Free Reading Wakefield By Andrei Codrescu –

Picture Wakefield He S Divorced, Lives Alone In A Comfortable, Book Filled Apartment In A Sophisticated City A Motivational Speaker, His Talks Leave Audiences Dispirited And Anxious But For This Peculiar Talent, He S Nicely Paid By Corporate America, And He S In Demand Then One Day The Devil Shows Up, Walks Right Into Wakefield S Tasteful Living Room, And Says, Time S Up Just As Literary Fausts Have Done For Centuries, Wakefield Makes A Bargain With Satan, Who As It Turns Out, Is Having His Own Existential Crisis Due To Bureaucratic Headaches And Younger Upstart Demons In The Afterworld The Devil Gives Wakefield A Year To Find An Authentic Life Or Else It S Curtains So Wakefield Travels Across The Country Meeting New Age Gurus, Billionaire Techno Geeks, Global Pioneers, Gambling Addicts And Models Who Look Like Heroin Addicts, Venture Capitalists, Art Collectors, Rainforest Protectors, And S And M Strippers

10 thoughts on “Wakefield

  1. says:

    Recently when I DNF a book, I just decide to drop it and never look back That won t be the case with Wakefield because I went in to this hoping to be blown away and looking to enjoy it I plan on continuing with this novel at some point Will it be five months or five years from now Who knows, but I do plan on giving this novel a shot because I feel like I wasn t in the right mind set or place to fully enjoy it So for now, I ll leave this novel on my Kindle untouched Thank you Netgalley Open Road Media for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  2. says:

    It s openly acknowledged that the main character in this novel, owes a certain homage to Hawthorne s Wakefield a short story in which a husband disappears from domesticity for 20 years by simply moving a street over and observing what happens I read Hawthorne s story after finishing the novel In Codrescu s version, Wakefield is a kind of performance artist of the 21st century essentially, he s a de motivational speaker hired by large corporations to speak to workers and unsettle them a bit make them question their success and what next steps they should take The Devil comes to visit him with the intent of punching his card, but they come to a compromise if Wakefield can somehow find some sort of authentic life, the Devil will postpone his demise Honestly, the plot is a bit irrelevant in this story, because the Devil is dealing with his own existential crisis being a demon during late stage capitalism is no walk in the park The book ends up being a kind of comedic philosophical inquiry as Wakefield sort of stumbles through life speaking extemporaneously in a way that is equal parts truth and bullshit Codrescu s writing makes this an entertaining and insightful, if meandering, series of musings THE MORE APTLY RENAMED WORDS I LOOKED UP AFTER READING THIS BOOKkilims dewlaps lamia baldacin kachina omphalos avgolemono deracinated babalao parvenus

  3. says:

    Wakefield is absurdist, dark humor written by award winning poet and playwright Andre Codrescu Thank you to Net Galley and to Open Road Integrated Media for permitting me to access a DRC The title, originally published in 2004, will be available for purchase digitally September 8.Wakefield is an anti motivational speaker He s in great demand People grow weary of the cheerful chipmunk types that show up with a big grin and a you can do it attitude, and so corporations are seeking balance by also providing a guy that tells them it s all a waste of time As a natural cynic, Wakefield assumes, when the devil comes to call and tells him his time is up, that he ought to be able to strike a Faustian bargain But oh what a surprise the devil doesn t want his soul You re assuming, dear sir, that you have one The devil wants one thing only proof that Wakefield has found a true life This broad brush stroke gives the author all sorts of leeway At times, Wakefield s search is savagely funny There are some literary references that I thought were terrific quirky philosophy and, true to his poetic nature, some kick ass figurative language.The main problem is that the plot doesn t really have a structure to hold onto True life is too general, and so Wakefield wanders, both geographically, in his relationships, and in his own thoughts The author is obviously a very intelligent man, but he s relied too much on innate cleverness and not enough on the structural requirements of a novel Even the most unconventional literature needs to be able to hold its audience, or it won t be successful.I confess I took issue with the author s characterization of Marxism as a kind of religion then as well, one might think that someone that spends his life considering matters philosophical would recognize that Marxism and Stalinism are not necessarily identical But this isn t the reason for my rating The three stars reflect a story that has moments of great strength, even ones that made me laugh out loud, but its inconsistency and lack of a problem that builds, peaks, and is resolved in one way or another, makes it hard to get a handle on The result was that I found my attention wandering at times, which doesn t happen much , and then I d have to tab back a few pages and do some rereading Even with notes in my e reader, I can t find any functional pattern There s an ending of sorts, but it seems to be sort of tacked on because the book has reached its required length, rather than because the plot has led us there.Those that are familiar with Codrescu s other work and are fans may feel differently, and so I recommend this novel to that niche audience.

  4. says:

    The devil and Wakefield make a deal, but it is all good and comedic and about general dropping knowledge Codrescu once said that Wakefield is his most autobiographical, or was that Messiah It was written in a collection of his essays, which is numerous still.Humph.Anyway Ex wife, Marianna, women in various muse forms and the devil as his usual old Nick trickster self.God in eternal slumber dreaming the humans up, various refs to all gods and muses Not as saintly as Messiah.genius with job solving, a much lighter tone to the destruction and apocalypse that can come to pass.animatronic birds of rarity and inspirationpaying attention to massage, grocery shoppingexhaustiveasshole cyberia camera crew reality control roommcdonalds in paris because it feels familiarborn dying old man plate glasssimpsons v family guy

  5. says:

    Maybe Andrei Codrescu is liked by many people, undoubtedly he is because he has a number of books out.However, I only was able to read about half of this book and put it down I am a person who hardly ever puts a book down, as I will garind my way through most of them, but this one went down.Don t know what others see in it, but as for me, forget it.Sorry about that.J Robert Ewbank author John Wesley, Natural Man, and the Isms

  6. says:

    I m writing a review for this book to warn others not to read it unless you like books that jump from idea to idea with no real overarching message I read it for book club and I don t remember one person in our group being ecstatic about it The upside it was interesting to read a different type of book than I d normally pick up.

  7. says:

    I recently reviewed a Don DeLillo novel in which I pointed out that author s tendency to meander around with a central character, but without a real plot Wakefield is very much in this same vein, so its overall quality was greatly going to be effected by how effectively Codrescu could write the plotless world inhabitited by the novel s eponymous character.The verdict or my verdict anyway , is that he s almost successful The plot of the novel which only notionally plays a part in the goings on of the protagonist involves Wakefield, a slightly self aware and cynical everyman, who makes a deal with the Devil to not go to Hell The Devil agrees to allow him to make a new life for himself, if, within a year, he can actually find a life he s like to live.This sets Wakefield off on a journey to find a new life But he was apparently going off on this journey anyway, as his career as a motivational speaker had him already scheduled to travel to the various locales he visits Each local approximate representations of Chicago, a small Midwest town, the West Coast presents Wakefield with different versions of the way Americans see the world and their place in it Wakefield rejects them all and returns to a Manhattan analog.And also along the way, we visit in on a world weary Devil who seems so bored with his role in the universe, he can barely work up the interest to play the game he set up with Wakefield.In very DeLillo like fashion, Codrescu side steps the deal with the devil and instead just bounces Wakefield off of various characters in the various cities in order to incite obsessively ponderous conversations on the state of today s society There are interesting things to be said, and Condrescu find them He s very good at creating odd characters to crawl out of the hidden corners of his world to shine a light on assorted oddities of human nature On that level, the book works.Where it falls apart is the arbitrary nature of it all Many interesting ideas are thrown out, but you can t really sense that any growth has occured on the part of Wakefield or the Devil by the time you flip through the last page In that sense, this novel reminded me a lot of DeLillo s Ratner s Star Interesting settings, interesting characters, interesting ideas but all sort of mixed together in a boiling pot with no particular recipe in mind.

  8. says:

    I m almost at the halfway point of the audio version, and if something doesn t change my mind in the time it takes me to drive to work in the morning, I m giving up The writing comes across to me as intensely male, in a way that makes me feel I could never hope to understand anything that happens inside an XY brain This book is trying hard to convince me that approximately 70% of U.S residents have thick Eastern European accents Perhaps that s true, and I m simply not talking to the right people It s also trying to convince me that 90% of all conversations in the U.S are about art, money, philosophy, ethnicity, architecture, and various amalgams of all of the above That I can t buy.

  9. says:

    It s a comic novel from New Orleans, so John Kennedy Toole comparisons are inevitable But Codrescu s his own voice, and a compelling one at that There s the same fatalistic, cosmic sense of humor that I found in Stanley Elkin, which is a wonderful, rather rare quality in fiction Especially fiction that deals with a protagonist whose life is as banal as that of a motivational speaker I ve read satisfyingly vicious comic novels, but this remains an excellent one, largely because of its curious combination of sympathy and contempt.

  10. says:

    The writing style is similar to Tom Robbins It covers an immense amount of material, all threaded around a single plot, but it s much less well done than Robbins.