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eBook Girl in Landscape ePub

by JONATHAN LETHEM

eBook Girl in Landscape ePub
Author: JONATHAN LETHEM
Language: English
ISBN: 0571205941
ISBN13: 978-0571205943
Publisher: FABER AND FABER; 1st edition (2002)
Pages: 280
Category: Literary
Subcategory: Literature
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 713
Formats: mbr lrf mobi docx
ePub file: 1835 kb
Fb2 file: 1767 kb

Best is Girl in Landscape’s subtle undercurrent of fear-of space, the unknown and the alien other.

He is capable of bold invention. San Francisco Chronicle A fresh, frequently wacky, young. Best is Girl in Landscape’s subtle undercurrent of fear-of space, the unknown and the alien other. Lethem’s amazing story and spare styling shine. Lethem manages to pull off something magical with every novel. Like Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics, introduces a loopy, surreal world where murkiness and mystery run amok. St. Petersburg Times.

Jonathan Lethem isn't afraid to take chances, and he takes lots of chances in "Girl In Landscape," mainly in taking a familiar and predictable theme making something fresh and interesting out of it. For the most part. For the most part, he succeeds in "Girl. However, this novel is not of the caliber of, for example, "Motherless Brooklyn," "Gun with Occasional Music" or "Fortress of Solitude.

Girl in Landscape book. In the end this book will remain on my bookshelf, and I will probably have to go out and find more written by Jonathan Lethem. Not the outcome I wanted, but I'm not disappointed. Lethem's latest genre-bending exploration of science, landscape.

Girl in Landscape is a science fiction novel by Jonathan Lethem, originally published as a 280-page hardback in 1998, by Doubleday Publishing Group. Pella Marsh is the only daughter and eldest child in a family that is leaving behind New York City, in a near-future where the Earth has sustained severe damage from climate change.

Fierce Attachments: A Memoir. by Vivian Gornick · Jonathan Lethem. In a volume he describes as "a series of covert and not-so-covert autobiographical pieces," Jonathan Lethem explores the nature of cultural obsession-from western films and comic books, to the music of Pink Floyd and the New York City subway. Along the w. Men and Cartoons.

said Raymond, pointing out the figure trailing behind, the clumsy shadow they’d all noticed.

said Raymond, pointing out the figure trailing behind, the clumsy shadow they’d all noticed eath the empty sky. Pella, Raymond, and David Marsh, Bruce and Martha Kincaid. Bruce Kincaid was the same age as Pella. Martha was eight, a year older than David. The Kincaids had lived here months already. They picked their way blithely over the crumbled ground, distorted shadows dancing, through the tendrils of dried dead vines

One the irrepressibly inventive Jonathan Lethem could weld science fiction and the Western into a mesmerizing novel of exploration and otherness, sexual awakening and loss.

One the irrepressibly inventive Jonathan Lethem could weld science fiction and the Western into a mesmerizing novel of exploration and otherness, sexual awakening and loss. At the age of 13 Pella Marsh loses her mother and her home on the scorched husk that is planet Earth. Her sorrowing family emigrates to the Planet of the Archbuilders, whose mysterious inhabitants have names like Lonely Dumptruck and Hiding Kneel-and a civilization that and frightens their human visitors

One the irrepressibly inventive Jonathan Lethem could weld science fiction and the Western into a mesmerizing novel of exploration and otherness, sexual awakening and loss

One the irrepressibly inventive Jonathan Lethem could weld science fiction and the Western into a mesmerizing novel of exploration and otherness, sexual awakening and loss. Her sorrowing family emigrates to the Planet of the Archbuilders, whose mysterious inhabitants have names like Lonely Dumptruck and Hiding Kneel-and a civilization that and frightens their human visitors.

Danial
Jonathan Lethem is known for his creative choices of topics and treatment. The fun of this novel is the basic idea that a family has to start a new life on a faraway planet that has a "manufactured" atmosphere to make it possible for humans to live, along with the species already present. The story revolves around how family members' identities evolve within the unfamiliar socio-economic construct of the planets' human and humanoid life. Science fiction fans may not enjoy this novel as there are too many unanswered questions. Instead, it provides more of an allegorical approach to what happens to a variety of human personalities and capacities when faced with having to begin again to understand what life is all about. The novel takes you through a transformation, but leaves you wondering about what happens next.
Enditaling
Jonathan Lethem isn't afraid to take chances, and he takes lots of chances in "Girl In Landscape," mainly in taking a familiar and predictable theme making something fresh and interesting out of it. For the most part, he succeeds in "Girl." However, this novel is not of the caliber of, for example, "Motherless Brooklyn," "Gun with Occasional Music" or "Fortress of Solitude." But it's much better than "As She Climbed Across the Table."

Some critics have described "Girl" as a melding of the sci-fi and "Western" genres. That's fair, insofar as the story involves space travel from a future, ravaged Earth to another ravaged, distant planet of a once-mighty, now-departed alien race, where the drama unfolds on the edge of a wild and alien frontier. (Think, "The Million-Year Picnic" meets "Little House on the Prairie," with some of the claustrophobic intensity of Stephen Crane's "The Blue Hotel," and the vigilante "justice" of "The Ox-bow Incident.") "Girl" is more than "just" a Sci-fi Western. It's a novel full of nuances and shadows, both in the characters and theme. It asks more questions about "what it means to be human" (a perennially favorite sci-fi theme) or to have courage in the face of the violence and cowardice of which small colonial minds are capable (shades of "High Noon"), than it offers by way of answers.

The "pioneers" who inhabit this off-world Podunk are all émigrés from Earth, seeking a new life on the planet of an ancient alien race known as "the Archbuilders" who, somehow, ruined their own mess kit and left behind a world of elegant and inscrutable ruins. Along the way, they developed "viruses" to alter their environment and themselves, to which the colonizing humans are vulnerable and must take pills to counteract. Those Archbuilders who remain are the ne'er-do-well, left-behind descendants of this once-mighty race. They are vaguely humanoid, hairy over an exoskeleton, walk upright, with two double-jointed legs and two double-jointed arms. They speak good English ("and invite you up into [their] room") and are quite friendly in an odd, almost humorous way, and hang around the humans' frontier village: one poses for paintings and gives sexual favors to a lonely "artist"; another plays backgammon with the town heavy's hired hand. In subtle ways they mock their human colonizers by taking on "human" names such as "Lonely Dumptruck," "Hiding Kneel," and "Truth Renowned." The humans generally despise and mistrust them and believe they are all potential child molesters. (Now *there's* an interesting twist on alien menace.)

Into this paradise, across the galaxy from Brooklyn, NY, comes the Marsh family: Clement, the father, a failed politician, wishy-washy to the core; his 13 year old daughter, Pella, the protagonist; and two younger brothers, Raymond and David. They are, truly, "motherless," - the result of the sudden and untimely death of their mother, Caitlin, felled by a stroke just as the family is preparing to immigrate to the new world. Pella is forced to deal with the loss of her mother, her new and ambiguous role as the mater familias to her father and younger siblings, the father's inability to be man, much less a father, in the new environment, and, among other issues, the motives of the town strongman, Efram Nugent. Nugent is a loner and the original colonizer of this part of the planet, a self-styled "expert" on the Archbuilders past and present. To Pella, he is an intimidating but irresistible hall of mirrors who has, as she learns, agendas within agendas, including an unsavory interest in Pella.

Without being a spoiler, suffice it to say there are the semi-predictable cultural clashes between the aliens, with their gentle but disturbing ways, and the humans, with their crude and judgmental worldviews and propensity to violence. Along the way there is interspecies sex, arson, murder, betrayal, redemption, etc., etc. Pella emerges with a new toughness and understanding. You can see it coming a mile away, but when it arrives, it's not a disappointment.

What makes this book a "four star" instead of a "five star" is the weak beginning when the Marsh gang is on Earth. It's too long, and not enough attention is paid to Clement to make his ineffective weakness in the new world more credible. What makes this book a "four star" instead of a "three star" though is the quality of Lethem's writing. You can't beat it. Some writers feel they have to describe everything in minute detail. Lethem's spare descriptions of characters in "Girl" (except for the aliens, virtually zero in the way of physical description except parts of the body-- e.g., Nugent's powerful hands, Pella's budding breasts, etc.) is an effective technique that deflects the reader's attention away from trying to imagine what characters "look like" and focuses the reader's attention on what characters are.
DABY
Lethem does it again. He takes a genre or two and warps them with style and resonance. I finished this book 7 months ago and the images still run through my memory on a regular basis.
blac wolf
Motherless Brooklyn? Brilliant. Clever. A rare treat.

Gun, with Occasional Music? Beautifully bizarre.

As She Climbed Across the Table? Fantastic blend of sci-fi and romance.

But this book?

Lethem is an amazing writer, and he's been gifted with the kind of imagination that is weird but relatable. He twists the English language around abnormally creative concepts and creates unforgettably odd books. This novel, however, not so much. In fact, in many ways, this novel seems like a trial run for the kind of theme he explored with far greater skill in The Fortress of Solitude.

GIRL IN LANDSCAPE is a coming of age story. If you've read the other comments on this page, you'll get the impression that this is a quasi-western, but this is only true inasmuch as the bulk of the story takes place in the vast wilderness of a mostly unexplored planet. The handful of characters who live there could, I guess, be called frontiersmen/women, but that's hardly an important function of the plot. Don't be expecting any gunfights or stampedes or failed crops or horses. Mostly there are just ruins, remnants of a once great civilization of aliens known as Archbuilders.

Our protagonist, Pella Marsh, was raised in a futuristic New York, at an age when the atmosphere has been so scorched as to make the surface of the planet unliveable. After her mother succumbs to a life-threatening illness and her father succumbs to the loss of a major election, what's left of Pella's family moves to the alien world to begin life anew. What they find there are oddly linguistic aliens and a meager settlement of people, most of whom have no personalities aside from the occasional bout of alcoholism.

The book is obviously about Pella's attempt to deal with her burgeoning womanhood, but it is really hardly about anything at all. Aside from a stone hard man named Efram (who weilds most of his power with as much significance as a really bad dream), the cast of characters are either ineffectual or uninteresting. Usually both. Pella uses her unique position on the planet to deal with a vague (sub?)plot involving bigotry against the Archbuilders, but mostly she just spies on people and wishes her dad her dead and her mom were not.

Mildly interesting, very unsatisfying. If you're interested in Lethem, I'd suggest any of the other books above before this one.
Manazar
Three and 1/2. Not bad not great. Very interesting concept but some characterizations were lacking and the plot was a little jumpy. Decent enough read.
Ochach
Love the adventure. Hope there is a sequel.
Zeleence
I liked the reader but the story is strange. It did stick with me, though, so maybe that tells something.
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