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Speedboat

by

Speedboat Cover

ISBN13: 9781590176139
ISBN10: 1590176138
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Awards

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Winner of the Ernest Hemingway Prize for Best First Novel in 1976

It has been more than thirty-five years since Renata Adler’s Speedboat charged through the literary establishment, blasting genre walls and pointing the way for a newly liberated way of writing. This unclassifiable work is simultaneously novel, memoir, commonplace book, confession, and critique. It is the story of every man and woman cursed with too much consciousness and too little comprehension, and it is the story of Jen Fein, a journalist negotiating the fraught landscape of contemporary urban America. Her voice is cuttingly perceptive, darkly funny, and always fiercely intelligent as she breaks narrative convention to send dispatches back from the world as she finds it.

This new edition of Speedboat will include an interview between Renata Adler and Guy Trebay discussing the genesis and composition of the book.

Review:

“Renata Adler's collage novel Speedboat captivates by its jagged and frenetic changes of pitch and tone and voice. She confides, reflects, tells a story, aphorizes, undercuts the aphorism, then undercuts that. If she's cryptic in one paragraph, she's clear in the next. She changes subjects like a brilliant schizophrenic, making irrational sense. She's intimate: bed talk uninhibited by conventions. Ideas, experiences, and emotions are inseparable. I don't know what she'll say next. She tantalizes by being simultaneously daring and elusive. The book builds: images recur, ideas are interwoven, names reappear. Paragraphs are miniature stories. She's always present, teasing things apart, but not from a distance. There's very little that's abstract. I can feel her breathe.” David Shields

Review:

“It is perhaps the best portrait we have of contemporary urban life among the intellectual gentry.” The Los Angeles Times

Review:

“Elegant, funny, vivid, brilliant, luminous, exquisite!” The New York Times Book Review

Review:

“Nobody in this country writes better than Renata Adler. She is Lillian Hellman, young again; Joan Didion with a tendency to giggle; Albert Camus on one of his sunny days...Speedboat is superb.” Harper’s

Review:

"She is one of the most brilliant — that is, vivid, intense, astute, and penetrating — essayists in contemporary letters, and most contrarian: much of what you think she will passionately undo. And she is a novelist whose voice, even decades after her books were written, seems new and original, and, if you are a writer, one you wish were your own." Michael Wolff, The Guardian

Review:

“I think Speedboat will find a new generation of dazzled readers.” Slate

Review:

"Speedboat is as vital a document of the last half of the American century as Slouching Towards Bethlehem and The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Right down to its final, just-right sentence, it's — well, it will literally knock your socks off." Chicago Tribune

Review:

“Nobody writes better prose than Renata Adler.” Vanity Fair

Synopsis:

When Speedboat burst on the scene in the late ’70s it was like nothing readers had encountered before. It seemed to disregard the rules of the novel, but it wore its unconventionality with ease. Reading it was a pleasure of a new, unexpected kind. Above all, there was its voice, ambivalent, curious, wry, the voice of Jen Fain, a journalist negotiating the fraught landscape of contemporary urban America. Party guests, taxi drivers, brownstone dwellers, professors, journalists, presidents, and debutantes fill these dispatches from the world as Jen finds it.

A touchstone over the years for writers as different as David Foster Wallace and Elizabeth Hardwick, Speedboat returns to enthrall a new generation of readers.

About the Author

Renata Adler is an American journalist, critic, and novelist. Born in 1938 in Milan and raised in Connecticut, she was educated at Bryn Mawr, Harvard, the Sorbonne, and Yale Law School. Adler began her writing career at The New Yorker in 1962 and, except for a year spent as the chief film critic for The New York Times (1968–69), remained on staff there for the next four decades. Her essay collections include A Year in the Dark and Toward a Radical Middle, both from 1969; Reckless Disregard: Westmoreland v. CBS et al., Sharon v. Time (1986); and Canaries in the Mineshaft (2001). Her 1976 novel Speedboat won the Ernest Hemingway Award for Best First Novel; in 1983 it was followed by Pitch Dark.

Guy Trebay writes on fashion and style for The New York Times. He was previously a columnist and senior editor at The Village Voice, and has written for The New Yorker, Vibe, Condé Nast Traveler, Harper's, Esquire, Vogue and other major publications. His books include In The Place To Be: Guy Trebay's New York and Runway, with photography by Larry Fink.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

h, May 23, 2013 (view all comments by h)
Adler has an inimitable voice, but you might also hear Lorrie Moore, David Markson, and even the new writer Vanessa Veselka in this novel that doesn't really have a plot but has a feel. The novel's a collection of fragments and often written in concise sentences that, when stitched together, produce atmospheres of excitement, despair, ennui, confusion, and exuberance. I'll be reading more from this author I've just discovered.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781590176139
Author:
Adler, Renata
Publisher:
NYRB Classics
Afterword:
Trebay, Guy
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
NYRB Classics
Publication Date:
20130319
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
7.97 x 5 x 0.54 in 0.5 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Biographical
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Contemporary Women
History and Social Science » Politics » General

Speedboat New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.00 In Stock
Product details 192 pages NYRB Classics - English 9781590176139 Reviews:
"Review" by , “Renata Adler's collage novel Speedboat captivates by its jagged and frenetic changes of pitch and tone and voice. She confides, reflects, tells a story, aphorizes, undercuts the aphorism, then undercuts that. If she's cryptic in one paragraph, she's clear in the next. She changes subjects like a brilliant schizophrenic, making irrational sense. She's intimate: bed talk uninhibited by conventions. Ideas, experiences, and emotions are inseparable. I don't know what she'll say next. She tantalizes by being simultaneously daring and elusive. The book builds: images recur, ideas are interwoven, names reappear. Paragraphs are miniature stories. She's always present, teasing things apart, but not from a distance. There's very little that's abstract. I can feel her breathe.”
"Review" by , “It is perhaps the best portrait we have of contemporary urban life among the intellectual gentry.”
"Review" by , “Elegant, funny, vivid, brilliant, luminous, exquisite!”
"Review" by , “Nobody in this country writes better than Renata Adler. She is Lillian Hellman, young again; Joan Didion with a tendency to giggle; Albert Camus on one of his sunny days...Speedboat is superb.”
"Review" by , "She is one of the most brilliant — that is, vivid, intense, astute, and penetrating — essayists in contemporary letters, and most contrarian: much of what you think she will passionately undo. And she is a novelist whose voice, even decades after her books were written, seems new and original, and, if you are a writer, one you wish were your own."
"Review" by , “I think Speedboat will find a new generation of dazzled readers.”
"Review" by , "Speedboat is as vital a document of the last half of the American century as Slouching Towards Bethlehem and The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Right down to its final, just-right sentence, it's — well, it will literally knock your socks off."
"Review" by , “Nobody writes better prose than Renata Adler.”
"Synopsis" by , When Speedboat burst on the scene in the late ’70s it was like nothing readers had encountered before. It seemed to disregard the rules of the novel, but it wore its unconventionality with ease. Reading it was a pleasure of a new, unexpected kind. Above all, there was its voice, ambivalent, curious, wry, the voice of Jen Fain, a journalist negotiating the fraught landscape of contemporary urban America. Party guests, taxi drivers, brownstone dwellers, professors, journalists, presidents, and debutantes fill these dispatches from the world as Jen finds it.

A touchstone over the years for writers as different as David Foster Wallace and Elizabeth Hardwick, Speedboat returns to enthrall a new generation of readers.

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