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Seven American Deaths and Disasters Paperback – March 12, 2013
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-The New York Times
"This book feels both like an important historical document and a beautiful example of what the Great American Novel might look like today."
-The Paris Review
"It mingles the language of radio and TV commercials with sometimes bumbling, sometimes heroic reports from journalists filing their first draft of history. 'Seven American Deaths and Disasters' is of a piece with Mr. Goldsmith's provocative literary aesthetic."
-The Wall Street Journal
"The high priest of what he calls Non-Creative Writing, Goldsmith continues
producing books from found texts—in the case of Seven American Deaths and
Disasters, he transcribes radio transmissions announcing famous deaths and other
bad news. His new book is a textual equivalent of Warhol’s Death and Disaster
paintings, ripped from the front pages of the Daily News."
"Goldsmith's material, unmistakably real, refuses to remain in a literary frame."
"Kenneth Goldsmith is always ahead of the curve! Just when readers were becoming used to his “boring” transcriptions of weather or traffic reports, he here reverses the game by turning his attention to the extraordinary: seven cases of assassination, murder, sudden death, or terrorism and how such unforeseen events have been handled by the feckless and unaware media. Seven Deaths is a real page-turner: you will feel you’re there, living through the horrific events as they unfold."
-Marjorie Perloff, author of "Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New" Century
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
But Goldsmith's "uncreative writing" is among the most exciting avenues of poetry today, and Seven American Deaths and Disasters is his most beautiful and--really!--readable books yet.
It might be reading too much to take the book as a critique of both solipsism and apathy, but in the context of poetry the scripts of these unscripted moments pack a wallop.
Also, the book is completely beautiful. I expected the same lackluster design that befalls most poetry books, but the production has remarkable details I don't want to spoil.
It was intriguing on several levels, especially when the transcript included what was happening on the radio when the news first broke, as with the JFK assassination. There's a lot of repetition but the transcripts provide insights into the times, with the Dallas radio reporter on 11/22/63 calling it a "dastardly deed" whereas the more recent examples offered much more colloquial language.
I found that the two events that occurred when I was two young to remember--JFK and RFK--were more interesting to me. For the others, the later events, I remember them much better and these transcripts didn't hold my interest as well. My mind kept drifting off to what I remember, rather than the actual transcript provided.
I understand that the author has a book that contains the entire transcript of the longest 9-inning baseball game, as well as one that includes every weather segment for a year at a radio station. Another book focuses on traffic reports. It might be worth giving one or more of those a try, to see how those compare to this one.
It's not perfect by any means. I think some of the event choices were odd, and I wish more time had been spent on something like Columbine rather than Michael Jackson. But then again, the beauty of it is that the author is writing about what moved and effected him - I can always go do my own transcription for things that I find more meaningful.
I highly recommend this book!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A wonderful read from the perspective of DJ's trying to give information after serious eventsPublished 2 months ago by Kyle Hassler
This book contains transcripts of seven of the eras most visible celebrity deaths. There's no context, no editing, no attempt at making the transcripts accessible and... Read morePublished 10 months ago by STEPHEN M SIEGEL
Not quite as "attention grabbing" as I expected but still a good read.Published 13 months ago by Michelle D Shaffer
I forgot how confused things were when they first occurred. The chapters on JFK and on 911 were especially interesting.Published on October 6, 2013 by Amazon Customer
It was a really good book. Very scary to look back during these times and really think about what happened at each catastrophe.Published on September 19, 2013 by Erica P. Samsin