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Nirvana is Here: A Novel

Nirvana is Here: A Novel

Scris de Aaron Hamburger

Povestit de Charlie Thurston


Nirvana is Here: A Novel

Scris de Aaron Hamburger

Povestit de Charlie Thurston

evaluări:
4/5 (13 evaluări)
Lungime:
10 hours
Lansat:
Dec 24, 2019
ISBN:
9781541431652
Format:
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Descriere

For Ari Silverman, the past has never really passed. After twenty years, the trauma from a childhood assault resurfaces as he grapples with the fate of his ex-husband, a colleague accused of sexually harassing a student. To gain perspective, Ari arranges to reconnect with his high school crush, Justin Jackson, a bold step which forces him to reflect on their relationship in the segregated suburbs of Detroit during the 1990's and the secrets they still share.

An honest story about recovery and coping with both past and present, framed by the meteoric rise and fall of the band Nirvana and the wide-reaching scope of the #metoo movement, Nirvana is Here explores issues of identity, race, sex, and family with both poignancy and unexpected humor. Deftly told intertwining stories with rich, real characters are reminiscent of the sensuality and haunting nostalgia of André Aciman's Call Me By Your Name blended with the raw emotion of Kurt Cobain's lyrics.

Lansat:
Dec 24, 2019
ISBN:
9781541431652
Format:
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Despre autor

Aaron Hamburger’s first book, a story collection titled The View from Stalin’s Head (Random House) was awarded the Rome Prize by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His second book, the novel Faith for Beginners (Random House) was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. His fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Tin House, Tablet, The Forward, Boulevard, Subtropics, Crazyhorse, Poets and Writers, Details, and many others. He has been a resident at the Edward F. Albee Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Yaddo, and Djerassi. He taught creative writing at Columbia University, New York University, and the Brooklyn College MFA Program. He currently resides in Washington, D.C.

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  • (4/5)
    Ari, struggling with his marriage and his sense of self, is blindsided by memories the day his husband comes across his high school yearbook and asks about a message written by a boy named Justin.In 1992 a truly traumatic incident (accident?) happened to Ari which caused him to change schools to Dalton, an upscale, private, only recently Jewish-friendly high school in the upper-class suburbs of Detroit. At Dalton, Ari met Justin. Ari’s life was completely changed the day Justin dragged Ari into an empty classroom and played Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” for him on the tape deck.With a flashback/modern day ratio of about 85/15, Nirvana is Here grapples with issues of personal identity, sexuality, race, sexual assault, class, religion, and all the discomforts and stresses of coming of age. I am not exaggerating when I say this book is jam packed with struggle and angst. That may be the book’s only downfall – in attempting to tackle so much, it sometimes feels like some of these ideas aren’t fleshed out enough to add to the story with any real depth or meaning.Nirvana is Here is a heart-wrenching story of falling head-first into first love while still dealing with the emotional fallout of a brutal assault. It was almost impossible for me to put this book down, which is rare for me these days. I was fully invested in the history of Ari and Justin and felt the emotional rollercoaster of their relationship on a truly visceral level.While some of the subject matter may be too intense and triggering for some readers, I think Nirvana is Here is a beautiful, but sad, coming-of-age story that is a heartily welcome addition to the LGBTQ literature pantheon.I was provided an uncorrected Advanced Reader Copy of this book, releasing in May 2019, by the publisher, Three Rooms Press.
  • (3/5)
    This was a complicated story. A very important story in this day and age. I didn’t connect emotionally with the MC as well as I thought I should. Perhaps I’m not the intended audience. That being said, it’s well written, sometimes funny and quite sad.
  • (4/5)
    This is a very well done queer coming of age story. I especially enjoyed Ari's discovery of music, and of course of Nirvana in particular. This felt like a slice of my own growing-up-story.The main focus of the book is Ari's teenage years, with shorter glimpses of his 40 year old self. From the blurb I was expecting more of his adult life, but I ended up loving the book as it was.I definitely would recommend this book! It could easily appeal to both 40 something adults and to teens, especially queer teens navigating the sometimes cruel world, trying to establish their own place and voice.I received an ARC from the publisher through LT's Early Reviewers program. There was a bit of awkward dialog at the beginning, and some grammatical issues throughout, but I'm sure they'll be worked out in the editing process before the May release.Thanks to LT and to Three Rooms Press.
  • (5/5)
    Wednesday, April 6th, 1994, I awoke in my London hotel room to find a note had been pushed under the door. "I won't be joining today's activities. My favorite singer just died and I can't cope." That was how I learned of Kurt Cobain's suicide. I was not a follower of Nirvana. Frankly I was too old, too square, too far removed from the modern music scene. I tell you this because I was quite a ways into Aaron Hamburger's newest novel before I realized that the title referred not to a spiritual state but rather to the quintessential grunge band. It speaks highly of Hamburger's writing skills that even though I have not faced the trauma his main character experienced, and cannot say that "Alternative" music speaks to me, I could relate deeply to Ari. From the beginning of the book, I felt I knew Ari personally; that he was telling my own story. Hamburger employs an interesting technique in recounting Ari's life. The book is divided between the 41-year-old Medieval History professor and the traumatized high school student struggling with his own sexual identity. Those sections of the "current" story are told in the third person, as if we are looking in at the adult Ari, while the teen-aged Ari tells his story in the first person. The catch phrase for the book comes almost at the end, although the theme has been lurking there since page 1. The adult Ari, considering his life, thinks "Life's an inherently dangerous business ... . These days, it seems like the art of survival depends on keeping one's mouth muzzled." (p. 369) As for me, I'm glad that Hamburger unmuzzled Ari. I want to know more of his adult life, where things go beyond the end of the book. And I want to read more, much more, of Aaron Hamburger. The book is scheduled to be released in May 2019. I received my "Advance Reader Copy" through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer Program and I'm happy to recommend the book and its author highly.
  • (4/5)
    Ari, struggling with his marriage and his sense of self, is blindsided by memories the day his husband comes across his high school yearbook and asks about a message written by a boy named Justin.In 1992 a truly traumatic incident (accident?) happened to Ari which caused him to change schools to Dalton, an upscale, private, only recently Jewish-friendly high school in the upper-class suburbs of Detroit. At Dalton, Ari met Justin. Ari’s life was completely changed the day Justin dragged Ari into an empty classroom and played Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” for him on the tape deck.With a flashback/modern day ratio of about 85/15, Nirvana is Here grapples with issues of personal identity, sexuality, race, sexual assault, class, religion, and all the discomforts and stresses of coming of age. I am not exaggerating when I say this book is jam packed with struggle and angst. That may be the book’s only downfall – in attempting to tackle so much, it sometimes feels like some of these ideas aren’t fleshed out enough to add to the story with any real depth or meaning.Nirvana is Here is a heart-wrenching story of falling head-first into first love while still dealing with the emotional fallout of a brutal assault. It was almost impossible for me to put this book down, which is rare for me these days. I was fully invested in the history of Ari and Justin and felt the emotional rollercoaster of their relationship on a truly visceral level.While some of the subject matter may be too intense and triggering for some readers, I think Nirvana is Here is a beautiful, but sad, coming-of-age story that is a heartily welcome addition to the LGBTQ literature pantheon.I was provided an uncorrected Advanced Reader Copy of this book, releasing in May 2019, by the publisher, Three Rooms Press.
  • (3/5)
    *I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*Struggling with personal and professional problems, Ari prepares to meet with the boy he had a crush on decades ago in high school. He is transported back in his memory to his teenage years, which were filled with pain, heartache, fear, and confusion. The rebellious music of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain were Ari's answer and escape, but like everything else, he was to discover that Nirvana was not a cure-all. This is not a story of remembering one's halcyon youth, but rather a story of accepting the reality of one's life and moving on.
  • (4/5)
    Captivating...A stunning replica of many people's lives Hamburger takes us on a journey through the eyes of Ari, our main character who tells us of his teen years long ago. Ari, now in his 40s, looks back on his teen years with joy and remorse, happiness and sorrow.This is a very heartwarming coming-of-age novel that tugs on your heartstrings. Ari is a wonderful character and as we see the world through his eyes we find out that things aren't so cut-and-dry in our world. As many other victims of sexual assault will agree with me, this book was a little difficult but genuinely a good read.The one thing that I really liked about this book was the flashbacks back to the 1990s and all of the references to movies and music and things of the time. It really made me look back on my childhood with nostalgia. And how the author was able to interweave the main storyline with that of the tragedy of Kurt Cobain was pretty ingenious. Another thing I would like to add if I may be so candid, is that this was my very first LGBTQ book. I'm very proud to say that it was my first.I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in a coming of age with a lot of nostalgia ?
  • (4/5)
    Captivating...A stunning replica of many people's lives Hamburger takes us on a journey through the eyes of Ari, our main character who tells us of his teen years long ago. Ari, now in his 40s, looks back on his teen years with joy and remorse, happiness and sorrow.This is a very heartwarming coming-of-age novel that tugs on your heartstrings. Ari is a wonderful character and as we see the world through his eyes we find out that things aren't so cut-and-dry in our world. As many other victims of sexual assault will agree with me, this book was a little difficult but genuinely a good read.The one thing that I really liked about this book was the flashbacks back to the 1990s and all of the references to movies and music and things of the time. It really made me look back on my childhood with nostalgia. And how the author was able to interweave the main storyline with that of the tragedy of Kurt Cobain was pretty ingenious. Another thing I would like to add if I may be so candid, is that this was my very first LGBTQ book. I'm very proud to say that it was my first.I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in a coming of age with a lot of nostalgia ?