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Ablutions: Notes for a Novel By Patrick deWitt,

  • Title: Ablutions: Notes for a Novel
  • Author: Patrick deWitt
  • ISBN: 9780547335711
  • Page: 421
  • Format: Paperback
  • In a famous but declining Hollywood bar works A Barman Morbidly amused by the decadent decay of his surroundings, he watches the patrons fall into their nightly oblivion, making notes for his novel In the hope of uncovering their secrets and motives, he establishes tentative friendships with the cast of variously pathological regulars But as his tenure at the bar continIn a famous but declining Hollywood bar works A Barman Morbidly amused by the decadent decay of his surroundings, he watches the patrons fall into their nightly oblivion, making notes for his novel In the hope of uncovering their secrets and motives, he establishes tentative friendships with the cast of variously pathological regulars But as his tenure at the bar continues, he begins to serve himself often than his customers, and the moments he lives outside the bar become and painful he loses his wife, his way, himself Trapped by his habits and his loneliness, he realizes he will not survive if he doesn t break free And so he hatches a terrible, necessary plan of escape and his only chance for redemption Step into Ablutions and step behind the bar, below rock bottom, and beyond the everyday take on storytelling for a brilliant, new twist on the classic tale of addiction and its consequences.
    Ablutions Notes for a Novel In a famous but declining Hollywood bar works A Barman Morbidly amused by the decadent decay of his surroundings he watches the patrons fall into their nightly oblivion making notes for his novel In

    One thought on “Ablutions: Notes for a Novel”

    1. I used to really love boozy, druggy novels when I was a teenager, regularly devouring books by Charles Bukowski, William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Hubert Selby Jnr and Patrick Hamilton where the protagonists were either alcoholics, drug addicts or both But that was when I was a teenager and my literary tastes have since changed So I was surprised to find myself drawn into Patrick deWitt s debut novel Ablutions which takes place almost entirely in a dismal Hollywood bar filled with deadbeats and h [...]

    2. Patrick deWitt s Ablutions is bleak and his minimalist style does nothing to dispel the bleakness in fact it promotes it There s endless dark vignettes, vile sexual encounters, and character studies of the bar patrons and his life as a bartender bar back it is never quite clear what he does, except drink a lot His dismal relationships, or lack there of, dominate the plot although in all fairness, there isn t any plot per say, as the subtitle of the book explains these are Notes for a Novel At fi [...]

    3. I ve said in other reviews that I could pretty much go the rest of my life without reading another novel set in a bar And this one does have all the bar book cliches the surly bartender, the sad drunken teachers, the deteriorating regulars, the old lady that s really a man, the friendly homeless guy, the former child actor, the solo road trip With all that said, I still really enjoyed it The voice is rendered in a deadpan poetic style that manages to feel fresh The details all feel authentic to [...]

    4. One of the dullest things you could probably ever find to read, but still not a complete waste of time Ablutions follows a bartender, YOU, working in a degenerating Hollywood bar You observe the patrons who are also rapidly degenerating, and reflect on your life, which is also falling apart You find this book kind of boring and unimportant, but you keep reading because you want to know at what point the 2nd person perspective will make you actually feel something for the characters You learn ear [...]

    5. I am not sure who this book is for If it is for the sort of people it is written about, I am guessing they are too far gone to read the book If it is intended as a cautionary tale for the people who are on the path of alcoholism, it s going to be a difficult, emotional read made much worse by deWitt s decision to write in a second person narrative If it is for anyone else, I can t see them enjoying the read Ablutions Notes for a Novel is not entertaining In fact, I d say it is one of the most de [...]

    6. Patrick deWitt s first novel is truly a theatre of the absurd In such finely tuned prose, deWitt gracefully synthesizes so many contradictions It is a dark book with characters swimming in despair and on desolation row, blotting out their crises and lost dreams in booze and drugs But in this cesspool of tragedy and nothingness is a book that so funny, so beautiful, and brutally revelatory of what may lie beneath the bowels of the human condition This book is both real and surreal at the same tim [...]

    7. It is going to be very difficult to explain this book so I might have to amend this review after I ve had time to process I only finished reading just now having started it this morning what a lovely way to spend a sunday.It is about a bartender with a drink and drugs problem observing others with drink and drugs problem.I mean we are talking serious problems here.The writing is lucid and his observations astute, but it is a sad, sad story.I am finding it almost impossible to articulate why I li [...]

    8. I predict this book is going to rock a few worlds when it appears next month deWitt, a new Portland author, writes convincingly, hypnotically, and often humorously in an odd but freakishly natural sounding 2nd person narrative voice This is lowlife gutter drunk bar life in a revealing light a place where the bartender you are wretched than the customers, of course until you make your great escape A superb little debut.

    9. This book is a doozy It s one that I hesitate to give four stars, since I felt unclean after I read it, but dammit, I also loved it a lot Brilliant writing, depravity, darkness, hilarity, all the good stuff Also can be read in about two straight hours No complaints.

    10. This was an interesting book that, at first, had me wondering if I was going to be able to even finish it, but by the end, had completely won me over It s Bukowski esque in tone, poetic in a different way, and quite dark, focusing mainly on an alcoholic barback whose life is continuously spiraling out of control While it is not heavy on the plot, the dive bar and its denizens make for a colorful ride, and while the protagonist if you can call him that is kind of an ugly person, you can t help bu [...]

    11. When I first left home, at nearly twenty one, I got a job as a waitress in a bar in the city center of a large metropolis During happy hour and a little beyond, the bar would be filled with the expected assortment of downtown types everyone from suits to bums but once the DJ would arrive at nine o clock, the quiet regulars would file out and the young crowd would take over loud and crazy and beautiful, every night of the week The bar staff were also loud and crazy and beautiful, and like the pat [...]

    12. There are a few things that make me leery when reading a debut novel 1 When one of the blurbs is by someone who is listed in the acknowledgments Well that was nice of your friend writing mentor college roommate Dennis Cooper to say he loves this book very much 2 When the book is, oh, say, about a bartender, and in the author s short bio on the back flap it says, for instance Oregon, where he currently resides blah blah has worked as a bartender Patrick DeWitt probably could have found a stranger [...]

    13. This near novel presents the reader with a barman observing the depressing lives of the alcoholics and drug addicts who come to the seedy bar where he works Having worked in the bar for six years, the main character only identified as a second person you has allowed himself to gradually adopt behaviors similar to the customers This is far from a good thing As he drinks himself into oblivion behind the bar, his life disintegrates the most notable evidence of this is the break up of his marriage, [...]

    14. I don t think it gets better than this piece of alcoholic bar literature Ablutions is sick, depraved, hilarious and poignant all at the same time This book is a feat a triumph, and deWitt should be hailed as a new voice in underground literature I know what you re thinking Great, some hipster writer who worships Bukowski and struggles to come up with his own sad sack of a story And yes, I was skeptical, and it would be easy for me to label Patrick deWitt, the author of this gem, a mere sycophant [...]

    15. 3.5 5I think Patrick deWitt is a talented writer He has a good vocabulary and there is poetry within his words In Ablutions he uses second person and a deadpan delivery which lends a kind of apathy and disconnect from the entire experience, but not in a bad way If you ve ever had the feeling that can basically be summed up as, fuck it, then you can relate and see the motives personalities of the people in this book.It s grimy, sexy, funny and sad, just like a bar He hits the atmosphere pretty mu [...]

    16. The writing is gorgeous, so clear and descriptive You can almost smell taste touch everything in this book You wouldn t want to mind you, because almost everything in this story is truly nasty and an example of all the most base things humans are capable of doing to each other and to themselves Spiraling out of control really.

    17. this was good for the people who described this as bukowski litei guess i agree I ve only read one bukowski book and it was indeed a little dark this book s main character was someone you assume is a good guy who s gone down a dark path, and you root for him or at least I did.

    18. This is a hard book for me to review I liked it It s not as spectacular as The Sisters Brothers, but it s riveting nonetheless Kind of like a trainwreck, it s hard to step away, to not look, to ignore the carnage Trainwreck in no way describes the writing deWitt is a great writer, and even though this is a first novel it s not a beginning writer s output The structure is unusual at first I didn t get it, but after a few pages it all started to make sense I grew to love it And even though much is [...]

    19. Discuss this book, and your inability to decide how many stars to give it On the one hand, it wasn t groundbreaking, the story wasn t especially riveting, and the characters were largely unsympathetic Many reviewers cite Bukowski books as praiseworthy barroom works, even if it isn t exactly a fair, apples to apples comparison On the other hand, something about reading the narrator s detached observations of the self hating, self destructive behavior of lost souls including his own does leave a [...]

    20. A funny, horrific and surreal trip into the mind of one alcoholic bartender and the relationships he has with his clientele and wife The 2nd person narrative is a little odd to begin with, but fits perfectly with the journey the bartender makes into addiction You feel like you re making the trip with him In this respect it reminded me of American Psycho, horrid and hilarious in equal measureIt s a little depressing, but I enjoyed it thoroughly

    21. The New York Times review on this book was remarkable I will post it here, as I loved the review Ablutions is not meant to be an enjoyable book, or a loving book, or even a beautiful book although it has moments of beauty It is ugly on purpose It flays open its ugliness as if to say I m here too Look at me See me DeWitt delves deeply and unflinchingly into an addict s mind, bearing witness to what happens to a man as a drug renders him inhuman.Well put

    22. Wow, the writing is so gritty and raw, as you take a look into a want a be writer who loses himself to alcohol, drugs, his marriage and self worth The way the novel is written as a writer to himself as he puts ideas together, where his explanations are sometimes funny in a truthful manner Definitely not for the faint of heart when you read about his situations he finds himself in at times Short and easy read.

    23. I read Dewitt s The Sisters Brothers in 2013, and it was a Top 10 read for me that year His unique prose and dry humor really stood out This year I read Dewitt s Undermajordomo Minor and I thought it was absolutely incredible my second favorite book of the year Again, his prose and humor was so unique, I added Dewitt to my short list of authors whose every book I will read So I bought Ablutions, his first book, and well, so nobody s perfect Ablutions is less of a book and of a series of charac [...]

    24. I picked this book up after reading and loving The Sisters Brothers and I wanted to try something else by this author It has sat on my shelves waiting to be read for several years and I m so pleased I finally got round to it it makes me hopeful to see what other gems I have tucked away on my bookcases.The book is written from the perspective of a bartender in a run down bar in Hollywood, its really not a place the average person would hope to visit on a night out The main group of customers are [...]

    25. Totally not a feel good book, but I loved it anyway Somehow it perfectly fit my mood about work and life in general Totally can t recommend this to anyone but I certainly recommend it to everyone If you can find it, check it out.

    26. Another one from my local library I picked this up because I knew the author s name from his recent novel The Sisters Brothers , which is one of those books that has been almost too well received to really attract my attention The blurb on the back and the cover photo promote this as a noir ish tale of romantic, poetic degradation in the great American tradition of Bukowski and Kerouac and the like But then I opened it and read a few pages at random and I found that it is actually something dif [...]

    27. UPDATE Ablutions is tricky book for me in it was the last book I read before I got clean and sober That is an abundantly ironic claim to make given the book s absorption with drug and alcohol abuse but it s not a causal relationship The book didn t motivate me to walk on the sunny side of the street Needless to say, I was at a pretty low point when I read it and when I popped in the disc during a recent drive to Los Angeles I was curious to see how much I remembered and if it held up Turns out i [...]

    28. Abluciones es, tal como su nombre lo apunta, una suerte de apuntes que podr an llegar a ser una hilarante y m s trabajada novela Sin desconocer los m ritos de la misma, esta se queda a medio camino entre un diario de trabajo borrachera y una historia elaborada aunque tiene una estructura, esta es demasiado fragmentaria y no logra hacer pie con fuerza nunca Si bien este libro no deja de parecerse a algo escrito por un buen seguidor de Charles Bukowski o de Hunter S.Thompson un seguidor m s serio, [...]

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