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The Only Words That Are Worth Remembering

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Only Words That Are Worth Remembering.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Jeffrey Rotter(Author)

    Book details


A darkly comic, wildly original novel of a family in flight from the law, set in a near-future America -- a Clockwork Orange with a Huck Finn heart

In a not-so-distant future, astronomy has become a fairy tale, Copernicus is forgotten, and the Earth has resumed its lonely spot in the center of the universe. But when an ancient bunker containing a preserved space vehicle is discovered beneath the ruins of Cape Canaveral, it has the power to turn this retrograde world inside out.

Enter the Van Zandt clan, whose run-ins with the law leave them with a no-win choice: test-pilot the rocket together as a family or be sent separately to prison for life. Their decision sets off an antic and heartbreaking search for human solace in a world bent on isolation, as the Van Zandts embark on an unforgettable road trip across the ass-end of an America only slightly more dissolute than our own.

Uniquely tying an absurdist future to gut-bucket wit, The Only Words That Are Worth Remembering hauls our dark humanity into the light and shows us the precious places where it gleams.

"Using lush, sensory language, Jeffrey Rotter manages to make his futuristic tale feel vividly present. At its core lies something timeless: a family whose bonds and struggles are riveting and poignant."--Jennifer Egan "author of A Visit from the Goon Squad ""Scary, hilarious, sweet, and forlorn. Jeffrey Rotter has fashioned a fresh take on the dystopian novel. "The Only Words That Are Worth Remembering" is full of strange worlds, mutated language, and genuine post-human, de-humanized human feeling."--Sam Lipsyte "author of The Ask ""Like Vonnegut at his most tender, like Portis at his funniest, Jeffrey Rotter twists society as we know it into wild balloon-animal shapes, ones in which we may just recognize ourselves. "The Only Words That Are Worth Remembering" would be heartbreaking -- even devastating -- if it weren't so damn much fun to read."--John Wray "author of Lowboy """The Only Words That Are Worth Remembering" is one very funny book. More than that, it clearly establishes Jeffrey Rotter's voice as a unique and necessary part of the 21st century."--Douglas Coupland "author of Worst. Person. Ever. ""Rotter's seemingly effortless ability to marry the heartbreakingly authentic with the totally crazy makes "The Only Words That Are Worth Remembering" a rare display of talent reminiscent of Kafka's work."--Etgar Keret "author of Suddenly, A Knock on the Door "Using lush, sensory language, Jeffrey Rotter manages to make his futuristic tale feel vividly present. At its core lies something timeless: a family whose bonds and struggles are riveting and poignant.--Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit from the Goon Squad "author of A Visit from the Goon Squad "Scary, hilarious, sweet, and forlorn. Jeffrey Rotter has fashioned a fresh take on the dystopian novel. "The Only Words That Are Worth Remembering" is full of strange worlds, mutated language, and genuine post-human, de-humanized human feeling.--Sam Lipsyte, author of The AskLike Vonnegut at his most tender, like Portis at his funniest, Jeffrey Rotter twists society as we know it into wild balloon-animal shapes, ones in which we may just recognize ourselves. "The Only Words That Are Worth Remembering" would be heartbreaking -- even devastating -- if it weren't so damn much fun to read.--John Wray, author of Lowboy"The Only Words That Are Worth Remembering" is one very funny book. More than that, it clearly establishes Jeffrey Rotter's voice as a unique and necessary part of the 21st century.--Douglas Coupland, author of Worst. Person. Ever.Rotter's seemingly effortless ability to marry the heartbreakingly authentic with the totally crazy makes "The Only Words That Are Worth Remembering" a rare display of talent reminiscent of Kafka's work.--Etgar Keret, author of Suddenly, A Knock on the Door

3.2 (8196)
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Book details

  • PDF | 224 pages
  • Jeffrey Rotter(Author)
  • Metropolitan Books (7 April 2015)
  • English
  • 10
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Review Text

  • By John Kwok on 17 April 2015

    A friend of mine who teaches creative writing in college and graduate school once told me that he had to relearn everything he knew from the highly regarded MFA creative writing program where he earned his MFA degree, before he started writing excellent speculative fiction. Had Jeffrey Rotter opted to follow the same career path, I would be writing a superb review of his latest novel, "The Only Words That Are Worth Remembering", praising him for his fine writing and clever speculative fictional imagination. However, contrary to the claims made by his publisher, his novel is neither "darkly comic" nor "wildly original"; instead, it reads like a very pale reflection of some memorable Ray Bradbury novel crossed with another from J. G. Ballard, with maybe a mediocre blend of dark humor of the kind practiced by the likes of writer Douglas Adams and Monty Python. It is unquestionably the least distinguished novel I have seen from an alumnus of a New York City MFA creative writing program that should be viewed as one of America's finest. It demonstrates yet again that yet another mainstream literary fiction writer who claims to be writing notable speculative fiction isn't, incapable of practicing what J. G. Ballard and William Gibson have dubbed the "tool kit of science fiction"."The Only Words That Are Worth Remembering" is a work of fiction heavily pregnant with logical inconsistencies of the kind inexcusable to those who have devoted entire careers writing memorable, truly first rate, speculative fiction. Rotter doesn't show how a far future America capable of keeping some form of jet travel and selling a popular soft drink like Fanta, would relegate to the status of mythology, early 21st Century astronomy and astrophysics. This is worth noting when early 20th Century Western civilization - including Japan - had a substantially superior understanding of astronomy, astrophysics and other physical sciences, than the dystopian future America he depicts. It is also incomprehensible how the Van Zandt family was able to use centuries-old NASA training videos at Cape Cannibal - by viewing truly ancient video monitors that somehow managed to perform well after remaining dormant for centuries. Nor should he be commended for changing the names of well-known cities, countries and places like Los Angeles ("Losang"), Tucson ("Two-Son"), Chile ("Chilly") and Cape Canaveral ("Cape Cannibal") when others have excelled in creating memorable, and realistic, futuristic versions of English in their speculative fiction. As a work of dystopian fiction, "The Only Words That Are Worth Remembering" pales greatly in comparison with such recent notable novels like Peter Heller's "The Dog Stars", Davide Longo's "The Last Man Standing" and especially, Emmi Itäranta's "Memory of Water"; the latter, a far more profound work of speculative fiction than Rotter's latest and one that should be viewed as an instant classic of dystopian speculative fiction. This year is shaping up to becoming a great year of notable new works of speculative fiction, with Kazuo Ishiguro's "The Buried Giant" as the only distinguished one I have seen written by a mainstream literary fiction writer; in stark contrast with Ishiguro's, Rotter's latest consists of words not worth remembering at all.


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