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The Immensity of The Here and Now Hardcover – January 1, 2003


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Hardcover, January 1, 2003
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New Adult Fiction by Rainbow Rowell
Acclaimed author Rainbow Rowell's latest book, Landline, offers a poignant, humorous look at relationships and marriage. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Voyant Publishing; 1 edition (January 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0966599853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966599855
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,097,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

West, an intrepid and adept prospector of the psyche, provides an atomizing rumination on the emotional shock waves of 9/11. Shrop has lost his memory in the wake of the destruction of the World Trade Center, and is in therapy with a longtime friend, Quent, a disabled and eccentric war veteran. Quent is supplying Shrop with the missing pieces of his past, but could Shrop really have been a Cambridge don, gardener's assistant, music theorist, and medical lab assistant? No matter, Quent is more concerned with visiting Ground Zero in full military regalia, and West's manifold, tumultuous, and satirical meditation on the soul-wrenching strangeness and horror of that blasted place, that mass grave, are at once provoking and intensely moving. Shrop seeks solace in contemplating the island's deep geologic past and the prescient beauty of its old Indian name, Idlewild, meaning "peaceful and savage," but warrior Quent is determined to take a last stand. West's phenomenal command of language and the flux of consciousness, and epic sense of the significance of 9/11 are staggering in their verve, astuteness, and resonance. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

If you think you know anything about 9.11, read this novel; it will change your perceptions forever. -- David W. Madden

This book will have you on tenterhooks and will break your heart. -- Mark Seinfelt

West’s phenomenal command of language and epic sense of 9.11 are staggering in their verve, astuteness, and resonance. -- Donna Seaman, Booklist magazine

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Victor Cresskill on October 5, 2003
Out just in time for the second anniversary of the Twin Towers disaster,
The Immensity of the Here and Now is an author's attempt to stretch mind and language around an event that should be bigger than both. Yet somehow, West pulls it off. Like Melville and Milton, who also unhinged metaphysical jaws to engulf subjects which most presume not to so much as scan, West writes in a style that dwarfs the minimalism that is so often the order of the day, dazzles like pinwheels of sunlight glossing lake water where an oar has dipped, amazes by taking the reader places where he or she never expected to go. Don't be fooled by the opening pages which seem an odd and even an unrelated approach to what is perhaps the defining moment of the new millennium: it's only West twisting empirical reality---as he will do throughout the book--into a subjective continuum of his own device.
Thankfully, West shuns the swarm of cliches and media catch-phrases, the absurdly enthnocentric demonizations that have obscured this event from day one. The novel unwinds in a dialogue between Shrop, a man who has lost his memory as well as his ability to navigate the world, and Quent, a legless veteran of the Vietnam War turned psychologist ("an unshrinking soul stationed between two bicycle wheels"). They are a pair, as West puts it, comprised of "a man who could remember only losing his memory confronted by a man who seemed to forget losing his legs ..." Having been friends before the fall of the Towers, the two enjoy an unorthodox relationship in therapy that often produces digressions that border on the fantastic.
"What is on fire beneath [Ground Zero]? You may well ask. It is as if corpses develop into a new fodder they never knew in life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 13, 2004
The Immensity Of The Here And Now by Paul West is a riveting novel set in the modern day during the aftermath of the September 11th attacks. The Immensity Of The Here And Now is the story of two men, one who lost his memory and the other being war-wounded therapist who tries to help him yet is slowly losing his own hold on life, The Immensity Of The Here And Now is profound, disturbing, and a compelling inner study of picking up the pieces in the wake of personal devastation.
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By Jan Dierckx on November 25, 2005
Verified Purchase
Mind you; this is not a 'historical' novel about the events of 9.11 and it's certainly not a journalistic account.
It deals mainly with one character and his struggle to regain his identity, lost in the aftermath of 9.11. Together with his therapist (who gets similar problems by listening to his patient) they will have to find a new way to deal with reality.
A civilization able to bring forth writers like Paul West, can look at the future with some optimism.
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