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The Instructions


The Instructions Cover


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Average customer rating based on 15 comments:

LynnH, January 5, 2011 (view all comments by LynnH)
An epic novel about a young boy who believes himself to be the messiah, but it's so much more than that. It's a love story and it's a struggle against bullies and odds. It's wonderfully written with interesting language and an amazing cast of memorable characters. Even though the 1030 pages cover only 4 days, Levin manages to keep it all entertaining. A great read.
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mclarenster, January 3, 2011 (view all comments by mclarenster)
I knew within 100 pages that The Instructions would be my favorite book of 2010--and my reading list topped out at 216 books for the year (somewhat shy of my 240 book goal), so there's a decent range for comparison. I loved the story and the voice (*especially* the voice): something original and risky in a sea of narratives that can quickly become generic, regardless of the critical praise.
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bob williams, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by bob williams)
This is a great book of 1000 pages that could have gone on for many more but had to end somehow, I suppose. The ending is summary only and leaves us hanging but that does not diminish the fascinating intricacies of almost every page.
It is not a book for people who hate what they might call "over thinking: but for anyone who will read every word and think about every sentence, it will make you smarter.
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Ross Carmichael, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Ross Carmichael)
Levin gives us the story of Gurion ben-Judah Maccabee - scholar, theologian, rabbi, and potential Messiah, who otherwise happens to be a pretty typical ten-year old in love. Thoughtful, funny, sweet, and fun, The Instructions is a compelling read and well worth the effort - One of my all-time favorites!
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odleybodley, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by odleybodley)
I couldn't stop reading this book. It is one of my favorites for 2010.
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Product Details

Levin, Adam
McSweeney's Books
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Locked Case
Rare Books » Fiction and Poetry » Literature

The Instructions Used Hardcover
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Product details 1030 pages McSweeney's Books - English 9781934781821 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

The Instructions is awe-inspiring. Addictively quotable, violently funny, insanely intelligent, and utterly compelling, Adam Levin's debut novel is unlike anything I've ever read, in the best possible way. Read this book. You'll savor every word on its thousand-plus pages.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Only four days pass between the opening scene of boys waterboarding one another to the moment when 10-year-old Gurion Maccabee and his army attempt to take down their unfair school system, but in the dense, frenzied pages of Levin's outsized debut, those few days feel like forever. Gurion, who narrates and refers to the text as 'a work of scripture,' sees himself as the hero of a yet-to-be-recognized Jewish holiday that celebrates the birth of 'perfect justice,' and recruits an army of misfits and Torah scholars. But nothing happens quickly, and Levin is as content to tend to the screwy plot as he is to allow Gurion to go on extended digressions about Philip Roth and any number of other topics. Between the hubris it takes to expect readers to digest more than 1,000 pages about a tween who says 'the likelihood that I was seemed to me to be increasing by the second' and the shoving in of e-mails, diagrams, and transcripts of television footage, the idea that this could be a great novel is overshadowed by the fact that this is a great big novel, shaggy and undisciplined, but with moments of brilliance. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Review" by , "A hysterical, heartfelt journey of self-discovery....A book that moves beyond completely transparent influences to reach its own distinct, new, great height."
"Review" by , "Evocative of David Foster Wallace...full of death-defying sentences, manic wit, exciting provocations and simple human warmth."
"Review" by , "The Instructions is in fact a vital work of — no getting around it — American Jewish literature because it imagines that the genre is indeed through and asks what can be written in its place."
"Review" by , "Levin's mammoth, riotous, Talmudic, impossibly excessive yet brilliant, mesmerizing, warmhearted, and hilarious work of chutzpah takes place over four feverish days but encompasses the whole of Israel's battle for existence and the Jewish quest for home and peace."
"Review" by , "After The Instructions challenges, charms and betrays you, it might just seduce your soul....The Instructions is disturbing and romantic and, ultimately, heartbreaking, and its questions are not easily parsed, even by Gurion's analytic mind. They are the nagging doubts of our own goodness and faith. But it's worth sticking with this author's debut: This is a wunderkind's master class....An incredible creation of fiction."
"Review" by , "This is a life-consuming novel, one that demands to be read feverishly. When it is over, other fiction feels insufficient, the newspaper seems irrelevant....If the ultimate message of modernism was unremitting pessimism...The Instructions has given the literary genre its long deferred conclusion: Indeed, a day — or four — can serve as a reminder that death looms large for anything living, but there is lot of life to be lived in the interim."
"Synopsis" by , Combining the crackling voice of Philip Roth with the encyclopedic mind of David Foster Wallace, Levin has shaped a world driven equally by moral fervor and slapstick comedy — a novel that is muscular and verbose, troubling and empathetic, monumental, breakneck, romantic, and unforgettable.
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