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Any Day Now: A Novel af Terry Bisson

Any Day Now: A Novel (original 2012; udgave 2012)

af Terry Bisson

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
514392,436 (3.5)4
A coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the emerging radicalized culture of the 1960s throughout the eastern United States serves as a commentary on the nation as experienced by members of an isolated hippie commune.
Titel:Any Day Now: A Novel
Forfattere:Terry Bisson
Info:Overlook Hardcover (2012), Hardcover, 256 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek

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Any Day Now: A Novel af Terry Bisson (2012)


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Bisson skilfully captures the sense of 60s America and the hippie rebellion in a deeply humane portrayal of the convictions and contradictions of the counter culture. He also pulls off a fairly wild alternative history. I'm not sure the alternative history itself is that believable - I don't think America was ever that close to the edge of chaos - but it provides a useful way to examine the buckling of Utopian ideals under the stress of events. All in all, a highly enjoyable read and a successful novel. 22 April 2018 ( )
  alanca | Apr 23, 2018 |
There is a key phrase in this novel which sums it all up - 'dismantling uptopia'. Clay grows up in the early 60s in rural America. Race is an issue but no one goes without. Clay gets a girlfriend and looks set set go to college and get a good job when....something happens. He starts to grow his hair and wants to be a poet. He drops out and goes tp New York. He meets a poet called Ginsberg, and even bumps into the real Ginsberg. He also meets the love of his life, EmCee, who lives off her father's cheques in a rent free flat, owned by a relative. Clay and his crowd live in a utopia but want to disown it. But things fall apart and utopia is lost.

The science fiction element of this novel is slight. Clay lives in an alternate America, where the timeline diverges quite drastically from our own. Later events in this time lime take some believing. Clay reads the occasional SF novel and fixes cars almost magically. Things continue to decline mostly offstage as Clay settles down to life in a commune, still funded by parental cheques. The writing, especially dialogue involving Clay, is crisp and witty throughout. But the would-be poet ends the novel by returning home when the money runs out... ( )
  AlanPoulter | May 29, 2013 |
So. I loved this book, but I'm not sure yet whether I can call it a "great" book or add it to my all-time favorites list; but that's not exactly damning with faint praise or a backhanded compliment. The novel is a joy to read, full of language and time and humanity and mess and poetry and music and love and cars and war and politics and more humanity on top, presented in (sometimes very) short scenes. Read this book! But there are some sections I might need to re-read, or at least think about -- let me see if I can explain at all: (NOTE: AFTER HERE LIE MINOR SPOILERS FOR TWO OF BISSON'S BOOKS, SO, BE YE WARNED.)

So in alternate history, the two big joys for me are:

1. being knowledgeable enough of the actual history to know where and how history diverges
2. watching a very small change dovetail into larger changes, without overly stretching credulity

In Bisson's absolute classic of alternate history, Fire on the Mountain, both of these obtain. One must only accept one change -- that John Brown delayed his attack on Harper's Ferry until Harriet Tubman's illness passed, and his later attack was successful -- and, while the ensuing events range from the mundane to spaceflight, there isn't a major series of events which strains credulity.

Here, I'm not entirely sure about a few things. I absolutely loved the delicious, delicious way the micro level changes are introduced, and even the combining two of them into one of the most amazing moments in the history of alternate history on stage at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. But things get a bit messy in that a half-dozen (at least) significant events pop up all over the globe, leading to a mild muddling of cause and effect. But this is absolutely a minor, minor quibble on the whole; it's an alternate history novel, so who cares if a half-dozen events all change, or just one or two? The consistency of the resulting world is what matters.

And it is here where I'm just not sure yet, though the more I really sit and think about it the less unsure I am. Perhaps it is just hard for me, here in 2010 and having grown up under the ramping-up military of Reagan, to understand why the US government is so impotent in the face of absolutely massive (yet not exactly highly militarized?) chaos within its borders in the late 1960s; how a few deserting regiments lead to such complete fragmentation. (And such a powerful UN?) Hm. Was the state of the US really on this much of a precipice in the turmoil of Vietnam?

Anyway. Read this book. It's lovely. ( )
1 stem montsamu | Apr 3, 2013 |
I just could not get into this novel. It had little plot development and what was there was very chaotic and increasingly bizarre. There were far too many characters for any reader to keep track of or to ever understand their motivations. Unbelievable coincidences abound. I finished it but it was a real slog. A lot of writers that I admire wrote positive blurbs for the novel, but I found it hard to sympathize with their glowing recommendations. The re-imagining of an alternative outcome to the sixties seemed far-fetched and unlikely, as well as quite hard to follow. ( )
  ozzer | Mar 17, 2012 |
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A coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the emerging radicalized culture of the 1960s throughout the eastern United States serves as a commentary on the nation as experienced by members of an isolated hippie commune.

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