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Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
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Dept. of Speculation (2014)

by Jenny Offill

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1,10810011,064 (3.71)107
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Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
While I thought the disjointed style was a very good choice for the subject matter, it certainly made it a little more difficult to really care deeply about the characters. I kept wanting just a little bit more information and clarity from the wife and her feelings and insights towards her slowly collapsing family. That being said though, the book is really depressing, so maybe more clarity and details would have sent it over the edge into the territory of too depressing. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
I enjoyed this brief audio book - the story of a marriage and family told through short notations that, pieced together, flesh out the life of a woman, her husband, the ups and downs,of their relationship, and the birth and growth of their daughter. I found it to be unique, creative, wise, entertaining and fulfilling. ( )
  njinthesun | Dec 6, 2018 |
This is a mosaic of short paragraphs and chapters, with some awesome lines and quotes (pick up a highlighter, you will underline a lot!), all of it composed in 46 chapters in just 180 pages.
It is Intelligent, funny, heartbreaking and full of serendipity. I really love the author's writing voice.
I read this in one good overnight sitting. A great short read. ( )
  iSatyajeet | Nov 21, 2018 |
This is a mosaic of short paragraphs and chapters, with some awesome lines and quotes (pick up a highlighter, you will underline a lot!), all of it composed in 46 chapters in just 180 pages.
It is Intelligent, funny, heartbreaking and full of serendipity. I really love the author's writing voice.
I read this in one good overnight sitting. A great short read. ( )
  iSatyajeet | Nov 21, 2018 |
Sorta wanted to just highlight the whole book. ( )
  ambersnowpants | Aug 23, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
If Rainer Maria Rilke had written a novel about marriage, it might look something like this: a series of paragraphs, seldom exceeding more than a dozen lines, sometimes without much apparent connection to the text on either side.
added by sturlington | editKirkus Reviews (Nov 27, 2013)
 
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Epigraph
Speculators on the universe...
are no better than madmen.

Socrates
Dedication
For Dave
First words
Antelopes have 10x vision, you said.
Quotations
But the smell of her hair. The way she clasped her hand around my fingers. This was like medicine. For once, I didn’t have to think. The animal was ascendant.
The Buddhists say there are 121 states of consciousness. Of these, only three involve misery or suffering. Most of us spend our time moving back and forth between these three.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385350813, Hardcover)

Dept. of Speculation is a portrait of a marriage. It is also a beguiling rumination on the mysteries of intimacy, trust, faith, knowledge, and the condition of universal shipwreck that unites us all.

Jenny Offill’s heroine, referred to in these pages as simply “the wife,” once exchanged love letters with her husband, postmarked Dept. of Speculation, their code name for all the uncertainty that inheres in life and in the strangely fluid confines of a long relationship. As they confront an array of common catastrophesa colicky baby, bedbugs, a faltering marriage, stalled ambitions—the wife analyzes her predicament, invoking everything from Keats and Kafka to the thought experiments of the Stoics to the lessons of doomed Russian cosmonauts. She muses on the consuming, capacious experience of maternal love, and the near total destruction of the self that ensues from it, as she confronts the friction between domestic life and the seductions and demands of art.

With cool precision, in language that shimmers with rage and wit and fierce longing, Jenny Offill has crafted an exquisitely suspenseful love story that has the velocity of a train hurtling through the night at top speed. Exceptionally lean and compact, Dept. of Speculation can be read in a single sitting, but there are enough bracing emotional insights in these pages to fill a much longer novel. 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:31 -0400)

"Dept. of Speculation is a portrait of a marriage. It is also a beguiling rumination on the mysteries of intimacy, trust, faith, knowledge, and the condition of universal shipwreck that unites us all. Jenny Offill's heroine, referred to in these pages as simply "the wife," once exchanged love letters with her husband, postmarked Dept. of Speculation, their code name for all the uncertainty that inheres in life and in the strangely fluid confines of a long relationship. As they confront an array of common catastrophes--a colicky baby, bedbugs, a faltering marriage, stalled ambitions--the wife analyzes her predicament, invoking everything from Keats and Kafka to the thought experiments of the Stoics to the lessons of doomed Russian cosmonauts. She muses on the consuming, capacious experience of maternal love, and the near total destruction of the self that ensues from it, as she confronts the friction between domestic life and the seductions and demands of art. With cool precision, in language that shimmers with rage and wit and fierce longing, Jenny Offill has crafted an exquisitely suspenseful love story that has the velocity of a train hurtling through the night at top speed. Exceptionally lean and compact, Dept. of Speculation can be read in a single sitting, but there are enough bracing emotional insights in these pages to fill a much longer novel. "--… (more)

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