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Reuiem for a Dream free read Ó PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ´ In Coney Island Brooklyn Sarah Goldfarb a lonely widow wants nothing than to lose weight and appear on a television game show She becomes addicted to diet pills in her obsessive uest while her junkie son Harry along with his girlfriend Marion and his best friend TyroE that they have instead created their own worst nightmaresSelby's place is in the front rank of American novelists HIs work has the power the intimacy with suffering and morality the honesty and moral urgency of Doestoevsky's To understand Selby's work is to understand the anguish of America The New York Times Book Revie. I'm not even sure where to beginThis book was incredibly hard and at times painful to read The opening scene is of a young man and his friend taking his mother's television to the pawn shop to get money for heroin Although there is nothing funny about that when you really think about it I thought that I was in for a sad story told in a comical way I mean this tv has been pawned by the boy and then bought back by the mom so many times that the pawn shop owner has a book to record the transactions That's almost funny right No it's not I think Selby made this scene verge on the comical to ease us into the despair and depravity waiting in the following pagesI read a lot so reading about drugs is not new or scandalous to me but this was written as if I the reader should be well versed in Heroin I'm not My association with it goes about as far as the movies Gia and Trainspotting This was so so intensely bad I felt dirty as I read I didn't have an understanding of most of the terms associated with the drug that Harry the boy in the opening scene Tyrone and Marion were in love with As I read I grew to understand and but at the same time I understood less and less How could you let yourself get into such dire straits for something so nasty It was justgross The idea of needles is icky on it's own but I looked up Heroin and pretty much everything to do with it is disgusting I mean everything You feel withdrawal after 6 hours I'll just stick to the occasional drink thanksIn addition to those three's Heroin addiction Harry's mom is addicted to tv This addiction leads to an addiction to speed and Valium which she innocently discovers in an effort to trim down and look good for her television debut I found it infinitely clever the way Selby traces her addictions alongside the other three She just wants to lose weight be healthy look good fit in the dress she wore to her son's Bar Mitzvah How could that be wrong I could identify on some level with her addiction and increasingly downward spiral because of it's commonness As I continued to read I began to identify with the Heroin addicts as well because Selby made it clear that addiction is addiction Plain and simple Too much of anything for any reason even the pursuit of a dream is too damn muchLike EE Cummings and Cormac McCarthy Selby disregards uotation marks and apostrophes It makes for difficult reading in the beginning but as I continued to read I understood his disdain As the characters became increasingly depraved who the hell cared about punctuation To understand their dialogue takes effort and I'm glad I wouldn't want to understand them easily I want there to be a disconnect between myself and these pitiful creatures The lack of punctuation allowed me to keep that distanceThis book was bleak and painful to read but it was incredibly well written Not all stories are rainbows and sunshine and this could not have been further from that but it was well told nonetheless
Hubert Selby Jr. ´ 6 free read
In Coney Island Brooklyn Sarah Goldfarb a lonely widow wants nothing than to lose weight and appear on a television game show She becomes addicted to diet pills in her obsessive uest while her junkie son Harry along with his girlfriend Marion and his best friend Tyrone have devised an illicit shortcut to wealth and leisur. Man MAN That's some fucked up shit right there I have so much to say about this book that I don't know where I should start or how to say anything and last night when I started this review I was just kind of stuck in a kind of disturbed loss for words And I've seen the movie and I knew what to expect but I still feel a deep sadness and revulsion and shock after finishing the story It's just traumatizing Brilliant but traumatizing I'll just go ahead and say now that if you're concerned about spoilers just move on I don't think I can avoid spoilers in this one so continue reading if you want but don't bitch if you read something you didn't want to know about the bookmovie It's been many years since I've seen the movie but it's one that has stuck with me I'm sure I'm not at all alone in this There are some images and feelings that the movie evoked in me that just stay with me When I hear the title or even just the word Reuiem these images and feelings surface When I hear music from the Kronos uartet same thing It's a visceral reaction I didn't recall every moment of the movie of course having not seen it for years prior to reading the book But the amount that stuck with me was enough to make this reading experience almost like re watching the movie At least that's how it felt to me as I was reading After I finished the book I watched the movie again and though there are some differences some of them major for the most part the movie adaptation sits right in the book's lap Right from the start watching Harry steal his mother's TV to pawn it for dope money it was like I could see the movie playing in my mind as I read This is a pretty rare situation that I find myself in though because I almost feel as though I'm comparing the book to the movie rather than the other way around I usually go out of my way to avoid seeing movies prior to reading the book they are based on if I can help it but seeing as how I saw this movie first when I was 18 and didn't know it was a book until over a decade later it makes sense that it would feel this way to me The only other time I've felt this way was with Children of Men a movie I really liked and a book I fucking hated Clearly I didn't hate this one though In fact I kind of loved it I feel like the movie while pretty damn accurate to the book didn't uite have the same depth I feel like the book did a better job at portraying the inner thoughts of the characters especially with Sara The book spends a lot time showing the slow descent into desperation for these addicts The movie kind of seems like a long PSAworst case scenario cautionary tale Do drugs and this is how you could end up And while that's valid to an extent and the same could be said about the book I think the movie almost loses sight of the fact addiction is a disease it's as much a mental need as a physical one and it's not just a result of an action like doing drugs or drinking alcohol This is made much clearer in the book in my opinion The movie touches on it briefly a little scene where Harry and Marion are talking about Sara's TV habit for instance but for the most part it just shows the most dramatic and horrifying aspects and kind of doesn't have time for the everyday problems of addiction Side note here There's a lot of stereotyping in the book the Jewish mother figure her Yenta friends the late 70s black character the uber racist South etc There's a lot of it and those are just some examples It's extreme But in a way it's necessary I think This is not a subtle book It's an intense in your face with a 2x4 kind of book so I think that if the characters weren't also shown in extremes it would have felt inconsistent to me But the movie does away with much of that and I feel like while the movie's been modernized to a certain degree it also takes away some maybe a lot of the impactThe movie also glosses over some of the non addiction fueled ugliness shown in the book Sara's care is a big big big one to me In the book it's horrifying HORRIFYING The movie portrays the care she receives at the end in a not very patient friendly kind of way but it's still care The doctor tries various things the orderlies are firm almost to the point of being rough but you can see they are trying to help her even if it seems cruel But this is a sanitization of what's portrayed in the book this horrific situation that Sara confused lost in her own starvation and drug induced haze is put into where every act of trying to force food into her is almost like rape There's not only a lack of care it's a lack of human decency and kindness and empathy in general It's frightening and terrifying to think that some bureaucratic pencil pusher can strip someone of their basic human dignity simply to avoid authority conflicts ignoring what is morally and ethically right Another example is how Tyrone is treated in the south Some of the tone remains in the movie form but again it's a much milder version In the book Tyrone and Harry are hated universally once they step foot below the MasonDixon line They are treated cruelly as sub human because they are addicts But Tyrone gets it worse because not only is he a Yankee addict but he's a black one They are arrested for vagrancy FUCKING VAGRANCY In the late 70s OMG I saw this word and my stomach clenched It makes me so angry this mentality that it's OK to abuse someone just because you don't want them in your neighborhood This as much as anything else in the book sickens me Arrest them because they have fucking HEROIN in the car Arrest them because they are clearly intoxicated Arrest them for suspected car theft because the car wasn't theirs or for driving without a license because they live in NY and don't have cars so why would they need a driver's license or fucking any number of reasons that aren't the most fucked up and discriminatory one ever Arrest them and follow due process and I can understand But this is horrific hatred that should have ended long before this book was set But of course that's not how the world works unfortunatelyThe movie shows almost none of that hatred and racism based brutality There's a general tone of suspicion and dislike and a cruelty in general but it is not clear as to the reason behind it in the movie and it isn't even close to the depiction in the book The movie doesn't specify what they are being arrested for just that they were recognized as addicts and the police were called I actually am disappointed that the overt racism was taken out of the movie There's a scene in the book where they stop for gas and the gas attendant won't serve them lies directly to their faces about being out of gas and that the bathroom is out of order and spits on them for nothing than because Tyrone is black and Harry is a nigger lover Harry begins to argue but Tyrone just gets back in the car to leave because he knows even though he's never experienced this kind of racism before just how ugly it can get His treatment in jail in the book is It's fucking disgusting and the movie completely avoids the topic making it look like it's just a cruelty towards addicts not that it's racism The exception to this kind of 'softening' is Marion's situation The book hints at the play time she participates in With other girls and she didn't know what she'd be doing and the smell on her lips and fingers is pretty much all that we get in the book But the movie goes very visual and very pull no punches there To be honest I was kind of surprised by this because I expected the book to be grittier and uglier in every way including Marion's willingness to sell herself for her addiction But the movie portrayed that very accurately to the book just elaborating on that one scene Some other differences though are subtle For instance a huge amount of scenes where Harry and Tyrone struggled to find dope were skipped over in the movie There's a small reference to this difficulty in the movie but it comes out of nowhere Their dealer is killed suddenly and with no explanation and I feel as though that's supposed to explain the shortage but that's not the case in the book at all There's a shortage because there is not because there's some sort of sting operation taking down the big dealer So the fear and anger and need that's present is kind of out of place because it's never really shown that there's a city wide shortage and EVERYONE is desperate and has been for months This is kind of the catalyst for the end of the book and what spurs the decision to try to go to Florida and get weight for their dope security but it just feels shunted into the movie awkwardly Another subtle change is that Marion and Harry do not have sex in the movie though in the book they have sex many times and it's a kind of juxtaposition of how she feels when selling sex for her habit compared to how she feels having sex with Harry The fact that they don't have sex in the movie I think is a nod to that relationship that it's than just physical and that they really do love each other but the addiction their elephant in the room overwhelms that connection with a physical and chemical one that is stronger and makes them resent each other In the book there's no closure no reconciliation not even acceptance as shown in the movie Harry doesn't call Marion from jail he doesn't even think about her He thinks about his arm and his pain In the hospital after he thinks about his arm and his pain It's like the further they get from NY the further she is from his mind His concern and focus gets smaller and smaller the further he and Tyrone drive until it's centered on his infection to the exclusion of all else To counter this point though is the relationship between Harry and Tyrone In the book it starts to splinter as well They hold back money and dope from each other their greedy need taking precedence over their friendship At the end of the book Tyrone is almost de humanized in a way Not only because of his addiction and withdrawal causing him to suffer but also because of the treatment that he experiences in the southern jail all of which he blames Harry for If he'd not suggested this trip if he'd not continued shooting into his infected arm if he'd done this differently or that differently Tyrone wouldn't be in this situation In the movie that resentment doesn't exist In the movie they are friends till the end or rather Tyrone is Harry's friend Harry is sick Tyrone's need is present and painful but his friendship and concern for Harry's life trumps that The book not so much In both the book and the movie poor Sara is alone with her own pain and needs and delusions Her struggles are the most closely matched between the book and the movie She is the character that I feel the most for and who breaks my heart the most Definitely in the book than the movie because the book really shows her loneliness and sadness a lot than the movie BUT Ellen Burstyn does a great job filling a lot of those gaps her scene with Harry when he calls her out for being on pills is gut wrenching With four words you can feel a decade's worth of sadness there I'm old I'm alone It gives me chills Book Sara doesn't uite have that same power By which I mean that what I feel for her character is a huge amount of empathy and I feel a mixture of sadness and rage at how her life spirals out of control for want of being wanted and how she has nobody to speak on her behalf or help her But it's of a generalized If this happened to anyone I would feel this way feeling rather than an identification with her if that makes sense I feel for her and her situation breaks my heart but really Ellen Burstyn just brings her to life and makes her real and so sad Both the book and the movie have unresolved endings but in the movie it's interesting to note that they throw a little symbolism in there All four characters curl into a fetal position at the end and both women are smiling Both women who have fallen so far down that their only concern is their addiction Sara's had a complete break from reality and she hallucinates a happy reunion with Harry on TV and that's all she's really ever wanted anyway Marion is just content that she's got dope and a regular supply if she's willing to work for it To her that's security and nothing else matters The men are both crying at the end of the movie because both are thinking about the dreams they've lost Tyrone his safe and secure life with a caring supportive woman his mother; and Harry thinking about how things have gone so bad with Marion There's really nothing to hope for with any of them Harry has a habit of drowning his every feeling in heroin and I don't see that getting easier for him after losing his arm and his friend and his girlfriend and his mother If by some chance he actually were to get treatment he might make it through but where he is in the South I don't see anyone making much of an effort for him given the precedent set so far in how they've treated him Same with Tyrone who has lost his friend his freedom his dignity etc If he were to get treatment he might be OK but if they just release him at the end of his sentence he'd go right back to using And Marion who has lost just about everything as well and her life now consists of selling sex to make a score to last her until the next one I think that with her even if she were to have someone step in and try to help her it wouldn't do any good She's intelligent and manipulative and she wants to feel good not hurt mentally and physically She doesn't have coping mechanisms so I don't see her breaking the cycle either Sara though she makes me the saddest because Harry recognized what was happening and could have stopped it if he tried but instead he felt guilt because of the fact that he knew he didn't have the strength of character necessary to support his mother in her need and instead he abandoned her because it was easier than dealing with the situation One last thing I want to talk about is the writing style of the book because I'd seen the movie first as I read I kept comparing the writing style to the cinematography of the movie I really am impressed very impressed with how similar they feel Darren Aronofsky truly captured the feel of the book in the movie But the writing style is messy It worked for the book because the BOOK is messy It's spastic and urgent and shifting and hazy and the way that the book was written really FEELS that way to me There are a lot of run on sentences I think the longest I saw was 4 pages long but they really are put to good use here The 4 pager was the scene where Harry is waiting for Marion to come home after he 'suggests' that Marion ask her shrink for money so they can use it to get some dope to turn around and sell In the book it's 300 by the way Not the 2000 from the movie He sells her for so much less in the book And he goes along with her trips to Big Tim in the book as well that's not just a Harry's gone what do I do now desperation as it is in the movie He knows what's going on that first time with the shrink and he feels sick about it but not enough to change not enough to care really I mean after all she agreed to it it's on her now too right And after that it's like he just distances himself from her scoring method just caring about the fact that they now have a score at all Anyway I digress The 4 pages depict his feelings about what he's sent her out to do and why and how he's coping with it and failing to cope with it and cycling through all of these emotions that he doesn't want to be feeling but then not wanting to get high because their supply is so limited and unsure but then not able to avoid it It's like a perfect microcosm of his addiction in a long long stream of consciousness that just works It's not pretty punctuation use is spotty at best misspellings abound in a kind of patois that supports the stereotyping Christ is spelled 'krist' for example capitalization is iffy and it's just a mess of chaos like the lives we're reading about And it just worked for meThis is sloppy on purpose writing and it really just dragged my eyes along for the ride and I found it hard to look away I read about 70% of this book in one sitting yesterday afternoon because I just couldn't look away The fact that the dialogue was intermixed with the action and I never knew really who was speaking or whether it was thought or hallucination or dream or reality only added to the texture of this book It almost didn't matter because in the end their dreams were their reality real to them than their reality was anyway and somehow the reader gets that I'm almost afraid to read Selby's other books now I feel like writing styles like this should be used sparingly consciously and intentionally I feel like they should be used to enhance and transform a particular kind of story into an experience for the reader This style which I thought worked perfectly with this story did that for me So I'm afraid that if he just writes like this and CALLS it his style I'd be disappointed like I'd feel like this wasn't intentional choice of style because it told this particular story so well but instead was just lack of skill and I would feel misled I bring this up because I did feel like this after reading and really enjoying Saramago's Blindness I thought that the style there worked beautifully with the story being told But then I looked his other books and it was the same style even though the stories were vastly different and then it just feels gimmicky rather than a deliberate style choice made to fit the story Bah Anyway for this book which is the only one I've read of Selby's I say it's brilliant and brutal I loved it but I don't know if I can recommend it I love book that make me feel and this one did but it's not sunshine and rainbows that I felt so I'd stay away from this one if that's what you're looking for
review Ë PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ´ Hubert Selby Jr.
Reuiem for a DreamE by scoring a pound of uncut heroin Entranced by the gleaming visions of their futures these four convince themselves that unexpected setbacks are only temporary Even as their lives slowly deteriorate around them they cling to their delusions and become utterly consumed in the spiral of drugs and addiction refusing to se. Selby’s novels are transgressive masterpieces with a bigness of heart and a strange spiritual tenderness The epigraph to this book alludes to Selby’s faith in God and I can see him writing about these doomed dope fiends with the compassion of a pastor tending to his flock This heartbreaking novel follows the decline of four distinct Americans—young working class white male Jew young middle class white female Jew young working class black non Jew and elderly widow All four are addicts through their emotional disconnectedness or likely failure with their parents and sons though likely because heroin is sweeeeet Selby’s style is a rush of exacting S o C sentences staccato pops and blips and elegant art patches whenever Marion is the focus I would argue the descent happens a little briskly especially Sara’s commitment to a psycho ward and the subseuent brutality of doctors and police and nurses is a little uirk of Selby’s the world outside his personnel’s bubble is a horrid brutalising place—maybe but it’s all good This is a goddamn American classic Now we live in an age where people will review your Kindle novel for five pounds No wonder poppers are popular again