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The Study of Animal Languages: A Novel af…
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The Study of Animal Languages: A Novel (udgave 2019)

af Lindsay Stern (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
477424,252 (3.54)5
"Ivan is a tightly wound philosophy professor whose reverence for logic and order governs not only his academic interests, but also his closest relationships. His wife, Prue, is quite the opposite: a pioneer in the emerging field of biolinguistics, she is young and beautiful, full of life and feeling. Thus far, they have managed to weather their differences. But lately, an odd distance has settled in between them. Might it have something to do with the arrival of the college's dashing but insufferable new writer-in-residence, whose novel Prue always seems to be reading? Into this delicate moment barrels Ivan's unstable father-in-law, Frank, in town to hear Prue deliver a lecture on birdsong that is set to cement her tenure application. But the talk doesn't go as planned, unleashing a series of crises that force Ivan to finally confront the problems in his marriage, and to begin to fight - at last - for what he holds dear. A dazzlingly insightful and entertaining novel about the limitations of language, the fragility of love, and the ways we misunderstand each other and ourselves, The Study of Animal Languages marks the debut of a brilliant new voice in fiction"--… (mere)
Medlem:smgaines
Titel:The Study of Animal Languages: A Novel
Forfattere:Lindsay Stern (Forfatter)
Info:Viking (2019), Edition: Uncorrected Proof, 240 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:****
Nøgleord:contemporary-fiction, ornithology, science-novels, nerd-novel

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The Study of Animal Languages af Lindsay Stern

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» Se også 5 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 7 (næste | vis alle)
A story of a relationship gone awry, but in which there is a deeper layer to what we learn about communication and language. Enjoyed learning a bit about philosophical theorem and also the bit of history about animal languages. ( )
  smgaines | Nov 22, 2020 |
Synopsis: This book is a family drama about a husband named Ivan and his wife Prue. The husband and wife are both professors. The wife is a speaker at a conference where she makes an announcement about the discoveries her research has indicated. Those discoveries are not well received by the college putting both personal and professional life in jeopardy.

My rating:
3/5

I found Ivan and Prue's relationship relatable. Particularly the fact that even though Prue and Ivan are both academic they don't tend to discuss their areas of academia with one another. This is one reason that Prue's revelations are so upsetting to Ivan. She had shared her research with her father but never made Ivan aware.

Prue's father, who plays a large role in the story, is struggling with mental health issues. I thought the representation was well done and fairly accurate. I have a family member with mental health issues similar to his and have seen antics as portrayed in the book. The book perhaps could have been more sensitive to those issues but the way they were played out felt realistic.

This book had beautiful prose though at times I found it hard to read. There are lines I loved that were both quotable and relatable however the tone of the book is very literary which I don't care for and can bog down the book in places. The book is told in first person from Ivan's perspective. I feel like, with him being an academic, the tone is authentic to character. I just sometimes struggled as I was reading it and felt like he was pretentious. I felt like the style of writing made this book less accessible to a non-literary audience.

Along with the literary prose I felt as though the pace through parts of this book was slow making it feel like a longer read than it was.

I could relate to both Ivan and Prue as far as the struggles in their relationship however I didn't like Ivan as a character and was often frustrated with him.

My final issue with this book was the ending. I felt let down by the way the story ended. I didn't necessarily want more but the ending left me wondering "what was the point of this?"

If you are into literary books you might enjoy this. If your not, I'd advise skipping. ( )
  authorjanebnight | Oct 20, 2019 |
First I will admit: it might be more my fault, not the book. There wasn't going to be much of this book that would interest me. I didn't connect with the book. This book is a little like 'Fates & Furies' by Lauren Groff (that I disliked) and all the Jonathan Franzen novels (that I have no interest in reading at all.) It seems to hit all those Franzen tropes that I seem to know about without reading his books. The main character is a man who teaches philosophy, though the book is named after the wife's work. The father-in-law and his ongoing mental problems also take much of the stage. A novel about academia, marriage and communication. It's odd to see a woman writer write a WMFU novel, that's for sure. Not the worst book, but I seem to be missing what was trying to be said. This book also was inspired by 'Elizabeth Costello' by Coetzee that I read before reading this book. There are slight connections, but nothing I would say worth mentioning the book in the acknowledgements for. A possible incident that almost happened in an aquarium would have made this a more interesting book. ( )
  booklove2 | May 31, 2019 |
I work at a university so a story about a academic couple was easy for me to relate to, but I found the storyline about the mental health issues in the family disturbing. The father in law was bipolar and off his meds, and there were indications the daughter was headed the same direction. The story just became uncomfortable to read. ( )
  kerryp | Apr 30, 2019 |
A bird may love a fish but where would they build a home together? What happens when two very different people fall in love? After the "they got married and lived happily ever after" honeymoon period and reality begins to set in... The Study of Animal Languages explores this concept of a relationship in decline. The novel begins in medias res after Ivan and Prue have been married for several years. Through flashbacks, we see their version of meet-cute: Ivan mistakes Prue for someone else at a university dinner party, they bond over their meal, have a fantastic night of sex, and fall in love. However, over the years, the qualities that once attracted Ivan to Prue (her unabashed honesty and pride over her academic success) and his own failings (his lack of professional trajectory and resulting envy, his inability to communicate those insecurities) now serve to drive the couple apart. Ironic how two academics involved in the study of animal languages can experience such difficulty with conversing and understanding each other. Lindsay Stern equates a communication breakdown to a marriage breakdown--how can there be intimacy if there is no communication? Overall, I found The Study of Animal Languages thoughtful and well-written, though the pacing dragged at times and some of the chapters could have been trimmed or cut out entirely. Many thanks to Viking and Kasey for sending me a free copy of this book. ( )
  hianbai | Apr 21, 2019 |
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"Ivan is a tightly wound philosophy professor whose reverence for logic and order governs not only his academic interests, but also his closest relationships. His wife, Prue, is quite the opposite: a pioneer in the emerging field of biolinguistics, she is young and beautiful, full of life and feeling. Thus far, they have managed to weather their differences. But lately, an odd distance has settled in between them. Might it have something to do with the arrival of the college's dashing but insufferable new writer-in-residence, whose novel Prue always seems to be reading? Into this delicate moment barrels Ivan's unstable father-in-law, Frank, in town to hear Prue deliver a lecture on birdsong that is set to cement her tenure application. But the talk doesn't go as planned, unleashing a series of crises that force Ivan to finally confront the problems in his marriage, and to begin to fight - at last - for what he holds dear. A dazzlingly insightful and entertaining novel about the limitations of language, the fragility of love, and the ways we misunderstand each other and ourselves, The Study of Animal Languages marks the debut of a brilliant new voice in fiction"--

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