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With a Zero at Its Heart [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Charles Lambert

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22. Mai 2014
24 themed chapters. Each with 10 numbered paragraphs. Each paragraph with precisely 120 words. The sum of a life. In his beautiful and haunting new book, Charles Lambert explores the fragmentary nature of memory, how the piecing together of short recollections can reveal a greater narrative. Through chapters tackling elemental themes such as Sex, Death, and Money, Lambert assembles the narrator's moving life story. Executed with all the grace and finesse of his previous acclaimed work, this is an incredible artistic achievement, breathtaking in its simplicity yet awe-inspiring in its scope. With cover and text design by the renowned designer Vaughan Oliver, With a Zero at its Heart is as beautiful to look at as it is to read.


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'Poetic, tender and funny' Guardian 'Nabokov once said that "imagination is a form of memory". This brief, luminous book bears out that idea in arresting snapshots of one man's life. The sentences prove to be every bit as lovely as Vaughan Oliver's cover design.' Jonathan Lee, author of Joy 'An unusual and wonderful book' Viv Groskop, Red Magazine 'Each beautifully crafted episode in this exquisite book is coruscating, profound and original. Lambert's fearless precision and integrity reminded me of Italo Calvino's work. Dazzling.' Angela Jackson, author of The Emergence of Judy Taylor 'A collection of beautiful fragments entwined within an unforgettable novel' Caroline Smailes, author of The Drowning of Arthur Braxton 'Beautifully crafted life in miniatures. Incredibly original.' A.M. Bakalar, author of Madame Mephisto 'There is cool precision to each discrete paragraph. These, which kaleidoscopically can be read in any order or pattern, form a fascinating portrait of a very specific life.' David Rose, author of Posthumous Stories

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Charles Lambert was born in 1953 in England, but, apart from brief spells in Ireland, Portugal and London, has lived and worked in Italy since 1976. He is the author of three novels, Little Monsters, Any Human Face and The View from the Tower, as well as a collection of prize-winning stories, The Scent of Cinnamon and Other Stories, and a novella, The Slave House.

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5.0 von 5 Sternen For those who appreciate poetic, literary fiction, memoirs or experimentalism 23. Juni 2014
Von David D. Katzman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Amazing. Absolutely amazing. An experimental work with a big heart. With a Zero at Its Heart is a fictionalized memoir of the author, Charles Lambert's life. Written in 24 themed chapters each with ten numbered paragraphs and each paragraph with precisely 120 words. And, even better, each of those paragraphs flows like prose poetry with beautiful language and striking yet simple imagery. I was reminded of William Carlos Williams who said that poems should be concrete and not abstract. They should use words to represent solid things not esoteric sentiments. Lambert does express profound emotions through these concise paragraphs, but he does so by bringing us into concrete scenes and moments in time.

Lambert captures moments from his childhood, adolescences, twenties and up to near his present. This is not precisely a memoir, not specifically identified as such, so I can only surmise that Lambert took real moments in time as inspiration, and these stories may range in their intimacy with the "Truth" of his memories. They may be fictionalized to suit a thematic or stylistic purpose. Regardless, they are written such that they feel honest and profound. Fiction is the lie that tells the truth.

Lambert takes us through his personal evolution from a somewhat tormented child through the discovery of his sexual freedom to his relationship with his life partner and then becoming caretaker of his parents on their deathbeds. It's a moving and sensitive story that unfolds a man who is discovering himself, his intellectual passion, his sexuality, his love, and his compassion. But it leaves much for us to interpret for ourselves as readers as well. It called me to reflect on my own childhood and aging.

Lambert's precise use of language and beautiful imagery tells an evocative story. Peruse the multiple status updates I posted with this review to savor the style and see if this book might be for you. This is great literature. Highly recommended.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Unique and Personal 14. Juni 2014
Von Kathryn Wozniak - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
With a Zero at its Heart is a novel that reads like a memoir. It is also a novel with a unique format. The book has 24 chapters or themes and each chapter is divided into 10 paragraphs and each paragraph is 120 words. The writing is very intimate and personal and every paragraph is a story unto itself. It is written in the 3rd person and the protagonist is a gay man living in England who came of age during what we called in the United States the British Invasion. He wants a jacket like one of the Kinks have---- his mother has a sweater like Keith Richards wore. One of my favorite sentences in the book is All age is good, he thinks, so long as you are here to grieve. Read as a netgalley copy.
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