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The Normals: A Novel

de David Gilbert

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
1235174,223 (3.35)2
With the millennium fast approaching, twenty-eight-year-old Harvard-educated Billy Schine finds himself without prospects, a balled-up bit of litter riding the boom of New York in the nineties. His classmates make millions on Wall Street and the Internet while Billy makes do with a series of temp jobs. He has a girlfriend, Sally Hu, but they're more of a couple by romantic default, sex the only commodity they're willing to trade in. Time flows by without consequence until one day Billy receives a letter from Ragnar & Sons, a collection agency seeking some satisfaction on three years of unpaid student loans. Death is mentioned as an alternative to payment. Now every passerby is a potential hitman, and Billy has to flee. But where? Not home to his unwell parents. Providence delivers Hargrove Anderson Medical, a pharmaceutical company looking for perfectly healthy "normals" to participate in Phase I studies of their latest experimental drugs. Billy signs up for a fourteen-day trial of Allevatrox, a new atypical antipsychotic for the treatment of schizophrenia. At first, little happens in the research center, the boredom punctuated only by twice-daily appointments with pills and needles. Within the group, battle stories are told from the healing fields of guinea pig, and Billy is pleased. He's rested and well-fed and possibly in love with the lone female in the study. Then the messy side effects hit, and everything changes. The normal world is turned upside-down, the real and unreal merging until spilled blood becomes the only proof of a beating heart. Through the sharp-eyed, self-doubting Billy Schine, David Gilbert exposes the crisis of the contemporary human condition: how to connect? As funny as it is profound, The Normals is a tour de force from a writer of astonishing intelligence and imagination.… (més)
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» Mira també 2 mencions

Es mostren totes 5
Great premise but terrible writing. I love the idea of someone who has no other purpose in life that volunteers for a drug program and then loses their entire sense of reality. But what a terrible book. I couldn't even finish this one.
  JustZelma | Dec 20, 2020 |
12/2013 ( )
  magerber | Feb 22, 2016 |
Interesting story but incredibly unsatisfying ending. ( )
  dberryfan | Dec 20, 2009 |
Una storia senza nè capo nè coda che però appassiona. ( )
  dalle8alle5 | Jan 24, 2009 |
Another one from the cheap-y bookshop, this was an uncannily timely purchase, bought and read as it was in the week in which 6 unfortunate men were hospitalised after suffering extreme adverse reactions to the drug they were helping to test in a clinical trial. 'The Normals' are the control group of healthy people in a trial of a new antipsychotic drug, and the book was well-plotted and gripping; I read it in one sitting.
  Kate_JJM | Mar 19, 2006 |
Es mostren totes 5
Phrases and episodes recall the power and precision of Gilbert's first book, but they never cohere, never justify the investment in time and trees. A natural short story writer, Gilbert seems out of his depth when he moves from 20 pages to 400. Let's hope that he can stop trying to write the Great American Novel, and go back to writing great American short stories.
afegit per jam13 | editaThe Guardian, Josh Lacey (Mar 25, 2005)
 
Satirical excess aside, Billy is like the main characters too many young novelists come up with these days: a ruminating observer more inclined to pronounce on events than to drive them...You can build a good short story around this kind of guy, but the longer form is another matter...What saves ''The Normals'' is that Gilbert makes Billy's mopey paralysis the novel's central problem.
afegit per jam13 | editaNew York Times, Laura Miller (Oct 17, 2004)
 
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With the millennium fast approaching, twenty-eight-year-old Harvard-educated Billy Schine finds himself without prospects, a balled-up bit of litter riding the boom of New York in the nineties. His classmates make millions on Wall Street and the Internet while Billy makes do with a series of temp jobs. He has a girlfriend, Sally Hu, but they're more of a couple by romantic default, sex the only commodity they're willing to trade in. Time flows by without consequence until one day Billy receives a letter from Ragnar & Sons, a collection agency seeking some satisfaction on three years of unpaid student loans. Death is mentioned as an alternative to payment. Now every passerby is a potential hitman, and Billy has to flee. But where? Not home to his unwell parents. Providence delivers Hargrove Anderson Medical, a pharmaceutical company looking for perfectly healthy "normals" to participate in Phase I studies of their latest experimental drugs. Billy signs up for a fourteen-day trial of Allevatrox, a new atypical antipsychotic for the treatment of schizophrenia. At first, little happens in the research center, the boredom punctuated only by twice-daily appointments with pills and needles. Within the group, battle stories are told from the healing fields of guinea pig, and Billy is pleased. He's rested and well-fed and possibly in love with the lone female in the study. Then the messy side effects hit, and everything changes. The normal world is turned upside-down, the real and unreal merging until spilled blood becomes the only proof of a beating heart. Through the sharp-eyed, self-doubting Billy Schine, David Gilbert exposes the crisis of the contemporary human condition: how to connect? As funny as it is profound, The Normals is a tour de force from a writer of astonishing intelligence and imagination.

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Mitjana: (3.35)
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