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[sic]: A Memoir Paperback – November 5, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (November 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393343928
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393343922
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,324,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Watching Cody chart the newly realized connectivity of his passions, memories, illusions, and delusions against a ticking clock is exhilarating, and will send you reeling, too.” (Elle)

“Hilarious and cracklingly intelligent, fully alive and original in every sentence, and abuzz with the feel of our late-latemodern moment.” (Jonathan Franzen - Guardian)

“[A] sprightly, manic cancer memoir… The resulting G-force of sex and death and insanity – and also, improbably, of music and math and modernist poetry – is the only evidence you need that for all its seeming formlessness, [sic] is in fact as artfully constructed as a Tarantino film.” (New York Times Book Review)

“A raw, seductive memoir about [Cody’s] descent into illness and excess . . . offers a beguiling, disquieting performance of the madness and humanity that can attend such life-disfiguring periods.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“[Cody’s] description of the havoc wrought by both the disease and its treatment is devastating.” (The New Yorker)

“To open this book is to engage with a spirit at once endlessly curious, genuinely funny, fiercely intelligent, and wonderfully perverse. Reading it I kept having the uncanny sense that I was holding something alive in my hands, something with a pulse. This book is a true gift, a wild ride, and a tour-de-force performance. Welcome to the new face of memoir.” (Nick Flynn)

“In [sic], the young classical composer Joshua Cody outstrips the weepy conventions of a cancer memoir by mixing aggressive, intelligent prose with shocking confessions, like the time he had cocaine-fueled sex with a stranger after chemotherapy.” (Stephen Heyman - T Magazine)

About the Author

Joshua Cody received his bachelor’s degree in music composition from Northwestern University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Columbia University. He is a composer and filmmaker living in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Yet he seems enamored with his writing in a narcissistic sort of way.
Ken C.
I kept trying to dip into the book at later points to see what I might be missing, only to discover in the end that this slim volume is just not worth it.
Seoigheach
That part is interesting but he never stays on subject - meanders everywhere while you are dying to know what is going on.
Patricia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Book lover -Philadelphia on November 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
First, the reader needs to be prepared for stream of consciousness writing and long, long paragraphs where the author tries to outdo James Joyce. Second, it's important to note that the topic (at least for the largest portion of the book) is chemotherapy and how the author gets through it, as well as the next stages of his illness. However, while the mental state of such a patient is interesting at first, the tone, indulgence, literary name-dropping and repetition become annoying. The interspersing of his mother's notes, photos and parts of the medical record didn't add to the book.

I don't understand the terrific reviews for this and must agree with Mr. Poquelin that it is just plain tiresome after a while. Cannot recommend.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Maggie Christ on May 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Joshua Cody's [sic] was very well reviewed in the New York Times, both in the daily paper, and in the Sunday book review. However, it so irritated me that I scribbled a list of my reactions, and wrote a long blog post about how horrible it was and how awful a person the insufferable, pompous author must be.

And then Blogger ate my post. Gone. Completely gone. Normally the fact of having written the post would have exorcised the irritant demon, but not in this case; I wanted the goddam thing PUBLISHED. I wanted my irritation known to the world. Happily, my list was still in the book:

horrified fascination * emperor's new clothes * brittle
self-absorbed * facile * erudite * glittering
monomaniacal * stream of consciousness
hallucinogenic * digressive * infuriating * chronicle of madness

Granted, the guy is smart. He can write. He tosses off the phrase "spindly tessellations" and you shiver with its perfection. But he sounds like a horse's ass, and he definitely doesn't sound like someone you want to hang out with. Oddly enough, he addresses just that issue:

"And I wouldn't like it if someone read my book and said, I admire him as a writer, but I would have no wish to meet someone who wrote things like that, or to be friends with someone who would write things like that. When I was writing this, I gave a draft of part of this book to a friend in publishing, and she said she thought the writing was good but warned me that if it's published "you won't be able to have regular relationships anymore." What the hell did she mean by that? Maybe the stuff about girls? And then--as a matter of fact--she never talked to me again.
Read more ›
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Seoigheach on February 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I came to this book with high expectations, based on a review I had read, I think, in The Times. (For some reason I was vaguely hoping for a raw, honest, intelligent, painful, and brilliant memoir in the style of Mary Karr's Liar's Club.) When I started reading [sic], however, I frankly couldn't believe it. It was boring, sloppily written, self-indulgent, not even especially shocking and self-consciously exhibitionistic within a narrow range of esthetic experience that, I am afraid, does not translate into a universal vocabulary or set of references. There is a lot of information about the author's experiences as a cancer patient, but there are far, far better memoirs on that subject. I kept trying to dip into the book at later points to see what I might be missing, only to discover in the end that this slim volume is just not worth it. Save yourself the price and your time and do something else instead of clogging your consciousness with this tripe.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jeremiah Johnson on June 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I was lured by the jacket design and punning title. The bad news came when I got to the text.

Mr. Cody teaches composition, but of the musical variety, thank Heaven. His style manages to be both pretentious and colloquially semi-literate. He has such a liking for "like" as a conjunction rather than preposition that "as" or "as if" rarely appear (e.g., "life will end like [sic] this plane trip will end"). He loves adverbs with copulative verbs ("things tasted differently [sic] . . . fabric smelled differently [sic] . . . air smelled differently [sic]") but not when modifying adjectives ("Now so [sic] the thing studying music does for someone, I think is it gives them [sic] a real [sic] acute sensitivity to form"--though evidently not to grammar). See further "Less [sic] cabs, more trucks" and for you fans of perpendicular rather than parallel construction "the ambiance is that of an airport gate, or people on the subway [sic], or what I imagine a nail salon must be like."

Maybe you'll find the "poetry" of his speculations attractive: "the child wondered why he was one, not the other" (yes, we've all heard the opening of "Wings of Desire," Josh . . .); "and New York is coming down, like [sic] Paris came down and Vienna came down and Persepolis came down" ( . . . and we've read "The Waste Land" too!).

Maybe you'll agree with his stats on universal cancer: "you'll go through it too, almost certainly." Misery loves company?

Maybe you'll even get past p. 15, where I gave up after reading about "T.F. [sic] Lawrence [i.e., of Arabia]."

Sorry to learn that W.W. Norton no longer hires editors. Glad to learn that Mr. Cody lived to tell his tale, albeit not to me.

Cent' anni!
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