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The Wonders: A Novel de Paddy O'Reilly
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The Wonders: A Novel (edició 2015)

de Paddy O'Reilly (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
343552,937 (3.63)3
"From the author of the "funny, irreverent, and highly entertaining" (Liane Moriarty, author of The Husband's Secret) Fine Color of Rust comes a brilliant new novel about a misfit trio who become instant international reality stars, probing the nature of celebrity, disability, and the value of human life. Perhaps every human being was a freak. Hadn't he read somewhere that every person has at least a handful of damaged genes? That all humans embody a myriad of nature's mistakes? Meet Leon (stage name: Clockwork Man), a nervous, introverted thirty-year-old man with a brass heart; Kathryn (stage name: Lady Lamb), a brash, sexy woman covered almost entirely with black, tightly furled wool; and Christos (stage name: Seraphiel), a vain performance artist who plays a winged god with the help of ceramic implants inserted between his shoulder blades. These are The Wonders, three extraordinary people whose medical treatments have tested the limits of the human body. When they are brought together by a canny entrepreneur, their glamorous, genre-defying, twenty-first-century circus act becomes a global sensation. But what makes them objects of fascination also places them in danger. With warmth, humor, and astonishing insight, Paddy O'Reilly has written a wonderful novel that will appeal to fans of Sara Gruen's Ape House, Karen Joy Fowler's We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, and Teddy Wayne's The Love Song of Jonny Valentine--or anyone who's ever questioned the nature of fame, our kinship with the animal kingdom, and the delicate balancing act of life and death"--… (més)
Membre:JayeJ
Títol:The Wonders: A Novel
Autors:Paddy O'Reilly (Autor)
Informació:Washington Square Press (2015), 288 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:to-read

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The Wonders: A Novel de Paddy O'Reilly

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Es mostren totes 3
I was left a bit disappointed by this, having gone in with high hopes. The idea is clever and there are thought provoking bits on identity, family, fame and values, but the whole thing never really took flight for me. The characters were flat and their interactions not particularly convincing (particularly the relationship between Leon and Minh), and the plot was unevenly paced. The writing is readable and clear, with some neat descriptive flashes. I like the O'Reilly is trying to tackle some big ideas, but I really wanted to care more about the story that she was hanging the ideas off. ( )
  mjlivi | Feb 2, 2016 |
A poignant novel that questions humanity and celebrity and what defines us as human. ( )
  agotowicki | May 21, 2015 |
The Wonders is a book that can be deceptive in its depth. On the surface, it's the story of The Wonders, a group of three extraordinary people and their rise to fame. Leon has a hole in his chest through which can be viewed his mechanical heart. Kathryn is covered in black wool as a side effect of her treatment for Huntington's disease. Christos is a performance artist and has made himself into art by implanting giant metal wings onto his back. Rhona is the American entrepreneur with a history in the circus who brings them all together. They travel the country basically letting the public ogle them. Underneath, it's a commentary on the media, the price of fame, disability and what it means to be human.

The book basically follows the Wonders as they rise to fame. They start as three people with what some might call disabilities and Rhona brings them together and convinces them that they are special and should present themselves to the public. Like an old-school side-show, the three put themselves on display, starting with small private gatherings and working up to large public venues. Between shows, they live together at Rhona's compound where she also keeps retired circus animals.

I generally liked the plot. It was somewhat slow moving, although there is some excitement at the end, and I can see how some readers would not be satisfied. For me, that was ok in this case because I was fascinated by the characters and what was happening to them.

Leon, in particular, was intriguing. He is the books narrator, so we live the story through his eyes. He is the least confident and is somewhat socially inept. He is not a social person and putting himself on display is extremely uncomfortable for him although as the story progresses, he learns the draw of an adoring audience. His heart is visible to the world and that leaves him vulnerable both physically and psychologically. His relationships with the other characters, and even his wife are somewhat stilted because of it as well. What I found particularly fascinating is that, although Leon is himself a Wonder, the reader will find that he is a keen observer and is just as fascinated by his friends and fellow Wonders as the general public is. The idea of the public vs. the performer is turned on its head a little bit because Leon watches and forms opinions just like the viewing public does.

At its heart, this book is a thought provoking commentary on celebrity and our hunger for more, disability and our fascination with things different from the norm. What does it mean to be famous? How does that affect both the performer and the viewer? What really constitutes a disability? This is the type of book that has a decent story, but it's strength really lies in its ability to make you think without smacking you across the face with an agenda. It's the type of book that will only gain meaning on re-reading it.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. ( )
  CherieReads | Feb 3, 2015 |
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"From the author of the "funny, irreverent, and highly entertaining" (Liane Moriarty, author of The Husband's Secret) Fine Color of Rust comes a brilliant new novel about a misfit trio who become instant international reality stars, probing the nature of celebrity, disability, and the value of human life. Perhaps every human being was a freak. Hadn't he read somewhere that every person has at least a handful of damaged genes? That all humans embody a myriad of nature's mistakes? Meet Leon (stage name: Clockwork Man), a nervous, introverted thirty-year-old man with a brass heart; Kathryn (stage name: Lady Lamb), a brash, sexy woman covered almost entirely with black, tightly furled wool; and Christos (stage name: Seraphiel), a vain performance artist who plays a winged god with the help of ceramic implants inserted between his shoulder blades. These are The Wonders, three extraordinary people whose medical treatments have tested the limits of the human body. When they are brought together by a canny entrepreneur, their glamorous, genre-defying, twenty-first-century circus act becomes a global sensation. But what makes them objects of fascination also places them in danger. With warmth, humor, and astonishing insight, Paddy O'Reilly has written a wonderful novel that will appeal to fans of Sara Gruen's Ape House, Karen Joy Fowler's We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, and Teddy Wayne's The Love Song of Jonny Valentine--or anyone who's ever questioned the nature of fame, our kinship with the animal kingdom, and the delicate balancing act of life and death"--

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