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2 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

The Instructions

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The Instructions Cover

ISBN13: 9781936365166
ISBN10: 1936365162
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Awards

Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

Beginning with a chance encounter with the beautiful Eliza June Watermark and ending, four days and 900 pages later, with the Events of November 17, this is the story of Gurion Maccabee, age ten: a lover, a fighter, a scholar, and a truly spectacular talker. Ejected from three Jewish day-schools for acts of violence and messianic tendencies, Gurion ends up in the Cage, a special lockdown program for the most hopeless cases of Aptakisic Junior High. Separated from his scholarly followers, Gurion becomes a leader of a very different sort, with righteous aims building to a revolution of troubling intensity. The Instructions is an absolutely singular work of fiction by an important new talent. Combining the crackling voice of Philip Roth with the encyclopedic mind of David Foster Wallace, Adam 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.

Review:

"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." Marissa Brostoff, Tablet magazine

Review:

"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." Booklist

Review:

"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." St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Review:

"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." New York Observer

Review:

"Evocative of David Foster Wallace...full of death-defying sentences, manic wit, exciting provocations and simple human warmth." Julia Holmes, Rolling Stone

Review:

"A hysterical, heartfelt journey of self-discovery....A book that moves beyond completely transparent influences to reach its own distinct, new, great height." Foster Kamer, Village Voice

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author

Adam Levin's stories have appeared in Tin House, McSweeney's, and Esquire. Winner of the 2003 Tin House/Summer Literary Seminars Fiction Contest and the 2004 Joyce Carol Oates Fiction Prize, Levin holds an MA in Clinical Social Work from the University of Chicago and an MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. His collection of short stories, Hot Pink, will be published by McSweeney's in 2011. He lives in Chicago, where he teaches writing at Columbia College and The School of the Art Institute.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 10 comments:

James Wilcox, January 28, 2012 (view all comments by James Wilcox)
So this book clocks in at over 1000 pages. That's a lot of pages. Yet... it never feels like it. The book never drags, rarely gets bogged down in the tale it is telling, and the characters are fantastic, unforgettable, and, generally, fully fleshed out.

Gurion Maccabee is a great narrator\protagonist who displays an uncomfortable range of emotion, brilliance, and violence. By far one of the best I've ever read and easily the best book I read all last year. His conversations are always compelling, but begin to be more discomforting as the novel progresses. And just the same, you'll root for him.

You'll pick up the book and tell yourself, "This is a beast. I must read it." And then you'll get about two hundred pages in and find that you don't want to stop. But still... You put the book down. You walk away, eat a meal, go out with friend... whatever. But the book is there, gnawing at your gut. This is a hearty book, a monstrosity that begs to be completed.

And then there's Gurion... His parents give him a Messiah complex, his friends are dangerou and violent, with messed up lives, parents, and values, and Gurion himself is a deluded megalomaniac with revolutionary tendencies, but... you'll love them. Or hate them. But you'll feel with them, feel for them, and watch their struggles and sufferings with something bordering on gleeful curiosity.

So you'll pick it back up and dive back in.

After all, what's another eight hundred pages? You'll push through the first half and as the book reaches its crescendo (and you truly know the direction it has to take), you'll be hooked. About two hundred pages later, when you finsh... you'll be out of breath, tears, and maybe even hair. But you'll have finished it. And your life will be infinitely better for it.

This book combines fantastic prose, frightening ideas of youth in revolt, Jewish mysticism and religion, morality philosophy, wonder typography, and such a stunning sense of character that you'll have no choice to add it to your permanent collection and re-read it again and again. Easily the best book I read all last year (and I read it in January) and without a doubt one of the most intelligent, important, and wonderful novels written in the English language (or any language, for that matter!).

Buy it, read it, love it. And then tell others.
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Bernard Gehret, January 28, 2012 (view all comments by Bernard Gehret)
Unique point of view (from a 10 year old genius) that kept my interest 100%! Like great art, the book made me think and ponder about my life, and I wonder how my 9 year old son sees the world...Fantastic!
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dglendening, January 16, 2012 (view all comments by dglendening)
Adam Levin's "The Instructions" is something of a marvel. Set almost entirely in the confines of a middle school outside of Chicago, and, for the bulk of that time, inside a locked classroom for "difficult" children known as The Cage, Levin's first novel generates an expansive world. The story follows a few days in the life of the protagonist, a young man, Gurion Maccabee, who writes scripture in his spare time and believes he might be the next Isrealite Messiah. The novel explores a range of themes, touching on how we construct and test the limits of faith, our inner and outer struggles with feelings of powerlessness in the face of authority or biological limitation, and the ramifications of spiritual and physical violence. Despite such weighty themes, the novel reads like an epic myth, threaded through with humor, love, hope, and budding teenage sexuality. "The Instruction" is a beautifully crafted work, rewarding in every line.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781936365166
Author:
Levin, Adam
Publisher:
McSweeney's Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Publication Date:
20110731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
1026
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 3 in

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction

The Instructions Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.50 In Stock
Product details 1026 pages McSweeney's Books - English 9781936365166 Reviews:
"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."
"Review" by , "Evocative of David Foster Wallace...full of death-defying sentences, manic wit, exciting provocations and simple human warmth."
"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."
"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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