More Alive and Less Lonely: On Books and Writers

More Alive and Less Lonely: On Books and Writers

A new collection of essays that celebrates a life spent in books More Alive and Less Lonely collects over a decade of Jonathan Lethem's finest writing on writing, with new and previously unpublished material, including: impassioned appreciations of forgotten writers and overlooked books, razor-sharp critical essays, and personal accounts of his most extraordinary literary...

DownloadRead Online
Title:More Alive and Less Lonely: On Books and Writers
Author:Jonathan Lethem
Rating:
Edition Language:English

More Alive and Less Lonely: On Books and Writers Reviews

  • Brad Wojak

    I love Lethem, and I love him most when he is writing about books. This is an awesome collection and it is filled with new books to hunt down and devour.

  • Tony Snyder

    Lethem's tone in this collection of reviews and literary criticism reminds me of debating books and music with your smartest, funniest friend who will still love you after it's over! Such fun!

  • Brent Woo

    I love Jonathan Lethem. The only writer I know who can use words like 'japery' and 'insouciance' next to 'Batman'. This is just a collection mostly of introductions he's written to other books, which maybe sounds dry, but collected together it turns out to be a powerful reflection of his relationships to, well, books (and writers). This collection does a better job of that than essays explicitly reflecting on writing because of that unintentionality, this accidental collection. I can't imagine a

    I love Jonathan Lethem. The only writer I know who can use words like 'japery' and 'insouciance' next to 'Batman'. This is just a collection mostly of introductions he's written to other books, which maybe sounds dry, but collected together it turns out to be a powerful reflection of his relationships to, well, books (and writers). This collection does a better job of that than essays explicitly reflecting on writing because of that unintentionality, this accidental collection. I can't imagine as he wrote each of these he intended to portray his views and methods in a certain light, yet collected together they all accidentally show the same person: someone who revels in the joy of all books, a rigorous interrogator, fearless speculator, unafraid to be wrong, backed with a boundless love for sci-fi and litfic alike. So as I was reading this I got not only a great number of additions to my To Be Read list, but also a better picture of Lethem as a reader, a window into the inimitable way he experiences books. The books he introduces range from typical litfic stars like Ishiguro, McElroy, Knausgaard, Roth, and Pynchon; to that weird time period of American (?) fiction I have seemed to avoid completely that dads seem to like, like Malamud, Cheever, and Fuchs; to whatever Phillip K Dick can be classified as.

    Lethem is somehow always an uplifting writer. Even in his most gritty hopeless noirs, there's always some comedy lurking, some inspiration or bright-eyed curiosity about humanity humming in the background. This comes through in these introductions, where he's radiant, but not sentimental:

    Here we get flashes of him as an author, where he states strongly his view on covers:

    And how, starting out, he had misconceptions about how to break into "the scene":

    As I was reading, I'd hoped he'd contemporaneously step in and add some meta-commentary on the introductions themselves—and he does! A few times there are "footnotes", which he wrote in response to his own introductions. The Ishiguro one is great, where he honestly denounces what he said before and isn't afraid to say he was wrong or changed his mind. Partway through, I also thought it'd be nice if they included introductions to things that weren't novels or anthologies—and they do! Near the end you get some of the best pieces, his introduction to a pizza directory (New York of course) and a cookbook.

  • Sara Cutaia

    Two decades worth of critical essays, reviews, and anthology pieces make up this collection from Jonathan Lethem. He's no stranger to writing, having published 10 novels previously, and countless other articles and projects. I am blown away by Lethem's critical insights and his range of knowledge from Kafka to Roth to Wallace. He writes in a way that is undeniably true, even if it's an opinion piece. This is going to be one of those books that is a staple for any book lover.

  • Heather Scott Partington

    Lethem is literature’s ultimate fanboy, something he celebrates in this assemblage of reviews, literary introductions and bird walks from the last 20 years or so. In it, we observe Lethem’s signature esoteric fascination with books, records, even slices of pizza. He is a champion of unknown authors, yet also claims luminaries like Kafka for himself. The collection offers a comprehensive view of his evolution as a critic — from the “erratic booklust” of his teens to the distinct intellectualism a

    Lethem is literature’s ultimate fanboy, something he celebrates in this assemblage of reviews, literary introductions and bird walks from the last 20 years or so. In it, we observe Lethem’s signature esoteric fascination with books, records, even slices of pizza. He is a champion of unknown authors, yet also claims luminaries like Kafka for himself. The collection offers a comprehensive view of his evolution as a critic — from the “erratic booklust” of his teens to the distinct intellectualism and genial crankiness of his current work...

    Read more at

    .

  • Marcos

    This witty and sometimes pretentious collection of essays and witticisms demonstrate that Jonathan Lethem is such a lover of all things fiction, non fiction, and film- that his brain is definitely all over the place, but with a passion and love for anything creative; and perhaps open in the realm of possibilities. I really enjoyed his essays on Philip Roth, Kazuo Ishiguro and Malcolm Braly- and Mr. Lethem is great at getting you to pick up a book or two.

  • Sini

    Het is fijn om een fan te zijn. Of, zoals Jonathan Lethem zegt: "We derive the word 'fan' from 'fanatic', yet to make ourselves fans of the right things, and to do so with unashamed abandon, can be an exalted mode of being. Fannish feeling, like laughter or tears, is one of those things that make us human". Van dat soort credo's krijg ik een goed humeur, omdat zij enthousiasme prediken en tonen tegelijk. En nog vrolijker werd ik van Lethems gebundelde stukken, die allemaal vol vuur van de fan zi

    Het is fijn om een fan te zijn. Of, zoals Jonathan Lethem zegt: "We derive the word 'fan' from 'fanatic', yet to make ourselves fans of the right things, and to do so with unashamed abandon, can be an exalted mode of being. Fannish feeling, like laughter or tears, is one of those things that make us human". Van dat soort credo's krijg ik een goed humeur, omdat zij enthousiasme prediken en tonen tegelijk. En nog vrolijker werd ik van Lethems gebundelde stukken, die allemaal vol vuur van de fan zijn geschreven. Met als aanstekelijke titel "More alive an less lonely". Deze bundel was een verjaarscadeau van mijn echtgenote: zij dacht dat ik, als fanatieke boekenfan, wel zou houden van het vuur van dit boek. Nou, reken maar dat ze daarin gelijk had!

    Het boek bundelt allerlei recensies, persoonlijke stukken en anekdotische verhalen die Lethem eerder in diverse media publiceerde. Hij schrijft daarin over een hele reut bekende schrijvers (Kafka, Philip K. Dick, Ishiguro, Pynchon, Knausgard, David Foster Wallace), minder bekende schrijvers (Thomas Berger), over zijn puur persoonlijke passie voor bepaalde volkomen onbekende jeugdboeken, over science fiction, over films, over Dylan, Batman........ Kortom, over een enorme variëteit aan auteurs, kunstenaars en onderwerpen. Analytisch zijn die stukken bepaald niet: hij gaat bijvoorbeeld niet diep graven naar de diepere gronden bij Dylan of de dieper liggende motieven bij Kafka. Maar alle stukken zijn wel enorm enthousiasmerend. Bovendien kan Lethem in een paar zinnen echt onnavolgbaar de kern raken van een auteur. Bij schrijvers die ik al kende wist ik ineens nog beter waarom ik hun fan ben, en bij schrijvers die ik niet kende kreeg ik sterke neigingen om dat alsnog te worden. Over Knausgard schrijft hij bijvoorbeeld: "His subject is nothing less than the beauty and terror of the fact that all life coexists with itself". Oké, er is meer over Knausgard te zeggen dan alleen dit, en oké, sommige lezers vinden het misschien jammer dat Lethem dit statement niet wat meer toelicht. Maar de zin staat als een huis, en doet de Knausgard-fan in mij breed grijnzen. Zoals ook de Pynchon- fan in mij breed moet grijnzen van zinnen als "But wait. I'm acting as if we all know what it is to read Pynchon. In fact none of us do, for figuring out what it is like to read Pynchon is what it is like to read Pynchon". Want als verwoede Pynchon-lezer heb ik PRECIES deze ervaring bij het lezen van Pynchon. Alleen wist ik dat nog niet, totdat ik Lethems mooie stuk las.

    Je kunt films, literatuur en cultuur om allerlei redenen belangrijk vinden: omdat het inzicht biedt, schoonheid oproept, je wereld verruimt, je empathie vergroot..... Maar erg essentieel is volgens mij steeds plezier, overgave, ongeremde vreugde. Je vergeet dat soms helemaal als je recensies leest, door de serieuze en droge toon van die stukken. Maar door Lethem krijg je weer een enorme shot leesplezier en fandom. Daarom werd ik door deze bundel steeds vrolijker en vrolijker en vrolijker.

  • M. Sarki

    Jonathan Lethem generally provides enough essays in any given collection that are certainly eye-opening and have the tendency to teach us something we did not know. Throughout his writing career he has proven to be adept at this exercise. And in

    this is again the case. However, and for the most part, what actually interests Lethem in this book bores me to death. But when I eventually trudged my way to his essays and reviews on Th

    Jonathan Lethem generally provides enough essays in any given collection that are certainly eye-opening and have the tendency to teach us something we did not know. Throughout his writing career he has proven to be adept at this exercise. And in

    this is again the case. However, and for the most part, what actually interests Lethem in this book bores me to death. But when I eventually trudged my way to his essays and reviews on Thomas Berger I was immediately struck with how fortunate I was to have continued reading. And then I happened on the Bob Dylan piece which again made me grateful for not quitting on him. Lethem does that to me. He can win me over in no small measure. With still another 15% of the book to read I found myself sampling kindle editions of Berger’s work and then ordering whole copies to add to my queue to read. And for those moments I was excited again by literature, which is a feeling I get that most agrees with me. Life, in general, is not that way. Often there is much too much reality to deal with. Truth is, I love a good escape. And on this very day I cannot thank Lethem enough for providing me with additional exits from which to choose from.

  • Storyheart

    Another tedious anthology of writing referencing exclusively male authors. There's nothing wrong with male authors but Letham needs to expand his circle of reading or at the very least title his book accurately: On Books by Male Authors.

  • John

    This book was a big disappointment. I had not read any Lethem before trying this collection of essays. I was expecting a meditative collection of essays on writers and books. Instead, it was just a New York Mishmash of articles and set pieces sold as essays. Nothing impressive here. Save your money.

Best Books Online is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Books Online - All rights reserved.