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'To the extent that we can speak of a future at present, I think the future of the novel is here' Sally Rooney
'An education in the sympathetic imagination, a deep and bracing intellectual challenge, a powerful political statement. . . This is a novel to cherish.' The Observer Guide to the Best Autumn Culture
'Ben Lerner is arguably the hottest novelist writing in America today, in complete control of his ideas and his prose, and ambitious with both.' The Telegraph Autumn Hot 100
Adam Gordon is a senior at Topeka High School, class of '97. His parents are psychologists, his mom a famous author in the field. A renowned debater and orator, an aspiring poet, and - although it requires a lot of posturing and weight lifting - one of the cool kids, he's also one of the seniors who brings the loner Darren Eberheart into the social scene, with disastrous effects.
Deftly shifting perspectives and time periods, The Topeka School is a riveting story about the challenges of raising a good son in a culture of toxic masculinity. It is also a startling prehistory of the present: the collapse of public speech, the tyranny of trolls and the new right, and the ongoing crisis of identity among white men.
Lerner made a huge impact on contemporary fiction with his two previous drawn-from-life novels, Leaving the Atocha Station and 10:04. With his latest, he leaves behind his typically erudite first-person protagonists in favor of a Kansas boyhood in the 1990s. For the time being, high school senior Adam Gordon can only dream of "a vaguely imagined East Coast city where his experiences in Topeka could be recounted only with great irony." But he is a brilliant member of the debate club and the son of two psychotherapists, Jonathan and Jane, who are tied to the Foundation, an experimental treatment facility where Adam is himself a patient of the eccentric (and possibly psychic) Dr. Kenneth Erwood. Readers delve deeper in the Foundation in evocative chapters narrated by Adam's parents, who tell the story of their courtship, Jonathan's extramarital affair with Jane's best friend Sima, and adventures in academia. Also haunting the novel is the figure of Darren, a teenage outsider whose inclusion in Adam's clique ends in a disastrous act of violence. Lerner's greatest strength lies in interstitial period details in the zeitgeist: Bob Dole, Reverend Fred Phelps, and Tupac Shakur. Loosely plotted but riveting, this novel expertly locates the thread of the anxious present in the memory-stippled past.
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Long and boring
Je n’accroche pas (du tout) à ce style fouillis, multipliant les références à des personnages cités auparavant et changeant constamment d’angle et de thématique.
2 étoiles tout de même car je perçois parfois du talent littéraire quand le style se calme sur qqes pages - mais cela ne dure jamais bien longtemps.
Abandon à la page 100 (sur 300)