review The Conversions (American Literature (Dalkey Archive)) ↠ E-book or Kindle E-pub

free read The Conversions (American Literature (Dalkey Archive))

review The Conversions (American Literature (Dalkey Archive)) ↠ E-book, or Kindle E-pub Ë At a dinner party hosted by a wealthy New Yorker a guest receives a gold adze the coveted prize in a worm race When the man dies the next day he beueaths according to a stipulation in his will the bulk oReligious sect and in an odyssey that begins in a forgotten fog covered town in Scotland and ends on the ocean floor off the cost of an uncharted French island A wild goose chase through a remarkably unusual world The Conversions invites both reader and protagonist to participate in a uest for answers to an elusive ga. I have always loved a book that takes me on a treasure hunt that is ripe with tangents folding onto itself story within stories characters that you're introduced to in far flung settings and surrounded by eclectic items and that overall doesn't need to make complete sense or have a complete ending This is not a book for people who enjoy traditional plots or loose ends being tied this is a book for those who savor being taken around and around and not necessarily back again

characters õ E-book, or Kindle E-pub º Harry Mathews

Y In his search the owner encounters a menagerie of eccentric personalities an ancient revolutionary in a Parisian prison a ludicrous pair of gibberish speaking brothers and customs officials who spend their time reading contraband materials He soon finds himself immersed in the centuries long history of a persecuted. Most of the book is about an effort to decipher a riddle posed in the first chapters Details of the protagonist’s point to point investigation are presented in lengthy passages and in such density that sometimes it feels like playing various parts of encyclopedia on fast forward which is frankly better than it sounds Some reviewers compare The Conversions to several other ‘experimental’ works most notably The Crying of lot 49 which is broadly similar in style and plot Indeed Mathews uses entropy as a narrative device Pynchon style and he does it well enough It’s fairly clear however that the purpose of this proliferation of excessively rich often erudite descriptions and deeply buried allusions is primarily to show off The early enigma setting chapter which includes a worm race is actually a good sample of what’s ahead it’s uirky overloaded with ludicrous detail and a bit too trippy to be taken at face value Compared to If On a Winter's Night a Traveler which has a similar premise the stories forming a chain aren’t eually pretty but some do grasp attention Just as Calvino covers many styles Mathews covers many fields of research The hero listens to many stories reads a novel studies some documents Like in the novel within the novel from Wonder Boys there's also a fair amount of horse genealogy in between likely this is where the concept came from The mystery that emerges slowly concerns a religious sect and its female leader the author points firmly at Robert Graves as was the cliché of his times All this is told as an interrupted avalanche of facts technical data secrets language games and occasional humor For some this is likely to spawn growing indifference rather than continuous interest I was eager enough to get through this novel in two sittings while on train – it’s relatively short and manages for some 100 pages to draw attention solely by being a literary oddity This is not bad One truly interesting thing about this half obscure work is how many other literary efforts of similar kind it predates It foreshadows not only Calvino and Pynchon but also text machines such as Pale Fire with its play upon editorial appendices This list inescapably includes some lower brow offerings like Dan Brown's Robert Langdon series which makes for a good train read as well The Conversions is not that much captivating on its own however The problem is that Mathews having a concept and a considerable skill didn’t seem to know exactly how to use them Neither had he Nabokov’s grace nor Pynchon’s playful mastery Even Oulipo's formal experiments usually seemed to have a kind of purpose which is nowhere to be found here What’s left is a puzzle several pieces of which I was able to match together unwilling to look closer for any others Putting it simply it might be clever enough but it’s not fun enough It’s still better than Da Vinci Code though

Harry Mathews º 9 summary

The Conversions American Literature Dalkey ArchiveAt a dinner party hosted by a wealthy New Yorker a guest receives a gold adze the coveted prize in a worm race When the man dies the next day he beueaths according to a stipulation in his will the bulk of his fortune to the adze's possessor provided he answer three mysterious uestions relating to the artifact's histor. Is The Conversions the book for youWould you relish stopping in the middle to unravel a page of codeCan you read FrenchAre you sure you don't suffer from a psychologically unfounded abhorrence to all things ScottishAre you such a fan of Oulipo that you want to read a book that even subjects its characters to a constant barrage of Oulipian constraints that they need to overcomeDo you get a sick pleasure out of reading lists and does that mean I'm turning you on right nowDo you want to know what 'recrudescence' meansDo you enjoy Latin wordplayDoes metafiction make you sigh with subverted pleasure like a Victorian heroineIf you answered ‘yes’ to all of these uestions you can borrow my copy as long as you promise not to get upset about the scrawled “WTF”s that I have all over the margins