The Listeners

The Listeners

Book - 2012
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Hypnotic and profoundly disquieting, The Listeners explores a far-out world where a patchwork of memory, sensation, and imagination maps the flickering presence of ghosts. This is the story of a woman whose life is shaped by tragedy. Quinn is thirtysomething, a survivor of a fractured and eccentric childhood marred by the death of her younger sister. Twenty years later, she is in the midst of a decade-long slide down the other side of punk-rock stardom after her successful music career was abruptly halted. Sassy and smart, tough but broken, Quinn is at loose ends. She develops unique strategies for coping, but no matter what twisted tactic Quinn conjures to keep her psyche intact, she cannot keep the past away. The Listeners is about what lurks in the shadows and what happens when what's lurking insists on being seen. Leni Zumas portrays a world twisted on its axis by loss, in all its grotesque beauty. From the first line the prose is glorious: pricklingly honest and hallucinatory, a lucid dream world realized. The Listeners marks the debut of a major American writer.
Publisher: Portland, Or. : Tin House Books, 2012.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9781935639299
1935639293
Branch Call Number: FICTION Zumas Leni 05/2012
Characteristics: 350 p. ;,20 cm.

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KatG1983
Jul 30, 2018

I picked up The Listeners after reading and thoroughly enjoying Red Clocks, the author's latest novel. It's interesting to read an author's works backwards, as if to see how their writing evolved but in reverse. While Red Clocks is by no means an 'easy' read, I would say that The Listeners was a far more difficult, less readable, book. The Listeners shares the story of Quinn, and the ways in which is she effected following a tragedy in her family. The story is not told in sequence, but bounces back and forth in time with no constructs or boundaries to help guide the reader. It can be difficult at times to discern between what is real, versus what is a reflection of memory. To be honest, I'm not sure I got or understood everything that is happening in this book - especially symbolically. It's one of those books you read, and think 'I might not be smart enough to really understand this one'. I'm glad I finished it, even if just for my own personal closure.

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