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White Tears de Hari Kunzru
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White Tears (edició 2017)

de Hari Kunzru (Autor)

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5293733,897 (3.87)40
Two ambitious young musicians are drawn into the dark underworld of blues-record collecting while navigating the fallout of a scam involving one's claim that a viral video of an unknown singer is a long-lost recording of a famous blues musician.
Membre:kjohnson85
Títol:White Tears
Autors:Hari Kunzru (Autor)
Informació:Knopf Publishing Group (2017), 288 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Etiquetes:currently-reading

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White Tears de Hari Kunzru

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» Mira també 40 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 37 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I'm much too tired to be writing this review, because I finished the last 150 pages at bedtime even though I knew I had to be up at 6am today.

The creeping sense of menace drifts in gently giving an ominous feel to a book that seems otherwise to be contemporary realistic fiction until it suddenly begins to boil over at about the halfway way point and careens into stark and satisfying horror by the end. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Jan 15, 2021 |
Good, scary, kind of confusing, but in a good way, I think. This novel addresses issues of how the members of a group that's historically benefitted from the oppression of another group can attempt to make up for that oppression. It also shows how the results of past oppression echo through time while the oppression itself just takes different forms. The oppression and its effects never really go away, Kunzru suggests, and there is no limit to the restorations due, which will be paid in one way or another. I suspect he's right. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Jun 28, 2020 |
Haunted by a tune
with his cash cow running low
white boy gets the blues. ( )
  Eggpants | Jun 25, 2020 |
This book was so awful, I had to read the whole thing to make sure I got this right:

A recent college graduate ("Seth") with no strong opinions about anything follows occasional best friend and literal Trustafarian Carter to New York, where he accidentally records a snatch of blues music so powerful that Carter gets carjacked and put in a coma (???) and an old record collector tells Seth a story that takes him and Carter's beautiful heiress sister Leonie, who does not like Seth, on a trip to a shack in the South where two guys show up and are like, "Y'all get the fuck on fuck outta here", and then Seth thinks he has sex with Leonie--delicate, beautiful Leonie-- but it turns out he just raped and killed her, and he's black, oh wait someone else raped and killed her, also he was time travelling, and the same thing happened to these other record collectors who are all obviously racist profiteers and, in a shocking twist, turn out to be racist profiteers whose worship of black culture has nothing to do with not being racist, meanwhile all the white people are milquetoast and boring and do what they do for like, no good reason on planet Earth while all the black characters "speak in a barely audible whisper" or "have a voice like paper being crumpled up," ie, all the black characters are very mysterious, being black, and then a blackface cartoon guy opens up Seth's mouth and gets inside, thus completing the circle. OK just checking! ( )
  uncleflannery | May 16, 2020 |
Hari Kunzru's novel tells of a mysterious recording found by Seth, a tech nerd, and his best friend, a handsome slacker named Carter Wallace, both young white men. While Carter's love of music is enabled by his standing as heir to a family fortune, Seth is from a somewhat lower social strata. Seth operates a studio with Carter and is obsessed with recording the errant sounds found around New York, which he does with a handset device by walking through the city. Carter is solely interested in music by black musicians of the twentieth century. and also bankrolls the music audio engineering business that Seth and Carter run together. One day, using recordings that Seth made of different people singing and playing music on the street, they create a song called the Graveyard Blues and upload it to the internet, attributing the song to Charlie Shaw, a name that Carter picks at random.

Seth—the brainy, awkward one—is annoyed by this arrogance, but the accompanying perks are too fun to pass up. Who wouldn’t want to make a bunch of money by playing music? “You seem to have a very high opinion of yourself,” Cornelius, Carter’s much more responsible brother, tells Seth. “Of your importance in the scheme of things.” Seth definitely lacks power, or confidence; rather than tell a crush how he feels when they’re at a party together, he ends up literally watching her have sex with another man. But when his life is upended by a shocking turn of events, he has no choice but to involve himself more directly in the story.

The shock is created when a record collector tells them something unnerving: Charlie Shaw is real, and he has a history that Seth and Carter want no part of. Soon after, Carter is found beaten unconscious in a dangerous Bronx neighborhood. Carter’s wealthy and powerful family bars Seth from coming to see Carter at the hospital. They also lock Seth out of his and Carter’s recording studio. Carter appears to be in a permanent coma. Seth tracks down Jim, who tells Seth of his own connection to Charlie Shaw. In the 1950s, Jim and his friend Chester Bly traveled to Tennessee and Mississippi in order to swindle African-Americans out of potentially valuable blues and jazz records. They eventually arrived at the house of Miss Alberta, Charlie Shaw’s sister. She possessed the only known copy of Shaw’s Graveyard Blues record. Bly stole the record after Alberta refused to sell it. Soon after, Bly died in a mysterious fire. Jim decided that Bly’s death must have been a type of cosmic comeuppance for his acts of cultural appropriation. In order to avoid similar danger, Jim sold all of his own records.

He and Leonie, Carter’s Boho artist sister, venture down South to solve the mystery of Shaw, who like many other obscure blues musicians known to us only through a song or two, exists on the margins of history. What they find takes on the texture of a ghost story, as Seth and Leonie bond in sweaty motels indistinguishable from each other, on the trail of a man who might not exist but might be implausibly real. “With each mile we are heading further into the past,” Kunzru writes. “This is what I made her understand, that night in her apartment. That we had to repeat something, to go back to meet the force that is reaching out towards us from history.”
“Shock of white hair, thick black eyeglasses that scanned as fashion until you checked the raincoat with the grubby collar, the unpleasant-looking scab on his forehead,” Kunzru writes. “Exactly who I did not want to meet. Very slowly, he raised an index finger and pointed to me, a gesture like firing a gun.” The man, who Seth only knows through his internet avatar, is sort of a decrepit weirdo. But what else could Seth have expected from someone who’s dedicated his life to compiling the arcane and unglamorous?

White Tears seems almost hallucinatory at times as the past and present blend together to create a nightmare for the duo. Seth’s rationality diminishes as the book paces toward its violent conclusion, with Kunzru’s prose rising to a hypnotic, entrancing level. The book cuts across time periods and perspectives, sometimes in the same chapter, as Seth falls further into the horror of the 20th century, for which Charlie is just a proxy. The mixture of disparate themes including the blues musical heritage, black cultural appropriation, and the threat of billion -dollar conglomerates provides for both an endlessly interesting and sometimes exciting novel. ( )
  jwhenderson | Apr 30, 2020 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 37 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Hari Kunzru has written a timely novel that demands an examination of the toxicity and perniciousness of whiteness. With razor-sharp insights, White Tears depicts what Greg Tate calls “everything but the burden”: the history of whiteness in the United States as a series of violent appropriations and erasures of black life, black experience, and black culture — which it has attempted to eliminate both physically (the prison industrial complex is but one recent example) and culturally (by turning black culture into commodity fetish).
 
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That summer I would ride my bike over the bridge, lock it up in the front of one of the bars on Orchard Street and drift through the city on foot, recording.
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When you listen to an old record, there can be no illusion that you are present at a performance. You are listening through a gray drizzle of static, a sound like rain. You can never forget how far away you are. You always hear it, the sound of distance in time.
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Two ambitious young musicians are drawn into the dark underworld of blues-record collecting while navigating the fallout of a scam involving one's claim that a viral video of an unknown singer is a long-lost recording of a famous blues musician.

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