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How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Charles Yu

Kindle-Preis: EUR 4,68 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

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Gebundene Ausgabe, Rauer Buchschnitt EUR 16,12  
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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

'Charles Yu is a tremendously clever writer, and How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe is marvellously written, sweetly geeky, good clean time-bending fun.' AUDREY NIFFENEGGER A complex, brainy, genre-hopping joyride of a story - New York Times Brimming with alternative universes, futuristic landscapes and gleeful metaphysics - Yu's spirit of invention is infectious. - Sunday Times A man with a time machine shoots a future version of himself... The old time-travel paradox becomes a witty and plangent enquiry into the nature of memory. It's SF - but not as we know it. - Financial Times If sci-fi is the literature of ideas, Charles Yu is already a master of the form: there are more fascinating, bizarre and clever concepts per page than most writers manage in an entire novel. - Time Out A fantastic time travel story, one that blends fiction and reality, a sharp style of storytelling that blew my mind... this is one of the most important books of the genre to be published this year - SF Signal Highly inventive and hilarious - The Times pretty superb: involving, clever, perky, properly science fictional and above all funny... a most excellent debut - The Guardian A complex, brainy, genre-hopping joyride of a story, far more than the sum of its part, and smart and tragic enough to engage all regions of the brain and body - International Herald Tribune Buzzes with ideas, takes stylistic risks successfully, and is tightly focussed on the emotional impact of the story... Yu's enthralling debut makes me yearn for his next one - Scotland on Sunday 'A small wonder of a novel.' - Time Magazine, 'Top 10 Books of the Year 2010'

Pressestimmen

'Charles Yu is a tremendously clever writer, and How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe is marvellously written, sweetly geeky, good clean time-bending fun.' AUDREY NIFFENEGGER A complex, brainy, genre-hopping joyride of a story - New York Times Brimming with alternative universes, futuristic landscapes and gleeful metaphysics - Yu's spirit of invention is infectious. - Sunday Times A man with a time machine shoots a future version of himself... The old time-travel paradox becomes a witty and plangent enquiry into the nature of memory. It's SF - but not as we know it. - Financial Times If sci-fi is the literature of ideas, Charles Yu is already a master of the form: there are more fascinating, bizarre and clever concepts per page than most writers manage in an entire novel. - Time Out A fantastic time travel story, one that blends fiction and reality, a sharp style of storytelling that blew my mind... this is one of the most important books of the genre to be published this year - SF Signal Highly inventive and hilarious - The Times pretty superb: involving, clever, perky, properly science fictional and above all funny... a most excellent debut - The Guardian A complex, brainy, genre-hopping joyride of a story, far more than the sum of its part, and smart and tragic enough to engage all regions of the brain and body - International Herald Tribune Buzzes with ideas, takes stylistic risks successfully, and is tightly focussed on the emotional impact of the story... Yu's enthralling debut makes me yearn for his next one - Scotland on Sunday 'A small wonder of a novel.' - Time Magazine, 'Top 10 Books of the Year 2010'

Produktinformation

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 371 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 231 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 1848876804
  • Verlag: Corvus (1. Mai 2011)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B004S7BBNQ
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #117.245 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Amazon.com: 3.5 von 5 Sternen  171 Rezensionen
31 von 35 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen A lot rests on concept 28. Oktober 2010
Von R. Murphy - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Charles Yu has a really neat concept, and some extremely clever and funny ideas, but this book was extremely hard for me to get into. Despite all that it had going for it, the early chapters felt like work to read, and it was a very easy book for me to put down. I ended up reading most of it in very small segments, and I never spent more than half an hour with it at a time. I just never felt either truly invested in the characters or truly entertained by them, and I think that Yu needed me to feel either one or the other for this to really work.

That being said, this would probably be a very appealing book to anyone who likes their fiction on the experimental, and there are some very witty ideas and moments.
61 von 75 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen A theory of regret, on the emotional asymptote toward parabolic melancholy 4. September 2010
Von BrianB - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Colson Whitehead thinks that this book is cool as hell. I have some reservations about that.

Yu grapples with time travel problems and paradox, physics and metaphysics, and the unmathematical mysteries of the human heart. The protagonist, who is also named Charles Yu, is an emotionally stunted time machine technician who gets himself into a time loop, armed with a cryptic message from his future self. He writes a book that his future self has already written. The title of the book that Charles writes (re-writes) is also the title of this book: How to live safely in a science fictional universe. So which book are we reading? Is this physical book different from the book in the story? Is the question unnecessary? The paradoxes quickly pile up in a logical and slightly dismaying sequence, until the plot becomes very confusing.

Yu has thought a lot about the complications and ramifications of time travel, presenting them to the reader in rapid sequence, all with the laid back attitude that says these things are already well known, so try to keep up. The tone of the early pages is a bit jaded, but when he gets into emotional space-time, the tone changes, becoming more sympathetic. I liked the emotional parts of this book a lot more than the technical ones.In the emotional part of the story Charles revisits his childhood, his mother, and his father, and we learn about their tortured Huis Clos relationships. They mistreated each other for years, but they love each other nevertheless, and he wants to return to them, if he only could.

Yu makes lengthy asides on various topics, from the mathematics and physics of space-time to the personal nature of failure. He writes in plain, unadorned prose, at times conveying profound emotion and meaning, at other times boring me half to death. His explanations about events, truth and volitional interstices often just get in the way of the story, and left me sorely tempted to skim ahead until the story started moving again. I wish Yu had spent more time with the emotional universe, less in the technical one. He has a gift for both, but the emotional one is much more satisfying. This is his first novel, and I think he has a bright future. Three stars.
50 von 61 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Lacks heart, soul, warmth, energy, readability. 24. September 2011
Von Billiam - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
I picked up this book from the local library. It had a snazzy cover, a cool sounding title, and a pretty entertaining blurb. Unfortunately, nearly every joke in the book was on that blurb, and they weren't even that funny. The blurb (and a few reviews, from the guardian etc.) made me think that this book would at least resemble Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman, people who could provide insights while still entertaining. If so, then Yu writes like Adams with all the warmth, wit, profundity, and insight cut out and replaced with laboured metaphors, pretentious words, lists, commas, lists, redefinitions, more commas, and then some more lists.

Let's do this systematically. This book isn't a science fiction novel, like I expected. It's Literature, with a capital 'L'. Now, I'm ok with that. I took some literature classes at university, I like a good exploration of the human condition as anyone. But that's the key word; good.

Let's start with the plot. There isn't one. The totality of the events in this novel could be condensed to a short story. And the events that are there? They're ok. I won't go into spoilers, but it's a pretty standard science fiction plot. Probably the most interesting concept is of time-travel as some kind of literary/physical almagamation. Universes that adhere the science fictional conventions. Time machines powered by changes in word tense. Again, in the hands of a Pratchett, and Adams, a Fforde, these kind of ideas have been used to create a clever and humorous story. Yu mentions these ideas but doesn't explore them. They exist as abstractions in the background, as if he came up with the ideas, thought 'wouldn't it be cool if ...?", but had no idea how to incorporate them into an interesting story.

So what does he fill the pages with, if not plot? Well, there's the characters. Again, the blurbs and reviews are promising. There's Phil, his Microsoft software boss who thinks he's a real person. There's his imaginary dog, Ed. There's TAMMY, his operating system who he's (apparantly) in love with. Haha. Should be a blast, right? Nope. These characters barely appear, and when they do it's only to be put down by Charles Yu (the author is the main character. Oh, so meta!). The characters that the book focuses on are Yu and his father. Again, I'm not judging this choice per se; I'm judging how it's carried out. Yu is mopey and introspective. I felt absolutely no sympathy or interest in him. He's petty, mean, and has very few redeeming qualities. His father is not much more than an abstraction, a character from Yu's memory who he dwells on but who doesn't take on any real shape.

This isn't helped by the writing style, which I found extremely tiresome. Yu has a way of beginning to describe something in a way that is mildly interesting but not having any knowledge of when to stop. For example, here is something I opened at random, describing the manner in which his father writes on graph paper (!)

"The words were right in there, close to the curve, close to the y-axis, just floating in the plane along with the graph, the space the Platonic realm, where curves and equations and axes and ideas coexisted, ontological equals, a democracy of conceptual inhabitants, no one class priveleged over any other, no mixing or subdividing of abstractionsand concrete objects, no mixing whatsover."

That's just one sentence in a book full of such sentences. They're lists of ideas that look clever and sound as if they might mean something but are really the same thing repeated over and over, separated by commas, the same idea expanded so often as to lose meaning, a sea of abstractions and lists and commas that mix and lose meaning, lose all focus.

That was by no means a particularly bad sentence, just one I found on the first page I opened which seems pretty representative.

Even worse than this, though, is that Yu never seems to have learnt one of the more basic tenets of writing: that is; show, don't tell. There is very little dialogue and action in this book. Rather, there is Yu telling us how people feel, how sad and depressed a particular person is, how paradoxical a particular situation is. He tells us that Yu's father and mother fought all the time; he never once shows them fighting or, as far as I can remember, has any dialogue between them at all. In a pivotal moment in the book, Yu asks his father why they are poor. Rather than showing the reader how damaging this question is, or leaving it to the reader to infer, Yu proceeds to analyse, in excruciating depth, that one question. It's a problem for the character, and it's definitely a problem for the author.

At other points, Yu just gets too clever for his own good. One particularly egregious example involves Yu reading a book he is given by a future version of himself, which is mirroring his exact thoughts even as he is reading it. For example, a footnote goes:

"This is how the text actually reads in the copy I am working from. The text also includes this explanatory (and somewhat self-referential) footnote, including this second sentence, which is also ..."

and so on. Ad nauseum. And! Gasp! This is the very same text that we ourselves are holding in our hands, a book called 'how to survive safely in a science fictional universe' which is very much about another book called 'how to survive safely in a science fictional universe', both written by Charles Yu. Oh! Meta!

This review ended up being relatively long, but there is just so much about this book I don't like. It's not so much the idea of it that I don't like; an attempt to meld science fiction and Literature and put a book about memory within one about time travel is a swell idea. Hell, even being metafictional has been done well once in a while. But it's the execution of this book that gets me. It's boring, it's excruciating, it's abstractions, it's pretentious, and, the most cardinal sin for a book, it's unreadable.
78 von 101 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Mind-Bending, Fabulous Reinvention of Language 28. August 2010
Von Marion - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
I loved this awesome book. It's a word-lover's feast! It blew my mind, figuratively, of course, you word nerds out there. I'm a literature person, not a science person at all, but that didn't matter much. I did Google a few words, but mostly I figured out things in context. My vocabulary is definitely larger. That's always a plus when reading a fabulous book: it takes you to places you've never been. And that's an understatement with this spectacular little tome.

The story is lyrical, exciting, surprising, elegant, funny, sad and ultimately, wise. It's a masterpiece of imagination that demands to be read with an open mind because the lines between past, present and future often blur or completely disappear. I found myself in an unexplored literary landscape marveling at the words on my skin and the exotic language piercing my heart. I underlined most of the book, but one of my favorite lines is on page 86: "After a night out in the lost half city, you end up with dust of dead robots in your hair, or someone's dreams, or their nightmares."

This is the story of Charles Yu who lives in Minor Universe 31, a vast story-space on the outskirts of fiction. And yes, paradox fluctuates like the stock market, as the back cover states. I laughed out loud on page 13 at the reference to 'Linus Skywalker' son of Luke who has father issues: "You have no idea what it's like, man. To grow up with the freaking savior of the universe as your dad." The author's sharp wit, sarcasm and sense of humor are worth the price of the book.

Charles Yu is a time travel technician. The main issue with time travel is that everyone wants to do the one thing they can't and shouldn't do: change the past. Therein lies Mr. Yu's job security. But the larger story is his relationship with and search for his father, who invented time travel, then disappeared. The father/son relationship is the beating heart of the beautiful story.

Wildly Kafkaesque one moment, then comic sci-fi the next, "How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe" is peppered with witty tongue-in-cheek sarcasm from TAMMY, an operating system with low self-esteem, and hilarious one-liners from lonely sexbots. What is real and what is not is for you to figure out.

Mr. Yu is a startling new voice in this undefineable genre. When I finished the book, I realized it was a prayer to language and the power and glory of living in the present moment and not letting your one precious life pass you by. I'll be reading this book over and over. It's that good.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Well written but seems like a lost opportunity 11. Dezember 2010
Von Digital Rights - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Charles Yu writes well. The premise is really interesting and the anecdotes described by the reviewers are truly compelling. This is teed up as a story of a young man, Charles Yu who is a technician helping time travelers who get caught somewhere and need the equivalent of time travel roadside assistance. There is some humor describing the case of L. Skywalker; the son of Luke that wants to go back in time to kill his father given the burden of being the son of the man who saved the universe. It is entertaining to read about the interaction between Charles and his near real or human pets and software.

But the story is really about the search for his father. It's a sad sad account of a son burdened with guilt for many years. It's the story of a broken family where his mother has retreated into a sealed off emotional shell. It moves too quickly away from the near comedic life of the protagonist aboard his "ship" and into a tale of regret and emptiness of his lonely life. None of this is bad but this is clearly a first novel as it seems to jump prior to giving full flesh to his "current" life. The focus on the father leads us through 70 or 80% of the story which is almost all depressing. The ending seems to then come suddenly and left me a bit unsatisfied.

I hope there is a part II to this book. Yu (the writer) has a wonderful imagination and a clear literary style that appeals. Now he needs to create more arc to his stories.
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