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22.04 roman by Ben Lerner
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22.04 roman (original 2014; edition 2014)

by Ben Lerner, Arthur Wevers

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6663426,096 (3.69)35
"A beautiful and utterly original novel about making art, love, and children during the twilight of an empire Ben Lerner's first novel, Leaving the Atocha Station, was hailed as "one of the truest (and funniest) novels. of his generation" (Lorin Stein, The New York Review of Books), "a work so luminously original in style and form as to seem like a premonition, a comet from the future" (Geoff Dyer, The Observer). Now, his second novel departs from Leaving the Atocha Station's exquisite ironies in order to explore new territories of thought and feeling. In the last year, the narrator of 10:04 has enjoyed unexpected literary success, has been diagnosed with a potentially fatal heart condition, and has been asked by his best friend to help her conceive a child, despite his dating a rising star in the visual arts. In a New York of increasingly frequent super storms and political unrest, he must reckon with his biological mortality, the possibility of a literary afterlife, and the prospect of (unconventional) fatherhood in a city that might soon be under water. In prose that Jonathan Franzen has called "hilarious. cracklingly intelligent. and original in every sentence," Lerner captures what it's like to be alive now, when the difficulty of imagining a future has changed our relation to our present and our past. Exploring sex, friendship, medicine, memory, art, and politics, 10:04 is both a riveting work of fiction and a brilliant examination of the role fiction plays in our lives"--… (more)
Member:WXC77
Title:22.04 roman
Authors:Ben Lerner
Other authors:Arthur Wevers
Info:Amsterdam Atlas Contact 2014
Collections:Your library
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10:04 by Ben Lerner (2014)

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» See also 35 mentions

English (33)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (35)
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Recommended to me by my college undergrad son, 10:04 is a kind of fiction that's outside of my usual wheelhouse, and, according to the author, not even entirely fiction. Lerner's story is really pretty interesting, though, written in an unconventional style and scattered effectively with photos and other illustrations that complement his ruminations on this strange time to be alive. I think Lerner's editor should have reined in his excessive fondness for the word proprioception, but otherwise, I'm intrigued, and eager to read more by this author. ( )
  CaitlinMcC | Jul 11, 2021 |
10:04 is a work of autofiction based on several true events in Lerner's life, although I couldn't quite work out which were real and which weren't.

The narrator is an author whose close friend asks him to help her conceive a baby. The story is bookended by two storms, and in between we learn about the narrator's writing career and his thoughts on art, love and time.

The structure is fairly unconventional for a novel, and the narrative voice/perspective frequently changes, sometimes in the middle of a sentence. Not a lot really happens, either.

It's the sort of book I wouldn't have chosen to read myself because it sounds infuriating! But I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would, mainly because I liked the narrator. There are some beautiful passages of writing (Lerner started out as a poet), and although there were parts that I didn't quite get, I enjoyed the overall experience of reading the book. ( )
  mooingzelda | Apr 21, 2021 |
Life’s too short to figure out books like Lerner’s. It’s not hard to read. It’s not actually anything except an attempt by a man to show us he understands the word proprioception. A single usage in a novel would be remarkable. Lerner uses it on average every 50 pages. Literally.

There are bits which Bret Easton Ellis could do perfectly which Lerner tries to imitate and fails badly at.

None of it is original. None of it is unique. None of it is worth reading except this midly amusing quote that Lerner probably overheard on the subway:

“Shaving is a way to start your workday by ritually not cutting your throat while you have the chance.”

Books like 10:04 make you realise that you still have that opportunity open to you. ( )
  arukiyomi | Sep 17, 2020 |
I liked this more than I thought I would. It is, in fact, a very writerly book about a book (jo hand motion) but its digressions are usually entertaining and funny and poignant. At worst they're fine. Four stars instead of five bc it is occasionally the thing it hates, and all the meta-narrative in the world can't save it from that. ( )
  uncleflannery | May 16, 2020 |
This is a very New York book, a very Jewish book, a very meta book, and a very literary book. There is no real plot, except that life and friends matter and being a mensch matters, even though it also makes you a neurotic mess if you are doing it right. That works for me, but I understand why some people would not value the read.

In the end this book is about love and art, intimacy and detachment, taking chances, and the ways in which transient moments of light and darkness (actual and metaphorical) change the world that is New York. I really loved the read for the most part. Every once in a while it got too pretentious even for me, but mostly it was a thing of beauty. ( )
  Narshkite | May 3, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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"A beautiful and utterly original novel about making art, love, and children during the twilight of an empire Ben Lerner's first novel, Leaving the Atocha Station, was hailed as "one of the truest (and funniest) novels. of his generation" (Lorin Stein, The New York Review of Books), "a work so luminously original in style and form as to seem like a premonition, a comet from the future" (Geoff Dyer, The Observer). Now, his second novel departs from Leaving the Atocha Station's exquisite ironies in order to explore new territories of thought and feeling. In the last year, the narrator of 10:04 has enjoyed unexpected literary success, has been diagnosed with a potentially fatal heart condition, and has been asked by his best friend to help her conceive a child, despite his dating a rising star in the visual arts. In a New York of increasingly frequent super storms and political unrest, he must reckon with his biological mortality, the possibility of a literary afterlife, and the prospect of (unconventional) fatherhood in a city that might soon be under water. In prose that Jonathan Franzen has called "hilarious. cracklingly intelligent. and original in every sentence," Lerner captures what it's like to be alive now, when the difficulty of imagining a future has changed our relation to our present and our past. Exploring sex, friendship, medicine, memory, art, and politics, 10:04 is both a riveting work of fiction and a brilliant examination of the role fiction plays in our lives"--

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