A Memoir

Book - 2011
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Joshua Cody, a brilliant young composer, was about to receive his PhD when he was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. Facing a bone-marrow transplant and full radiation, he charts his struggle: the fury, the tendency to self-destruction, and the ruthless grasping for life and sensation; the encounter with a strange woman on Canal Street that leads to sex at his apartment; the detailed morphine fantasy complete with a bride called Valentina while, in reality, hospital staff are pinning him to his bed. Moving effortlessly between references to Don Giovanni and the Rolling Stones, Ezra Pound and Buffalo Bill, and facsimiles of his own diaries and hospital notebooks, [sic] is a cross between Susan Sontag's Illness as Metaphor and Jay McInerny's Bright Lights, Big City: a mesmerizing, hallucinatory glimpse into a young man's battle against disease and a celebration of art, language, music, and life.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, [2011]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2011
ISBN: 9780393081060
Characteristics: 266 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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ColemanRidge Jan 16, 2012

This is kind of like a David Foster
Wallace novel if Wallace was perfectly happy but got hanged anyway, and
then lived. Cody writes like Wallace but is not as good at it,
so you can see how the prose works. The infinite digressions allow
raw, intense scenes without the entire work being a continuous shriek,
like breaking up a punk song with long, musing, witty solos. In Cody's
case this is done, I think, out of Midwestern notions that it is in
bad taste to shriek, but it works for me. The book deals with extremities, and one can only stay at the extremes for so long.

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