The Bulgarian Training Manual

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Product Details
Price
$18.95  $17.62
Publisher
Clash Books
Publish Date
Pages
266
Dimensions
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.61 inches | 0.87 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9781960988102

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About the Author
Ruth Bonapace earned her MFA from Stony Brook University after a career in journalism, including two years covering sports she loathes like the NFL but never The New York Yankees, which she adores. Her work has appeared in many publications including The New York Times, Newsday, The Southampton Review, and The Saturday Evening Post. She is a two-time finalist in the annual American Writer's Review. Born in Brooklyn and raised in the burbs, she is a former New York State Agriculture Writer of the Year, who turned down a job with The American Dairy Association. This is her first novel.
Reviews

"One could say many things about Ruth Bonapace's The Bulgarian Training Manual - that it's a 'romp, ' a 'hoot, ' a 'wild ride, ' a 'pumped picaresque, ' etc. And they'd all be true. (I'd like to add that it's the first book that ever made me see jacked biceps and six-pack abs as Freudian conversion symptoms.). Tina Acqualina, our narrator, idles high, ever alive to the world around her, deploying a homemade lingo that crackles like a cheek full of cinnamon chewing gum. One is gripped by this voice, in its clutches. What Emily Dickenson did for metaphysical conjecture, Bonapace (via Acqualina) does for obstreperous attention-seeking. For anyone who's ever entered a gym (or a bar or a real estate office or a Walmart or a church, for that matter) and asked oneself, amid the clanking and grunting and preening, is all this just some vain and ultimately meaningless exercise in pure narcissism or is there some deeper psychological, sociocultural or spiritual significance at play here? Bonapace gleefully answers: Yes and Yes!" -Mark Leyner, NYT bestselling author of Why Do Men Have Nipples and Et tu, Babe

"The Bulgarian Training Manual is inventive, surreal, and powered by the unexpected. With her lively debut novel, Ruth Bonapace takes the reader all kinds of places." --Meg Wolitzer, NYT best-selling author of The Interestings and The Wife

"This is a joyfully freakish story held aloft and borne along with the strength and dazzle of the legendary strongmen and strongwomen at its heart. Tina is a loud, raucous and unapologetic heroine of New Jersey and her stream-of-consciousness rings refreshingly true to life. I kept waiting for the ambitious arc of the narrative to deflate but Ruth Bonapace never wavered from her headlong rush forward . . . If it were a movie it would be independent, washed in acid colors and have a cult fan base with their own secret bicep-curl handshake." --Helen Simonson, NYT best-seller author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and The Summer Before the War

"The Bulgarian Training Manual is a comic novel that tells the story of blue-collar Tina Acqualina Bontempi's quest to find her true parents and jeans that fit. With the help of a mysterious book with magical powers, Tina makes her way from her waterlogged apartment in Hoboken to a mind-bending visit to Bulgaria and back. Our heroine is the catalyst for a final contest that is part bodybuilder pose-off and part poetry slam. The novel is a sly look at self-improvement." --Robert Reeves, founding Director of Stony Brook Southampton MFA program and publisher of The Southhampton Review

"I just love the idea of The Bulgarian Training Manual that changes people's lives, with its hair-brained nutrition plans and strange suggestions for athletic improvement. The back-story and sub-plot of the great Eastern European strength performers is just wonderful, and hilarious. Based on careful research, the fact that these forebears of the secrets contained in The Bulgarian Training Manual were real people, only adds to the charm and the wildly absurd nature of these 'circus performers' lives and feats, and is worthy of a Kurt Vonnegut novel. In fact, I think he would have loved this book... This is a novel that speaks with great humor of the absurdity of our media today, and how Americans will jump on money-making schemes and fads that they believe will improve their lives." --Kaylie Jones, author of A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries


"One could say many things about Ruth Bonapace's The Bulgarian Training Manual - that it's a 'romp, ' a 'hoot, ' a 'wild ride, ' a 'pumped picaresque, ' etc. And they'd all be true. (I'd like to add that it's the first book that ever made me see jacked biceps and six-pack abs as Freudian conversion symptoms.). Tina Acqualina, our narrator, idles high, ever alive to the world around her, deploying a homemade lingo that crackles like a cheek full of cinnamon chewing gum. One is gripped by this voice, in its clutches. What Emily Dickenson did for metaphysical conjecture, Bonapace (via Acqualina) does for obstreperous attention-seeking. For anyone who's ever entered a gym (or a bar or a real estate office or a Walmart or a church, for that matter) and asked oneself, amid the clanking and grunting and preening, is all this just some vain and ultimately meaningless exercise in pure narcissism or is there some deeper psychological, sociocultural or spiritual significance at play here? Bonapace gleefully answers: Yes and Yes!" --Mark Leyner, NYT bestselling author of Why Do Men Have Nipples and Et tu, Babe

"The Bulgarian Training Manual is inventive, surreal, and powered by the unexpected. With her lively debut novel, Ruth Bonapace takes the reader all kinds of places." --Meg Wolitzer, NYT best-selling author of The Interestings and The Wife

"This is a joyfully freakish story held aloft and borne along with the strength and dazzle of the legendary strongmen and strongwomen at its heart. Tina is a loud, raucous and unapologetic heroine of New Jersey and her stream-of-consciousness rings refreshingly true to life. I kept waiting for the ambitious arc of the narrative to deflate but Ruth Bonapace never wavered from her headlong rush forward . . . If it were a movie it would be independent, washed in acid colors and have a cult fan base with their own secret bicep-curl handshake." --Helen Simonson, NYT best-seller author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and The Summer Before the War

"The Bulgarian Training Manual is a comic novel that tells the story of blue-collar Tina Acqualina Bontempi's quest to find her true parents and jeans that fit. With the help of a mysterious book with magical powers, Tina makes her way from her waterlogged apartment in Hoboken to a mind-bending visit to Bulgaria and back. Our heroine is the catalyst for a final contest that is part bodybuilder pose-off and part poetry slam. The novel is a sly look at self-improvement." --Robert Reeves, founding Director of Stony Brook Southampton MFA program and publisher of The Southhampton Review

"I just love the idea of The Bulgarian Training Manual that changes people's lives, with its hair-brained nutrition plans and strange suggestions for athletic improvement. The back-story and sub-plot of the great Eastern European strength performers is just wonderful, and hilarious. Based on careful research, the fact that these forebears of the secrets contained in The Bulgarian Training Manual were real people, only adds to the charm and the wildly absurd nature of these 'circus performers' lives and feats, and is worthy of a Kurt Vonnegut novel. In fact, I think he would have loved this book... This is a novel that speaks with great humor of the absurdity of our media today, and how Americans will jump on money-making schemes and fads that they believe will improve their lives." --Kaylie Jones, author of A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries