Specimen Days

Specimen Days

Book - 2005
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Baker & Taylor
Prophetic poet Walt Whitman presides over each interlinked episode in a visionary novel set in the city of New York, featuring the same group of characters--a young boy, an older man, and a young woman--that range from "In the Machine," which takes place at the height of the Industrial Revolution, through the twenty-first-century "Children's Crusade," to "Like Beauty," set in a city of the future. 500,000 first printing

McMillan Palgrave

In each section of Michael Cunningham's bold new novel, his first since The Hours, we encounter the same group of characters: a young boy, an older man, and a young woman. "In the Machine" is a ghost story that takes place at the height of the industrial revolution, as human beings confront the alienating realities of the new machine age. "The Children's Crusade," set in the early twenty-first century, plays with the conventions of the noir thriller as it tracks the pursuit of a terrorist band that is detonating bombs, seemingly at random, around the city. The third part, "Like Beauty," evokes a New York 150 years into the future, when the city is all but overwhelmed by refugees from the first inhabited planet to be contacted by the people of Earth.

Presiding over each episode of this interrelated whole is the prophetic figure of the poet Walt Whitman, who promised his future readers, "It avails not, neither time or place . . . I am with you, and know how it is."Specimen Days is a genre-bending, haunting, and transformative ode to life in our greatest city and a meditation on the direction and meaning of America's destiny. It is a work of surpassing power and beauty by one of the most original and daring writers at work today.



Holtzbrinck

In each section of Michael Cunningham's bold new novel, his first since The Hours, we encounter the same group of characters: a young boy, an older man, and a young woman. "In the Machine" is a ghost story that takes place at the height of the industrial revolution, as human beings confront the alienating realities of the new machine age. "The Children's Crusade," set in the early twenty-first century, plays with the conventions of the noir thriller as it tracks the pursuit of a terrorist band that is detonating bombs, seemingly at random, around the city. The third part, "Like Beauty," evokes a New York 150 years into the future, when the city is all but overwhelmed by refugees from the first inhabited planet to be contacted by the people of Earth.

Presiding over each episode of this interrelated whole is the prophetic figure of the poet Walt Whitman, who promised his future readers, "It avails not, neither time or place . . . I am with you, and know how it is." Specimen Days is a genre-bending, haunting, and transformative ode to life in our greatest city and a meditation on the direction and meaning of America's destiny. It is a work of surpassing power and beauty by one of the most original and daring writers at work today.



Blackwell North Amer
In each section of Michael Cunningham's new novel, we encounter the same group of characters: a young boy, a man, and a woman. "In the Machine" is a ghost story that takes place at the height of the industrial revolution, as human beings confront the alienating realities of the new machine age. "The Children's Crusade, " set in the early twenty-first century, plays with the conventions of the noir thriller as it tracks the pursuit of a terrorist band that is detonating bombs, seemingly at random, around the city. The third part, "Like Beauty," evokes a New York 150 years into the future, when the city is all but overwhelmed by refugees from the first inhabited planet to be contacted by the people of Earth.
Presiding over each episode of this inter-related whole is the prophetic figure of the poet Walt Whitman. Specimen Days is a transformative ode to life in our greatest city, and a meditation on the direction and meaning of America's destiny.

Baker
& Taylor

Prophetic poet Walt Whitman presides over each interlinked episode in a visionary novel set in the city of New York, featuring the same group of characters--a young boy, an older man, and a young woman.

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2005
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374299620
0374299625
Branch Call Number: FICTION CUNNI...M
Characteristics: x, 308 pages ; 24 cm

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WVMLBookClubTitles Jun 22, 2013

Like Cunningham’s award winning novel The Hours, this tale features three characters: a malformed Whitman-quoting boy, a disillusioned woman, and a generous young man. The trio appears in each section of this triptych, one part historical fiction, one part post 9/11 police thriller, and one part futurist science fiction. Walt Whitman plays the roles of muse, prophet, and a character in this inventive novel about humanity, progress, nature and social decline.

k
kendra88
Dec 20, 2011

This a fantastic book. It only makes sense if you put some time and thought into it, though, but trust me--it makes so much sense. You need to leave some time to digest because so many details connect after a bit of thought.
The novel concludes on a hopeful note. My interpretation of Cunningham's work is that, in the future, emotional and perceptual boundaries will no longer exist, taking away the problems that come with these boundaries, such as emotional detachment/lack of emotional expression and racism. Really, I think this book is about what it means to be human (is it the soul?), and how our concept of humanity may hopefully evolve. It's such a good book--read it!!!

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kendra88
Dec 20, 2011

kendra88 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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