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Aquarium por David Vann
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Aquarium (edición 2015)

por David Vann (Autor)

MiembrosReseñasPopularidadValoración promediaMenciones
2903269,757 (3.94)7
"Twelve year old Caitlin lives alone with her mother-- a docker at the local container port-in subsidized housing next to an airport in Seattle. Each day, while she waits to be picked up after school, Caitlin visits the local aquarium to study the fish. Gazing at the creatures within the watery depths, Caitlin accesses a shimmering universe beyond her own. When she befriends an old man at the tanks one day, who seems as enamored of the fish as she, Caitlin cracks open a dark family secret and propels her once-blissful relationship with her mother toward a precipice of terrifying consequence. In crystalline, chiseled yet graceful prose, Aquarium takes us into the heart of a brave young girl whose longing for love and capacity for forgiveness transforms the damaged people around her"--Jacket flap.… (más)
Miembro:buchowl
Título:Aquarium
Autores:David Vann (Autor)
Info:Atlantic Monthly Press (2015), 272 pages
Colecciones:Tu biblioteca
Valoración:
Etiquetas:Ninguno

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Aquarium por David Vann

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Mostrando 1-5 de 32 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
A twelve-year old Seattle girl (Caitlin), lives in borderline poverty, with her single mom (Sheri.) With her mother's long hours at a container shipping facility, Caitlin spends her afternoons wandering at the aquarium, learning and imagining. Her mother's life seems to be headed in a good direction with a new boyfriend, when deeply-buried family secrets ruin everything. Vann's illustrations were excellent, and I liked this book much better than the recently published My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, which had similar themes. I found Caitlin to be very sympathetic, quite mature, but believably so.

( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
This is a beautiful book -- just in appearance alone. It contains some colored ink, but also some beautiful color photographs of aquarium fish. They are metaphors for various aspects of 12-yr old Caitlin's life and she is mesmerized by their colors, shapes and functions. "Metamorphosis is the greatest beauty." (65) Caitlin is the only child of single mom, Sheri who has more baggage than a jumbo jet. Sheri has kept them afloat and safely away from her past by sheer force of will. However, Caitlin inadvertently disturbs that fragile balance and changes the fabric of her family forever. Told from Caitlin's view point, it rings true from the limited understanding she has of the adult issues around her -- that reminded me of Room by Emma Donaghue. "The worst part of childhood is not knowing that bad things pass. That time passes. A terrible moment in childhood hovers with a kind of eternity, unbearable." However, that's also my criticism -- Caitlin is a little too innocent for a 12 year old. 10 or 11 would've been more believable. ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |
Incredible! ( )
  lasvegasbookie | Aug 20, 2020 |
4.5 stars
This review can also be found on my blog.

Having added this to my TBR about a year ago and not remembering why, I checked this out of the library on a whim since I had some time to kill. I didn’t re-read the synopsis before jumping in and found myself being pulled through a curious story that in turn felt both unbelievably real and not real at all. In the simplest terms possible, this is the story of a girl named Caitlin who lives an unremarkable life with her single working mom. In actuality, nothing about this book is that simple.

I Google the street and see the crime rate at three times the national average, car theft almost six times higher. I think of my mother and the teachers at school letting me walk that route every day, and I’m filled with a rage that will never go away because it comes from some hollow vertigo unfinished. I feel dizzy with fear for my former self, and how can that be? I’m here now. I’m safe. I have a job. I’m thirty-two years old. I live in a better section of town. I should forgive and forget.

The story veers wildly between slice-of-life literary fiction and edge-of-your-seat drama. While I can see how this wouldn’t work for some, I was entranced by the characters and their stories. There is very little I can get into without spoilers, but there are some deeply, deeply horrifying moments squirreled away in here. And some deeply heartwarming ones as well. I really felt like I ran the gamut of emotions while reading this.

Lungfish can slow to one-sixtieth their normal metabolic rate, but this slows time, also. One night becomes sixty nights. This is the price for hiding. Just hold your breath for one minute and find out what a minute becomes.

Worth noting is also the fact that I hadn’t taken notice of the author’s gender and spent the entirety of this book thinking it had been written by a woman. While others have disagreed, I felt this was quite authentically written and was surprised by how carefully done some aspects were. Without giving too much away, I’ll say that the main character is in love with her (female) best friend and while there are some scenes that are sexual, they are portrayed in a way that I found quite tasteful and and innocent in nature.

Each thing that happens to us, each and every thing, it leaves some dent, and that dent will always be there. Each of us is a walking wreck.

Overall, I found myself deeply impacted by this book. Parts of it are truly harrowing, but the experience itself was worth it. I was quite impressed by Vann’s writing and really look forward to exploring more of his work. ( )
  samesfoley | Sep 13, 2019 |
This book is at once extremely well-written, and extremely disturbing. The characters are rounded and troubled and struggling with all the depths of their souls. I deeply disliked listening to this book, but I just had to keep listening because I needed to see if something better came for Caitlin.

I’m not going to tell you if something better came or not. You’ll just have to read this book. Content warnings: sexual descriptions, child abuse (physical and emotional), underage sexual relationships, trauma, elder abuse (physical and mental), homophobia. Even without having triggers from any of these things, this book was unbelievably hard to stomach. Caitlin’s relationship with her mother, in particular, was incredibly difficult to read. There was about 10%-20% in the middle that made me want to stop reading. This is not the kind of content I want to read recreationally. But these stories, no matter how difficult, need to be told. Not every story can be shiny and beautiful.

The way David Vann writes is evocative and detailed. His storytelling – however heartbreaking – is incredibly good. I wish I had started with a different book, because I genuinely hated this one. I didn’t want to hate it, because there were breaths and moments that were beautiful amongst the trauma. Humans are not perfect. Life is not a fairytale. More than any of those things, Aquarium reminded me that I am immensely privileged.

I wish that David Vann had been a little less descriptive in some ways. While I liked the surface aspects of Caitlin and Shalini’s relationship, I really, really didn’t need to read the (abstract) descriptions of their encounters. There’s two definitive types of characters in this book – the immediate family (Caitlin and Sherri), and the outsiders who help the family as much as they can. There’s so much tension and fear between Caitlin and Sherri that while you want them to heal, it’s so heartbreaking and concerning to watch them, it’s difficult. I liked Shalini and Steve and Grandpa better, people on the outside who saw the pain and fracture and tried to help in whatever way they could.

All that said, because of the violence and the anger woven within the plot of this book, I find it’s a very difficult one to recommend. I think I respected it’s existence, but I didn’t like it. I would recommend finding something else written by David Vann and giving that a go, something less intense and disconcerting, I guess? I’m willing to try something else, but this definitely isn’t a book I’ll be re-reading. ( )
  Morteana | Jul 10, 2019 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 32 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
She looks back on her life as a child looks into a tank, hoping to making sense of the world inside – a theme Vann develops beautifully, creating a mysterious realm of the wintry American city, inhabited by “deep-sea dwellers”, people who are just as easily defined by their nature and environment as any fish: creatures with “the chance to choose a few variations” but who can never stray “far from the pattern”.
añadido por ozzer | editarThe Guardian, Philip Maughan (Mar 5, 2015)
 
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For my good and generous mother, Lorraine Ida Vann
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It was a fish so ugly it didn't seem to be a fish at all.
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"Twelve year old Caitlin lives alone with her mother-- a docker at the local container port-in subsidized housing next to an airport in Seattle. Each day, while she waits to be picked up after school, Caitlin visits the local aquarium to study the fish. Gazing at the creatures within the watery depths, Caitlin accesses a shimmering universe beyond her own. When she befriends an old man at the tanks one day, who seems as enamored of the fish as she, Caitlin cracks open a dark family secret and propels her once-blissful relationship with her mother toward a precipice of terrifying consequence. In crystalline, chiseled yet graceful prose, Aquarium takes us into the heart of a brave young girl whose longing for love and capacity for forgiveness transforms the damaged people around her"--Jacket flap.

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