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Ablutions (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 5. Januar 2012

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  • Taschenbuch: 176 Seiten
  • Verlag: Granta Books (5. Januar 2012)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1847086349
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847086341
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,9 x 1,2 x 19,8 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 199.633 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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PRAISE FOR"ABLUTIONS" ..". dark and provocative ... deWitt has painted a portrait of the human condition ... And ABLUTIONS has achieved something remarkable." --"The New York Times Book Review"..". deWitt's writing is sharp and bitter and funny ... " --"Los Angeles Times""DeWitt's dirty realism makes me want to roll in the mud with him. Brilliant." --Gary Shteyngart, author of"Absurdistan" "Viciously hilarious ... deWitt's portrayal of the drinking life is staunchly unromantic." --"Time Out New York"(Five stars; Book of the day)"These scenes are stunningly depicted ... deWitt writes beautifully about ugliness, and his book casts a haunting spell." --"Booklist" "DeWitt's style of prose is refreshing and more like real life speak than most books, without losing the necessary descriptiveness to relay the feel and pure nuttiness of the situation inside the Hollywood bar where the scenes are set." --"About.com""Ablutions is like an intense art-house movie, where the lead


A nameless barman tends a decaying bar in Hollywood and takes notes for a book about his clientele. Initially, he is morbidly amused by watching the regulars roll in and fall into their nightly oblivion, pitying them and their loneliness. In hopes of uncovering their secrets and motives, he establishes tentative friendships with them. He also knocks back pills indiscriminately and treats himself to gallons of Jameson's. But as his tenure at the bar continues, he begins to lose himself, trapped by addiction and indecision. When his wife leaves him, he embarks on a series of squalidly random sexual encounters, and a downward spiral of self-damage and irrational violence. To cleanse himself and save his soul, he attempts to escape. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Alfred J. Kwak am 14. Oktober 2011
Format: Taschenbuch
An old bar for Hollywood's losers forms the stage for this novel. A nameless, devilish scribbler/bar tender keeps a diary about the sorry state of the mental and physical health of its regulars and of himself. The bar is unlike the one featured in a successful and much-repeated TV-series with the same name as this review's title. The recorder uses the rarely-used second person style ("You see Jack coming in and hope he... ") and the accusative ("Discuss Brent, the unhappy doorman, who..."). He orders himself to note down what he sees and does in order to write, once he is sober, a real novel. As a notebook "Ablutions" is a true masterpiece.

It chronicles the sorry life of the bar's clients as seen by this married, tall and skinny white man who serves as a bar back. During his six-year career he has begun to hallucinate, but always manages to drive home drunk in his ancient, magical Ford under the radar of the police. His drink of choice is Jameson's.

The inside of his mouth bleeds sometimes, he has lost dental chips and once an entire molar while talking to the bar owner's wife (he swallowed it). Apart from indulging in Irish whiskey, he uses speed and has blind faith in the healing powers of massive doses of aspirin. As a married alcoholic, he is an expert in silent early-morning vomiting.

When did this book take place? Sometime during the GW Bush era. The earning model of this bar is intriguing. No limits on drinking for staff? Lots of free drinks for awful regulars? Doormen with a clientele of lowlifes? And the price of drinks is awesome... Live and learn about America.

"Ablutions" is a short, but eminently re-readable novel. It contains lots of self-inflicted and suddenly-occurring bits of drama, some quite ugly and repellent. It has a surprise ending. And there is another PdW novel out called "The Sister Brothers". Hope the brothers are less repellent and the book more convincing.
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Von Cem Uran am 22. Februar 2013
Format: Taschenbuch
Ich finde es wirklich gut. Es hat ein bisschen von schwarzem Humor und ist sehr ergreifend, ein intelligenter Autor, erinnert mich an Coen-Brothers. Ich empfehle auch seinem anderen Buch, Sisters Brothers!
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 71 Rezensionen
20 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
This book is despicable. I loved it. 1. Februar 2009
Von mateo52 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
I'm sure everyone is familiar with the mythological bartender, the one with the comforting visage, friendly attitude and kindly ear to listen to the ramblings of stool warmers and offer trenchant, considered and helpful advice to patrons in search of a little professional assistance from the ostensible psychological analysts' of the real world. This ain't one of `em. The unnamed barkeep of Ablutions is little more than another of the social misfits that frequent the fading tavern of his employment, albeit it with benefits...all the top shelf whiskey he cares to imbibe. This is a man absent genuine friendships which is fortunate since he seems extraordinarily gifted in destroying any relationships he establishes.

Written in an adaptation of the second person epistolary/journal style, the anti-hero documents the comings, goings and exquisite failures of a morose assortment of regulars, irregulars and irremovable denizens of the establishment that almost affords him the opportunity to maintain a subsistence lifestyle. He considers his musings on the idiosyncrasies of the clientele notes for a future novel but what he presents to the reader is the lurid descriptive of societal detritus and he inadvertently places himself at the head of the refuse pile. Slowly, but absolutely not methodically, he begins to realize he is nothing more and quite possibly, much less than the individuals he often ridicules. One cannot help but to feel as though you are an interloper, an unauthorized observer of the progressive descent of an entire class of people. In the ironical humor of the dark underbelly of modern society, there also lies a perverse satisfaction or affirmation of one's own life not being as traumatic as another's; in this book soul after vacant soul is introduced and further decimated.

At times, especially at the outset, the course of the prose seemed pointless as though one was in fact reading snippets of depravity that would never be organized into a comprehensible flow, as though the incongruent notes represent merely one more objective the protagonist's addictions will place outside his grasp. But as the reader progresses, the notes seem to become correlative and chronological, with the self-absorption of the anti-hero gradually morphing into a quest for self-preservation. In the inimitable style of many with addictive personalities he latches upon a strategy to save himself, regardless of who or what might be diminished by his ploys.

In a terrarium of scorpions, the actions required for survival are not necessarily commendable acts.
17 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Bukowski light 12. Februar 2009
Von Matthew Smith - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
As I suggest in my title I found this book to be like a Bukowski book, but without all the self-righteous, condemnation of the world that hasn't seen the light like he has. This made the book much more palatable for me. I normally love this genre so this book found the right audience with me. While not as good as Fante or Hamsun, I think Ablutions will find its place within this genre.

I will say I had a difficult time at the beginning. I found the style to be a little gimmicky, and normally I hate books written in the second person. At the beginning this book was no exception, and I thought about putting it down. What hooked me though were the interesting characters. It was certainly a colorful cast of characters, and with the short length of the book I decided to stick with it. In the end I am happy I did. As I got into the story the second person narrative became background noise unlike many of the other books I have read using this technique. Also what I found gimmicky in the beginning ran its course and the style seemed to mature and smooth out as I read on.

I think anyone who has ever sold booze, and had a tendency towards cynicism and self-destructiveness will be able to relate to this story more than those who have not. It really does something to a person when you see regular customers starting to turn yellow. When a regular lets you know he/she lost their job because they couldn't stay completely sober for eight full hours, and yet here it is your job to keep feeding these people the one thing that is killing them. You're not supposed to tell the guy who no longer has any white in his eyes that maybe he should take a few nights off because he is one of your best customers. It does wear on a person, and there really is only so many times you can be asked to borrow five dollars before your faith in humanity takes a precipitous drop. I can relate to this story on a personal level, and while I was never quite as self-destructive as the protagonist in this book, I can certainly sympathize.

What I would say to anyone thinking of picking up this book is understand the genre. If you don't like the genre you will not like this book. Next I would say to readers stick with it. Get past the beginning and the story takes on momentum, and it is a wild, self-destructive journey that has a bit of a twist for the ending that I found comical and ironic. The characters and their stories are great.

I really enjoyed this book, and I found it to be highly entertaining. I sat down and finished the book in one sitting, so it is an easy read. Once again if you like this genre the story and the characters will suck you in, and keep you reading further. I recommend this short, entertaining book.
9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Amazingly, this works 15. Februar 2009
Von LaLoren - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
Ablutions: Notes for a Novel

Given the major cutbacks among the big publishing houses and the tendency over the past decade or so to go with the promise of commercial success, I am very surprised that this book found a publisher outside the small presses. That isn't a criticism. It's just that the style is somewhat experimental and the author, Partick deWitt's prior publishing credits--three in all--were not exactly in top-tier literary journals.

"Notes for a Novel" is an accurate description of what is mostly vignettes centered around the life of the alcoholic and substance addicted bartender/author working at a well-known but now seedy Hollywood bar. That format along with the second person point of view (you), which I can enjoy in a short pieces but often find tedious in a novel, had me convinced I'd hate this. Instead it managed to draw me in. In fact, I couldn't put it down, despite feeling so grimy I wanted to shower. Scary to think about, but no doubt true that so many people drive our highways with that much booze and narcotics in their systems. And not to give anything away, but I hope the first thing this guy did with his money was visit a good dentist.

I can imagine the author struggling to shape all these notes into a compelling novel, then giving up and deciding to just work at threading them together. The result is something masterful that would have come off rather prosaic had he stuck to a standard form. Ablutions has the potential to become one of those breakout word of mouth novels like A Confederacy of Dunces, only happily the author is still with us to enjoy the praise.

At 163 pages, Ablutions is a one-nighter if you can handle the intensity, but however long you take with it is well worth it.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Well-Written but Incomplete Novel Hiding Behind a Gimmick 11. Februar 2009
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
This near-novel presents the reader with a barman observing the depressing lives of the alcoholics and drug addicts who come to the seedy bar where he works. Having worked in the bar for six years, the main character (only identified as a second person "you") has allowed himself to gradually adopt behaviors similar to the customers. This is far from a good thing. As he drinks himself into oblivion behind the bar, his life disintegrates; the most notable evidence of this is the break-up of his marriage, which appears to be the one thing positive in his life. The author pulls no punches and presents alcoholism and the seedy underside of barlife in a thoroughly disturbing and unrelentingly bleak fashion.

Aside from the wife, there is not a single character that the reader truly sympathizes with. I get the feeling DeWitt strives to write something like _Jesus' Son_ here but his characters lack the appeal and humanity of Denis Johnson's addicts. As I read, I am assuming I should be hoping that the main character ("you") is ultimately able to redeem himself and fix his life but he is so unsympathetic that I just wanted to turn away from the trainwreck of his life, which may very well be the intent of the author.

As for the "Notes for a Novel" thing (the book is told in short notes about the characters and episodes for presumably the bartender (you) to eventually compile into a novel), it doesn't read like a clever commentary on the novel or even a clever literary gimmick but as the idea of an author who could not string together disparate sections into a cohesive whole. It feels like a novel the author gave up on or a throwaway project from a writing workshop. The end in particular feels forced, as if he is just trying to wrap things up and get this project finished. Having said all that, I will say that the book is well written and good prose always impresses me and keeps me reading. DeWitt has talent and, though this book does not fully realize it, he might be an author to watch if he can find a better, less overworked subject.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Swimming to Shore Through a River of Booze 30. Januar 2009
Von H. F. Gibbard - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
"Ablutions" is a strange little anti-novel about a barman seeking redemption from a life filled with malignant alcoholism and drug addiction. The narrator works in Hollywood at a famous bar gone to seed. The bar is its own little hell, filled with exotic and bizarre characters trapped by their addictions and mired in various forms of mental illness. There is little true friendship among the patrons, and no joy. The narrator spends most of his time drunk or high. He often drives drunk but is never pulled over. He wife leaves him and he engages in a ridiculous series of loveless but bizarre sexual encounters, described in prurient (and purulent) detail. By the end of the novel, he is a physical wreck, bleeding profusely from his nose, unable to control his bowels, and worried that he has contracted hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver.

Patrick deWitt has an amazing talent for observation and a rapier-sharp wit. These talents serve him well, particularly in the first half of the novel, which is spent describing the sort of freak show represented by the bar patrons. Wealth and fame exist side-by-side with degradation and poverty. Crack addicts mingle with former child stars. Occasionally, as if grabbed and hoisted up by the claw in a dime-store machine, one of the characters is elevated out of the cesspool of the bar into the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. But mostly, the characters just get more and more pathetic as time goes on.

Toward the novel's end, the barman tries to escape the bar. He travels as far away as possible, conceptually speaking, taking the great American Road Trip Cure and engaging in a series of misadventures in Mormon Utah and the Grand Canyon. But he finds that the bar follows him in the form of unbreakable habits and chains on his soul that he has acquired there. Only by betraying the bar and everything it stands for does he have a shot at redemption, and even then, by the end of the book, we are uncertain whether he can really escape.

"Ablutions" made me laugh out loud at times, and at other times it made me cringe. DeWitt has a spectacular voice. He is well worth reading.
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