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The Book of Form and Emptiness (2021)

de Ruth Ozeki

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
5292338,778 (4.17)80
"A brilliantly inventive new novel about loss, growing up, and our relationship with things, by the Booker Prize-finalist author of A Tale for the Time Being After the tragic death his beloved musician father, fourteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house-a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn't understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. When his mother, Annabelle, develops a hoarding problem, the voices grow more clamorous. At first, Benny tries to ignore them, but soon the voices follow him outside the house, onto the street and at school, driving him at last to seek refuge in the silence of a large public library, where objects are well-behaved and know to speak in whispers. There, Benny discovers a strange new world, where "things happen." He falls in love with a mesmerizing street artist with a smug pet ferret, who uses the library as her performance space. He meets a homeless philosopher-poet, who encourages him to ask important questions and find his own voice amongst the many. And he meets his very own Book-a talking thing-who narrates Benny's life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter. With its blend of sympathetic characters, riveting plot, and vibrant engagement with everything from jazz, to climate change, to our attachment to material possessions, The Book of Form and Emptiness is classic Ruth Ozeki-bold, wise, poignant, playful, humane and heartbreaking"--… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 23 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Hard to reduce down to a quick response. The depiction of Benny's voices and mental illness is so compelling. Annabelle's mental illness less so. But I was drawn in completely and mesmerized, and every character sang, no matter how major or minor. The crows! The snow globes! The library! The book! ( )
  eas7788 | Sep 6, 2022 |
Nope. Can’t get into this one. Annabelle is annoying. Benny is a very immature 12-yo and the talking book is impertinent. I don’t care to hear anymore of what it wants to say so I will just snap it shut and move on.
  Jinjer | Aug 12, 2022 |
So much to love in this book! I felt strong empathy for the all of the flawed characters in this book (and they certainly are all flawed). I loved the way Ruth Ozeki invoked the magic of music (especially the recording of Benny Goodman’s 1938 Carnegie Hall concert). I appreciated her incorporation of Zen temples and their inhabitants, but of course, most of all: much of the action of this novel takes place in ‘the Public Library,’ including the spooky, soon-to-be-closed, Bindery.

I appreciated the deft use of multiple narrators and points of view and the gentle commentary on materialism, consumerism, and capitalism. ( )
  jpe9 | Aug 4, 2022 |
A big-hearted book, dealing with grief and hope, the nature of reality, the power of imagination, the importance of literature and libraries. I read this as an audiobook, and found the narration quite annoying in parts, but I still enjoyed this. Other reviewers have compared this to some of [a:Matt Haig|76360|Matt Haig|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-632230dc9882b4352d753eedf9396530.png]'s novels, and I can see the similarities: offbeat characters, whimsy, meditations on the nature of humanity, an air of innocence, an occasional tendency towards schmaltziness and cutesiness. It was an enjoyable read, if not quite the impact I expected from the winner of the 2022 Women’s Prize for Fiction. ( )
  RandyRasa | Aug 1, 2022 |
Oh this book was NOT for me. I plodded through the entire thing -- entering the world of Benny Oh and his mother, Annabelle. Her husband, Kenji, a musician, dies, and both Benny and Annabelle's lives spiral downward. Annabelle becomes a hoarder, Benny begins hearing voices and is considering mentally ill. The novel is narrated by a book and is steeped in Zen mysticism.
To me, the book went on and on and I couldn't wait for it to end.
I know this book won the Women's Prize for Fiction, but it just was a long, drawn out book to me. ( )
  rmarcin | Jul 5, 2022 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 23 (següent | mostra-les totes)
The title – taken from the Buddhist heart sutra – implies a more earnest book than is the case; The Book of Form and Emptiness is a big, polyphonic, often comic, magical-realist collage of a novel [...]
afegit per Nevov | editaThe Observer, Stephanie Merritt (Oct 10, 2021)
 
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(Pro captu lecoris) habent sua fata libelli.
(According to the capabilities of the reader) books have their own destinies.
-Walter Benjamin, "Unpacking My Library."
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For my dad, whose voice still guides me.
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A book must start somewhere. One brave letter must volunteer to go first, laying itself on the line in act of faith, from which a word takes heart and follows, drawing a sentence into its wake.
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Things are needy. They take up space. They want attention, and they will drive you mad if you let them.
Music or madness. It’s totally up to you.
Stories never start at the beginning, Benny. They differ from life in that regard. Life is lived from birth to death, from the beginning into an unknowable future. But stories are told in hindsight. Stories are life lived backward.
That’s what books are for, after all, to tell your stories, to hold them and keep them safe between our covers for as long as we’re able. We do our best to bring you pleasure and sustain your belief in the gravity of being human. We care about your feelings and believe in you completely.
Fantasies, being something that we books excel at. The real stories—the ones that happen—belong to you.
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(Clica-hi per mostrar-ho. Compte: pot anticipar-te quin és el desenllaç de l'obra.)
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"A brilliantly inventive new novel about loss, growing up, and our relationship with things, by the Booker Prize-finalist author of A Tale for the Time Being After the tragic death his beloved musician father, fourteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house-a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn't understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. When his mother, Annabelle, develops a hoarding problem, the voices grow more clamorous. At first, Benny tries to ignore them, but soon the voices follow him outside the house, onto the street and at school, driving him at last to seek refuge in the silence of a large public library, where objects are well-behaved and know to speak in whispers. There, Benny discovers a strange new world, where "things happen." He falls in love with a mesmerizing street artist with a smug pet ferret, who uses the library as her performance space. He meets a homeless philosopher-poet, who encourages him to ask important questions and find his own voice amongst the many. And he meets his very own Book-a talking thing-who narrates Benny's life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter. With its blend of sympathetic characters, riveting plot, and vibrant engagement with everything from jazz, to climate change, to our attachment to material possessions, The Book of Form and Emptiness is classic Ruth Ozeki-bold, wise, poignant, playful, humane and heartbreaking"--

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