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Pym by Mat Johnson
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3812141,668 (3.78)32
  1. 10
    The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe (goddesspt2)
  2. 10
    Sensation by Nick Mamatas (Longshanks)
    Longshanks: Two intelligent satires which make their points with a balance of clever observation and silliness. And not the lol-so-random monkeycheese sort of silliness.
  3. 00
    Moo by Jane Smiley (Carissa.Green)
  4. 00
    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon (Carissa.Green)
  5. 00
    Long Division by Kiese Laymon (hairball)
    hairball: These books just go together, even though on the surface they don't seem alike.
  6. 00
    Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian by Avi Steinberg (kara.shamy)
    kara.shamy: It's the only other book that reveals the same beautiful, weird, brilliant, absurd wit in it the authorial voice. There may be other examples (countless, even) that aren't coming to mind.
  7. 00
    Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher (Carissa.Green)
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» See also 32 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Totally wacky in a way I didn't expect - which was wonderful! The first 50-75 pages didn't do much for me but after the group arrives at their destination, the story really picks up. However, the first bit of the book paired with an ending that left too many questions unanswered made for a slightly underwhelming read. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
Some parts in the middle really seemed to drag, but overall I enjoyed the book a lot. ( )
  Lindoula | Sep 25, 2017 |
Bizarre, hilarious, scathing satire of American racism, all refracted through the lens of Edgar Allen Poe's "Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym." Tons of fun. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
How can any novel manage to be so smart and so ridiculous at the same time? In this novel, Johnson tells a story even more incoherent and open-ended than his source of inspiration, Poe's [b:The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket|766869|The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket |Edgar Allan Poe|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1341387331s/766869.jpg|44915222]. But within his chosen framework of comedic satire, Johnson also makes intellectually exuberant arguments, a cascade of them, about literature, race, identity, feminism, love, and the historical inheritance of slavery. He even manages to explore the conditions under which genocide might be morally justified. It's a wonderful social satire, and a very enjoyable read, as long as you allow it to sweep you along, instead of permitting it to make you cranky for the way it never really acts like a novel is supposed to act. I would recommend reading Poe's novel immediately before this one as the passages of 'literary analysis' in Johnson's novel are priceless and many of the plot lines run parallel to Poe's, where an immediate experience of Poe's story, missing dog and all, will make Johnson's sendup all the more delightful. ( )
  poingu | Jan 23, 2016 |
A very odd book. Quite an amazing riff on Edgar Allen Poe's Pym book. A weird book that fascinated me when I read it. Didn't have my ears tuned at that time to the racial overtones of the book. Johnson does an over the top job of meditating on and at the same time lampooning this book, nineteenth-century and twentiety century takes on race and racism, and literary criticism in the current century. In the end too talky and preachy, too pleased with itself (though blessedly with the humor). Just didn't come together for me. But certainly much more ambitious than your average fare. (Listened to audiobook.) ( )
  idiotgirl | Dec 25, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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UPON my return to the United States a few months ago, after the extraordinary series of adventures in the South Seas and elsewhere, which you can read about on the pages that follow, I found myself in the company of several gentleman in Richmond, Va., who were deeply interested in the regions I had visited, and who were constantly urging it upon me, as a duty, to give my narrative to the public.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812981588, Hardcover)

A comic journey into the ultimate land of whiteness by an unlikely band of African American adventurers
 
Recently canned professor of American literature Chris Jaynes is obsessed with The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, Edgar Allan Poe’s strange and only novel. When he discovers the manuscript of a crude slave narrative that seems to confirm the reality of Poe’s fiction, he resolves to seek out Tsalal, the remote island of pure and utter blackness that Poe describes with horror. Jaynes imagines it to be the last untouched bastion of the African Diaspora and the key to his personal salvation.

He convenes an all-black crew of six to follow Pym’s trail to the South Pole in search of adventure, natural resources to exploit, and, for Jaynes at least, the mythical world of the novel. With little but the firsthand account from which Poe derived his seafaring tale, a bag of bones, and a stash of Little Debbie snack cakes, Jaynes embarks on an epic journey under the permafrost of Antarctica, beneath the surface of American history, and behind one of literature’s great mysteries. He finds that here, there be monsters.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:22 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A comic journey into the ultimate land of whiteness by an unlikely band of African American adventurers. Jaynes is obsessed with Edgar Allan Poe's only novel ; when he discovers a crude slave narrative that seems to confirm the reality of Poe's fiction, he resolves to seek out Tsalal, imagining it to be a key to his personal salvation.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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