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Important Things That Don't Matter

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Important Things That Don't Matter Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A provocative, moving, darkly funny portrait of family and divorce, a boy and his father, the eighties and nineties, and sex and intimacy issues that raises vital questions about a generation just now reaching adulthood.

The truth is, I really have no idea how everything I'm about to tell you happened, or why really — how Dad of all people started diluting my thoughts lately, tugging at certain moments, making cameo appearances at the most inopportune times.

Like I'm in a bar, just trying to have a beer, and all of a sudden I'm seven again, in that bar with Dad. A girl reaches over and puts her hand up into my hair, and I just want her to stop, to get off, to go away — you guessed it, there's Dad, somewhere.

Maybe a psychoanalyst would say it was the divorce, or Dad and the cocaine, and that I was too young then, but that I'm twenty now, and that people are prone to oppress and repress and suppress and regress and digress — maybe he'd tell you it's part of "a larger syndrome." But I'm not sure people like that quite know what they're saying. Trust me. I've been to them.

So Dad's around lately. That's it. And I want to tell you things, throw fragments your way that I barely understand. Because it's just funny, flat out, the way someone you don't even know can get up in your face, tweak things that should be so ordinary. Or I think it's funny. Maybe you will too. Maybe you'll laugh. Maybe you won't believe a word. Maybe you'll wish you had my number so we could go out, share things. Maybe you'll know something I don't, and can tell me. Maybe —

I'm just hung up on him, on Dad, on parents in general. So many of them, it seems, act like such children these days. Some of us are adults now, and I can't help but wonder: What's going to happen?

Review:

"What?s startling here, aside from the fact that Important Things That Don't Matter actually seems to matter, is that the frames of reference for Amsden?s and his unnamed narrator are so refreshingly un-Generation X..." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Conversational and tough, the novel's observant narrator is bound to captivate readers." Kristine Huntley, Booklist

Review:

"Amsden's solid but unremarkable debut novel visits familiar coming-of-age landmarks....The narrator's voice is a likable mixture of bewilderment and tentative black humor, and some of the scenes...are well cast and darkly ironic, but the book as a whole doesn't gather much momentum." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"The novel?s so real and personal it?s like being in this Gen Y kid?s skin for 15 formative years." Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Goofy, cloyingly colloquial, if not entirely unaffecting....The problem about Amsden's gum-chewing, childishly sarcastic vernacular is that it works only while the narrator's quirky, self-deprecating personality keeps the reader's interest — in this case, until about midway through — after which point the writing grows tedious and repetitive." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Skeptical but curious, I picked up the book and to my surprise, devoured it in a couple of hours. It was hypnotically engaging and almost painfully genuine....Amsden is quite simply an extremely talented writer. (So, he's 23. Get over it.)" Elizabeth Spiers, Salon.com

Review:

"David Amsden is already predictably being hailed as a Voice Of His Generation. But most members of his generation would probably prefer to think that their voices are louder, sharper, less naïve, and more self-aware....His individual vignettes are well-written and often queasily compelling, but the book's title provides a perfect summation of its contents." Tasha Robinson, The Onion A.V. Club

Review:

"There are moments of literary brilliance in this story that will dazzle the reader." John Searles, author of Boy Still Missing

Review:

"David Amsden is an invigorating, original, and sickeningly talented writer." Augusten Burroughs, author of Running With Scissors

Synopsis:

David Amsen's provocative and darkly funny portrait of family and divorce raises vital questions about a generation just now reaching adulthood.

Synopsis:

A provocative, moving, darkly funny portrait of family and divorce, a boy and his father, the eighties and nineties, and sex and intimacy issues that raises vital questions about a generation just now reaching adulthood.

Important Things that Don't Matter

The truth is, I really have no idea how everything I'm about to tell you happened, or why really — how Dad of all people started diluting my thoughts lately, tugging at certain moments, making cameo appearances at the most inopportune times.

Like I'm in a bar, just trying to have a beer, and all of a sudden I'm seven again, in that bar with Dad. A girl reaches over and puts her hand up into my hair, and I just want her to stop, to get off, to go away — you guessed it, there's Dad, somewhere.

Maybe a psychoanalyst would say it was the divorce, or Dad and the cocaine, and that I was too young then, but that I'm twenty now, and that people are prone to oppress and repress and suppress and regress and digress — maybe he'd tell you it's part of "a larger syndrome." But I'm not sure people like that quite know what they're saying. Trust me. I've been to them.

So Dad's around lately. That's it. And I want to tell you things, throw fragments your way that I barely understand. Because it's just funny, flat out, the way someone you don't even know can get up in your face, tweak things that should be so ordinary. Or I think it's funny. Maybe you will too. Maybe you'll laugh. Maybe you won't believe a word. Maybe you'll wish you had my number so we could go out, share things. Maybe you'll know something I don't, and can tell me. Maybe --

I'm just hung up on him, on Dad, on parents in general. So many of them, it seems, act like such children these days. Some of us are adults now, and I can't help but wonder: What's going to happen?

About the Author

While a student in New York, David Amsden worked at the New Yorker and New York magazine, where he is now a contributing writer. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he is at work on another novel.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060513887
Subtitle:
A Novel
Publisher:
William Morrow
Author:
Amsden, David
Subject:
General
Subject:
Boys
Subject:
Fathers and sons
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
April 1, 2003
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.58x5.97x.96 in. .96 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Important Things That Don't Matter
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 272 pages William Morrow & Company - English 9780060513887 Reviews:
"Review" by , "What?s startling here, aside from the fact that Important Things That Don't Matter actually seems to matter, is that the frames of reference for Amsden?s and his unnamed narrator are so refreshingly un-Generation X..."
"Review" by , "Conversational and tough, the novel's observant narrator is bound to captivate readers."
"Review" by , "Amsden's solid but unremarkable debut novel visits familiar coming-of-age landmarks....The narrator's voice is a likable mixture of bewilderment and tentative black humor, and some of the scenes...are well cast and darkly ironic, but the book as a whole doesn't gather much momentum."
"Review" by , "The novel?s so real and personal it?s like being in this Gen Y kid?s skin for 15 formative years."
"Review" by , "Goofy, cloyingly colloquial, if not entirely unaffecting....The problem about Amsden's gum-chewing, childishly sarcastic vernacular is that it works only while the narrator's quirky, self-deprecating personality keeps the reader's interest — in this case, until about midway through — after which point the writing grows tedious and repetitive."
"Review" by , "Skeptical but curious, I picked up the book and to my surprise, devoured it in a couple of hours. It was hypnotically engaging and almost painfully genuine....Amsden is quite simply an extremely talented writer. (So, he's 23. Get over it.)"
"Review" by , "David Amsden is already predictably being hailed as a Voice Of His Generation. But most members of his generation would probably prefer to think that their voices are louder, sharper, less naïve, and more self-aware....His individual vignettes are well-written and often queasily compelling, but the book's title provides a perfect summation of its contents."
"Review" by , "There are moments of literary brilliance in this story that will dazzle the reader."
"Review" by , "David Amsden is an invigorating, original, and sickeningly talented writer."
"Synopsis" by , David Amsen's provocative and darkly funny portrait of family and divorce raises vital questions about a generation just now reaching adulthood.
"Synopsis" by ,
A provocative, moving, darkly funny portrait of family and divorce, a boy and his father, the eighties and nineties, and sex and intimacy issues that raises vital questions about a generation just now reaching adulthood.

Important Things that Don't Matter

The truth is, I really have no idea how everything I'm about to tell you happened, or why really — how Dad of all people started diluting my thoughts lately, tugging at certain moments, making cameo appearances at the most inopportune times.

Like I'm in a bar, just trying to have a beer, and all of a sudden I'm seven again, in that bar with Dad. A girl reaches over and puts her hand up into my hair, and I just want her to stop, to get off, to go away — you guessed it, there's Dad, somewhere.

Maybe a psychoanalyst would say it was the divorce, or Dad and the cocaine, and that I was too young then, but that I'm twenty now, and that people are prone to oppress and repress and suppress and regress and digress — maybe he'd tell you it's part of "a larger syndrome." But I'm not sure people like that quite know what they're saying. Trust me. I've been to them.

So Dad's around lately. That's it. And I want to tell you things, throw fragments your way that I barely understand. Because it's just funny, flat out, the way someone you don't even know can get up in your face, tweak things that should be so ordinary. Or I think it's funny. Maybe you will too. Maybe you'll laugh. Maybe you won't believe a word. Maybe you'll wish you had my number so we could go out, share things. Maybe you'll know something I don't, and can tell me. Maybe --

I'm just hung up on him, on Dad, on parents in general. So many of them, it seems, act like such children these days. Some of us are adults now, and I can't help but wonder: What's going to happen?

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