Slumberland: A Novel

Critical Darling Paul Beatty S Highly Original, Widely Praised Novel Of Race, Identity, And Underground MusicAfter Creating The Perfect Beat, DJ Darky Goes In Search Of Charles Stone, A Little Know Avant Garde Jazzman, To Play Over His Sonic Masterpiece His Quest Brings Him To A Recently Unified Berlin, Where He Stumbles Through The City S Dreamy Streets Ruminating About Race, Sex, Love, Teutonic Gods, The Prevent Defense, And Wynton Marsalis In Search Of His Artistic And Spiritual OtherFerocious, Bombastic, And Laugh Out Loud Funny, Slumberland Is Vintage Paul Beatty And Belongs On The Shelf Next To Jonathan Lethem, Colson Whitehead, And Junot DiazSlumberland: A Novel

Paul Beatty born 1962 in Los Angeles is a contemporary African American author Beatty received an MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College and an MA in psychology from Boston University He is a 1980 graduate of El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, California.In 1990, Paul Beatty was crowned the first ever Grand Poetry Slam Champion of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe One of the prizes f

[Ebook] Slumberland: A Novel By Paul Beatty –
  • Audio CD
  • Slumberland: A Novel
  • Paul Beatty
  • 09 April 2018
  • 9781978604780

10 thoughts on “Slumberland: A Novel

  1. says:

    Not as inaccessible as one might expect from a poet playful than the prose acrobatics these individuals usually choose to suffuse their novels with.All the musicality, the adjectives of sound, only barely get to touch upon the Black experience in Berlin Wall era Berlin it s about the music than about the individual Indeed, in attempting to paint a proper portrait of it, of this time, place, individual, we only get minor snatches of German influence As if lost in time, I cannot help but feel that there is something way too contemporary in this tale about some DJ working at a joint called Slumberland in the roaring 80 s.

  2. says:

    a sly and outrageous book that i don t know why isn t getting attention or wasn t on anyone s best of 08 lists it may be provincial to say but i ll read a hundred beatty s before i read a book about friggin cricket.a strange curse to be the smartest comedian in the room my two pfennigs paul beatty is the funniest american writer alive a riff master, there s so much comic bravado packed into this one i had to keep putting it down to walk around the room, big grin on my face comedians are a dangerous breed, sacrificing a lot for the punch line but needing the vinegar of truth to make it sting on race SLUMBERLAND s sub supra and ur text beatty s not 100% right, but who is and beatty s usually nudging us to surprising recognitions on the other hand, when he s less honest or cheap, we get just gags or cheap shock and awe tactics structurally and language wise, the book, which thankfully shows beatty recovered from the sopho slump of TUFF, is whipsmart and quick footed but not groundbreaking it starts out irregular a black american DJ in 1989 berlin and turns quickly comic book y irreal or maybe para paranormal the DJ is in berlin searching for a quasi legendary jazz musician who was last heard on the soundtrack of a bestiality porn flick, specifically one where a man fucks a chicken the man in the blue vid turns out to be a prognosticating stasi agent the jazz musician dubbed the schwa because his sound, like the inderterminate vowel is unstressed, upside down, and backward eventually reveals himself at the eponymous slumberland bar to perform a percussive tour de force using only a beat up copy of a faulkner paperback it weakens just a bit in the middle when the berlin wall falls and the narrative stalls discussing african east german experience with an oddly overly academic sociology angle characters are introduced to make points but not so we really need them but that s okay DJ darky our lead protag has enough character to spare also, it s impressive but a little tiring to read convincingly about all the various musical ecstasies, which happens a lot but before too long the book re finds its pace and hilariously works itself up to its plot crescendo of an ending a clich and prolly a gratuitous aside i think your contemporary comedian is one of the most tragic of beasts absolutely self willed to be impervious, there s no possibility of intimacy perhaps this is the point of the book inescapable loneliness and maybe i m wrong, but the thing that seems to prevent SLUMBERLAND from sounding the real depths it seems capable of is its glibness but then maybe glibness is the wrong word the book seems to be fighting itself sometimes to exhaustion jacob and the angel type combat trying to become and i felt very sympathetic to its struggle to be conflicting things at once and maybe its glibness is in fact a method beatty on black humor I wish I d been exposed to this black literary insobriety at an earlier age It would ve been comforting to know that I wasn t the only one laughing at myself in the mirror.

  3. says:

    The Schwa ruffled the pages of the book over his pant seam, and the resulting sound rivaled that of the best Max Roach brushwork I nearly fainted He lifted the book to his mouth and played chapter seven like a diatonic harmonica blowing and drawing on the pages like leaves of grass in the hands of Pan Who knew a Signet paperback was in the key of D For the percussive sounds he rapped the spine on his elbow, thumb drummed page corners, pizzicatoed the preface, flutter tongued the denouement and bariolaged the blurbs Slumberland is the third novel by Man Booker Prize winning American author, Paul Beatty Ferguson W Sowell, aka DJ Darky has a talent for DJing, and says I compensate for a lack of skills and Negritude with a surfeit of good taste and a record collection that I like to think is to DJing what the Louvre is to painting He has spent months trying to compose his perfect beat, and it s almost there in the parlance, it is presque parfait The Beard Scratchers, members of his record pool, agree After much analysis, they hit upon the missing element it needs to be ratified by their ultimate beat break, the elusive Charles Stone, aka the Schwa Coincidentally or perhaps not quite , Ferguson comes across a porn tape sound tracked with music certain to be the Schwa s The trail leads to East Germany and, with some help from the Beard Scratchers, Ferguson finds himself engaged as a Jukebox Sommelier at the Slumberland Bar in Berlin It is a Berlin about to tear down its Wall, and Ferguson is somewhat surprised to find that others share his love of the Schwa s music he is assisted in his quest by a bartender, a journalist, a Stasi agent, a pair of German negro sisters, and, eventually, the clientele of the Slumberland Through a number of quirky characters and some crazy, laugh out loud events, Beatty examines the experience of the negro in Germany One World have produced editions of Beatty s four novel with themed covers and this one has LP discs on the cover A knowledge and appreciation of jazz is bound to enhance the enjoyment of this story, but is not essential, because the plot and characters are strong enough to draw the reader in The musical descriptions certainly make the reader wish to hear the Schwa s music There s plenty of wit and black humour in Beatty s lyrical prose Original, incisive and funny.

  4. says:

    Amusing High quality intellectual humour Self revealing, while steadfastly refusing to take itself seriously Occasionally a kind of black Martin Amis On the downside some of PB s risks go badly awry This novel lacked the surprising kick of The Sellout, and the editing of the brief German text is abysmal.

  5. says:

    I picked up this book in my quest to read second books by authors who have a widely acclaimed book that they are known for In this case the Bookers prize winning book, The Sellout This book was written around 7 8 years before the sellout was published, and one can see the cutting satire and acerbic wit at its most shrill in this book All the ingredients are there to make a book which will make you laugh out loud at times and in others look up to the author for his audacity It has its own sharp take on race relations which features prominently in every page of the book It s very edgy, seems to get carried away at times but still manages to contain itself to make it a fun read The book has a tonne of references related to music and musicians, especially from the Jazz age, and it might get a bit overwhelming at times The writing is erudite, the author plays around with words a lot, makes up phrases and words which surprisingly make a lot of sense and it keeps you invested in the book It s heady and surreal at times, and it isn t really for everyone I can imagine some readers getting put off by it It s sort of crazy and sometimes tries a bit too hard it tries to evoke a feeling that is difficult to put in words, to show the power and effect of a type of music like no other, but it does try and get there to a certain extent.

  6. says:

    Slumberland is probably the most intensely racialized book i ve read in a while It hits it from a multitude of angles self loathing, self deprecating, self mythologizing There are many similarities between Germans and blacks The nouns themselves are loaded with so much historical baggage it s impossible for anyone to be indifferent to the simple mention of either group We re two insightful people looking for reasons to love ourselves and let s not forget we both love pork and wear sandals with socks This is a funny book Beatty is hyper, a master of quick wit, pointed asides, unreliable narrator, always trash talking, bullshitting So many references and digressions, you won t can t don t catch them all you ll consistently ask which are lies and which are truths the answer, of course, is all.Plot points Berlin, before after the fall of the wall Blackness, pass and or freedom Phonographic Memory Jukebox Sommelier The perfect beat The search for Charles Stone a k a The Schwa A beat so perfect as to render musical labels null and void A melody so transcendental that blackness has officially been declared pass Finally, us colored folk will be looked upon with blithe indifference, not erotized pity or the disgust of Freudian projection It s what we ve claimed we always wanted, isn t it To be judged not by the color of our skins, but by the content of our character Dude, but what we threw down was the content not of character, but out of character It just happened to be of indeterminate blackness and funkier than a motherfucker is Sun Ra really truly completely ignored in Ken Burn s Jazz that s crazy I ve got terrible amnesia when it comes to books, even books i loved, like White Boy Shuffle Was it as dense and delirious, exhilarating and full of shit as this book My favorite bits at the end of Part 3 The Souls of Black Volk where the narrator a k a DJ Darky, a k a Ferguson Sowell plays three life altering gigs, DJ ing 1 a neo nazi white laces white power skinhead rally It s the hate that s important It doesn t matter who does the hating, but who you hate 2 an annual Afro German gathering in the Black Forest When we get to the Black Forest, we won t be able to see the n for the trees 3 a barely attended gig at the Free University What if you had a concert and nobody came I finished this yesterday and then slept on it literally, book under pillow, princess the pea style, now my head hurts At gig 2, pg 180 I need to know what is happening to me Why do I feel so unsecure Afraid, and yet not frightened The room rumbled with agreement Overcome with German inquisitiveness and black paranoia, these sons and daughters of Hegel and Queen Nefertiti wanted an answer I wanted to tell them that the Schwa s music leans heavily on semitone, that tiny musical interval that s a half step between harmony and noise, for a reason He wants to show us that the best parts of life are temporal semitone, those nanoseconds between ecstasy and panic that if we could we d string together in a sensate harmony If only we could be Wile E Coyote walking on air for those precious few moments before the bittersweet realization he s walking on air Before falling to earth with a pitiful wave of the hand and a puff of smoke I didn t say any of that because I didn t know the German word for semitone or if my audience knew who Bugs Bunny was I simply said, What is happening is that you ve been turnt out, baby The Schwa turns us all out sooner or later.

  7. says:

    This is a brilliant and very funny performance The first of Beatty s novels I ve read, it has a situation there is no plot that exists solely for Beatty to show his chops I wouldn t call the writing jazzlike or really musical in any way, even though the narrator is a DJ and the novel s quest central to its situation is for an old free jazzman But the writing does have the showy intelligence of a jazz solo, not a free one, but an edgy one that stays within the bounds of the conventional.The novel is also very racial in its humor That is, a great deal of it involves race, and its taking place in Germany ups the ante, but not too much Although there were a few times that I said Come on to myself, the great majority of Beatty s wit most of it is wit than satire worked for this old white guy I look forward to reading Beatty s new novel, The Sellout Slumberland is as good as a performance like this gets.

  8. says:

    My third read by Paul Beatty did not disappoint Slumberland is not as polished as The Sellout but no less impressive As always, Beatty s mastery of the English language left me in awe Brilliantly crafted sentence after sentence with the satire exploding like firecrackers in every single paragraph I searched for the meaning of words as many times as I googled pop culture and historical references He dragged your faves like Oprah, Halle Berry and Marsalis with a vocabulary that both delights and fascinates Not only that, Beatty can express sounds and rhythm so well that you can literally hear the music as you read his words Verbal music I bow.The protagonist, Ferguson Sowell aka DJ D rky, is on a quest to create the perfect beat which takes him to Berlin around the time of the Berlin Wall demise as a Jukebox Sommelier at the Slumberland Bar Through music, Ferguson wants to make blackness pass and move beyond the hip black narrative but his journey is met with abused stereotypes and reclaimed archetypes He bitterly writes the long legacy of freak show blackness including the Venus Hottentot Ota Benga, the Congolese pygmy displayed as the missing link in the Bronx Zoo Kevin Powell and Heather B, the first two African Americans on MTV s The Real World and myself While Beatty tackles race issues in his usual outrageous style, I felt at a closer inspection this was of a search for identity and the struggle to find a sense of purpose in a world with preconceived notions of what you can and should be Hilarious, yes, but equal parts bitter Definitely recommend if you re drawn to well done satire, race commentary and 80s music Maybe skip this if you re fan of Marsalis

  9. says:

    Mi capita assai raramente di non apprezzare un libro Tant che pi volte penso che siano i libri a scegliermi, e che ci succeda per una qualche infondata ironia del destino I libri mi arrivano alle mani e faccio gli incontri di cui ho bisogno, sono sempre opportuni e mai fuori luogo Ho sempre creduto nella loro premura, nella loro adeguatezza In questo caso invece il libro per me un mondo oscuro, ho provato pi volte ad entrarci e sempre in punta di piedi, ma ci sono una veemenza e una sfacciataggine che mi infastidiscono, sembra quasi che le parole si vestano di una patina di arroganza per fare in modo che chi legge non le possa cogliere mai per davvero Mi sono addormentata quasi sempre e mi sono innervosita ogni volta, ho deciso di sospendere la lettura dopo 150 pagine e mi sento come aver abbandonato qualcuno Ma ultimamente me lo sono promessa, vivr come mi sento di vivere e per quello che mi fa bruciare, non ho tempo per le vie di mezzo, per ci che non mi entusiasma o non mi interessa Questo libro mi ha insegnato qualcosa di importante, per la volgarit mi annoia.

  10. says:

    Jazz references abound in this funny book on racism and politics in our society Its a searing study of Being Black or different in general in Western society and a loooot of niche song name artist dropping Make a note to hear later He is not as cynical a read as Heller though both roam in the same zone of a irreverent view of evils of our society A pop and less cynical Heller maybe.

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