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Stone Arabia

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Stone Arabia Cover

ISBN13: 9781451617962
ISBN10: 1451617968
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Stone Arabia, Dana Spiotta's moving and intrepid third novel, is about family, obsession, memory, and the urge to create — in isolation, at the margins of our winner-take-all culture.

In the sibling relationship, "there are no first impressions, no seductions, no getting to know each other," says Denise Kranis. For her and her brother, Nik, now in their forties, no relationship is more significant. They grew up in Los Angeles in the late seventies and early eighties. Nik was always the artist, always wrote music, always had a band. Now he makes his art in private, obsessively documenting the work, but never testing it in the world. Denise remains Nik's most passionate and acute audience, sometimes his only audience. She is also her family's first defense against the world's fragility. Friends die, their mother's memory and mind unravel, and the news of global catastrophe and individual tragedy haunts Denise. When her daughter, Ada, decides to make a film about Nik, everyone's vulnerabilities seem to escalate.

Dana Spiotta has established herself as a "singularly powerful and provocative writer" (The Boston Globe) whose work is fiercely original. Stone Arabia — riveting, unnerving, and strangely beautiful — reexamines what it means to be an artist and redefines the ties that bind.

Review:

"Spiotta's extraordinary new novel is an inspired consideration of sibling devotion, Southern California, and fame. Nik Worth is a reclusive musician in his late 40s at the tail end of his 'blase and phlegmatic glamour,' who once almost made it big. But as he careens toward 50, he begins to retreat into a private world, living in his tiny 'hermitage' apartment, recording a multivolume series called the Ontology of Worth, and assembling the Chronicles, a scrapbooked alternate history of his career, complete with fake news clippings, doctored photographs, and reviews. Nik's primary links to the world, and biggest fans, are his devoted younger sister, Denise, and to a lesser extent, her daughter, Ada. But when Ada begins a documentary probing her uncle's 'whole constructed lifeology thingy' just as the inner logic of Nik's 'chronicled' life unspools, Nik and Denise are plunged into a crisis. With her novel's clever structure, jaundiced affection for Los Angeles, and diamond-honed prose, Spiotta (National Book Award finalist for Eat the Document) delivers one of the most moving and original portraits of a sibling relationship in recent fiction. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"Evocative, mysterious, incongruously poetic...gritty, intelligent, mordant, and deeply sad....Spiotta has created, in Stone Arabia, a work of visceral honesty and real beauty." Kate Christensen, New York Times

Review:

"I read Stone Arabia avidly and with awe. The language of it, the whole Gnostic hipness of it is absolutely riveting. It comes together in the most artful, surprising, insistent, satisfying way. Dana Spiotta is a major, unnervingly intelligent writer." Joy Williams, author of The Quick and the Dead

Review:

"Stone Arabia possesses the edged beauty and charged prose of Dana Spiotta's earlier work, but in this novel about siblings, music, teen desire and adult decay, Spiotta reaches ever deeper, tracking her characters' sweet, dangerous American dreaming with glorious precision. Here is a wonderful novel by one of our major writers." Sam Lipsyte, author of The Ask

Review:

"With a DeLillo-like ability to pinpoint the delusions of an era, the National Book Award-nominated Spiotta explores the inner workings of celebrity, family, and other modern-day mythologies." Vogue

Review:

"There's a fine tradition of pop-music novels, and Stone Arabia joins the genre's upper echelons with this transfixing story... It's as though Nabokov had written a rock novel." Entertainment Weekly

Synopsis:

Stone Arabia, Dana Spiotta’s moving and intrepid third novel, is about family, obsession, memory, and the urge to create—in isolation, at the margins of our winner-take-all culture.

In the sibling relationship, “there are no first impressions, no seductions, no getting to know each other,” says Denise Kranis. For her and her brother, Nik, now in their forties, no relationship is more significant. They grew up in Los Angeles in the late seventies and early eighties. Nik was always the artist, always wrote music, always had a band. Now he makes his art in private, obsessively documenting the work, but never testing it in the world. Denise remains Nik’s most passionate and acute audience, sometimes his only audience. She is also her family’s first defense against the world’s fragility. Friends die, their mother’s memory and mind unravel, and the news of global catastrophe and individual tragedy haunts Denise. When her daughter, Ada, decides to make a film about Nik, everyone’s vulnerabilities seem to escalate.

Dana Spiotta has established herself as a “singularly powerful and provocative writer” (The Boston Globe) whose work is fiercely original. Stone Arabia—riveting, unnerving, and strangely beautiful—reexamines what it means to be an artist and redefines the ties that bind.

Synopsis:

From National Book Award nominee Dana Spiotta, a startlingly original and compelling novel about an eccentric artist and his sister.

About the Author

Dana Spiotta is the author of Lightning Field, a New York Times Notable Book, and Eat the Document, a finalist for the National Book Award. She lives in Syracuse, New York, with her husband and daughter.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

W S Krauss, March 8, 2014 (view all comments by W S Krauss)
This book tells the story of Denise, a forty-something divorced woman, and her older brother Nik, a musician and artist. Denise takes care of her mother, whose memory is declining. She also watches out for her brother, who hasn't really made much money, but who has put out a string of albums, most of which are heard only by close family and friends. He records every nuance of his life as a musician in The Chronicles, a series of books that detail every move in his career, some of it fake. For example, there are fake record reviews that Nik has written included in the books. There are many themes in the novel including relationships with family, memories, our reactions to world events and the meaning of art. It begs the question whether one is an artist if the art is not shared with the world. This novel doesn't answer many of its questions. It does, however, get you thinking about these issues. The structure of the book is as unconventional as its characters. I came to care about the people in the book, but did not really understand them. I found this frustrating; but, at the same time I found it impossible to put down. I wanted to see where the story went and if there was any resolution for Denise and Nik.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Joseph Landes, March 11, 2012 (view all comments by Joseph Landes)
After seeing that Stone Arabia was named one of the NY Times 100 Notable Books of 2011 and hearing gushing recommendations from so many people, I picked it up this weekend and finished it in almost one sitting. I was not at all dissapointed. Dana Spiotta crafts a story told by Denise--a middle aged, lightly employed woman who has a brother Nik who is similarly lightly famous (at least in a few people's eyes) for music he recorded via a number of not so recognized bands over the course of 20 albums and 30 or so years. Denise's daughter Ada the product of a few-night stand many years ago decides to make a movie about Nik's "career" and his recording of the "Chronicles" of his life. This leads to much worry on the part of Denise who is concerned about Nik's already fragile ego and alcoholic tendencies. A very good book that exposes sibling relationships at its rawest.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Andrea Estepa, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by Andrea Estepa)
This book so got under my skin that as soon as I finished it I turned back to the first page and started re-reading. The characters, their relationship, and their individual struggles are moving and mysterious.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781451617962
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Spiotta, Dana
Publisher:
Scribner
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20110712
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life

Stone Arabia Sale Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.97 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9781451617962 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Spiotta's extraordinary new novel is an inspired consideration of sibling devotion, Southern California, and fame. Nik Worth is a reclusive musician in his late 40s at the tail end of his 'blase and phlegmatic glamour,' who once almost made it big. But as he careens toward 50, he begins to retreat into a private world, living in his tiny 'hermitage' apartment, recording a multivolume series called the Ontology of Worth, and assembling the Chronicles, a scrapbooked alternate history of his career, complete with fake news clippings, doctored photographs, and reviews. Nik's primary links to the world, and biggest fans, are his devoted younger sister, Denise, and to a lesser extent, her daughter, Ada. But when Ada begins a documentary probing her uncle's 'whole constructed lifeology thingy' just as the inner logic of Nik's 'chronicled' life unspools, Nik and Denise are plunged into a crisis. With her novel's clever structure, jaundiced affection for Los Angeles, and diamond-honed prose, Spiotta (National Book Award finalist for Eat the Document) delivers one of the most moving and original portraits of a sibling relationship in recent fiction. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Evocative, mysterious, incongruously poetic...gritty, intelligent, mordant, and deeply sad....Spiotta has created, in Stone Arabia, a work of visceral honesty and real beauty."
"Review" by , "I read Stone Arabia avidly and with awe. The language of it, the whole Gnostic hipness of it is absolutely riveting. It comes together in the most artful, surprising, insistent, satisfying way. Dana Spiotta is a major, unnervingly intelligent writer."
"Review" by , "Stone Arabia possesses the edged beauty and charged prose of Dana Spiotta's earlier work, but in this novel about siblings, music, teen desire and adult decay, Spiotta reaches ever deeper, tracking her characters' sweet, dangerous American dreaming with glorious precision. Here is a wonderful novel by one of our major writers."
"Review" by , "With a DeLillo-like ability to pinpoint the delusions of an era, the National Book Award-nominated Spiotta explores the inner workings of celebrity, family, and other modern-day mythologies."
"Review" by , "There's a fine tradition of pop-music novels, and Stone Arabia joins the genre's upper echelons with this transfixing story... It's as though Nabokov had written a rock novel."
"Synopsis" by , Stone Arabia, Dana Spiotta’s moving and intrepid third novel, is about family, obsession, memory, and the urge to create—in isolation, at the margins of our winner-take-all culture.

In the sibling relationship, “there are no first impressions, no seductions, no getting to know each other,” says Denise Kranis. For her and her brother, Nik, now in their forties, no relationship is more significant. They grew up in Los Angeles in the late seventies and early eighties. Nik was always the artist, always wrote music, always had a band. Now he makes his art in private, obsessively documenting the work, but never testing it in the world. Denise remains Nik’s most passionate and acute audience, sometimes his only audience. She is also her family’s first defense against the world’s fragility. Friends die, their mother’s memory and mind unravel, and the news of global catastrophe and individual tragedy haunts Denise. When her daughter, Ada, decides to make a film about Nik, everyone’s vulnerabilities seem to escalate.

Dana Spiotta has established herself as a “singularly powerful and provocative writer” (The Boston Globe) whose work is fiercely original. Stone Arabia—riveting, unnerving, and strangely beautiful—reexamines what it means to be an artist and redefines the ties that bind.

"Synopsis" by , From National Book Award nominee Dana Spiotta, a startlingly original and compelling novel about an eccentric artist and his sister.
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