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NVSQVAM (Nowhere) Paperback – June 15, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Nine-Banded Books; First edition (June 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616583460
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616583460
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #493,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

If Celine and Hamsun weren't fascists, they'd be Ann Sterzinger. --Nick Mamatas, author of SENSATION

Ann Sterzinger's writing is electric. Her 100,000-watt power singes every page of NVSQVAM (nowhere). --Frank Marcopolos, former editor of The Whirligig

Ann Sterzinger's writing is electric. Her 100,000-watt power singes every page of NVSQVAM (nowhere). --Frank Marcopolos, former editor of The Whirligig

As a comic yet poignant expression of an entire generation s angst, NVSQVAM is top-notch and an absolute necessity for your collection. --Matt Forney, author of Confessions of an Online Hustler

From the Author

What would happen if Kingsley Amis were born at the wrong time in the wrong place? Find out in this farcical tragedy that came from the porridge I call my brain.

More About the Author

One of seven billion hapless apes set to feed upon each other's souls on the planet of the living brain-dead, I squeeze meaning out of my existence by pretending that a statistically significant number of my fellows might someday take the time to read my words. If Tolkien and Kafka could somehow get Louis C.K. pregnant, I'd be their hate child. Please, gods of comedy! Dark Lord of the Banana Peel! Hear my prayers and make the peeples laff!

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By PJS1975 on April 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Absolutely a five-star work of fiction here. If I had a voice in the fawning, compliant corporate media, I'd advise readers everywhere to defenestrate Jonathan Frazen's "Freedom" or whatever other mass-marketed, safe, suburban faux "edgy" book they're reading right now, and snap up a copy of NVSQVAM (nowhere) instead. Not because I think all of those readers would truly enjoy what this novel has to offer, but because I secretly relish the thought of them hurting their little whitebread minds on this book's razor-sharp edges.

At the time I purchased NVSQVAM (nowhere), I had never heard of its author Ann Sterzinger. A Google search of her name led me to her blog, whose humourously/obnoxiously retaliatory (and too profane for Amazon's G-rated "Review Approval Board") title charmed the cynical, anomie-embracing part of my heart, currently comprised of four chambers, two atria, two ventricles and most of a pericardium.

"If Celine and Hamsun weren't fascists, they'd be Ann Sterzinger" says one reviewer whose quote appears on the cover. See, I don't know what that's supposed to mean. I felt that the publishers made a mistake there; they should have made a point of saying how incredibly funny this novel is, and how lucidly and tightly composed the prose is.

Because comedy is, without a doubt, the most difficult genre for any writer to work in, because it either succeeds or it fails utterly. In my experience (as a reader, not as a writer), spy thrillers, detective stories, sci-fi/fantasy &c., in all of these genres, a writer is allowed a few missteps, a few "um, ok" moments where the writing doesn't quite work, but it doesn't have to, and you keep going, because (ostensibly) more good parts await. But comedic writing HAS to be funny, or else.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Capps on September 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading the novel NVSQVAM (Nowhere) by Ann Sterzinger. An excellent nihilistic, narrative comedy (sort of) with endlessly clever intellectual witticisms and turns of phrase which are never redundant. The ending is true to the overriding sentiment of the book and I was sad to have reached the last page. Highly recommended!
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By Randall Williams on November 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book after reading Matt Forney's blog post recommending it. Forney is a talented writer and I usually enjoy most of the books he recommends. This book by Ann Sterzinger is a worthy effort and is basically the story of man's life unraveling due to various factors--but mainly due to his obsession with his failed dreams and unwillingness to accept the cards he's been dealt. To that end, the book does a pretty good job. Sterzinger also provides footnotes for the book, as other reviewers have mentioned, that are quite witty and give the idea that the reader will be reading the work long after the book's time period (1990's) and hence needs guidance about certain cultural references. This is a nice touch. My feeling, though, is that while this book is a worthy effort I would give it 3 and a half stars if your rating system allowed for it. Let me explain why:

The story, while interesting, strikes me in many places as implausible. One example is that Lester, the protagonist, is studying for his Ph.D. in classics. I realize that I did not write the book and that it is the author's prerogative to choose her character's field of study but there is a great incongruity, in my opinion, between the unmotivated Lester and the average classics scholar who has mastered Latin and Greek and is finishing his dissertation on "The Ass." Sterzinger portrays the character as not even being very adept in either language yet he has someone managed to finish all of his coursework except for his doctoral dissertation. I find this highly implausible given the way Stetzinger protrays the character as unmotivated and seemingly not even all that interested in studying the classics in the first place.
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By Matt W. on September 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an absolutely must-read novel.

NVSQVAM trods familiar ground for me, as it's a tale of middle-class male ennui in the suburbs. The novel concerns Lester Reichartsen, poster boy for middle-aged white male failure, and his exile in a dull college town in southern Illinois (the town is not named, but I suspect Carbondale, based on geographical descriptions and the fact that Sterzinger herself is an alum of the school there). Kicked out of a punk band and guilted into marrying his girlfriend Evelyn after she gets pregnant, Lester resorts to grad school, last refuge of the middle-aged loser, while despising everything about his life.

NVSQVAM succeeds in part because despite being a woman, Sterzinger absolutely nails the hopelessness and listlessness of the average middle-aged American man. It sounds condescending to write that, but being able to write convincing characters of the opposite sex is a tough job for any novelist, and Sterzinger accomplishes it with aplomb. In fact, she arguably does it a little too well.

Lester is basically a mash-up of Ferdinand Bardamu and Walter Mitty, with a dash of Eduard Limonov in It's Me, Eddie (namely the parts where he's having gay sex with homeless black men). The defining theme in his life is his utter powerlessness over everything and everyone he encounters. Bossed around by his wife and son Martin, the latter of whom reminds me of Oskar Schell from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (in that Sterzinger depicts how annoying a kid like that would be in real life), Lester constantly fantasizes about Martin meeting a grisly end.
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