Lightning Rods

Helen DeWitt (Author)
Backorder
2 other formats in stock!

Product Details

Price
$24.95
Publisher
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
October 05, 2011
Pages
275
Dimensions
5.7 X 1.13 X 8.09 inches | 0.96 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9780811219433
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Author of The Last Samurai and Lightning Rods, "Helen Dewitt knows, in descending order of proficiency, Latin, ancient Greek, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Arabic, Hebrew, and Japanese: 'The self is a set of linguistic patterns, ' she said. 'Reading and speaking in another language is like stepping into an alternate history of yourself where all the bad connotations are gone' (New York Magazine)."

Reviews

Standing athwart the arc of literary history -- uninterested in sugarcoating her interest in complex systems -- DeWitt is among those novelists who long for a return to formality, who dream of constructing beautiful, new, arbitrary systems. She wants to tell us all about them. She thinks her readers might enjoy working their brains a bit. DeWitt delights in language not just as a means to communicate but as a complicated game whose rules she might plumb and master.-- (11/13/2011)
This is excellent: cold and crazy...The jokes are like hammers.-- (09/26/2011)
It's an altogether different piece of writing: a sharp satirical fable that provides strong supporting evidence in favor of the proposition, as Marco Roth once put it to me, that DeWitt is 21st-century America's best 18th-century novelist.-- (09/26/2011)
This is a perfect example of DeWitt's uncanny ability to put her finger on the pulse of our many contemporary neuroses and anxieties -- about sex, race, disability, and whatnot... DeWitt is not interested in being a moralist; this is not a comedy of correction... like Nabokov's Humbert trying to convince us of the allure of a pubescent girl, it's also scarily persuasive.-- (09/26/2011)
Delivered with a teeth-baring grin, DeWitt's book is a powerful corrective for any reader who believes America has moved beyond Mad Men paternalism and achieved real gender equality.-- (12/07/2011)
Satire and comedy traditionally have the advantage of allowing an author to develop ridiculous premises to absurd lengths, and DeWitt follows the logic of her premise all the way. She winks at her reader here and there but mostly adopts a mock earnest tone, which is a shrewd move. Her many clichΓ©-ridden passages justifying the Lightning Rods are argued with such force and conviction, the reader begins to envision certain real-world businesses giving the green light to such a project. The result is a book that manages to be titillating and breezy even as it hides a clusterbomb of social commentary under its glittering, aphoristic surface.-- (12/07/2011)
We've known for a decade that DeWitt was a great writer - now we know there are at least two different great writers lurking within her. What her third book will look like is almost literally anyone's guess.-- (12/13/2011)
Lightning Rods [is] Helen DeWitt's merrily demented satire of the obtuse sexual politics of American corporate culture. Brazen, outrageous, and--the key to good satire--just plausible enough to give it the bite of truth. It made me cringe; it made me blush; but mainly it made me laugh. This week, I read Lightning Rods again, and was struck by the degree to which it seems, in our post-Harvey Weinstein world, where each day brings new revelations of egregious male misbehavior, like a work of credible realism.-- (10/27/2017)
The Last Samurai made DeWitt a household name for its audacity; Lightning Rods, written a decade before Samurai, inverts the Willy Loman myth by giving us a salesman with a sexual fantasy instead of a dream, who succeeds in selling his own personal kink as the solution to workplace sexual harassment.-- (12/07/2011)