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Day for Night: A Novel by Frederick Reiken
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Day for Night: A Novel (edition 2010)

by Frederick Reiken

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1481080,863 (4.16)11
Member:bookmagic
Title:Day for Night: A Novel
Authors:Frederick Reiken
Info:Reagan Arthur Books (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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Day for Night: A Novel by Frederick Reiken

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One of the most intriguing novels that I've read lately. Reiken gives us 10 narrators and a grand puzzle of a story that we piece together as we turn the pages. I'm glad that we're discussing this in our reading group in April, because I'll be able to read it again. Remarkable! ( )
  ken1952 | Jan 24, 2012 |
It's some time since I read this. I recall that the writing was notable but the ends didn't tie up. Too much was unresolved and unexplained for this to be satisfying. Not recommended. ( )
  fountainoverflows | Aug 10, 2011 |
My reading of this book totally did not do it justice, and this review will not either. I think one needs to read it on vacation, when it's raining, on long leisurely days when there's nothing else to do. It's very confusing otherwise: which characters you've already met, what happened to them then that explains what's happening now, and what the devil all the seemingly separate but interconnected pieces all mean when put together.

Beautiful writing. If I didn't have so many books to read and so little time, I'd read it again. ( )
1 vote bobbieharv | Jul 22, 2011 |
This will be one of the very few times I ever use the publisher’s summary for a book. But honestly, I have no. idea. how. to summarize this book.

As a child, Beverly Rabinowitz fled Europe with her mother during World War II. Almost half a century later, while vacationing in Florida with her boyfriend and his son, a chance encounter leads to a strangely lucid moment in which she senses that her father, long believed to have been killed during the war, is close by. It’s the first of many seemingly random events that in fact are guiding Beverly, and the people in her life, towards a startling discovery.

Over the course of Frederick Reiken’s provocative, intricate novel, Beverly will learn that her story is part of something larger, and brilliantly surprising. Because her story is not hers alone, but also that of a comatose teenage boy in Utah, an elusive, Sixties-era fugitive, an FBI agent pursuing a twenty-year obsession, a Massachusetts veterinarian who falls in love on a kibbutz in Israel, and a host of other characters. Day for Night illuminates how disparate, far-flung people can be connected, and how the truth of those bonds can upend entire lives. Each chapter is a small universe of its own, and together they form a dazzling whole.

Day for Night may be the most confounding, startling, and beautifully written books I’ve read this year. It is, without a doubt, the most confusing by far, that is for sure. I read this book a couple of months ago and I’m still confused. I was lucky enough to read it with Jen from Devourer of Books. We discussed this book for a week. I’ve read countless reviews of the book, and summaries, and, I hate to admit it, but I feel I remain mostly in the dark as to what exactly happens in this book.

It is not my intention to speak in riddles, but I will suggest that it is very natural to see all of these things as a big puzzle you must assemble. I will suggest, as well, that certain pieces will not fit, not now or ever, and that you must learn to live with these ambiguities. You must also learn to trust these ambiguities. This is perhaps the most important thing I know.

This quote cracks me up. Not because it is silly, it’s far from it. What makes me laugh is the part “it is not my intention to speak in riddles” because this book is like one giant riddle to me! And I totally agree with “certain pieces will not fit, not now or ever” because there were certain pieces that didn’t seem to fit. It’s like the author left me this secret message saying “It’s okay, you’re not going to get it, don’t worry about it!” And I didn’t!

I recognize that we are all magicians in some way. We are complicit in all we see and comprehend that what we see will never coincide with absolute reality.

To me, and I have no idea if this is correct, it seems as if Reiken was trying to imitate life with this book. There are so many things in motion around us, things we have no idea about, but affect us in so many ways. That slow car in front of you on the way to work this morning may have prevented you from having a serious accident. The man you had a chance encounter with at Starbucks may turn out to be your boss someday. There are just so many things affecting your life and this book seems like an attempt to represent that.

As a result, the human brain must make a narrative. This I can say with certainty, and yet each narrative we choose will reach a point at which it no longer suffices. One narrative must inevitably be abandoned for another. In this way, any narrative sequence defers meaning, even beyond the point at which it appears to end.

It almost feels like Reiken took some random (and do I mean random!) things and attempted to tie them all together into a narrative. He made a narrative, like the quote says. It was random, it was connected, it was baffling – but it was also beautifully written. This book has some of the most beautiful prose I’ve read this year. These three quotes, besides being, in my mind relevant to my interpretation of this story, are my favorites for how amazing they are. So yeah, whether I “got it” or not, I feel like I kinda “got it.” Hmm…that doesn’t make sense. Or does it? My best advice is read it. Read it with a friend. Read it with your book group. And be prepared to think. ( )
  capriciousreader | Jan 23, 2011 |
To say this is a novel of interconnected stories, doesn't do this narrative justice. Stories of depth, of shadows, good versus evil, night versus day, the holocaust and cults, manatees and coral reefs. Reiken says that it is a novel of "opposite things resolving." ( )
1 vote Yllom | Nov 5, 2010 |
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In a novel that spans time and space, a middle-aged woman on vacation in Florida is linked to an elusive Sixties-era fugitive, as well as dozens of other characters whose lives seem mysteriously intertwined.

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