[PDF/EBOOK] The Scenic Route A Novel ✓ Binnie Kirshenbaum


  • Hardcover
  • 320
  • The Scenic Route A Novel
  • Binnie Kirshenbaum
  • English
  • 03 September 2018
  • 9780060784737

summary The Scenic Route A Novel

free read ↠ eBook or Kindle ePUB î Binnie Kirshenbaum Binnie Kirshenbaum î 3 read & download The Scenic Route A Novel review ☆ 3 Ollow a circuitous route around the continent as Sylvia entertains Henry with stories of her peculiar family and her damaged friends of dead ducks and Alma Mahler Her narrative is a tapestry of remembrances and regretsand her. Binnie Kirshenbaum s new novel looks like another year in Provence or another romance baked under the Tuscan sun It begins with a recession fantasy A middle age divorced woman gets laid off but uses her severance money for a trip to Italy There as usually happens she strikes up a conversation with a handsome millionaire at a cafe and spends the rest of the summer driving around Europe with him staying in the cutest inns and savoring the finest wines Given this setup you d expect the cover of The Scenic Route to show a shirtless steroid abuser embracing a mildly resistant lingerie model in a ripening vineyardBut in this case the opening is something of a bait and switch and the switch is far better than the bait Sylvia Landsman s tour of Europe turns out to be just a thin frame on which Kirshenbaum hangs several generations of family stories Florence Prague and Slovenia whiz by as they take the scenic route loop de loop and fast as if we were in hot pursuit of a horsefly Every few days Sylvia points randomly at the map and they re off again but this isn t a travelogue and we don t hear much about each town Once you ve seen it you ve seen it Sylvia shrugs We didn t catch sight of much scenery other than d j vu type sensations of evergreen trees and garden gnomes Fortunately her hunky new companion Henry is a good listener the perfect audience in fact for a woman who wants to talk her way across the Continent If there s a movie version of The Scenic Route the actor who plays Henry won t have to memorize than a page of dialogueThe hard to believe pleasure of this novel depends entirely upon the wit and poignancy of Sylvia s digressive patter a Jewish woman s version of Colson Whitehead s recent Sag Harbor Her uirky sometimes funny sometimes tragic stories flow one after another anecdotes nested in anecdotes interrupted by asides and parenthetical observations and punctuated by historical footnotes about Shalimar perfume Raisinets or martinisI can t imagine what Kirshenbaum told people who asked So what s your novel about and yet it s continually engaging the illusion of artlessness that only the disciplined artist can carry off We hear of the neighbor girl who accidentally decapitates her own mother the uncle whose hands wander too far the friend who decides to get out of debt by borrowing 10000 for dance lessons at Arthur Murray Making love to Henry during a lightning storm in Austria reminds Sylvia of Great Aunt Hannah getting shock treatment in New York which sparks the tale of Luigi Galvani in 18th century Bologna discovering the electrical nature of frogs nerves The Autobahn can t match Sylvia s winding high speed narrative delivered in prose that mimics all the detours and incongruities of the spoken wordWe were alone the two of us in his car driving through Tuscany alone the two of us in a world of our own design a world not unlike the desktop biosphere you can buy at Sharper Image Or a snow dome Other people Who were they to us Other people they were the stuff of stories to tell they were the characters who populated our storiesMuch of what Sylvia describes involves herself the uiet dissolution of her passionless marriage her dangerous neglect of a close friend But other stories drawn from the sepia past sound like fables There s the great grandfather who invented shampoo and another who left home someplace like Fiddler on the Roofville Poland with a handful of zlotys in his pocket and all alone he set sail for America Aunt Thea dropped out of Vassar during the Depression to marry the son of a wealthy family that kept their lives stagnating for decades Sylvia s namesake Aunt Semille escaped the Holocaust and came to New York with stories meant to obliterate the past rather than preserve it But that too is all part of this thoughtful meditation on the way we construct our lives Sylvia reminds us that storytellers like nature abhor a vacuum More often than not she admits we don t know what really happened and what we say happened is likely to be a reconstruction of events rather than a restoration We imagine as much as we rememberEarly in their road trip Sylvia asks Henry somewhat defensively Does there have to be a point to a story Clearly she s speaking for her creator chair of the graduate writing program at Columbia University Kirshenbaum wants us to understand that there doesn t have to be a point but that doesn t mean a story is pointless Something serious is happening beneath Sylvia s chronic gabbiness Like Scheherazade she says we all tell stories as a means of staying alive and that s a theme this novel returns to in a variety of thoughtful waysOne of the most touching ones takes place in a New York hospital when a neurologist advises Sylvia to tell her father old family tales as a way of rebuilding his damaged memory It s a poignant reversal of the way Sylvia began her life captivated by her father s bedtime stories even as her mother told them to turn off the light Conspirators my father and I and he lowered his voice because you can t leave off a story just at the point when from off in the distance Little Sylvia hears the howl of the wolvesKirshenbaum has endowed her narrator with the raconteur s greatest gift that sense of imminent revelation that keeps us from wondering Are we there yet Spiked with wit scrubbed free of sentimentality these tales of love and loss courage and cowardice transport us back into the pages of our own lives and our own families There is cruelty to memory Sylvia says the way there is an ache after a dream So true and just the sort of insight that makes this bittersweet novel a perfect companion for summerhttpwwwwashingtonpostcomwp dyn

free read ↠ eBook or Kindle ePUB î Binnie KirshenbaumThe Scenic Route A Novel

free read ↠ eBook or Kindle ePUB î Binnie Kirshenbaum Binnie Kirshenbaum î 3 read & download The Scenic Route A Novel review ☆ 3 Divorced alone and unexpectedly unemployed Sylvia Landsman flees to Italy where she meets Henry a wistful married middle aged expatriate Taking off on a grand tour of Europe bankrolled with his wife's money Henry and Sylvia f. I loved how the format of this novel reflects its overarching theme The book meanders through time literally taking the scenic route just as the two main characters take the scenic route through Europe Along the way pieces of the past are revealed through flashbacks in seemingly random order I wanted to LOVE this novel and I almost did I found myself rereading sentences over and over again identifying strongly with certain insights into the human experience I saved a few lines in my uote file eg It was effortless Semille s weeping because this sorrow which she carried with her from long ago and far away contained no rage and no surpriseBinnie Kirshenbaum is a perceptive and original writer admirably so In an interview at the back of the book she mentions that a critic once called her a stand up tragic and the description is uite apt That s exactly what kept me from LOVING this novel The characters were all deeply flawed as we all are human as we are but no one overcame any of their flaws and the optimist in me always wants them to It seemed that all the characters were ignorant of the very traits that kept them from any measure of happiness and none made any effort to understand acknowledge or overcome their own flaws And I liked them all enough that I wanted them to make different choices and meet different ends はあはあ 3 reflects its overarching theme The book meanders through time literally taking the scenic Stories For My Mother route just as the two main characters take the scenic Kiss of Ash (The Witchblade Chronicles, #2) route through Europe Along the way pieces of the past are The Routledge Handbook of Postsecularity revealed through flashbacks in seemingly Forbidden Hollister #2 random order I wanted to LOVE this novel and I almost did I found myself SNAP rereading sentences over and over again identifying strongly with certain insights into the human experience I saved a few lines in my uote file eg It was effortless Semille s weeping because this sorrow which she carried with her from long ago and far away contained no Sculpting a Galaxy: Inside the Star Wars Model Shop rage and no surpriseBinnie Kirshenbaum is a perceptive and original writer admirably so In an interview at the back of the book she mentions that a critic once called her a stand up tragic and the description is uite apt That s exactly what kept me from LOVING this novel The characters were all deeply flawed as we all are human as we are but no one overcame any of their flaws and the optimist in me always wants them to It seemed that all the characters were ignorant of the very traits that kept them from any measure of happiness and none made any effort to understand acknowledge or overcome their own flaws And I liked them all enough that I wanted them to make different choices and meet different ends

Binnie Kirshenbaum î 3 read & download

free read ↠ eBook or Kindle ePUB î Binnie Kirshenbaum Binnie Kirshenbaum î 3 read & download The Scenic Route A Novel review ☆ 3 Secret shame a small cowardly sin of omission Yet when the opportunity arises for Sylvia and Henry to do something small but brave the refrain if only returns to haunt her leaving Sylvia with one story of love lived and lost. Trivial stories and day to day events made into a book Most of the content irrelevantBut the writing style is good