Hardcover ´ Men in Space PDF/EPUB Ë Men in PDF \

Hardcover ´ Men in Space PDF/EPUB Ë Men in PDF \


Men in Space ➥ [Epub] ➟ Men in Space By Tom McCarthy ➯ – Centrumpowypadkowe.co.uk Set in a Central Europe rapidly fragmenting after the fall of communism, Men in Space follows a cast of dissolute Bohemians, political refugees, football referees, deaf police agents, assassins, and s Set in a Central Europe rapidly fragmenting after the fall of communism, Men in Space follows a cast of dissolute Bohemians, political refugees, football referees, deaf police agents, assassins, and stranded astronauts as they chase a stolen icon painting from Sofia to Prague and beyond The icon s Men in PDF \ melancholy orbit is reflected in the various characters ellipses and near misses as they career vertiginously through all kinds of space physical, political, emotional, and metaphysical What emerges is a vision of humanity adrift in history, and a world in a state of disintegration.


10 thoughts on “Men in Space

  1. Drew Drew says:

    This is really good, especially for a first novel McCarthy exerts a whole lot of control over both his characters and his prose, which isn t always a great thing, but works well here One of the main characters spends a portion of the book forging a painting, and at one point McCarthy lists all the things he needs in order to do it whiting powder, rabbit skin glue, methylated spirits, cotton wool, ketone resin crystals, white spirit, beeswax, jelly, wire wool, sandpaper, carbon paper, purified This is really good, especially for a first novel McCarthy exerts a whole lot of control over both his characters and his prose, which isn t always a great thing, but works well here One of the main characters spends a portion of the book forging a painting, and at one point McCarthy lists all the things he needs in order to do it whiting powder, rabbit skin glue, methylated spirits, cotton wool, ketone resin crystals, white spirit, beeswax, jelly, wire wool, sandpaper, carbon paper, purified water, garlic, and so on The amount of detail that went into writing it reminded me of The Recognitions, until I realized that it wasn t that that reminded me of it it was the entire book itself Men in Space isn t a thick book, nor is it particularly difficult, but it shares many other characteristics with The Recognitions multiple points of view a large bohemian cast its European setting a multi layered title and, most importantly, its relentlessly thematic orientation Failed transcendence is McCarthy s thing, not forgery But like in The Recognitions, every turn of phrase, every character, and every plot point is indicative of some sort of failed transcendence In fact, one of my main criticisms of both books is that McCarthy and Gaddis are often slaves to their respective themes Amazingly, this doesn t turn out to be a bad thing McCarthy could easily be Ayn Rand, but he s not, mainly because he s less pushy and a way better writer Here s a quote that demonstrates both that he s a capable writer and that he is a slave to his theme Markov s involved with the police, and he s been tortured and threatened a bit, and then works out a deal, and then the deal becomes moot thanks to external developments, which I can t elaborate on without spoilers He thinks which meant that the whole system he d miraculously discovered crumbled into nothing To have gone that far, right to the edge of himself and beyond, only to discover it had all been academic, meaningless it s as though a giant train, some nuclear behemoth a thousand times bigger and louder and faster than this cheerful little local, had roared across his life, and he d been caught right in its path, felt himself churned up by the wheels and pummeled by the spokes and then, somehow, fantastically, cast up into the driver s chair unharmed and found he could control the thing, take it where he wanted or so it seemed to him until the roaring and the hissing died away and he realized that he hadn t been caught up in it at all it had passed by him, frightened him but not touched him, and then dwindled away to a dot perched on some distant vanishing point, leaving him there in the same old landscape that he couldn t quite believe was so unchanged after all that Once you ve realized what you re looking for, the whole book is like that Variations on failed transcendence Artistic, religious, political, and so on One thing I ll say is that, like with Ayn Rand, once you ve read one McCarthy book you ve sort of read them all, and I probably won t read C for that reason But on the other hand, the quality of the writing in this one made it well worth it, even though I pretty much knew what was going to happen in the end.Edit Looks like Stephen Burn beat me to the Gaddis comparison by a few months, which probably means that many, many other people did as well Sigh


  2. Octavia Pearce Octavia Pearce says:

    1.5 5Where to start with the many many things wrong with this book According to the blurb this is about a group of people chasing a stolen icon painting from Sofia to Prague and onwards Not technically a lie, as there is a stolen icon, but it spends about 90% of the book in Prague, and we see very little of the chasing of it onwards And the book itself wastes about 40% of its pages describing various people taking various drugs and having sex Why the editor didn t take the first 100 pages 1.5 5Where to start with the many many things wrong with this book According to the blurb this is about a group of people chasing a stolen icon painting from Sofia to Prague and onwards Not technically a lie, as there is a stolen icon, but it spends about 90% of the book in Prague, and we see very little of the chasing of it onwards And the book itself wastes about 40% of its pages describing various people taking various drugs and having sex Why the editor didn t take the first 100 pages or so to the shredder is a mystery I get it s supposed to be about people making journeys, but how many journeys can McCarthy try to fit into a 270 page book Ilievski, Anton, Nick, Joost, Heidi, Ivan, the unnamed police officer too many, and with a host of supporting characters to fill in the space as well Roger, Barbara, Klara, Sasha, Karolina, Helena, Milachkov, Janachkov, Han, Mladen, Tyrone, Foreman, Toitov not that we ever meet him It s clearly too many for the poor author because they re all flat Most of the female characters exist solely to add sex to the book, the only female character who drives any of the plot is Klara, who knows a lot about paintings, but we rarely get to see her impart this knowledge or think about it, because she too wants to bang Ivan We do get some of Heidi s thoughts, but they re mostly about being cooler than her fellow teachers and banging Ivan Dull We do also get a snapshot of Helena at the end, but that s only because she works something out the author feels is important so gets to star in 4 or 5 pages and thankfully she is not interested in Ivan.Yet we are inundated with male opinions on everything and anything Painting, drugs, pseudo science I say pseudo because I really hope this guy never did a science degree and thinks that s how people who have think , astronauts, the position of the moon in winter, the geometries football players make give me a break Particularly irritating are all the unnamed police officer s story parts I think he s supposed to be writing a report, but it clearly isn t official, as he puts in his own thoughts, opinions and tangents Constantly He s rather arrogant, his actions and thoughts do not agree with what he thinks his level of intelligence is, and he has forgotten what a conjunction is so just makes do with commas, making many of his sentences laborious to read view spoiler He s supposed to be so intelligent yet can t see the connection between having a stolen painting and wanting to see an artist Hmmm Wonder what they could want that artist to do hide spoiler The guardian describes this as hardly containing a loose sentence, but I beg to disagree This is one sentence Here I found Lieutenant Foreman seated behind a desk beside another man whose name and exact status I was not able to ascertain, but whose demeanour indicated to me that, alongside withe Lieutenant, he was in charge of a body to which I was answerable part of Interpol, perhaps, or perhaps a new body of the CCP created by the merging of several other bodies, divisions and departments, either on a permanent basis or temporarily, for the purpose of this particular investigation, or perhaps also of other ones connected to this investigation, or at least connected to investigations to which this one is connected Followed by It is not my place to question at which point I may have verbally asked him why he effing brought it up then I don t know what the Guardian has been reading lately which has looser sentences, but I hope to God that I never go near it This is not even a one off example, the whole book is littered with these, so I started to skim read to get through it It s full of other gems too.Describing the entrance hall of the National Laboratory of Space and Air Travel or similar The lobby s tall it has walkways round the top that leads off into hangar like halls with factory piping hanging from the ceiling and those black and yellow radiation warning signs Men in overalls are walking about carrying lathes I sent this to my friend who works in engineering who found this hilarious A lathe is a pretty heavy machine, which usually stays in one place, and would require multiple men and a lot of effort to move Much like office workers don t routinely carry their desktops through the entrance hall for the benefit of visitors, engineers don t just carry their lathes with them.Talking about seeing the moon during the daytime in seasons other than winter The moon vacillates round the horizon line a lot This is what Eudoxes of Cyzicus grappled with He had to add a third concentric sphere to his geometrical model to explain variations in its altitude and a fourth one for retrograde motion And those are epicycles No that s Apollonius Yes that is supposed to be completely spontaneous speech I have a Masters in Physics and my Mum a Bachelors same as the character who s supposedly saying this , and we d never say this It s complete rubbish We d say something like Uh well I ve seen the moon in summer not at night so clearly it can be seen during the day outside of winter because we are normal human beings Or even what the character eventually does go on to say, which is that when the moon is low on the horizon the Sun s light will illuminate it enough for it to be visible to us and this can happen in any season Fire escapes spiral, DNA like, from the roofs of schools and office buildings Now unless they have different fire escapes on the Continent, those are just spirals not double helices If you want to be smart, say they are RNA like, as RNA has just one of the helices of DNA There s another bit where a deaf character complains that nobody is calling him On the telephone This book is just written by someone who seems to think they re a lot better than they are The grammar is questionable, if not outright wrong you may be allowed to split infinitives now but it was grammatically incorrect back in 2008 , and even where sentences are grammatically correct they re often so convoluted as to convey no meaning or just make you feel pain The characters are terrible most of them are completely flat, defined only by their drug use or sexual appetites And the ones from a scientific background spew so much rubbish it will make people think you have something wrong with your eyes because you can t stop rolling them Do not this book on public transport is all I m saying view spoiler The only redeeming part of this book is when Anton is arrested and becomes disorientated, at which point the stream of consciousness style of writing works really well and actually makes ittense If the rest wasn t written like that that section would be so muchpowerful than it is currently This part alone bumped my rating up from a solid 1 to a 1.5 hide spoiler


  3. Daniel Daniel says:

    The Lit major in me wants to give McCarthy s MEN IN SPACE five stars for its detailed symbolism, its highly intricate analogies, and its artistic complexity The lover of stories in me, however, wants to give it two stars for its almost aggressively dense plotting, its alienating cartography, and its oh so palpable disdain for anything even approaching entertainment Let s call it an even 3.5 and round up.This is the third McCarthy book I ve read As aovert puzzle novel, ASIN 0307388212 The Lit major in me wants to give McCarthy s MEN IN SPACE five stars for its detailed symbolism, its highly intricate analogies, and its artistic complexity The lover of stories in me, however, wants to give it two stars for its almost aggressively dense plotting, its alienating cartography, and its oh so palpable disdain for anything even approaching entertainment Let s call it an even 3.5 and round up.This is the third McCarthy book I ve read As aovert puzzle novel, ASIN 0307388212 C exhausted me, and although its opaqueness kept me at a distance, its overall shape and weft was obviously the work of genius Evenaccessible, ASIN 0307278352 Remainder did get repetitive and tiresome, but the writing flowed so quickly and with such sumptuous detail that every other page seemed to give me a second and third and so on wind This novel about failed transcendence, about isolation and human detritus, and about the existential inevitability of ignorance or just misunderstanding seemed, however, to belabor its message to the point of abstraction I could not wait to be done with it long before I was halfway through.The novel follows a large cast of characters who enter and leave each other s lives obliquely If it can be said to be about anything, it centers around the reproduction of a stolen piece of artwork the novel s biggest symbol and MacGuffin Deluxe Depicting a saint falling or descending from an ellipsis of nothing, the painting represents different things to different people, but the end result for all is essentially the same Everyone is hovering between knowing and not, between learning and forgetting, and between being and dying It is, as I ve said, a truly dizzying allegory about the shifts that take place when people try to understand or simply move forward.As a theme, this is pretty much par for the course for McCarthy, I m learning All of his novels, it appears, are about essentially the same thing The problem with this book, though and maybe this is a flaw only because it is actually his first book is that it has no interest in being accessible, interesting, or enlightening Not really In fact, anti enlightenment is the underpinning theme, and as such, the book is almost like an intellectually billy club While I admire hell, envy and respect the technical prowess and the erudite attention to detail, it is disappointing that McCarthy doesn t try harder to make his point in a way that can capture the imagination as well as the intelligence After all, Literature may be a serious affair, but you must tantalize audiences if you also want to engage them, and this book treats its readers with as much solipsistic disdain as most of its characters treat each other.All in all, like the dew dappled and intricate web of some horrifically poisonous spider, this book is just as beautifully complex as it is off putting and alien, and although I feel richer for having read it, I didn t really enjoy the process For highly cerebral readers only


  4. Nick Sweeney Nick Sweeney says:

    I loved Tom McCarthy s Remainder, and his Tintin and the Secret of Literature, so I was looking forward to this, and wasn t disappointed It s an often disjointed story set in Prague, featuring British and American expats, a rather self conscious group of Czech artists and literal Bohemians, and local and Bulgarian gangsters A stolen icon forms the focus for this disparate group of people So far so thriller ish, from my description here, but Tom McCarthy raises his work above genre he shows I loved Tom McCarthy s Remainder, and his Tintin and the Secret of Literature, so I was looking forward to this, and wasn t disappointed It s an often disjointed story set in Prague, featuring British and American expats, a rather self conscious group of Czech artists and literal Bohemians, and local and Bulgarian gangsters A stolen icon forms the focus for this disparate group of people So far so thriller ish, from my description here, but Tom McCarthy raises his work above genre he shows that all characters don t have to interract for events to impact on them Some characters seem to peter out, but they are still there in the background, going obliviously about their lives, or, you have to assume, seeing them fall to pieces, or change for the better It helped, maybe, that I know the Prague of the early to mid 1990s, as I used to go there often, and Men in Space really does capture the atmosphere I think McCarthy does atmosphere extremely well, which is one of the things that sets his work apart from what could have been lazily described as a thriller, and it is made as much by the characters as by the background, the way they speak, the choices they make, and the things they do, in a country and society that was at a point of dramatic change One of the themes at its heart is that of surveillance, a tool used by the pre 1989 regime to great effect, but the story demonstrates its failure in an environment no longer so easily controlled I am really looking forward to reading Tom McCarthy s C, despite all the horrible things I ve heard about it


  5. Brent Hayward Brent Hayward says:

    Expat artists partying in Prague, on the verge of Czechoslovakia splitting in two, get in over their heads when one of them is asked to reproduce a strange painting But the book is about forgery and crime as much as Gaddis The Recognitions was the writing is dense and detailed and unfolds non linearly There are letters, notebook excerpts from a cop going mad, geographical jumps, loose ends, debauchery aplenty In short, all the ingredients I look for in fiction Plus, the nice looking hardc Expat artists partying in Prague, on the verge of Czechoslovakia splitting in two, get in over their heads when one of them is asked to reproduce a strange painting But the book is about forgery and crime as much as Gaddis The Recognitions was the writing is dense and detailed and unfolds non linearly There are letters, notebook excerpts from a cop going mad, geographical jumps, loose ends, debauchery aplenty In short, all the ingredients I look for in fiction Plus, the nice looking hardcover was on the 80% off table at a local bookstore, along with copies of McCarthy s first book, Remainder, allegedly about a headwound victim reliving the same moment over and over and over Sounds equally good


  6. Domitori Domitori says:

    A bit of disappointment after the brilliant Remainder by the same author Apparently, he wrote this book long before The Remainder , while living in Czech Republic in the early 1990s Detective story framed against the fall of communism it would have been a hit back then, in the sagging 90 s Today it feels out of time, certainly not timeless.


  7. Bandit Bandit says:

    I chose this one based on McCarthy s Remainder, which I really enjoyed, odd as it was Had I read Men in Space first, I don t think I d want to explore anybooks by the author Mind you, McCarthy s literary talent isn t in question here, he can write and well, but he chooses to forgo convention in favor ofthe heavily stylized, studiedly flat, disjointed narratives of it, the all but ignored basic plot which has something to do with a copying and redistribution of a stolen icon and the E I chose this one based on McCarthy s Remainder, which I really enjoyed, odd as it was Had I read Men in Space first, I don t think I d want to explore anybooks by the author Mind you, McCarthy s literary talent isn t in question here, he can write and well, but he chooses to forgo convention in favor ofthe heavily stylized, studiedly flat, disjointed narratives of it, the all but ignored basic plot which has something to do with a copying and redistribution of a stolen icon and the European art world in general set around the separation of Czechoslovakia , the general lack of coherency cohesivenessthe deliberation behind it all reminds one of cubism or something like that, taking something of substance and tossing it into unrecognition for style s sake It occasionally works for art, for fiction, which requires hours of readers time, not so much I ve long disliked style over substance approach in books Love abstract art for the most part, except for Cy Twombly This is definitely a literary Twombly In the extensive afterword, Men in Space gets dissected into meaning in an admiring fawning even academese to add up to something like a genius study of human isolation, alienation, etc If one reads books for the pleasure of deconstructing them down to some sort of profundity, this would do nicely This was a disconnected study of disconnectedness, which works conceptually at least as a solid metaphor for Europe particularly Eastern Europe of the time and to an extent now Thing is zeitgeist, however well reflected isn t enough to sustain an entire book This was for the most part flat out tedious McCarthy s novel is an experiment, one that didn t work for me, maybe precisely because of my appreciation of atraditional approach to literature Remainder set me up to expect odd, unconventional, quirky, strange yes, but coherent interesting original work of fiction, not an elaborate existential exhausting experimental exercise this book turned out to be Oh well, at least I managed an alliteration there What was meant to be food for thought, turned out to be a very unsatisfying meal indeed


  8. Cecil Paddywagon Cecil Paddywagon says:

    McCarthy is unquestionably a genius The problem is he is the type of genius who speaks too fast for other people to listen He s so filled with knowledge and details and facts and apocrypha and anecdotes and jokes and stories within stories that it can make your head spin But that s not so much McCarthy s problem as it is my problem.If the disjointed narratives and voices in this book, I especially loved the segments about the art world, and, in particular, the meticulously researched sectio McCarthy is unquestionably a genius The problem is he is the type of genius who speaks too fast for other people to listen He s so filled with knowledge and details and facts and apocrypha and anecdotes and jokes and stories within stories that it can make your head spin But that s not so much McCarthy s problem as it is my problem.If the disjointed narratives and voices in this book, I especially loved the segments about the art world, and, in particular, the meticulously researched section on the forging of a particular painting I loved the bohemian plot lines I was less charmed by the Delillo esque crime caper plot lines I couldn t keep track of the Bulgarians, never really felt like I was with them, didn t really care what happened to them.This books I crammed with such mind boggling detail that it s hard to believe it all physically fits into a book less than 300 pages At some parts I wished McCarthy would have just included figures as visual aids, rather than, for instance, dedicate 5 pages to the mathematical descriptions of a particular rope and pulley system.I also appreciate the afterward at the end of the copy I read thanks Simon Critchley Helped to sort of wrangle and organize all these things that, as I read it, were difficult to keep track of


  9. Marc Marc says:

    Two mentions First, this isof a three and half rating than a three rating but closer to three than four, hence the rating Second, I am a fan of McCarthy There is an ease to McCarthy s writing, like smooth jazz Unlike his other works it lacked both poetry and ingenuity This is a collection of stories tied together with some cohesion, but little The author admits to such at the end In any event, I enjoyed the book I wanted ,writing,depth But, I ll take what I can get Two mentions First, this isof a three and half rating than a three rating but closer to three than four, hence the rating Second, I am a fan of McCarthy There is an ease to McCarthy s writing, like smooth jazz Unlike his other works it lacked both poetry and ingenuity This is a collection of stories tied together with some cohesion, but little The author admits to such at the end In any event, I enjoyed the book I wanted ,writing,depth But, I ll take what I can get


  10. Adam Adam says:

    The fact that I have little to say about this novel has induced an irrational compulsion to justify such a tepid response Perhaps expectations were too high going in I ve been on a solid string of great new authors thanks, Goodreaders but I come away from this rather underwhelmed Not that anything was wrong with it per se it simply remained flat, nothing stood out during the read and nothing aside from the aforementioned compulsion lingered afterwards I understand that that could be int The fact that I have little to say about this novel has induced an irrational compulsion to justify such a tepid response Perhaps expectations were too high going in I ve been on a solid string of great new authors thanks, Goodreaders but I come away from this rather underwhelmed Not that anything was wrong with it per se it simply remained flat, nothing stood out during the read and nothing aside from the aforementioned compulsion lingered afterwards I understand that that could be interpreted as McCarthy s attempt to literally if laboriously demonstrate the theme of failed transcendence and that one could deem this melding of style and theme commendable, yet too much of the book was merely episodic, thrown together, blas vignettes stitched up as an afterthought Like life, innit Maybe, but hopefully just the forgivable demerits of a debut novel, a talent not yet honed with discipline And again, the appearance of Nothing Much that conceals the unfolding of Something Big may be a clever technique, but it does little for the experience of reading The permutations of the title were fun to follow that s likely the highest praise I can give The book seems to hesitate between the temptation to devolve into a whizzy bang Ritchie esque crime caper and an artfully restrained commentary on the protean dislocations of postmodernity In the end I think it was simply too easy of a read, no challenging ideas or language, nothing except my own mild antipathy to pose enough of an obstacle on which to dwell Still, I see the effusive praise for this or that aspect and I can certainly agree with it, but only in that detached tone one adopts in conversation to proffer a polite yeah so as not to crush another s enthusiasm


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