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I Am Radar (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 24. Februar 2015

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The Los Angeles Times: 
"[B]ig, beautiful, ambitious... Radical physicist puppeteers? It takes narrative magic to pull off such a loopy combination, and luckily, Reif Larsen has it to spare. His prose is addictive and enchanting... It's a worthy endeavor that Larsen, who could apply his gorgeous prose to more comfortable literary fictions, is engaging with distant and unfamiliar cultures... the book is striving for something stronger, and Larsen's ceaselessly lovely prose is matched by his many ambitions."

The Washington Post
“The promise shown in [Larsen’s] first novel is more than fulfilled in the grandly ambitious I AM RADAR, another masterpiece of geekhood…If Larsen’s debut looked like a Donald Barthelme assemblage, this one resembles something by Thomas Pynchon…Larsen’s brainy book is no ephemeral performance piece. He grapples with time-honored questions of free will, predestination, man vs. nature and the tensions between parents and children. But it’s the ingenuity with which he does so, rather than the themes themselves, that elicits admiration…I AM RADAR is a dazzling performance.”

The New York Times Book Review: 
"Set aside for the moment the black baby born to white parents, the avant-garde puppeteers and the quantum physics that swirl around the whole kit and caboodle. The most interesting fact of Reif Larsen's 600-plus-page novel, I Am Radar, is that it reads lke something far more compact that its bulk might suggest. There are maps, diagrams and pictures (e.g., an elephant plummeting from a bridge, a Cambodian prisoner of the Khmer Rouge) that remind one of the visual arrangements in W.G. Sebald's novels. There there is a deeply patterened narrative that darts easily from small-bore domestic dramas to sweeping historical catastrophes with just the right fillip of silliness and levity to keep the whole text eminently approachable... I Am Radar is as easy to enjoy for its swaggering tragicomic spirit as it is to admire for its celestrial ambition."
Boston Globe: 
"Chameleonic, ambitious, epic, fantastical, whimsical, thought-provoking, arcane, philosophical, exhaustive, and completely bonkers... It’s an estimable, and completely insane idea that has all the hallmarks of a film by Michel Gondry or Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who incidentally also directed the equally dazzling movie adaptation of T.S. Spivet... Larsen’s fare is unquestionably one of the more adventurous entries into the literary landscape, and his skill and flair for quirky, innovative works that cross over into the historical and the literary will always have an admiring... audience. It’s a performance, that’s for sure, and Larsen is a keen player."

Cleveland Plain-Dealer
"Larsen’s is an extraordinarily lush and verdant imagination, blooming wildly on the borders of the absurd and the riotous, the surreal and the ordinary…Quite unlike any [novel] I’ve read in a long time. One doesn’t consume it; one enters it, as part of a literary enactmentBrilliant…The effort is well-rewarded: It is both maddening and marvelous…I can’t wait to see what he pulls off next."

Shelf Awareness: 
"A story of Homeric proportions... It's a wild ride with an unconventional structure and enormous cast of unforgettable characters. Larsen's prose is straightforward and bold, full of sparkling phrases... Wise yet unpretentious, both broad and deep, I Am Radar will slake the most unquenchable thirst for storytelling and open the reader's eyes to new possibilities in fiction." 

The A.V. Club: 
"[S]prawling, epic... the result is impressive and a little bit wondrous. In a way, the reader becomes part of the story, becoming aware of the observer’s affect on the observed... It’s an astonishing conceit."

"Large, robust, even intimidating: I Am Radar is never a laborious read. Sentence to sentence, the reader will find small gems (“How intimate, to trace a person’s geography”) and beautiful descriptions of typically ugly places... an intelligent and engaging book.”

Time Out New York: 
One of our most highly anticipated novels of the year, I Am Radar is an epic about Radar Radmanovic and his inexplicable link to past and present wars and sieges from the Congo to Yugoslavia…Genre-defying.”

Vanity Fair: 
[I Am Radar] moves beyond the limits of reality.”

“[An] ambitious and otherworldly tale.”

Dallas Morning News: 
"In the spirit of Thomas Pynchon’s V. and David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, Reif Larsen’s second novel, I Am Radar, is more akin to an intellectual curiosity shop than a traditional novel. It’s an achievement of the imagination, peopled by characters who bear more resemblance to ideas than human beings, set on a global stage that spans both time and place from the 1940s to the present, via Norway, Cambodia, Bosnia and New Jersey."

Publishers Weekly (starred review): 
"Gripping… Masterly...This is a sprawling, engrossing novel about the ravages of war and the triumph of art. Larsen is an effortless magician, and his performance here is a pure delight."

Library Journal (starred review): 
“A delightfully disorienting and immersive experience.”

“Strange things happen when Radar Radmanovic is around… If Larsen’s story makes demands of its readers, it also offers plenty of rewards. Imaginative, original, nicely surreal.”

From the Hardcover edition.


A kaleidoscopic, epic novel about a lovestruck radio operator who discovers a secret society… -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe.

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x8ae426d8) von 5 Sternen 52 Rezensionen
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8ae6bed0) von 5 Sternen A Novel told in Linked Novellas 10. April 2015
Von emmejay - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
My favorite fiction format is a collection of linked short stories, where characters, settings, events and/or themes appear and reappear in lead and supporting roles in the various stories, and sometimes become more fascinating in the sideways glimpses of their supporting roles than when seen head-on. I didn't know it going in to this book, but this big novel is actually a collection of linked novellas. I loved it.

They're linked through the title character, Radar Radmanovic (born in 1975 New Jersey) and a fascinating (and fictional?) branch of puppetry that takes the reader through time, geography, ethnicity and late-20th-century history. The linking is loose, the novellas nearly stand alone, but wow! Reif Larsen can write! His playful, curious, science-based (in this case, physics) narrative reminded me of Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex, and his insertion of photos, maps and other visuals amid the text reminded me of Michael Crichton's works. I'm eager to get to his debut novel, The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8b042648) von 5 Sternen Wonderfully odd, and a great read 11. März 2015
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I absolutely loved this odd--and oddly accessible, given it's narrative complexities--novel, and would simply have liked more of it. The story lines diverge and converge in ways that kept me happily confused and curious to see where Larsen might next take his readers. Larsen also creates characters that keep the reader engaged in their lives even when they aren't always likeable (though many are, especially Radar). The novel is highly inventive, probably brilliant...but more importantly, I haven't had this much fun reading for a long while.

Another 650 pages, please!
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8ae6ec90) von 5 Sternen Futuristic Quantum Science 11. Mai 2015
Von Viviane Crystal - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
A doctor waits for the head of a baby to appear as the new life of two anxious parents. In one second the electricity is out and hospital generators aren’t working. The father, Kermin, pulls out a flashlight and he watches the baby comes out, covered with a white plastic-like covering. The tension increases with the sight when the baby is cleaned; the child is as black as a Nubian native. The usual questions are gently hinted at but the mother has not had any relationships with anyone but her husband Kermin.
Charlene also has an unusual after-effect; all she can smell are noxious odors, a phenomenon that gradually diminishes but still leaves her with unpleasant olfactory experiences. Her life is dedicated to finding out how and why her son was born like this, her son whom his father calls Radar after the old TV show M*A*S*H. Kermin believes his son will have special powers.
Radar does indeed to be a unique character. After being subjected to an experiment that is nothing short of a failure, the Radar in the remainder of the story travels throughout the world with a group of puppeteers, a group who try to create work in areas where extreme wars and other terrible events have left residents with nothing. Radar is now the color of beige and therefore more acceptable to everyone they meet. The puppeteer use complicated science, technology and quantum physics to create robots but they wind up very hurt from an explosion while working with nuclear matter. The quantum physics is very complicated but is simple for Radar who has the ability to read radio messages just by putting his hands on the transmitter.
A group of teachers steal radioactive material with the notion of creating something new as an artistic presentation. Different stories follow in Bosnia and Cambodia involving chaos and violence, but they do connect with the general theme later on in the story. This novel at times reads like a complicated science article written by physicist academics. The best advice is just to go with it, even when it makes very little sense at all; this reviewer is not sure whether this makes a difference to the reader but it is what it is.
Are Radar and other characters’ paths one of healing, pure science exploration or something more philosophical, psychological or social? How is Radar’s epilepsy connected to his uncanny ability to understand radio transmissions? Does his suffering truly lead to his understanding about love who he really is? I am Radar is a complex work of science fiction that truly stretches the imagination with its disconnected parts that in some ways unite and in others just seem like another round of dystopian fiction with free-floating ideas and attempt to form a new, coherent reality. Interesting science fiction about difference and exploring new visions of the universe in the future!
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8ae6ea5c) von 5 Sternen "The audience can decide what it means." 24. März 2015
Von Jill I. Shtulman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
I Am Radar reminds me of a big, frisky St. Bernard puppy who wants to be loved and who ends up making you laugh with delight at all its tricks. What words would I use to describe the novel? Audacious, swaggering, inimitable, bold, ambitious…well, you get the drift.

Despite over 650 pages, it’s remarkably easy to read. The prose is confident and accessible, and the pages are rife with diagrams, newspaper snippets and photos (reminding me just a tad of Marisha Pessl’s Night Film, both in scope and in presentation). And the opening – the birth of Radar Radmanovic, an ebony-black young boy born of two lily-white parents at the height of a New Jersey blackout – gently calls to mind John Irving’s The World According to Garp.

The plot is – to put it mildly – convoluted. Radar’s mother Charlene is obsessed with finding an answer to her son’s blackness, eventually traveling to Norway to meet with some avant-garde scientists, studying altered skin pigmentation. They’re very eager to test out their electrical experiments on him; the results end up opening up a new set of challenges for Radar.

Interspersed with this rather straightforward story, Reif Larsen weaves others: the tale of the Danilovic brothers during the Bosnian war, a look at Cambodian-born physicist Raksmey Raksmey and his adoptive father who believes “all children are experiments.” And interspersed with THAT are studies of performance art – particularly puppetry drama in war zones, quantum physics, father/son dynamics, the definition and costs of liberty and freedom and a whole lot more…including whether puppets are freer than the humans who manipulate them.

The book is so brash and so creatively engineered that it can be easy to forgive its excesses. And there ARE excesses: too much bloat (I could definitely see places where an editor’s firm hand would have been welcome), and times when I felt too distanced from the key character – Radar – because of the 100 pages or so that took me away from the key story. The descriptions of the enigmatic Kirkenesferda – artists and political operatives staging interventions and needing Radar to be part of them – can, at times, plunge the reader (as well as Radar) into the dark.

About half way through, I became a little exhausted with everything going on and put the book down to read another. But then I felt compelled to go back to it and take up where I left off. It’s that kind of book-- fun to read, a little demanding, but ultimately, a feat of imagination.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8ae6edc8) von 5 Sternen Good, organic use of quantum physics concepts; could use some more editing 15. Mai 2015
Von Bill - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This is a tough book to evaluate. I think the good points and the originality warrant a four star rating, but there are definite flaws. First, the good: I really liked how quantum physics was used as a theme throughout the book. I am a physics major, but rest assured that you don't need to know any physics beyond the basics of uncertainty and entanglement that Larsen gives in the text to get some enjoyment from this (though you'll get more enjoyment the more you know about it). Along with this, he touches on the philosophical questions associated with quantum theory and what exactly "knowledge" is, and the impressive part is that all of this seamlessly serves the story. Larsen keeps the story moving, and even when it gets philosophical it isn't heavy reading - although it requires a commitment, this did feel shorter than 650 pages. One other thing that I really liked is that the last section of the book borrowed a character from and had a lot of references to the work of one of my favorite authors. I won't spoil who it is, but if you also like that author, you're sure to enjoy it, and the way this helps introduce new ideas and build to the ending is pretty cool.
Now, the negatives. As other reviewers have noted, there seem to be some extraneous plots and characters. I normally give authors a lot of leeway in terms of what they decide to put in as long as I enjoy the book as a whole, and like I've said I did enjoy this, but there could've been some more editing. Some of Radar's mom's backstory is necessary to explain why she made the questionable choices that she did, but past a certain point it just draws more attention to the fact that she's not very likeable. Although I like the Radar character, and I can get behind the idea that the final performance is as much about him finding self-confidence and a sense of identity as it is about the aims of the mysterious Kirkenesferda, I think there's too much space devoted to showing how much of a milquetoast he is, and the cardboard girlfriend and tryst in the Congo seem like lazy ways to show his character development. I also could've mostly done without Part 4 - I get that it builds on the entanglement and other themes, but too much of it was transparently a clone of the relationship between Radar and his mother. Finally, Larsen really cannot write female characters - this is not by any means saying he's misogynistic, it's just that (like many other authors) he seems to write to fill a role when writing for the opposite gender, rather than just letting the character develop. The only woman in the book who feels like a person is Radar's mom, and like I said she's eminently unlikeable.
To sum up, although it seems I spent more space on the faults than the strengths, I think this is worth a read, and I stand behind the four star rating. I really do want to reiterate that the treatment of the philosophical ideas and scientific metaphors is quite interesting, and although he might be guilty of trying to look at the same thing too many times from too many different angles, the book flows nicely and I never hit a point where I lost interest. Larsen's a young guy, and he'll probably figure out how to write good, relatable characters more consistently in time.
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