated teenager most of whose rebellion is expressed in the form of a wilfully obscure music taste The role popular music plays in revolt is a constant and edifying theme Finally, there s the Nash thread The link between Mary, Jason and Nash will be cleverly kept a mystery until late in the novel Lots to love and admire about this novel She s been compared to DeLillo and though her writing falls well short of his inspired prose there are similarities, most notably in its depictions of the extreme forms feelings of alienation can precipitate.

  2. says:

    Tre stelle e mezza non riuscito a coinvolgermi emotivamente La descrizione migliore di questo romanzo si pu fare usando le parole della stessa protagonista E il modo in cui ti senti, o meglio la sensazione che ti d Di un America rancida, capisci, un po stantia Terribile la traduzione del titolo, proprio non gli rende giustizia Buoni il ritmo, la scansione temporale, l intreccio e il modo in cui alla fine alcuni tasselli tornano al loro posto Ottimo il linguaggio ho idea che questo libro pi di tanti altri necessiti di una lettura in lingua originale per meglio coglierne le sfumature e i giochi di parole e di significati Ottimo anche nel soffermarsi ad analizzare la Storia e la societ contemporanee, il modo in cui la modernit e le tecnologie arrivano a compenetrarsi con quello che pu apparire vintage Quanto allo stile, concordo con lorin sul fatto che la mano sia un po troppo femminile anche laddove la voce narrante dovrebbe calarsi in panni prettamente maschili L ispirazione che ha fatto nascere questo romanzo ha evidentemente una forte affinit con quella che ha dato vita a Le ragazze della Cline A partire da quella magica e o maledetta estate del 69, attraverso gli anni settanta e ottanta e fino ai giorni nostri, si inanellano gli episodi che sono tutti flash back e flash forward, zigzagando tra i decenni Tantissimi gli ingredienti presenti nel romanzo, forse questo il suo punto debole, una moltitudine di temi ed elementi che finiscono giocoforza per galleggiare in superficie senza il dovuto approfondimento l uso di agenti chimici in Vietnam, le sindromi da stress post traumatico, la dipendenza da psicofarmaci, l identit ovvero l annullamento dell identit in nome di un ideale o un ideologia, la ribellione e l anticonformismo, attivismo e para attivismo, la provincia e i sobborghi americani con relative architettura e urbanistica, hackers figli di pap sabato in barca a vela e luned al leonkavallo , c un gruppo femminile di autocoscienza, c finanche una comune che una sorta di albergo per le donne tristi, c la globalizzazione e le multinazionali con le loro scorribande nell ambito del sociale, il capitalismo e il consumismo e la manipolazione psicologica del consumatore Troppa carne al fuoco per sole trecento pagine la veduta d insieme brillante, e mi viene il sospetto che con un pi corposo lavoro di approfondimento di questi temi, sarebbe stato un romanzone capolavoro di tutta la letteratura e della storia contemporanea americana Anche le storie personali e psicologiche dei due protagonisti mi sono piaciute, view spoiler specialmente il modo in cui Bobby Nash si prende una cotta per Miranda perch in lei rivede la Mary di tanti anni prima hide spoiler

  3. says:

    Eat the Document has an interesting premise Mary and Bobby, two sixties radicals, are forced to separate and go underground when their scheme to blow up the summer home of an executive whose company produces napalm and or Agent Orange goes awry, killing an innocent victim Thirty years later, both are living unbeknownst to one another in the Seattle area Mary, who now goes by the name Louise, is raising a 16 year old son, Jason Bobby, now known as Nash, runs an alternative book store for his friend Henry, who is dying of cancer Mary has always intended to tell Jason the truth, and turn herself in, as soon as he is ready But Jason is a smart kid What if he figures things out for himself first Spiotta develops the story beautifully, essentially using it as a vehicle to explore questions of identity, as well as providing a fairly astute analysis of the 60s and 90s counter culture The novel is not as tightly constructed as it could have been a couple of story arcs Henry s deteriorating health and the glib explanation offered for it, the May December attraction between Miranda and Nash added little And while the main characters were believable and interesting, some of the minor characters Miranda s boyfriend Josh, Jason s loser geek neighbor Gage, Mary Caroline s travel companion Berry were just cartoons But these are occasional lapses for the most part, Spiotta tells the story with subtlety and skill Intentionally or not, it s the story of Mary and Jason that forms the emotional heart of the book Nash is not unsympathetic, but he s not very interesting either The book raises some very interesting questions, and Spiotta is an engaging and skillful writer For those who enjoy that kind of thing, there are regular doses of High Fidelity style geekishness, mainly centering on Jason s obsessive interest in The Beach Boys Spiotta delivers these with such brilliance that it s hard not to be beguiled the choice of the Beach Boys as the focus of Jason s obsession is inspired It also allows the hilarious scene in which, to Jason s mounting horror, a slightly buzzed Mary reminisces about the time she danced with Dennis Wilson in a grungy surfer bar in Venice Beach Despite its minor flaws, I really liked Eat the Document , for the skill with which Spiotta unfolds the story, for the pitch perfect portrayal of the relationship between Mary and Jason, for the acuteness of her examination of the counter culture of both generations, and for the interesting questions it raises about the construction of personal identity in the U.S Predictably enough, I wasn t particularly keen on the whole demonization of the big pharmaceutical company story arc, but I can t necessarily criticize it as coming out of left field When I was typing up this review in the horrible Microsoft Works word processor, it refused to allow me to type this word, changing it each time to deionization Is this some kind of new sinister automatic bowdlerization feature that is being included with Microsoft programs It was really creepy.

  4. says:

    a pag 158 ho capito cos che mi lasciava un po perplessa in questo romanzo non che non mi stesse piacendo 3 stelle e 1 2 meritate le porta a casa, alla faccia del titolo italiano da sceneggiato tiv di cinzia TH torrini , ma si fermava a un intrattenimento gradevole e intelligente di certo senza raggiungere le 5 stelle di amici anobiani in alta considerazione.poi un paio di passaggi invero banalotti sul fascino della donna dall aria incasinata mi han messo sul chival , e una frase di questo tenore e adesso, il giorno del suo cinquantesimo compleanno, eccolo l , stordito dalla cotta per lei, sdraiato a letto con una pigra erezione a struggersi di desiderio era un piacere di per s starsene a letto a desiderare qualcuno si sentiva ridicolo, felice, sciocco ha finalmente acceso la lampadina questo libro troppo palesemente scritto da una donna c troppa mano femminile e, odio pensarlo, non in senso buono.so di muovermi su un terreno minato, ma quel che intendo dire che non c entra qui la sensibilit ma la capacit di scrivere un romanzo su un argomento ampio e a rischio banalizzazione nello specifico l attivismo politico, la contestazione antimilitare, l attentato in cui ci scappa il morto e la conseguente latitanza senza che leggendolo si riconoscano dei tratti stilistici troppo marcatamente di genere diciamo che facendo un parallelo col cinema penserei forse come esempio in positivo ai film di kathryn bigelow, the hurt locker e dintorni.e invece qui si affiancano alcuni aspetti sicuramente interessanti per dirne uno, il tratteggio degli agit prop versione 2.0 non pi quelli che mettevano le bombe contro la guerra in vietnam, ma i loro figli nerd e smanettoni col notebook in titanio ad altre semplificazioni e commistioni con un certo sguardo virante al rosa tanto nella trama quanto nello stile.e proprio restando al vietnam, il fatto che dana spiotta scelga come link per quella guerra il tema dell agente arancio, ncora la vicenda a un livello discretamente basso di originalit in altro contesto ho sentito una volta fare un parallelo che mi pare riassuma bene la mia perplessit attuale diciamo che usare l agente arancio per parlare di vietnam come voler inserire le trame italiane in un romanzo, e metterci ustica va benissimo per carit , ma si pu fare di meglio.

  5. says:

    This is a perfectly mediocre book, reasonably entertaining, but absolutely wonderful for understanding today s literature Its successes and its flaws are all so widespread, it s as if I d found the Platonic form of the Contemporary Novel Which means this review got a little out of hand I periodically fall victim to an odd complex of ideas when choosing a book to read that because a novel is supposed to be about important themes, it will treat them as if they were important that a novel ostensibly about history will be about history that a novel about radicalism will take some risks that a novel ostensibly about ideas will be intelligent than the average novel EtheD seems to be well loved, but I can t at all work out why Like Jennifer Egan s Look at Me, it s a philosophical novel with all the philosophy taken out it raises very important questions here the history decline of political radicalism on the one hand, and the morality of revolution on the other , but can t stay in one place for long enough to tease out that idea in any interesting way The book s structure makes real thought impossible the main reveal there are others is just what our main characters did back in the 70s They blew up a house with a housemaid in it Was it worth doing Since we don t know what they did until the last twenty pages, there s not much time to think about it I suspect we re meant to be instinctively disgusted by this act The characters keep insisting that intentions matter , but ultimately they accept their guilt and go to prison Meanwhile, we re told that we have to see the complexities of the owners of the homes they blew up, i.e., sometimes you just have to make chemicals that cause cancer and sell them to people Sometimes you just have to make weapons and sell them and it s not up to you if others use them They re just so complex That s the truth I showed the truth The truth is complicated More complicated than we would like, Bobby said The novel s form also makes it hard to really think with As with so many contemporary books, we have a rotating point of view, one character per chapter, with only very, very occasional dips into a distant third person perspective In other words, the narrator does all s he can to efface itself The only perspectives we get are the characters But at heart the book doesn t want us to think about the morality of radicalism, because that question has already been answered Instead it wants us to think about the changes between the sixties and seventies and the 2000s Then, we had radicals who would fight for a cause and set out on their own adventures and try to live free Now, we have cynics who ll sell out as soon as is humanly possible Then, we had the Beach Boys Now, we fetishize the Beach Boys and the rest of 60s and 70s pop music , because instead of being good consumers, we re really bad consumers There is a lot to like about the book, too The sheer breadth of the themes destroy the limits of contemporary literature you just can t write a book about this stuff that is also just a love story so the love story is overwhelmed by the story about a chemical company and an adbuster There is a good depiction of the slide from Flower Power Hope and Smiling to internet cynicism and merely symbolic protest of the being sad is subversive or free yourself from your mind chains type There s good stuff about how nostalgia is merely personal, never political There s a hint that the main characters real crime wasn t accidentally killing a woman so much as it was giving birth to the idiocies of the late twentieth century But really all of this is overwhelmed by the love story EtheD is somehow sprawling so many strands so much jumping around in time and obsessively limited it s really about true love It s both perfectly historical seventies communes noughties vinyl collectors and entirely unrealistic It s perfectly formed the characters all have their own convincing PoV the reveals are spaced out and a complete mess the multiple reveals have nothing to do with each other It tries to write about group dynamics and historical change by focusing on individual identities and family relationships Spiotta tried to do the impossible here write a novel in a contemporary form that didn t stick to domestic romantic existential maunderings Since Stone Arabia is about rock music and siblings, I suspect she tried to do the same thing there Perhaps she pulled it off I ll give it a try That s not true, I know exactly why it s a perfectly generic novel about something cool and interesting There s a place for that More often than I will admit, I love novels that are about something in which I m interested, even if they re really mediocre in every other way.

  6. says:

    1966Remember 1966 Neither does Dana Spiotta, though because it was the year she was born.It was the year the Beach Boys released Pet Sounds and started the Smile Sessions. It was the year Bob Dylan undertook a second tour with an electric band, which was filmed in D A Pennebaker s documentary Eat the Document.I d probably recommend this novel to you if you had the boxset of the Pet Sounds Sessions or you d spent half a lifetime trying to get a bootleg of the Dylan doco or you d heard of Skip Spence s solo album Oar or you had both Love albums or you have two or three Richie Unterberger books especially Unknown Legends of Rock and Roll In other words, I d probably recommend it to Paul Bryant.I d probably recommend it to you if you were interested in alternative politics in the late 60 s and early 70 s, as well as the 90 s and 00 s, and how the two periods compared and contrasted.Juxtaposition Occupied by Two GenerationsMy chief reservation is how the book is structured and whether it works.It starts well with a woman, Mary, on the run in 1972 She had been politically active, and has done something with her partner that means the FBI is after them Despite their relationship, they decide that they have to split and go their separate ways.This is a fascinating premise, but by page 20, with no elaboration on what had happened to make her a fugitive, we re reading the journal of a 15 year old boy in 1998.This is the story of two quite different generations of alternative American culture.At first it seems as if they have just been jammed together Only in the last 20 pages or so are any connections made explicit If you ve been patient enough to last, the novel becomes quite poignant However, it s a big ask to make us wade and wait through the intervening narrative.This is a Post Modernist narrative style that I ve had to confront before, especially with respect to David Mitchell s Cloud Atlas. I don t object to juxtaposition, but I do want to see connections or links emerge, sooner rather than later I m not used to waiting for 250 pages to see the light, although that might just reflect that I m not a seasoned crime reader, and therefore am not used to deferring pleasure to the end, when everything is revealed.Je Suis MaryTo be fair, the other reason I experienced difficulty getting into this novel was that I started reading it the day before the Charlie Hebdo killings.Little did I know that this book would explore comparable actions in the United States in 1972.It seemed strange to be reading a piece of fiction when live terrorism and its consequences were all over the TV.The day after the Paris sieges ended, I was able to resume reading the novel, and ironically I think this serendipity made for a interesting read Most of the quotes in my updates reflect parallels that came to me, mainly because I was consuming Charlie Hebdo almost 24 hours a day.The difference between the two experiences is that, with Paris, it s inevitable that any white reader in a Western nation would look on the protagonists in the drama as terrorists who had no political cause Certainly, they wouldn t identify with them.I ve read many times that, if they hadn t chosen to kill the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, they would have chosen somebody else to kill This point is reinforced by the fact that the third killer attacked a kosher supermarket No matter what your views about the attack on Charlie Hebdo, the attack on the Jewish supermarket just seemed gratuitous and racist It made it even less credible to understand the attacks as politically motivated.On the other hand, I wonder how we would have reacted if the terrorists had been Chechnayans or Ukrainians, and the attack had been on Moscow Would we have been prepared to consider claims of political motivation and legitimacy The 60 s GenerationJust as Islam is a broad church if that s not the wrong word to use with respect to their beliefs , the 60 s counter culture housed a lot of different movements Very few were intrinsically violent or motivated to achieve their goals by violent means.However, because the movements coincided with the Vietnam War, their target, the military industrial complex, was busy demonstrating just how violent and aggressive it could be It was easy for the counter culture to adopt an antagonistic stance towards both the government and mainstream, straight society.The novel deals with the aftermath of a politically motivated bombing of the private residences of executives of large American companies who supplied the tools of chemical warfare to the military.The protagonists have tried democratic and peaceful means to end the war and brutality However, all of their idealism has proved fruitless We wanted to do something There had been years of peaceful efforts Things escalated It was an act of desperation Suddenly, it seemed that the only way to achieve something was to embrace violence The question is, do we want to leave action to the brutes of the world I believe we must fight back, or we will feel shame all our lives We, the privileged, are obligated It is a moral duty to do something, however imperfect These are citizens taking up arms against their government and the corporate interests they represent.The 90 s GenerationAlthough current personal politics seems to be riddled with libertarianism and anarchism view spoiler the latter of which, if it is to achieve something concrete for society at large, presumably has to resort to revolutionary methods, otherwise it seems to be confined to the studies of postgraduate bohemia hide spoiler

  7. says:

    This one crept up on me as I read it It starts simple, and then moves back and forth in time sketching out the narrative and the characters One of the best examples of show, don t tell that I ve ever come across Maybe my interest in the old 60 s romantic revolutionaries flavored my initial attraction, I don t know.But before I knew it, I was drawn in caring about the characters And it used just the right level of Mimento like flashes to pull you along without losing you in excessive complexities of detail I would love to read by THIS author.

  8. says:

    This book is worth it for the word unstoppingly God, that adverb made me cry it was so beautiful, its placement so perfect.

  9. says:

    cri i ant cri e s f dal lat crisis, gr scelta, decisione, fase decisiva di una malattia , der di distinguere, giudicare.Mi piacciono i romanzi in cui l autore descrive personaggi colti in un momento di crisi Durante una crisi si vaglia la situazione in vista di una scelta difficile la crisi sempre un buon motore della narrazione.In Vivere un segreto c una donna che vive con suo figlio La gente sa poco di lei il lettore sa poco di lei Non ha amici, passato, radici, famiglia.Questa donna custodisce un segreto che ha quasi rimosso, ma adesso costretta a fare delle scelte, per cui ripercorre gli anni in cui accadde Quella Cosa e il mosaico, gradualmente, si ricompone.A questo schema va aggiunta una variabile impazzita, un punto di vista diverso il figlio adolescente.Cosa mi piaciuto Il confronto tra la madre e la ragazza che era stata Il racconto induce a riflettere sulle dinamiche che trasformano un giovane avventuroso, idealista, imprevedibile, folle, in un adulto Leggendo, mi venuta spesso in mente una foto di mia madre sedicenne indossa un vestito anni cinquanta un po corto, i capelli neri sono scompigliati e lo sguardo, un sorriso malizioso, puntato sulla camera questa ragazza ha occhi pericolosi, mi disse un mio amico anni fa non l aveva riconosciuta.Mi piaciuto il viaggio nelle ossessioni del figlio adolescente, che ho seguito passo passo grazie a youtube.Ma forse il cuore del romanzo consiste nel confronto dialettico tra la dimensione politica della vita negli anni settanta e quella individuale della vita contemporanea Il titolo originale Eat the document fa venire in mente delle spie in fuga costrette a far sparire un documento segretissimo Questa componente c senz altro, per c anche quella intima e interiore suggerita dal titolo italiano.Il romanzo mi piaciuto molto a volte i personaggi tornano a trovarmi, come viene a trovarmi la colonna sonora del figlio adolescente che diventata anche mia.E la foto di mia madre un po pi misteriosa, e inquietante Prime impressioni chi stiamo prendendo in giro Noi esistiamo grazie alla periferia suburbia nel testo La periferia il mondo dei sogni di ogni freak, un mondo di stanze extra al piano di sopra e lunghi, pigri pomeriggi privi di interferenze Un posto dove tu puoi ascoltare i tuoi LP per ore e ore Puoi vivere nella tua stanza, il tuo angolo gratuito di universo, e creare un mondo di piacere e interessi interamente centrato su te stesso e la tua logica ed estetica interiore La periferia dove puoi inseguire la tua individualit , non importa quanto rancida o recondita le grandi villette con garage da tre automobili possono ospitare infinite eccentricit traduzione mia e, ragazzi, che fatica rendere questo inglese secco ed efficace, l italiano non ha gli strumenti adatti.In questa suburbia anonima che non la periferia quasi sovietica delle nostre citt ma il sobborgo della media borghesia americana villette indipendenti con l antistante, proverbiale prato tosato in questa suburbia si muovono i personaggi della Spiotta, vividi come fossero ripresi da telecamere nascoste.Eat the document Vivere un segreto nell edizione italiana parla di una latitante e del segreto che si porta appresso, di adolescenti che vivono reclusi nella loro stanza ad ascoltare la loro musica, di attivisti o media attivisti o web attivisti, della relazione uomo donna, delle ingiustizie della societ , degli anni settanta e degli anni duemila e diavolo parla di un sacco di cose questo romanzo Tutte cose che sembrano contenute dal romanzo in modo assolutamente naturale ma che a lettura finita ESPLODONO tanto che mi chiedo come diavolo abbia fatto la Spiotta a infilare tutto in questo libretto I frammenti mi frullano ancora in testa provocando un persistente blocco del recensore come non lo avevo ancora conosciuto fino ad oggi Non riesco a focalizzare un singolo personaggio o tematica o qualunque altro genere di appiglio e ci spiega la citazione non metto mai citazioni , la nota del traduttore suburbia periferia e la confusione che ne segue.Allargo le braccia sconsolato in segno di resa.Questo romanzo pi vasto delle sue 304 pagine.

  10. says:

    I must be officially done with school because I am reading again Well, not quite, but I did read this surprising novel today.Although I was interested in reading Eat the Document, my expectations for it were not very high at the outset I suppose I was expecting mainly a character study of an ex radical and her teenage son Instead, I was surprised to find that this book grapples with the pervasive moral ambivalence of American culture Spiotta questions whether it is possible to oppose the system while existing within it If not, what is the alternative Her depictions of off the grid extremism the women s commune, the Black House squat are in the end unacceptable to the characters in the novel and to the reader Within the novel, even the notion of off the grid revolution is commodified and made kitschy which, of course, is just a heightened version of real life Che posters Also, the novel makes us question to what degree our objections to the current world order are merely aesthetic The brilliance of Nash s unperformed actions is that they allow those who participate in thinking about them to feel subversive without actually subverting anything, and this is the exact point at which a counterculture becomes simply a subculture Reading about Nash s ideas feels rewarding in a way that acting them out never would Creating Nash s installations would force you to confront the fact that maybe the best you can ever do is to feel subversive That suggestion relates back to Mary s assertion that intentions do matter because if you intend to revolutionize the world, maybe it doesn t matter that the revolution never happens.Spiotta s other major theme is identity I found a lot here to relate to my recent readings of Shakespeare because a lot of Shakespeare concerns identity as a mask that one wears, and the character of Mary Freya Caroline Louise is just mask upon mask The identity changes are synonymous with external changes, yet they seem to precipitate changes in the character s personality as well Spiotta s exploration of the degree to which the internal shifts to match the external for all the characters is fascinating Nash seems to be the sole character whose inner life remains the same and forces his exterior existence to conform to that through what he refers to as luck I m making this book sound like a novel of ideas, which it is, but it also has the virtue of being eminently readable Spiotta masterfully weaves the various narrators and plotlines, giving each section a unique voice I especially enjoyed young Jason s essayistic journal entries, in which he sounds like a DFW lite They also made me want to listen to Pet Sounds, even I ve never really gotten the whole Beach Boys as cult figure phenomenon I also kept admiring the seemingly endless correlations between the different stories, whether it was the recurrence of Bobby s rug in Nash s apartment or the similarities between Mary and Miranda.

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