*Free Ebook ✗ Stone Arabia ⇔ Ebook or Kindle ePUB free

You will find in this novel some swell writing, the story flows well and touches many issues of the modern era The protagonist Denise rambles on life, the bubble around her brother Nik the music artist and her mother Ada who is slowly heading down the Dementia road The story includes real news headlines from timeline of 1978 to 2004 and the protagonists take on it and her heart felt view on matters Lots of family stuff what could have been, what s liked and disliked.This book takes me back to Freedom by Franzen, but Spiotta connects better with Denise s plight and the world around her, philosophical, intelligent and witty The book s ending could be better but I think the writer knows better than me the plotting of her story That brings on a thought can perfection lead to insanity if you don t balance the scales in life.Excerpts Written words demand the deep attention that spoken words just aren t entitled to Writers get to pull something solid out of our relentless, everyday production of verbal mucilage A writer is a word salvager and scavenger and distiller I have discovered how much memory can dissolve under pressure The I try to hold on to my ability to remember, the it seems to escape my grasp.I find this terrifying I have become alarmed at my inability to recall basic facts of the past, and I have worked to improve things I have been studying various techniques and even tricks, and I should employ them Memory, it seems, clings to things Named things Spaces Senses I believe I know that photos have actually destroyed our memories Every time we take a photograph, we forget to embed things in our minds, in our actual brain cells The taking of the photograph gets us off the hook, in a way, from trying to remember I ll take a photo so I can remember this moment But what you are actually doing is leaving it out of your brain s jurisdiction and relying on Polaroid s, Kodak paper, little disintegrating squares glued in albums When I think of my family, I think that our history really lives in our bodies The mind distorts and fails, but the body endures until it doesn t, and up until that moment it held it all I knew that when she died, it would be her body I would remember, her physical presence, and to recall any part of her body her smell, her hair would make me weep and grieve for her The Beslan School broke her open, but what purpose did it serve What was a person supposed to do with all of this feeling Feeling nothing was subhuman, but feeling everything, like this, in a dark room in the middle of the night, by yourself, did no one any good Certainly not Denise, who held her head and wept, and watched two hours of breaking, beating new coverage Of children and blood and chaos Each possibility, not feeling or feeling, each response was inadequate.The worst part would come tomorrow, when they repeated these images over and over or the day after, when the world out there would move to the next thing, the next terrifying and electrifying and stupefying thing Are we supposed to forget If not forget, then what Visit webpage for trailer and other stuff.http 2read.com review stone arabia by dana spiotta There are points in this book where I was so frustrated with the clunky attempts at post post modern structure games that I had to put it down Reading through all the positive reviews of this work, I almost feel I must ve read a different book This is not a rock n roll novel but instead a mish mash of prose about two sad people living pathetic lives There s little here that s compelling although the character Nik has his moments The forced connections between the narrator Denise s obsession with various current events which, sadly all read as very dated at this point and her inability to connect to the mess that is her life, left me frustrated not so much with the character as was the obvious goal but with the writer The 2 main characters here are supposedly 47 and 50 but read like they re in their late 50 s Of course, since the bulk of the narrative is told in first person removed Denise s story told via a series of writings she creates on the event of her brother s disappearance we cannot know what is simply Denise s skewed POV and what is actually happening in the narrative The shifts from third back into stilted first person served only to break the narrative flow and did nothing toward creating a compelling narrative Overall, there is much that shows potential here and Nik s character albeit a cliche of the failed rock musician narcissist reads as somewhat interesting What this book needs is a good editorial spanking Or at least an editor who would make this obviously talented writer work harder to tell a compelling, cohesive narrative That this novel has received such rave reviews I find, to be honest, depressing I d give it a B minus at best. In the winter of 2007 my boyfriend and I invented a game called Let s just see where the day takes us This would start with taking a bus downtown and end 18 hours later passed out in a stony booze coma, snoring out a toxic mix of carbon dioxide and alcohol fumes A few days ago he found photographic evidence of one of those days The shots taken early in the night are quiet and abstract a series of match books lined up on the counter of the bar, a pint of beer, candid portraits before our faces turned slack and putty colored His animated face fills the screen in one blurred shot He s surrounded by smears of red lighting consistent with all photos ever taken in the back bar area of Pizza Luce I remember the exact moment I took that, I said, leaning over his laptop It was the header on my blog for awhile, he said Maybe I didn t remember taking that Maybe I just remembered the photograph, and remembering the photograph had replaced remembering it in actuality And then I was able to call on something I had just read within the past 24 hours from Dana Spiotta s novel Stone Arabia I believe I know that photos have destroyed our memories Every time we take a photograph, we forget to embed things in our minds, in our actual brain cells The taking of the photograph gets us of the hook, in a way, from trying to remember I ll take a photo so I can remember this moment But what you are really doing is leaving it out of your brains jurisdiction and relying on Polaroids, Kodak paper, little disintegrating squares glued in albums I love it when that happens It s so AP English Spiotta s novel has memory at it s base What we remember, what we think we remember, how we are remembered The story is from the perspective of Denise, a 40 something with a quiet life, world s biggest fan of her older brother who goes by the rock star name Nic Worth The two have a remarkable sibling link having grown up without supervision in 1970s Los Angeles Dabblers in eye liner and weed, anonymous sex and punk rock In the novel s early pages, Denise is reading a fictitious letter from herself to her college aged daughter Ada, a part of Nic s life work called Chronicles Having never achieved rock and roll fame, Nic has created a fictional buzz about himself and his music He makes albums that he releases to just a handful of family and ex lovers He writes reviews of the albums, assigning them fake bylines of fake writers for Rolling Stone or LA Weekly When real Nic s dog dies, an event that makes barely a ripple in his actual life, Chronicles reports fans sending sympathy cards and an album dedicated to the dog Everything is intricately catalogued and filed and complete to the point that if an anthropologist stumbled on this time capsule in 200 years, they would believe that Nic Worth had been Elvis ian in stature He has concert posters, concert souvenirs, T shirts He has fictional anthologies written by the fake Rolling Stone writers The readers would find them entirely plausible, Nic tells Ada, who is making a documentary about her reclusive uncle It would be hard to believe they are conjured from nothing Particularly when I have all the music I kept close track I kept the internal logic and continuity I have the accompanying scholarship Verifications could be made Denise s defining characteristics are that she is enad with her brother s work as well as breaking international news She is in a pleasant, albeit loveless relationship with a man who keeps her rich in Thomas Kincade Chaser of Light trinkets She has a bestie relationship with her daughter and her mother is in the early stages of dementia She is a blurred character when the story opens, but becomes intriguing as she comes into focus as a former wild child and a hunter of breaking news about Abu Ghraib It doesn t take teenagers in a psychedelic van to see where the story is headed, but it still unfolds in this really lovely way Like being on a long slide and deciding halfway down that you don t want to be on the ride but really, you really do Spiotta also takes Denise on a sort of bizarre side bar that seems a little forced in that put the character on a road trip, a technique that so many novels employ This story starts out a little cold and clunky, but it s purpose starts to reveal itself not unlike a Polaroid And then it is a total pleasure. The book misses on every level Oh, there are paragraphs here and there of fine writing and phrases, there are the starts of intelligent explorations of memory, family, rock and roll musicians, holding on to love, but then phytttttt In reading this, it feels like a lit firecracker which unexpectedly goes out The story doesn t explore anything enough with any theme or topic This novel would have made a better short story, especially if it had focused on the characters of Denise and her mother My frustration peaked by the middle of the book Reading was like being on a treadmill, mileposts passed but no change No characters stand out and they all seem too ordinary for a book No tension Nothing happens They wake up, go to work, drive home, call on each other and say hi, go home to bed, sleep Done Nic is a musician who apparently has spent decades making CDs for his family that consist of experimental sounds rather than music, which we can t hear since we are reading a book which makes the pages referring to his music excruciatingly boring after the first five or so pages discussing it His sister, Denise, appreciates Nik for 235 pages, which is also excruciating dull to read Yawn Nik is a boring person He never shows his work in public, he never has a real job for long, and he has no family contacts except for Denise, her daughter Ava, and his mother The book s primary focus is on Nik and his Chronicles The Chronicles consist of revelations which could be either slightly altered versions of his real life or faked PR releases which I skimmed When is the last time you ve read through all of the ads in a magazine or catalog, word by word Well, that is exactly what half of Nic s chronicles consist of, which means half of this book is nothing but fictionalized ad copy Which means a third of this book is similar to slogging through 1,000,000 pages of Rolling Stone Magazine music reviews one after another Hold that thought in your mind for a minute That s how excruciating of a read this was to me Denise, when not admiring her brother for another million pages, is helping her mother through the middle stage of Early Onset Alzheimer s This is the most interesting part of the book Unfortunately, the interactions between Denise and her mother amount to only about 40 pages, but it highlights most movingly that the family is losing its past through inertia and memory loss The history of generations is fading from everyone s mind The family is losing not only its stories, it s losing meaning.Denise is deeply frightened by her mother s illness and her brother s poor health, since he hardly ever leaves his rented house, and since all he does is make experimental sounds and fake ad copy, he has no money Denise thinks he s a genius not that there is any proof of that in the book except Denise s feeling She s frightened that she will lose both her brother and mother, which means she won t have anyone in her life to support her memories Both her mother, through her failing brain, and her brother, with his fake diaries, have been rewriting all of the real memories of Denise s life She is frightened that when both ARE gone, her memories will be compromised.What was the reason for writing this book about a family of four boring, do nothing, go nowhere, say nothing, meet no one people that spend all minutes admiring one brother who does the least living except for the creativity which remains private in his head, in his Chronicles and on unlistenable CD s If the novel was supposed to be a literary enlightenment or exploration of a dying family, it was a horrendously boring ick way to do this, too boringly done, so boring I couldn t pick up ANYTHING interesting about this family If the theme was about memory, that has been done much better elsewhere If it s about creative process, there REALLY is only a hint of that If it s about rock and roll, well, again there was a page or two and then it was done About Denise, a character obsessed with her brother and fearful of losing her mother So obsessed she lives her life wasting it through admiring her brother and his art and watching CNN in her spare time hopelessly crying over the ephemeral passing of news I made it sound interesting here than it did in reading it in the book For me, an utter waste of time What am I missing My take on this book meh But I m having an incredibly hard time articulating why I was so wearied and largely unimpressed by what should have, by all accounts, been a fascinating read The premise of the book is promising Nik is a famous rockstar, but nobody knows it except for a handful of fans his ex bandmates, his ex girlfriends, his sister, his niece By all appearances, Nik s an aging, washed up musician turned druggie bartender, but in his secret life documented in a 30 volume scrapbook called The Chronicles the LPS he s recorded and released to his small group of followers all these years have made him a celebrity To support this alternate narrative, Nik s created rave reviews, letters, fan gear and bootleg copies of his own work to support his alternate narrative.Most of the story is told from the perspective of Nik s sister, Denise, who has started writing a kind of Counterchronicles of her own, to meet Nik s witty and brutal depiction of her in his archive Denise is in her late 40s too Nik and Denise have always been close She s the only one who gets his music and sensibility, and he relies on her as an emotional and financial anchor But she s a little unstable too she can barely pay her bills, and has a tendency to get sucked in by sensational news stories, losing track of her real life for days at a time She s also convinced she s slowly losing her memory The book offers up a collage of questions about aging, identity, art and its audience, fame and its construction, privacy, knowing and being known and how we define who we are All interesting things to consider, but the storyline offers little in the way of answers or new insights Instead, things as the plot thickens when Denise s 20 something Brooklynite daughter Ada decides to make a documentary about her eccentric uncle things seem to just splinter and dead end Spiotta is a brilliant writer and there are some terrific descriptive passages especially as Denise is recalling her youth , but it doesn t all really come together Confronted with the complexity of modern life this is a book that embraces internet news, blog posts, Google searches, voicemail, cable television, rented DVDs and YouTube Stone Arabia essentially just throws its arms up in a post modern shrug. Dana Spiotta has been reading my mail and walking through my memories and dreams Which is fine, really She is most welcome Not since Jennifer Egan s A Visit From the Goon Squad has an author captured so much of what drew me and my crew to certain types of music when I was a kid Three decades on, I ve begun to realize I may never again feel such unfettered passion, but Stone Arabia comes tantalizingly close to revivifying some heady feelings At times I could smell Aqua Net while I was reading.Upon finishing Stone Arabia at 2 AM or so, because I could not put it down I felt new life coursing through old friends and bandmates, most of whom, like me, did not get the brass ring Some are dead, some simply broken, but a precious few, like Stone Arabia s rock and roll hermit genius Nik Kranis AKA Nik Worth remain creative in the face of dashed hopes and dreams deferred These are my people.49 year old Nik, however, who hasn t played a gig since 1979, is several cuts above in terms of his obsessive devotion he makes music, yes, but he also creates an alternate universe in which he is a star Nik s arc is wildly impressive, and not only includes many self recorded designed released albums, but also reviews and interviews by journalists of Nik s own invention One reviewer, in fact, loathes the work, and the pith and tone of the ersatz music journalism is, at times, hilarious Yet, brilliant as he is, anti digital Nik allows a scant few folks to actually hear his music and read the cut and paste scrapbooks he calls his Chronicles Among them is his devoted little sister, 47 year old single mom Denise, who narrates Stone Arabia.Denise is as much a piece of work as Nik, and although the novel takes brief excursions into third person, we mostly experience Stone Arabia in Denise s head The tone is both conversational and epistolary, with lengthy philosophical excusions bumping against brief emails, blog entries, and transcripts from Denise s 22 year old daughter Ada s documentary about Nik.As much as I latched on to Nik, the meat of the story is Denise s personal struggles, of which her increasingly remote, alcoholic brother is but one Spiotta renders these trials with familiar ache, but also refreshing sucker punch humor Denise struggles with credit card debt exacerbated by frequent loans to Nik perimenopause, and an addiction to the 24 hour news cycle Plus, Nik and Denise s mom has Alzheimer s deadbeat dad is long dead and Denise herself is beginning to feel her own memory cracking beneath the weight of her years Yet her recollections of both her and Nik s childhood, and then formative years as latchkey kids in glittery then punky Los Angeles, are vividly cinematic the Kranis kids walk out of a screening of A Hard Day s Night and share amazement that the world is unchanged teenage Denise obsesses over fey boys at a disastrous pool party, young single mom Denise realizes, with horror, that she has gone from carefree to careless The rock roll stuff is great, but Spiotta s multi leveled depiction of a modern, albeit eccentric family is really the heart of the book And it s a big, beating thing, that heart We ride the emotional tides of daughters, siblings, girlfriends, parents but through the disappointment, rage, anxiety, and irritation shines an abiding, treacle free love Spiotta reminds us that memories fade, people change, plans don t pan out, dreams die, fuck ups accrue, but we all hope for love through it all Stone Arabia spins that love around, surface noise and all. Many of Spiotta s preoccupations appear here, obsessively watching movies, mentally ill siblings, cultural fixation to the point of psychological, our visions of reality versus the grim mortality of it, an almost surreal examination of the objects of our culture, and trying to find real emotions in a society built on spectacle This book revolves around a sister and a brother The brother has over the years obsessively can t help but use that word a lot when discussing one of her books created a rock and roll stardom for himself This book is about much than that simple description can hint at Spiotta s insights are painfully exact but necessary, her vision is satirical but compassionate, odd but recognizable, and she will make you examine your life and face what makes a life in an over mediated and under caring world Questions of what is fame, what is compassion, and what is life for are handled in an odd but compelling book with little fat or self indulgence, Spiotta has an eye for the failures and triumphs of humanity and a voice to articulate it. *Free Ebook ☠ Stone Arabia ⇦ From A National Book Award Nominee, A Smart, Subtle, Moving Story About The Complicated Business Of Knowing The People You Love Book Forum In The Sibling Relationship, There Are No First Impressions, No Seductions, No Getting To Know Each Other, Says Denise Kranis For Denise And Her Brother, Nik, Now In Their Forties, No Relationship Is 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 She Is Also The Crucial Support For Nik And For Their Aging Mother, Whose Dementia Seems To Threaten Her Own Memory When Denise S Daughter, Ada, Decides To Make A Film About Nik, Everyone S Vulnerabilities Escalate In Stone Arabia, Dana Spiotta Explores The Inner Workings Of Celebrity, Family, And Other Modern Day Mythologies Vogue A weird thing happens a few times where a change in narrator from 1st person to 3rd is signaled by nothing than a page break It really threw me off the first time it happened.I m really surprised that some of the other negative reviews I ve seen on goodreads, anyway direct their disdain primarily at the two main characters, who are apparently losers If being middle aged, cash poor and lonely makes them losers, then sure, but how often is a compelling novel written about a winner And who among us should be so lucky, etc My main problem with the book is that it s uneven The titular town even comes from a sort of subplot about the primary narrator s obsession with human interest type news events, which subplot feels shoehorned into the interesting story of her brother s life music, a story that was ultimately anticlimactic itself. Nabokov stated in the first page of his 1961 memoir, Speak, Memory, our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness In Diana Spiotta s new novel, STONE ARABIA, eccentric narcissist, obsessive archivist and iconoclastic musician Nik Kranis mines that fleeting fissure of light and warns his sister, Denise, Self curate or disappear This nostalgic and affecting story of siblings and family is a philosophical meditation on memory and the driven desire for autobiography to document and render a consequential life, and to assemble disparate experiences into coherent narratives And even then, says Denise, the backward glance is distorted by the lens of the presentIt is not just that emotions distort memory It is that memory distorts memory At the vortex of this novel is fifty year old Nik Kranis, aka his alter ego, Nik Worth, a pre punk, no hit wonder, LA musician, whose band The Fakes almost made it twenty years ago Nik had the sensibility down And Nik had the look down He was born to look pasty and skinny and angular But a combination of self sabotage and solipsism undermined commercial success, and Nik alternately constructed a legendary career in music via his manufactured narrative, The Chronicles Stretching back from1973 2004, The Chronicles is a thirty volume reinvention of a life, a daily scrapbook and fictionalized biography of Nik Worth, platinum rock star It is a career arc so detailed and spectacular that it would rival Dylan s.Included in The Chronicles is every band Nik was ever in, every record he ever made, and his solo career, recorded via his twenty volume Ontology of Worth We also get liner notes, reviews sometimes highly critical and damning, all created from Nik s imagination , obits of former band members, and detailed artwork for every cover Nik is what we would call a legend in his own mind.We depend on Denise s shifting narrative modes to trace the authentic Nik, a hermetic, aging, chain smoking, alcoholic mooch who is blas about his present decay and his future prospects He pursued a lifetime of abuse that could only come from a warped relationship with the future But even Denise is hooked on Nik s worth as a musician.The story is narrated largely through Denise s point of view, which shifts back and forth from first to third person, and is conveyed like the 80 s eclectic music scene, mash up style, that fans of Jennifer Egan s A Visit from the Goon Squad would appreciate She s the younger sister and caretaker of the family, and Nik s biggest fan However, Denise is concerned with exact recall, and is writing The Counterchronicles as counterpoint to Nik s mythical biography, to earnestly document an accurate record of recent events.Besides Nik, Denise s life orbits around her daughter, Ada, a documentary filmmaker who wants Nik as her next subject a tepid relationship with boyfriend, Jay, who she sees every two weeks for sex and old movies and a mother who is suffering from early dementia Denise is frightened of her own memory loss, convinced that it is imminent and inevitable.Trebly and anxious, Denise panics vicariously through sordid and tragic news events External though they are, they penetrate her personal boundaries, leak inside and cause ongoing existential crises SARS, Abu Ghraib, and a celebrity murder suicide are but a few of the terrors that invade Denise s psyche Moreover, Denise and Nik are enmeshed to a degree that My sister doesn t count as my audience because she feels like an extension of me She s, well, an alternative version of me Spiotta s creamy prose is abundant with quotable lines and arch aphorisms It is also warm, arresting, emotionally accessible There isn t much of a plot, but the story is powerful and vibrant, laced with mordant, electric riffs and visceral, melancholy chords See my full review on mostlyfiction.comLink to it