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The Keep (2006)

por Jennifer Egan

MiembrosReseñasPopularidadValoración promediaMenciones
1,853907,123 (3.42)140
Two cousins, irreversibly damaged by a childhood prank whose devastating consequences changed both their lives, reunite twenty years later to renovate a medieval castle in Eastern Europe, a castle steeped in blood lore and family pride. Built over a secret system of caves and tunnels, the castle and its violent history invoke and subvert all the elements of a gothic past: twins, a pool, an old baroness, a fearsome tower. In an environment of extreme paranoia, cut off from the outside world, the men reenact the signal event of their youth, with even more catastrophic results. And as the full horror of their predicament unfolds, a prisoner, in jail for an unnamed crime, recounts an unforgettable story--a story about two cousins who unite to renovate a castle--that brings the crimes of the past and present into piercing relation.--From publisher description.… (más)
Añadido recientemente porbiblioteca privada, jenniferw88, reelbigschmidt, dgovert81, Andrei109, alissee, JessicaReadsThings, suedutton
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Inglés (86)  Holandés (3)  Sueco (1)  Todos los idiomas (90)
Mostrando 1-5 de 90 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
What the hell was that? ( )
  alissee | Dec 8, 2021 |
What a strange book. I love Jennifer Egan as an author because she challenges conventional storytelling norms, and she usually succeeds. I never really felt connected to this story. There were parts that I responded to, but whenever I started to feel something, the story veered in another direction. I also think the characterizations are somewhat lacking. I understood their motivations, but I never felt an emotional connection. Overall, it was an interesting story and a good read, but it wasn't transcendent. ( )
  JessicaReadsThings | Dec 2, 2021 |
I enjoyed reading one of Jennifer Egan‘s earlier novels called The Keep. I consider A Visit From the Goon Squad to be one of the best novels I’ve read in recent years, and so it was interesting to explore her earlier work. This novel establishes a fairly fascinating narrative which at one point is believed to be about a castle in Europe but then breaks its usual narrative flow by revealing that this is actually a story being written by a man named Ray who is in prison for murder. In the original narrative Danny who is escaping some mob trouble in New York City flies to Prague where his cousin has bought an elaborate old castle which he hopes to turn into a hotel. Danny learns about the mysterious Baroness who is held up in a certain section of the castle which is called the keep. He also it’s suspicious that his cousin may enact a revenge from a childhood incident in their life. Meanwhile interspersed every third chapter or so we find out that Ray who has fallen in love with his writing teacher in prison has been writing this novel to try to gain his teacher’s attention and affection. Though I usually don’t like a narrative to be broken by the author’s voice, in this case it works because the author’s voice is a story onto itself. I highly recommend reading this novel and looking forward to finishing up all of her other works eventually.

Lines
The Howie he knew as a kid you couldn’t picture grown up—he’d been wrapped in that pear-shaped girl fat you see on certain boys, big love handles bubbling out of the back of his jeans. Sweaty pale skin and a lot of dark
hair around his face.

wondering what to call that thing that happened to people when they lost confidence and got phony, anxious, weird. Was it paranoia? Low self-esteem? Insecurity? Panic? Those words were all too flat. But the worm, which is the word they finally picked, the worm was three-dimensional: it crawled inside a person and started to eat until everything collapsed, their whole lives, and they ended up getting strung out or going back home to their folks or being admitted to Bellevue or, in the case of one girl they all knew, jumping off the Manhattan Bridge.

It was too far away from the pool’s edge for Danny to grab it and fish it back out, so he flattened himself gut-down on the marble and stuck his torso straight out over the pool as far as it would go and tightened his ass and grabbed the rim of the dish with two fingers of each hand and tried to ease it back out without bending at the waist and dunking his head, and that’s when the smell got him—oh God, what a smell: not rot but something after rot, a moldy emptiness the smell of stale pollen, bad breath, old refrigerators that haven’t been opened
in years, rotten eggs and certain wool when it got wet, the afterbirth of his cat
Polly when Danny was six, his aching tooth when the dentist first drilled it open,
the nursing home where Great-aunt Bertie dribbled pureed liver down her chin, that
place under the bridge near school where the piles of shit were supposedly human,
the wastebasket under his mom’s bathroom sink, the school lunchroom when you first
walked in—every smell that ever made Danny even a little bit sick gushed up into his
face as he leaned over that pool, smells that one time or another got him thinking
just for a second (but then he forgot it) that normal life was thin, it was flimsy:
a flimsy thing stretched over another thing that was nothing like it, that was big
and strange and dark. ( )
  novelcommentary | Apr 14, 2021 |
An interesting story that kept me guessing with the three different stories that were happening, combining a ghost story with a prison story with an addict's story, and for a long time I did not know what was going on. ( )
  WiebkeK | Jan 21, 2021 |
Initially it felt like sort of a less annoying riff on House of Leaves. I don't have much to say about it. I liked it just fine but didn't love it, and the shift toward the end was sort of bizarre and disappointing, though I imagine Egan was just doing something that I didn't grok. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
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For the little boys, Manu and Raoul
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The castle was falling apart, but at 2 a.m. under a useless moon, Danny couldn't see this.
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Two cousins, irreversibly damaged by a childhood prank whose devastating consequences changed both their lives, reunite twenty years later to renovate a medieval castle in Eastern Europe, a castle steeped in blood lore and family pride. Built over a secret system of caves and tunnels, the castle and its violent history invoke and subvert all the elements of a gothic past: twins, a pool, an old baroness, a fearsome tower. In an environment of extreme paranoia, cut off from the outside world, the men reenact the signal event of their youth, with even more catastrophic results. And as the full horror of their predicament unfolds, a prisoner, in jail for an unnamed crime, recounts an unforgettable story--a story about two cousins who unite to renovate a castle--that brings the crimes of the past and present into piercing relation.--From publisher description.

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