Greg Baxter ( Read ) The Apartment – Book, Kindle ePUB or DOC Online
Greg Baxter Á 4 ReadLly discover that the protagonist has some connection
TO THE IRA WAR BUT BEINGthe Ira war but being as well as omniscient the reader is but being nreliable as well as omniscient the reader is caught off guard and does not know what to think or whom to believe Of course this could be the point all alongNeedless to say there is not much plot progre It s a stream of consciousness narrative so you obviously need to appreciate that device in order to enjoy the novel Now if you do you are in for a treat I like it very much indeed so it works well for me but I also like it because it s napologetically ambitious Occasionally it maybe tries to be too many things there are one or two anecdotes that aren t entirely successful but on balance it s a triumph Though the narrative moves slowly it also feels nstoppable and I read it in one sitting which is pretty rareIt s a simple story on the surface but the nderlying narrative is complicated and at times troubling
There S Hardly Evers hardly ever sentiment coming through and that flatness makes the disconcerting events all the effective David Annand in The Telegraph said The point of the book is that it is accumulative ietly and sometimes ineffably its disparate seeming strands subtly work together to create something that is full of The Cowboy Wants a Wife! unshowy wisdom and surprising moments of beauty I couldn t agree God save me from pointless and pretentious stream of consciousness I read a lot As a result I really value a book that is original and that captures my attention and imagination one that makes me actively read each word I really enjoyed The Apartment Its true that there was little in the way of a traditional plot but I enjoyed spending the day with the narrator and Saskia I found myself daydreaming about solitude and the ability to start again I can t speak to its technical execution as some other reviewers have but I can say that it was an enjoyable day and I would encourage others to give it a try So I was wandering the aisles of my local bookstore the other day I wasn t particularly looking to buy anything but killing time while it rained outside and with nothing else to do It was one of those days You know the type That was when I picked Greg Baxter s novel off the shelf where it was sandwiched in between two other novels One of the rules is never judge a book by its cover but I did just that Penguin have designed a lovely cover for The Apartment With coverotes from Hisham Matar and Roddy Doyle two very different writers tonally causing yet further intrigue The first few lines of the blurb on the back have sold me and a reading of the opening page is enough to seal the dealThe Apartment then is that kind of novel One to discover surreptitiously to come to with little preconception Its power lies in its simplicity that is a simplicity that carries such overpowering depths I will tell you little of the plot but to say that it concerns a man who walks around an To Defy a Sheikh unnamed European capital city looking for an apartment With him is a female friend Saskia and as the first seeds of romance are sown life in thisnknown city is about to become fulfilled than the narrator has any hope or desire for All he wants to walk the city read his novels and watch the world go by The world is doing everything it can to keep him engaged with it We can never truly excise ourselves interaction with others will always bring connection and connections sometimes blossom into friendship Greg Baxter has previously published one work A Preparation for Death of which I am oblivious I will be tracking it down now An internet search shortly after finishing The Apartment threw The Highlander and the Wolf Princess (Legend of the Faol, up a few interviews with Baxter The Apartment provides almost no biographical detail about its author and reveal him to be a man interested inality literature in the responsibility of the novel to excavate the depths of human experience Certainly The Apartment is Whiteout (Threes Allowed, unafraid of facingp to the darkness Its narrator has done some bad things and they involve Ira but they are not what you think and he meets other people whose engagement with the world is not always stable There is a trip to some ruins outside the city with another ex veteran that hints at great darkness in the soul churning away The The Princes Ultimate Deception (Monte Carlo Affairs, uality of Baxter s prose is always strong At times it becomes hyper real lengthy descriptions of very ordinary moments and I know in somearters this novel has come Breaking the Governesss Rules under attack for these moments I feel however that they are entirely within character This man is clearly suffering some form of PTSD he has sold the objects of his former life negated his previous experience into oblivion and wants nothing than to be a ghost drifting in a cold dark place He would at times become calm focussed on the insignificant toell the rising storm What Baxter has done is create a very human character on the page flawed and damaged whose problems are never explained but are to be intuited which is how life is when you think about itThe Apartment then is a very strong debut novel Precise controlled. The life he abandoned in the United States Contained within the details of this day is a complex meditation on America’s relationship with the rest of the world an nflinching glimpse at the permanence of guilt and despair and an exploration into our desire to cure violence with violence A novel about how our relationships to others and most importantly to ourselves alters how we see the world THE APARTMENT perfectly captu. An nnamed American searches for an apartment to rent in an nnamed European City Accompanied By city accompanied by female friend Saskia and musing along the way on his time in the Navy and subseuent work in Ira He is seeking to forget the past and to start a new life The relationship between the American and Saskia is platonic but could develop into a romanceaffairAnd that is the extent of the plot In some novels and for some readers an neventful story might be a gentle and welcome relief but the flatlining plot did not work for me in this novel This novel s events take place over a single day albeit with flashbacks and daydreams that mitigate the limits of present tense For me echoes of Joyce s Ulysses and the tone of The Dead s The Unconsoled without the hypnagogia Teju Cole s Open City a foreign born walker in city Mrs Dalloway s The Unconsoled without the hypnagogia Teju Cole s Open City a foreign born walker in a city Mrs Dalloway only in the sense of foreboding and Billy Lynn s Long Half Time Walk except it s a sort of an anti Billy Lynn a refutation and near polar opposite Have any other critics noticed this I haven t read any reviews It s not only that the narrator of The Apartment is better educated and older than Ben Fountain s characters but that his entire sensibility is different His alienation and depression if that s what we d call it takes a different form and his thoughts on violence are complicated at least ON THE PAGE I m not denigrating the humanity of Bravo Suad To wit Baxter s narrator protagonist s reflections on living near a football stadium after his return from Ira service the loud and gruesome happenstance of American domination I hated that noise and that stadium and I hated everyone in it and I sat for long periods of time on a couch I d bought for nothing at a flea market listening to the celestial ecstasy of the dumb luck of being born American That collective whoop I hated that country and every man and woman and child and bug alive in it And while I thought this on Sundays the stadium responded with great ecstatic dumb breaths This reader couldn t help but read that as a specific response to Billy Lynn I realize most young soldiers are like the Billy Lynn characters but Baxter s protagonist has a different and just as plausible experienceThe sensation of noticing not only that the scene was dark than light and still than twinkling but also that the darkness was far intense than the light was like closing your eyes and opening them to discover that anything beyond what you perceive is attainable only in deathIt should ideally be read in one sitting though I didn t The Firefighters Christmas Reunion uite manage that There is point at which the novel cracks open and it struck me almostnexpectedly mid scene mid book mid conversation mid paragraph If I d been reading in short spurts the power of that moment would have been diminished My edition had an interview with Greg Baxter in the back matter These author interviews appended to a book are sometimes throwaway with softball The Life of Corgnelius and Stumphrey uestions and boilerplate responses but this one is really interesting A response to save exciting to read this because I ve never heard any author say this and I think it s golden advice I try not to know my characters I assume that everyone in real life is both complex and perfectly ordinary The I spend time with people the depth our relationship has Butltimately if I respect somebody I must accept that they are The Amish Midwife (Lancaster Courtships, unknowable I try to carry that approach into fiction I don t create characters with personalities Rather I observe the behavior of characters If an author resists the temptation to type his or her characters those characters willsually contradict themselves and become vital If the characters act consistently they re The Greeks Acquisition useless or they re props No character should fill space and no character should have a defined role before they appear in a book they should not serve a purpose Janos could have been of less important Manuela too They turned out how they turned out Importantly I think a character is worth putting in a novel only if they are or could be worthy of being the main character of another novel No character should ever be by nature minor The problem with writing about disaffected people is that it is difficult to win over the reader s sympathy or trust for your characters I cannderstand that the author is trying to make a statement about the disconnected nature of modern society and the level of sociopathy we all invariably have to engage in to some degree in order to be able to function as a proper corporate citizen But this does not render it palatable or even accessibleGreg Baxter s fairly short novel is imitation stream of consciousness while there are no chapter or section breaks his nameless protagonist recalls various formative events in his life while on the hunt for a suitable apartment in a winter shrouded nameless city Along the way he encounters various eually damaged people which Baxter The Amish Nanny (Brides of Amish Country, uses as scaffolding to write about all sorts of things from Bach s genius to master planning citiesWe gradua. One snowy December morning in an old European city an American man leaves his shabby hotel to meet a local woman who has agreed to help him search for an apartment to rent THE APARTMENT follows the couple across a blurry illogical and frozen city into a past the man is hoping to forget and leaves them at the doorstep of anncertain future their cityscape punctuated by the man’s lingering memories of time spent in Ira and. .
The Healer (Borderland Brides, unnamed American forty one years old has come to annnamed European city for The Slayer (Time Raiders unexplained reasons and has been living in a tiny shabby hotel room He has wandered the streets of the city for six weeks and had casual interactions with various people He wants to stay wants to disappear into the anonymity of this cold wet bustling place On the one day that spans the novel he looks for an apartment with the help of Saskia a much younger woman he met in a museum There is suspense in the novel but it is not based on the outcome of the apartment search or on whether the companionable relationship with Saskia will become something It derives from a sense of thenknown and foreboding that hang over the character In flashbacks we learn something about this man He grew The Journal Of A Vicars Wife up in a small town in the desert later lived near a football stadium in a city in the desert served in the Navy on a submarine did intelligence work in Ira then returned alone to Ira as a private contractor where he got rich as an information technology consultant Is this then to be a waranti war story A PTSD story As he meets Saskia s friends over the course of the day the potential for violence seems to be just below the surface I worry that Saskia may find me tooiet or boring I could fill the silence by talking about the past but I try not to think about the past For much of my life I existed in a condition of regret a regret that was contemporaneous with experience and sometimes preceded experience Whenever I think of my past now I see a great black wave that has risen a thousand stories high and is suspended above me The pleasures of The Apartment are not in the accumulation of incident but in the accumulation of detail in descriptions of the city s transit system the detour to buy an expensive coat Christmas markets parks caf s the smell of wet stone in every stairwell in philosophical digressions on perspective in art Baroue architecture the perfection of a Bach chaconne three cushion billiards and in the memories of the past that the narrator doesn t want to think about but which flood his thoughts Extraordinary Greg Baxter s The Apartment has no chapters one voice a 41 year old American navy veteran and takes place over a day around Christmas somewhere in Europe The nnamed
protagonist is looking for an apartment with a woman who he has recently met He reflects on hisis looking for an apartment with a woman who he has recently met He reflects on his experience family and friendsI recommend this short novel for a one day read on a cold spring day Baxter s prose in this book is good It has such a relaxed and comfortable pace As you walk through one day in the Protagonist S New Life You s new life
YOU FOR SOMETHING EXCITING TO HAPPENfor something exciting to happen no avail And yet although there isn t really a climax it s a page turner and a fun journey Looking forward to reading books from this author Thanks to Penguin Canada for supplying me with a review copy of The ApartmentBefore I start I should probably put things in some kind of perspective I first read Dostoevsky at age 12 I am a voracious omnivorous reader I have probably read every genre available I am than willing to give any book a chance So when I say I had a lot of difficulty with this book it means I had real issuesMy 3 star rating reflects a great deal of ambivalence about Greg Baxter s choice of format I really struggled to keep reading it Stream of consciousness is a difficult literary device and I am afraid it is too often sed by writers out to prove how smart they are Perhaps if this book had been a straight narrative I might have given it 5 stars As it is I believe that Mr Baxter has The Stephanides Pregnancy unnecessarily limited his audience through his own choicesThe character s disjointed recollections of war family and life dropped into a narrative about a search for an apartment in a strange city in a new country might have been engaging if it had not been necessary to force myself to continue reading every step of the way I fought therge to skip pages to race ahead and see if the book changed in some way There really is no beginning middle or end No overweening crisis nothing of import to be solved and no satisfying conclusion no final scene which puts a period to the storyAt the end of the book you know a little about the main character who he is or was but not much about what he wants or whyFor all Mr Baxter is a very good wordsmith I am sorry I cannot give this book a higher rating. Res the peculiarity and excitement of being a stranger in a strange city Written in an affecting and intimate tone that gradually expands in scope intensity poetry and drama Greg Baxter’s clear eyed first novel tells the intriguing story of these two people on this single day Both beguiling and raw in its observations and language THE APARTMENT is a crisp novel with enormous range that offers profound and The Tycoons Reluctant Cinderella unexpected wisdom.