I want more people to seek out this amazing book so I'm going to give you a brief description I posted ages ago , some information on why I loved it and why it's worth it and even a selection of potential memes. I got mines from Edinburgh Uni library I'm sure anyone in a major city can find one easy enough.
It's an intense read, it takes a lot of commitment because it's really erudite but also like the third longest single volume book ever written. It focuses mainly on Jim Mayn a middle aged man who has never had a dream. The book jumps between stages of his life and the stories of his grandmothers youth. These stories are intimately linked to almost everything in the book, particularly Grace Kimball who lives in Mayn's building yet never actually meets.
Mayn also seemingly knows about the distant future and something known as simultaneous reincarnation.
There are also sections known as Breathers that are very complex when first encountered that are narrated by a group of "angels" who face an unknown interrogater. They tell the story in a spiral manner revealing more and then a little more each time if you get the idea. These parts can be nauseating as they change focus numerous times during long run on sentences.
I don't think anyone could understand the book entirely on first reading anyway but it is worthwhile I feel because when it's good it's unbelievably good. Highlights include Mayns relationship with his mother and later his father, the chapter on his failed marriage and Grace's masturbation classes and the end. If you're willing to take the time then it's definitely worth it. A very hard book to summarise for a pleb like me but hope it helps
I like to think of the interrogator(s) as the reader trying parse the dense double talk of the Angels so called breathers. Particularly when the Angels are forced to give only one answer to a question and everything becomes clearer as a whole.
The fact Mayn's present is also his past is difficult to initially get your head around and even though for large sections his name is only mentioned fleetingly to show how it all comes back to him, he still feels like one of the most fleshed out characters I've encountered. I love the way his memories of past, present and future slide back and forth. His relationship with his father though barely touched upon in comparison to the size of the novel (a sentence about Mel hitting Jim and not knowing how to say sorry and then nothing for hundreds of pages till Jims visit where through very little actually being said in the text you can feel and see their entire relationship. McElroys subtly is superb at times.
The dialogue is also some the best I've seen since Gaddis; Gordon's story to Mayn of the year he missed, Barbara (Jean!) telling Mayn he couldn't have known a torus was the best shape for a space station years before even Sci fi comics as a child or even Grace and the carpet fitters for comic value.
The book does slip with regards to trying to contain too much with some short stories or side plots complicating or distracting for the sake of it, others are sensational: Ship Rock being a favourite of mine.
This is a hard book to put across to someone else it's as I said the hardest book I've come across but like the final line of the book tells you , just take some time to sit and appreciate it. Don't rush it it's not a competition it's an experience.
Potential memes if that's really all you care about
>2nd person narrative
> memes about chile
> hermit inventors, Indians , Angels
>people merging on the moon
And the safe bomb will either be seen as complete genius or a meme
50 pages in and this book is trash. Someone convince me not to throw it in the dumpster out back.
ffs just get the ebook people. It's on libgen, stop acting like this is some "hard to find" thing. If you're not into ebooks, just go back to rubbing your first editions all over your naked self.
yes! (upvoted btw)
EDIT: yeah i know this is 4chan buddy, i'm doing my best here
EDIT 2: lol rip my inbox
EDIT 3: ok guys, time to stop. i'm going to bed now anyways
EDIT 4: wtf im done
The Tunnel is definitely worth reading: its prose is spectacular--the best of anything from the past 50 years, actually; its themes--like the localisation of history--are highly complex and original; and, though it is only appealing to other angry people, it is, in my opinion, the most hateful novel ever written; in fact, it makes Gaddis look happy, content.
An addendum to this: If you're trying to read the file from libgen on your computer, use Calibre. I tried several e-reading programs and it was the only one that worked with the Women and Men epub that comes from libgen. I'm not sure how it fares on a kindle/nook or whatever since I don't have any of those.
As a Roth fan I think its one of his best works and very indicative of his style, so there's that. If you didn't like it I'd definitely e-pub his books before you make Amazon purchases because this one's not one of his more esoteric works and is considered by many amongst his best.
Not totally sure but you may just not like his style as a whole.
Yes, because that's just way too many american authors in a row. It's okay to read a select few without anyone knowing and then shitpost about how bad american lit is on here, but it would be too much to do it after these three. Probably be years before I get to them. And then I'll be able to pretend I didn't read them because of 4chan. Yeah, that sounds like a plan.