(PDF DOWNLOAD) [Doxology] Ô Nell Zink
I loved Mislaid and Nicotine by Zink and even though I did like the first half of Doxology in the second half it all got out of control There were two different novels in one h This was my first time reading Nell Zink and I see now why she has such a cult following her writing style is this wonderful mix of intellect wit and sharpness Doxology s voice tells it doesn t show Often in literary fiction we prefer showing not telling but Zink s reversal of this really worked here Doxology is the story of a family of multiple generations and how history and politics think 911 and the Trump era have marked their own personal histories It s undeniable that Zink has her finger on the pulse of the political and cultural landscape of DC and New York Whether or not you agree with her diagnosis s or prescriptions is beside the point you must have a base line admiration for how intelligently she writes about our state of affairs both presently and from the 1990s and early aughts Most writing about the Trump era in recent fiction is pretty miluetoast in my opinion and leaves us with conclusions that most of us already feel trumpbad so I enjoyed Zink delving into subjects beyond the surface level like elitism the idealism of millennials the various ways privilege presents etc That being said I still had an insipid taste left in my mouth with some of the conclusions Zink draws but perhaps that is because I m politically active and politically aware I think any author in this era would have trouble truly shocking or presenting radical inferences among select populations of readers I also need to commend that I really never got bored reading which can invariably happen with books over 400 pages however I never found myself speed reading to move it along I think that says a lot about Zink s singular writing It sounds cliche saying her sentences are ust so sharp but they really are I can see the writing coming across as too high brow to some readers but Zink had my prompt attention for the full course of the book I m looking forward to picking up her other novels Doxology has a lot to unpack in terms of politics and culture and I think it would make a great book club read even if it may not seem like an obvious pick on the surface There are some really interesting discussions to be had on the differences between boomers Gen X millennials and the way history has shaped these generations respectively Many thanks to Ecco for sending me a copy Nell Zink has proved herself to be one heck of a writer in the past but I must admit that Doxology her fourth novel was not as compelling as I had anticipated That said it still very much packs a punch it ust isn t as original an idea as her other books It s really a tale of two halves with the first half detailing Joe Dan and Pam s lives and the time in which they grew up The second half focuses on Pam and Dan s daughter Flora and her coming of age in a divided America Joe Dan
AND PAM S FAMILY DRAMAS PRIMARILYPam s family dramas primarily place in the first section of the novel and then two key events take place 911 and a family tragedy followed by Flora in her formative years and an exploration of current politics environmental and ecological issues There is uite a bit of commentary on American politics popularism including Trump and activismThis is another eminently readable humorous and moving book from Ms Zink which covers the 1990s right through to the 2016 elections I must Contains spoilersThis novel is at best wildly overrated I picked it up after reading a rapturous review spurred by nostalgia for what promised to be a paean to the punk rock scene in my old hometown in the decades prior to 911 The book turned out to be peopled almost exclusively with privileged mercenary types whose salient character trait is the ability to make bad choices and come out ahead Everyone speaks in repart e there is some beautiful lyrical writing mostly about place buried beneath the bons mots but it s hard to find It s impossible to care about any of the characters because Zink presents them as types rather than individuals and also because it s clear that they will be protected from any conseuences of their actions as well as any real growth or change by their wealth and status Zink herself seems #Not To Love Her #to love her she holds them out at arm s length and describes them with clinical wry omniscience attempting to get the reader to oin her in gently laughing at them But no one in the book is the least bit interesting with the exception of Joe who is killed off early for no good reason The experience is like reading an overly long underground comic 911 was said at the time to be the death knell of irony Writers like Nell Zink seem as if they are self consciously trying to enshrine irony as a substitute for the hard work of actual writing It doesn t work The book blurb gives most of the details of what happens in Doxology Joe Pam and Daniel meet and form a band Pam and Daniel have a baby Flora and Joe s music career takes off We follow the three of them four when Flora arrives until 11 September 2001 when tragedy strikes both New York and the trio on the same day Getting to this point is effectively the first third of the book and is in truth much like many of the other novels that track groups of friends living in New York I feel like I have read a large number of these novels it s a great city full of interesting characters so it is hardly surprising so many authors have set a book thereAfter 911 the focus gradually changes Flora grows up and we alternate between her story and that of her parentsgrandparents with Flora gradually coming to the fore Once Flora oins the activists. Pam Daniel and Joe might be the worst punk band on the Lower East Side Struggling to scrape together enough cash and musical talent to make it they are waylaid by surprising arrivals a daughter for Pam and Daniel a solo hit single for Joe As the ‘90s wane the three friends share in one another’s successes working together to elevate Joe’s superstardom and raise baby FloraOn September 11 2001 the city’s unfathomable devastation.
SUMMARY í VAPE4STYLE.CO.UK ↠ Nell ZinkAtchett shot through every once in a while with morsels of razor sharp commentary We ll see how I feel in a year s time I have read several books this year that have dealt in some way at times ust tangentially with the 2016 presidential election And now here s Nell Zink s contribution to the oeuvre although that portion of her story comes at the end of a fairly long novel dealing with the history of American politics and culture beginning in the late 1980s as experienced by two fairly clueless young people who moved individually to New York City from different parts of the countryPamela grew up in an upper middle class white family in Washington DC She had all the privilege that such an upbringing entails but as she neared the end of her high school years she rebelled against the plans her parents had for her She did not want to go to any of the colleges they suggested she had a different vision for her life And so she packed a few things took what money she could scrape together and took off to New York to pursue her vision She had no contact with her parents after that for many yearsDaniel came from a fundamentalist Christian family in the Midwest He managed to complete college before he fled but he too made his way to New York and the two young people met there through another friend that Pamela had made Joe Harris who was destined to become a rock starThe three of them are devoted to music and they play together in small anonymous bands before Joe becomes famous Pamela and Dan He started playing ukulele soon after his mother died Even blindfolded I would know that is a sentence by Nell Zink That subtle intersection of the ordinary and the absurd is her trademark maneuver Wit ricochets around her straight faced sentences like marbles in a can Every funny phrase sounds tossed off under her breath an irreverent little prize for the attentive readerEven the facts of her life sound slightly surreal For a few years she produced a zine about punk musicians and their pets She was discovered by Jonathan Franzen after writing to him about a German ornithologist She has worked in construction and holds a PhD in media studies She is one starts to suspect a character in a novel by Nell ZinkBut despite its eccentricities her latest book Doxology is surprisingly conventional It is a long novel about an East Coast family woven into recent historical and political events This time around there is no straining against the dimensions of reality no postmodern backflips It feels like a uirky genius trying her best to behave at the dinner tableThe first and best section of Doxology is about the unusual friendship between several people born in the late 60s The heroine Pam grows up in Northwest Washington to a pair of WASPy parents who To read the rest of this review go to The Washington Posthttpswwwwashingtonpostcomentert It s an achievement in itself to write a politicalfamily novel that features strange lo fi anti folk nerd bands from lower Manhattan and that I still don t like This meandering tale introduces us to an American family where the parents have roots in the musical counterculture but then flourish in the tech upper middle class while their millennial daughter tries to help save the environment by becoming a political activist So yes Zink apparently tries to reflect society and changing attitudes by describing different generations including the grandparents over time but nevertheless the book has pretty much nothing to say If you look for a stringent narrative concept a message surprising twists and thoughts or elegant prose this is not your book It is very readable and it s not like I had to force myself to finish it but the world did not need this novel sorry Nell Zink The main structural element of the book is a cut 911 divides the text in two halves one focusing on the parents and halves one focusing on the parents and friend weirdo rock star Joe the other one centering around on Flora the daughter We all know by now that I ust hate meandering stories and this is no exception but what makes it worse is that I did not care for the detached wordy overly descriptive storytelling which in large parts consists of character descriptions and boooooring theoretical reflections on current events listen I am a PoliSci nerd with an unhealthy news addiction who #usually loves to spend whole nights discussing current events but with their pseudo critical sermons Zink s characters are umping #loves to spend whole nights discussing current events but with their pseudo critical sermons Zink s characters are Couplings jumping shark even for me Zink is a member of the German Green Party which is not comparable to the American Green Party it is much influential and important a real force to be reckoned with So when her character Floraoins the American Green Party and becomes a campaign staffer for Jill 1 % Stein you should expect some fascinating takes that might derive from the author s personal knowledge of environmental politics but Nope Everything is predictable and the laments re the two party system and the never ending beef between the Democrats are the same ones you ve already read numerous times in case you ve picked up a newspaper in the last four years As the protagonists remain flat there is also no personal angle that might shine a new light on an old story Zink is no Jonathan Franzen Whenever a new character appears Zink gives us some paragraphs with their backstories la tell don t show it s clumsy lazy and it upset me uite a bit So at the core Zink uxtaposes the generation of the hedonistic 90 s with their plaid shirts and ultimately pragmatic approach to the politicized millennials and the whole thing doesn t live up to its potential There is also a cynical streak in this book that I did not enjoy This is not my kind of writin. Hing new threat Flora’s family will have no choice but to look to the past both to examine wounds that have never healed and to rediscover strengths they have long forgottenAt once an elegiac takedown of today’s political climate and a touching invocation of humanity’s goodness Doxology offers daring revelations about America’s past and possible future that could only come from Nell Zink one of the sharpest novelists of our tim. Fighting for ecological conservation andor against Donald Trump she comes to dominate the storyI think it probably helps to be American which I am not when reading this book Firstly I found myself in the UK having to look up a large number of words that turned out to start their definition by saying North American They were new words for me but would be perfectly normal I imagine for any North American reading the book The story is also very much embedded in North American culture referencing a lot of trade names etc that will be very familiar to American readers but less so to those in other countries I didn t know what a BoltBus is until I read this book Finally once the story turns political as it follows Flora then a good understanding of American politics would be very useful especially an awareness of some of the issues raised and people involved during Trump s ultimately successful campaign For a non American reader some of this becomes a bit confusing During Flora s political activity the story telling takes a bit of a back seat with both narrative and conversational passages making political points This is the elegiac takedown of today s political climate referred to in the blurbReading this book felt very much like a game of two halves In the first part the story of friends in New York dominates This fades in the second part although not completely to be dominated by commentary on American politics There is a lot about green issues and a uite a bit about Trump or at least about people trying to stop him from becoming presidentDespite my lack of knowledge of things North American this was an enjoyable book to read Zink seems to have a penchant for mathematically impossible descriptions exponentially wonderful for example which I am told is a thing but which I have never personally heard anyone say and also she at one point says that Joe can play instruments than Joe Pam and Daniel can added together which I guess is for humour but which made my headache for a few minutes but she also writes in a very readable way The narratives switches focus from one protagonist to another and the third person narration seems to switch in style subtly to reflect the person whose viewpoint we are currently seeing and I think this explains some of the slightly unusual narrative phrases that I had to read a few times such as those aboveOverall an interesting book to read although I am not uite sure how well some of it works outside of the United StatesMy thanks to 4th Estate and William Collins for an ARC via NetGalley I will be interested to see what reviews from North Americans have to say when the book is widely available Doxology isn t really about what the acket cover says Yes a group of three young adults start messing around on instruments and create an indie rock group But the band is a small part of the story I d say this is about politics and the balance of power between old and young men and women and political parties It s one of those stories you start reading get into it and then it morphs into something all together different I liked where it was going when Joe Pam and #DANIEL STARTED PERFORMING AND EVEN HAD #started performing and even had gig at the notorious Manhattan venue CBGB s But after Pam gives birth to Flora the whole focus of the book changes Joe becomes Flora s babysitter On a lark he writes a couple of hit songs and becomes famous And then it s like you start reading a new book The new focus is on Flora Flora s idealism pushes her into a career of soil expert She travels to Ethiopia in hopes of improving the world s farming capabilities We watch her idealism erode as she becomes involved with the politics of the Green Party and her understanding of the career of her new boyfriend He s a pro Clinton democratic political consultant Zink peppers feminism throughout the novel We root for Flora as she must make choices that will alter the landscape of her life Does she go for materialism or love Status or a hopeful future Additional degrees or practical application of her college degree The morally correct thing or the one that will bring her the most immediate comfortIt s a good story one that is really a millennial s coming of age in a world of destructive climate change a political world where all norms of decency and traditional politeness no longer exist where lying is an art form where men s egos dictate the course of governmental policies I kept waiting for the story to shift back to the relevance of Joe and the artistic endeavors of the band as they became tempered by parenthood And maybe it s subtlety went over my head Maybe it s impossible to be a true artist as a parent in our current political system Like a so so boyfriend Doxology had a lot of potential 35 starsI evangelize for Nell Zink but she s a confusing author I have very positive memories
Mislaid and The Wall Creeper and Nicotine but I don t think I ve given her than three than once She s clearly wildly smart and has interesting things to say about society and capitalism and relationships and the environment but I feel like the stories usually unravel or fail to conclude in a satisfying mannerDoxology focuses on punk adjacent New Yorker parents and their development from scrappy scene kids to unprepared parents to accidental millionaires true Gen X success stories Their daughter Flora is also portrayed in a way that brings the novel into the present to the era of Trump and a DC that is turning into an unaffordable gentrified Disneyland Heady to read while you re inhabiting it to be sure The first fifty pages of this made me smile despite myself but the last 200 or so pages of this felt like some tedious Ann Coincides with a shattering personal loss for the trio In the aftermath Flora comes of age navigating a charged political landscape and discovering a love of the natural world Joining the ranks of those fighting for ecological conservation Flora works to bridge the wide gap between powerful strategists and ordinary Americans becoming entangled ever intimately with her fellow activists along the way And when the country faces an astonis.of Mislaid and The Wall Creeper and Nicotine but I don t think I ve given her than three