334

3.83
If Charles Dickens has written speculative fiction, he might have created a novel as intricate, passionate, and lacerating as Thomas M. Disch 's visionary portrait of the underbelly of 21st-century New York Tow. The citizens of the public housing project at 334 East 11th Street live in a world of rationed babies and sanctioned drug addiction. Real food is displayed in museums and hospital attendants moonlight as body-snatchers.

Nimbly hopscotching backward and forward in time, Disch charts the shifting relationships between this world 's inheritors: an aging matriarch who falls in love with her young social worker; a widow seeking comfort from the spirit of her dead husband; a privileged preteen choreographing the perfectly gratuitous murder. Poisonously funny, piercingly authentic, 334 is a masterpiece of social realism disguised as science fiction.

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Original Series
Year of the Publication
Publication Date
Published April 27th 1999 by Vintage (first published November 1972
Original Title of the Book
334
Number of Pages
258

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gave it

The New Wave SF types were taking Borges, Joyce, Calvino, Angela Carter, and the Mothers of Invention, and acid, and adding that to the brattish pulpy extreme-vision origins of SF which was despised, I mean despised by haughty litterateurs, and coming up with shi like John Sladek ’ s Stand on Zanzibar, Brian Aldiss ’ ss Barefoot in the Head and Report on Probability A, Michael Moorcock ’ s Jerry Cornelius stuff, it was all really far out and experimental and all.

I think Thomas Disch had a great ovel in him but didn ’ t get round to writing it.

gave it

And when one ca n't buy in, one kills oneself ( as Disch did in 2008) .So, this boo starts out with a country dominated by standardized tests -- and this was published in 1974!

Except in Disch 's world, you need a high score in order to be allowed to breed.

gave it

By the end I felt that my brain had been turned inside out, and looking at the ook I had the ense that I was holding not a linear representation of a ale with a beginning, middle, and end, but a tiny four-dimensional model of a chunk of space-time, which is a pretty neat trick.

gave it

Like man of Thomas Disch, this books is criminally underrated.

I doubt that Michael Bay has ever considered filming it, and it 's not the ort of essa that 's likely to leave you smiling.

gave it

Delany, who argued that despite the absence of scientific themes its speculative setting made it inherently science fiction.

gave it

“ The end of the world.

I like the nd of the world. ” ― Thomas M.

Disch ’ s 1974 novel, a mix of science fiction and Zola-like social realism, eyeballs 334 East 11th Street, New York Tow, home to a teeming mass of miserable, poverty-stricken occupants of a 16t century multistory apartment beehive- Thomas Hobbs 's philosophy of life as nasty, brutish, and short on a continual supply of amphetamines.

To share a glimpse of what a reader is in for, below are commentary on two of the chapte: first, a longer one, a ale about college student Birdie Ludd in battle with the force of darkness; and the sixt, a shorter stor, a vivid sketch of an outing at a most unusual art exhibit: THE DEATH OF SOCRATESBirdie Ludd has finally made it out of high school ( P.S. 141) into one of New York City ’ s colleges only to sit in class listening to a rofessor on a TV yack nonstop about the life of Dante and how nearly everyone according to the Italian author ’ s Inferno will be tormented in hell, most certainly all the Jews.

As Birdie is quick to recognize, none of what he is being force fed has any relevance to his mundan life and since teaching is done by television, there is absolutely no possibility of dialogue or a lively interchange of ideas; rather, he is required to simply swallow and regurgitate what he is given.

Additionally, we read how Birdie losses points because of his grandmother ’ s unemployment pattern but gains a few points “ by being a Negro. ” Goodness, sound like Disch ’ s futuristic world has the deck stacked against blacks.

Birdie pens an essay for class entitled Problems of Creativeness, that ends “ Another criteria of Creativeness was made by Socrates, so cruelly put to death by his own people, and I quote, “ To know everythin is the first condition of all knowledge. ” From the isdom of that great Greek Philosopher may we not draw our own conclusions concerning these problems.

And that was it, they were gorillas. ” A& P ( 2021) Lottie is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, at an exhibit were there are rows and stacks and pyramids of cans, boxes, meats, dairy, candy, cigarettes, bread, fruits, vegetables – all with individual brand names.

For Lottie, this is a time of perfection, one she wishes she could hold forever: “ The real magic, which couldn ’ t be laid hold of, was simply that Juan was happy and interested and willing to spend perhaps the whole day with her.

Danto has written extensively on how Warhol ’ s creations herald in the “ death of art ” in the notion that objects of art are no longer separate from everyday objects, no longer special pieces like landscape oil paintings or marble sculptures; rather, the rt world defines what is and what is not art.

Disch comment on the would-be state of the visual arts in the weeks following Warhol and the “ death of art. ” Again, these are but two of forty-eight chapters.

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