Those Who Knew

Those Who KnewThose Who Knew is a meditation on the passive role people play in physical abuse and the abuse of power Lena is the main character, and as a college student had a temporary affair with Victor, which ended when Victor nearly killed her Lena remained silent and told no one Victor moves on to become a Senator, and other mysterious deaths of women close to Victor s political life make Lena pay attention.This is a timely novel in that our culture is allowing and encouraging the voices of victims to speak up Author Idra Novey pens an intriguing story I found the novel to be profound and I whole heartedly recommend it. Such a brilliant book of our now Politics plus figurative and literal political ghosts connect or ensnaring the lives of an expertly rendered cast of characters The result is as enraging as it is inspiring Between this novel and WAYS TO DISAPPEAR, Idra is now one of my favorite contemporary writers. This is one of the most exhilarating novels I ve read in ages It s an astonishingly perfect mosaic intricate, gorgeous on the topic of corruption, which feels both timely and timeless It forms the most complete picture I ve ever read of this subject, providing the reader with direct access into the minds of would be revolutionaries, washed up revolutionaries, those with good intentions and those without, those who ve lost their way, sexy egomaniacs, blundering outsiders and many It s a quick read that reverberates long after you put it down It is BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN, with the deftness of a playwright, the sensitivity of a translator, the fine touch of a poet and the skill of a born storyteller At the sight of Lena emerging from the bookstore, Oscar nearly dropped his biscuits The day was not quite as stingy with its light today A few sunbeams punctured the thinning clouds, which he hoped was the reason Lena was squinting so intently and not because she was debating whether to acknowledge him After her release from the valley s rehab center, she had assumed that her stay with the newly returned Lena would last a few months, at most Yet somehow a year had gone by as quiet and green as the fields of the valley and she was still playing grandma in the afternoons, still smoking with Lena in the evenings on the porch, watching the light sift through the trees At breakfast, they took turns being the ornery one at the table It was the rare morning now that Olga even considered a joint while still in bed There was really no predicting where, or when, the least lonely years of one s adult life might begin Oscar closed the door to his daughter s room and crept toward the living room thinking of the tigers they d seen the previous weekend at the zoo, the irrelevance of their stealth, moving toward nothing but the bars at the opposite end of their single tree, seven rock savannah He always felt far freer in his first seconds creeping toward the sofa than he did when he reached it just to sprawl there, reading headlines on his phone like some animal slumbering with its eyes open I couldn t recommend this book highly enough Packed with real wisdom and brutal honestly and heartwarming tenderness, THOSE WHO KNEW will no doubt prove the best American novel of 2018. 2.5, rounded up.For much of Novey s sopho novel, I was intrigued and reading quickly to find out how all the myriad and provocative plot threads would resolve themselves, interweave and form a cohesive whole Unfortunately, the novel just ENDS with no resolution and without anything making much sense Things which SEEMED to be important in the beginning the sweater, the death of Maria P just fade away, as do most of the subsequent happenings Perhaps that was the entire intention, that the world is so crazy that NOTHING makes sense, but I felt deeply cheated by the non ending, which unfortunately drove this from a strong 4 rating during most of it, down to a 2.5 by the end. I consider myself very, very lucky that I got to read an early copy of this highly anticipated book I loved Ways to Disappear Novey s second novel enchanted in a different way it made me ponder what we let people get away with and why Political and poetic. Idra Novey can write Her prose is beautiful and she plays with stylistic elements to create a wholly unique reading experience Unfortunately, I closed the cover on this nuanced work feeling somewhat confused I got itI think, but there was a lot going on, not all of which was clear to me I blame me 3 stars Let me begin with my ending Idra Novey s Those Who Knew is beautiful, classically shaped, compulsively readable, an all too relevant exploration of the moral and ethical conundrums of our troubled times, as lavishly wrought as poetry, rendered in sensational, moving prose, a page turner work of art, layered, like prescient pentimento Get your hands on a copy of Those Who Knew as soon as you can, move it to the top of your TBR pile, and glory in it And be warned, you ll find yourself re reading and underlining and discovering new colors and richnesses every time.I don t want to bury the lede in a gushing paean about the genius of Idra Novey and the compelling, convulsive brilliance of Those Who Knew, so I ll start by saying this is a novel that tears into the scariest, most alarming layers of the post November 2016 Zeitgeist using provocatively imaginative plotting told in gloriously structured prose and form, somehow shaping a story in the classic style while making it, too, as current and titillating and terrifying as the improbable nightmare reality show hell that is now masquerading as real life as limned by the nightly news.Long short or, rather, short before I get to the long No matter what kind of reader you are lover of literary fiction, fan of fast paced thriller mysteries, poetry, current events Idra Novey effortlessly packs them all into less than 250 artfully composed pages, fulfilling the promise of her first novel, Ways to Disappear, proving herself to be one of our most gifted and essential writers Precisely a week after the death of Maria P was declared an accident, a woman reached into her tote bag and found a sweater inside that didn t belong to her Thus begins the novel, Lena finds this sweater, and is unable to shed it And then, perhaps because she had once risked her life in a similar garment and still regarded that time as the pivotal aspect of who she was, she lifted the sweater over her head and pulled it on Lena doesn t want to be burdened by the sweater nor by what she suspects is the truth about Maria P s death, but like a tattoo on the soul, Lena knows she can t erase what she knows or what that knowing and her past have made of her, and so, she puts the sweater on.Most people know there is a credibility gap between the people we wish to be or wish to appear to be and the truth of who we are, and in the current toxically divisive environment, the magnitude of that gap we ve come to expect and accept as normal has grown catastrophically, monstrously vast.Idra Novey s new novel, Those Who Knew click here for website , is a profoundly insightful and richly, intricately tessellated exploration about how we rationalize sins of compromise and silence, excuse our own complicity in the undermining of the social contract and civility, and how, by doing so, we tacitly sanction continued corruption and crime committed by those in power who exploit, abuse, and calculatedly oppress and demonize those members of society already marginalized and disadvantaged by gender identity, race, socio economic stratum, sexual identity, and other class identifiers.But Those Who Knew isn t an exercise in polemical hyperbole it s a reasoned, all too believable glimpse into the lives, minds, and relationship dynamics of those in power who abuse that power, and those others on the periphery or outside who are afraid to, unwilling to, or unable to stop the rot Too, the novel explores those ways in which people become complicit in the spread of the immorality epidemic, committing or allowing repugnant acts and behavior and excusing them by citing the greater good, which, all too often, means benefit and enrichment for me and those like me Lena s discovery of the sweater which looks just like one worn in newspaper photos by Maria P whose death we learned in the novel s first paragraph was declared accidental seems to Lena a message from the dead girl who had worked with Victor, a senator and champion of liberal causes who, as a young activist, had been involved with Lena and in a rage, violently assaulted her She had a sweater, then, much like the one of Maria P s which somehow has shown up in her bag.We follow Lena s struggle with what to reveal of what she knows, how to determine what is knowledge and what is intuition or suspicion, and how to navigate those spaces between is and might be, truth and spin, day to day practical reality and wished for Utopia, and what is her responsibility in these matters Lena, now a university instructor, confides in Olga, a former revolutionary who witnessed the torture of her fellow revolutionary lover, S, to whom she now writes daily journals while she operates a bookstore dealing in the used volumes that were buried literally and figuratively during Olga s revolutionary years when rule of this un named country was hijacked by a dictatorial fascist sort, Cato And, quietly, Olga also deals pot from the bookstore, a structure without running water, no internet, and spotty phone coverage Hold on, Olga said into her cordless phone, I can t hear you I m back in Poetry Her reception was far better up in Conspiracy, near the front windows She could hear clearly enough at the register, too, where she rang up the occasional book and, yes, also sold a formidable amount of weed That passage contains a multitude of carefully shaped impressions, its language evocative of a mood, a place, a person absolutely specific, and its concluding few words sold a formidable amount of weed in juxtaposition with the earlier rang up the occasional book are so stunningly right.Idra Novey writes with the precision and care of a poet, able in a few carefully chosen words to convey what would take others witness me spending 900 words already and not yet adequately explaining how fantastic this book is many, many paragraphs if they ever managed to achieve it She combines efficiency and specificity with a luxuriance of language and imagery so well, it very nearly qualifies as sorcery.Olga is wary of Lena standing up to Victor, fearing the consequences Meanwhile, Victor is contriving a marriage with Cristina, the daughter of a power broker in his political party in order to distract from his connection to the dead girl, but besides Lena, Victor s own brother, Freddy, a gay playwright, has his own suspicions about Victor s culpability And from this cast of characters and others added along the way radiates a web of connections, complications, conspiracies of silence, deceits for reasons both good and not so good, and a labyrinth of loves, connections, relationships, resentments, desires, plots, grudges, and all the stuff of human interaction in a complicated society in a difficult age.But, again, I ve failed to convey the gift Idra Novey has for fashioning a remarkably compelling read, inside of which is a richness of metaphor, parallels, and extraordinary language.Pages 29 and 30 are a short section in which Victor escapes to a place where he feels safe, unencumbered, the docks, where real men shout at one another as they operate heavy machinery Only, this day, the docks are full of people who didn t belong there Women and teenagers.Doddering old men with binoculars He s informed the crowds have been attracted by a pair of whales, mating The man who tells him this has an eye that doesn t focus correctly, Victor is not up to dealing with peculiar faces right now and no expletive whales And from that beginning develops a blossoming of images a group of teenage boys eating chocolate bars a giant one of which makes an appearance in one of his brother s plays and talking about whale boners and the self revulsion this wakens in Victor, and the way it reminds him of his brother to whom it had been excruciating to stiffen and deny Freddy an answer, to will a growing distance , and much later in the novel Victor will end up on Freddy s couch, hiding an erection, and again travel to the docks, looking for escape but once disturbed by those who he believes don t belong, and he ll respond in a way disastrous, in an echo and expansion of this early scene, this two tight pages in which language repeats and escalates and doubles back on itself, full of whispers and hints of that which is below the surface.Like I said at the start, Idra Novey s writing is beautiful, classically shaped, compulsively readable, an all too relevant exploration of the moral and ethical conundrums of our troubled times, as lavishly wrought as poetry, rendered in sensational, moving prose, a page turner work of art, layered, like prescient pentimento Get your hands on a copy of Those Who Knew as soon as you can, move it to the top of your TBR pile, and glory in it And be warned, you ll find yourself re reading and underlining and discovering new colors and richnesses every time. 5 out of 5.So very much my kind of novel I loved what Novey did with the structure, dropping in scenes from plays and clippings from newspapers, and I loved the content of the novel itself a propulsive look at toxic masculinity in politics, at American intervention in Latin America, at the scars we leave behind us that we might not even be conscious of And the writing, my god It s playful even as it is serious, and the book practically dances along perhaps due to the short chapter lengths I never wanted to put it down. While I appreciated this novel s ambition and stylistic difficulty the non linear telling, the slipping identities, the political plot, the elision of place names and the setting in an unnamed Latin American ish island nation I can t say I actually liked the book I actually don t understand what it was about, which is to say it was about many things but I have trouble integrating the ideas So I m surprised at the novel s recent publicity that seems to center on the bad man storyline it has been called the definitive MeToo novel I suspect the readers of that Entertainment Weekly article are going to find themselves bewildered when they attempt to read this For me it veered off in so many directions tangents that were never explored and never quite cohered It may be an issue of style I recall being a little nonplussed while reading Novey s similarly stylized novel, Ways to Disappear, a couple years ago. From The Award Winning Author Of Ways To Disappear, A Taut, Timely Novel About What A Powerful Politician Thinks He Can Get Away With And The Group Of Misfits Who Finally Bring Him DownOn An Unnamed Island Country Ten Years After The Collapse Of A US Supported Regime, Lena Suspects The Powerful Senator She Was Involved With Back In Her Student Activist Days Is Taking Advantage Of A Young Woman Who S Been Introducing Him At Rallies When The Young Woman Ends Up Dead, Lena Revisits Her Own Fraught History With The Senator And The Violent Incident That Ended Their RelationshipWhy Didn T Lena Speak Up Then, And Will Her Family S Support Of The Former Regime Still Impact Her Credibility What If Her Hunch About This Young Woman S Death Is Wrong What Follows Is A Riveting Exploration Of The Cost Of Staying Silent And The Mixed Rewards Of Speaking Up In A Profoundly Divided Country Those Who Knew Confirms Novey S Place As An Essential New Voice In American Fiction

Idra Novey is the author of the novel Those Who Knew, an Indie Next Pick and Best Book of 2018 with NPR, Esquire, BBC, Real Simple, O magazine and Kirkus Reviews Her first novel Ways to Disappear received the 2017 Sami Rohr Prize, the 2016 Brooklyn Library Literary Prize, and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction Her fiction and poetry have been translated into te

❮Epub❯ ➥ Those Who Knew ➤ Author Idra Novey –
  • Hardcover
  • 248 pages
  • Those Who Knew
  • Idra Novey
  • English
  • 24 July 2018
  • 9780525560432

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