Requiem for a Dream Epub ✓ Requiem for PDF/EPUB or

Requiem for a Dream Epub ✓ Requiem for  PDF/EPUB or In Coney Island, Brooklyn, Sarah Goldfarb, a lonely widow, wants nothing than to lose weight and appear on a television game show She becomes addicted to diet pills in her obsessive quest, while her junkie son, Harry, along with his girlfriend, Marion, and his best friend, Tyrone, have devised an illicit shortcut to wealth and leisure by scoring a pound of uncut heroin Entranced by the gleaming visions of their futures, these four convince themselves that unexpected setbacks are only temporary Even as their lives slowly deteriorate around them, they cling to their delusions and become utterly consumed in the spiral of drugs and addiction, refusing to see that they have instead created their own worst nightmares Selby s place is in the front rank of American novelists HIs work has the power, the intimacy with suffering and morality, the honesty and moral urgency of Doestoevsky s To understand Selby s work is to understand the anguish of America The New York Times Book Review I came to Selby because I realized that I was interested in a genre called transgressive fiction, which I had not, until recently, even heard of When I checked out the genre, in addition to many of my favorite books, I discovered that Selby was a leading writer I then read Last Exit To Brooklyn and loved it, so I followed up with this book It never occurred to me it would be as good It turns out that Requiem For A Dream is the best book I have read written since the 1950 s.The book is about I came to Selby because I realized that I was interested in a genre called transgressive fiction, which I had not, until recently, even heard of When I checked out the genre, in addition to many of my favorite books, I discovered that Selby was a leading writer I then read Last Exit To Brooklyn and loved it, so I followed up with this book It never occurred to me it would be as good It turns out that Requiem For A Dream is the best book I have read written since the 1950 s.The book is about addicts Three of the main characters are heroin addicts and one is addicted to diet pills But really it is through the vehicle of addiction that Selby rips apart the whole American Dream the dream of the title and tears up the illusions on which modern western society is based He does it in a book of incredible power and honesty and it is a crime that this man never won a Nobel prize or Pulitzer The book is simply too challenging, I think, to people s basic beliefs and its critique is too accurate and true.Selby is a writer who never ever turns away from his subject matter and who never ever lies I think that a lot of people will think that he is exaggerating, but he isn t and that is the way it is By focusing on lowlifes and the very dregs of society Selby exposes both the unattainability and worthlessness of modern American Values His point is to show that the materialistic values of suburbia and of television rest on the shattered lives of an underclass, that those values and goods are antithetical to real human relations and that the lifestyle is not really achievable.It is a world where someone s whole life including their sanity and identity can be destroyed for the chance of appearing on a quiz show.Selby is a deeply Christian writer His works begin with a biblical quote and in some sense his message is a message of Christian love It is not his characters who achieve this love His characters are inevitably consumed and destroyed by buying into the values of post western civilization They are turned into isolated monads with no windows and they are destroyed It is Selby himself who achieves this love He loves, loves, loves his characters He loves them even though he does not sentimentalize them at all, and even though they are the very dregs of society fed on self destructive delusions He makes you love them, and feel with them, and as I have said he does not lie and he does not turn away.His prose is a sort of mutant step child of Falkner and Hemingway, born in the gutter The pages of Requiem are on fire as you read them and the words writhe in your brain He spares nothing, but he teaches you to love the downtrodden in a society that is inherently evil.Selby s writing is truly great writing The closest thing to it is Dostoevsky Like him he challenges the very moral foundations of our society by looking at those at the very bottom At once a book of love through understanding and also a book full of rage against a society that is seen as evil, and destructive, it is one of the greatest books ever written First published in 1978, seven years after the start of the War on Drugs, Requiem for a Dream tracks the course of four lives as they re destroyed by addiction The novel is written in the stream of consciousness mode, but far from the eloquent formalism of modernists like Woolf or the rambling spontaneity of the less talented Beat writers, Selby s prose reads as frenetic, tense, and unsettling His characters thoughts become increasingly repetitive and distorted as they succumb to opioid addic First published in 1978, seven years after the start of the War on Drugs, Requiem for a Dream tracks the course of four lives as they re destroyed by addiction The novel is written in the stream of consciousness mode, but far from the eloquent formalism of modernists like Woolf or the rambling spontaneity of the less talented Beat writers, Selby s prose reads as frenetic, tense, and unsettling His characters thoughts become increasingly repetitive and distorted as they succumb to opioid addiction So, too, do the book s environments becomeanddeprived of hope as the narrative jerks forward toward its bleak end, in which the characters lose all control over their lives and are left at the mercy of a callous society Selby wrote the novel after the stagflation and political corruption that characterized Nixon s administration had thoroughly deflated the idealism of the 60s Coated with cynicism, the narrative functions not just as a story of individual breakdown but also as a lament for a society in decline We all want to have better lives When I was young, I wanted to be a teacher my father said no money in teaching So, I wanted to be an agriculturist he said you will be digging dirt till the day you die So, I wanted to be a priest priests die with their ass dirty as no one takes care of them So, what Why not be a doctorOkay After becoming a medtech, what But he did not have money to send me to a medical school Ha ha ha ha In my iPod, I have this song by The Pussycat Dolls One morning, We all want to have better lives When I was young, I wanted to be a teacher my father said no money in teaching So, I wanted to be an agriculturist he said you will be digging dirt till the day you die So, I wanted to be a priest priests die with their ass dirty as no one takes care of them So, what Why not be a doctorOkay After becoming a medtech, what But he did not have money to send me to a medical school Ha ha ha ha In my iPod, I have this song by The Pussycat Dolls One morning, I had LSS last song syndrome and my daughter caught me singing a part of it She shrieked with joy and laughed out load Strange but songs just get into our heads When I grow upFresh and cleanNumber one chickWhen I step out on the scene Not sure why this song kept on popping in my head while reading this 1978 novel by Hubert Selby, Jr, Requiem for a Dream It is an easy read and each character has its own voice The appropriate emotion in each scene gets reflected on Selby s narration it can get doped with the wrong spelling and narration it can get lonely as you remember how many failed diets you tried and they all did not work it can get orgasmic as Selby makes the lovers moan and moan endlessly and it can get very angry with the junkie son shouting at his poor mama s ears WHATTA YA DOIN TO ME YOUR ONLY SON It is about four dreadful pathetic characters Four Americans in Bronx in the 80s There is middle age, living by herself, obese Sara, the mother who wants to appear on a TV show in an old red dress that her dead husband Seymour really liked on her So, she takes dieting pills until she can fit into that old worn out dress The thinks that being slim means being new and the whole world will discover how wonderful girl she is When I grow upBe on TVPeople know meBe on magazines There is Sara s only son, Harold or Harry and his girlfriend Marion, who, aside from making love twice a day, injecting their veins with cocaine and smoke grass and cigarettes in between, dream of putting up a coffee shop where Marion s paintings she loves to paint and dream of become a famous painter someday can be put on display Then later they can go and tour the whole of Europe When I grow upI wanna see the worldDrive nice carsI wanna have groupies Then there is Tyrone Ty C Love thats ma name babe dreaming of a better life for him and his girl Alice When I grow upBe on TVPeople know meBe on magazines But Harold s and Ty s way of achieving this dream drug pushing Be careful what you wish forCuz you just might get itYou just might get itYou just might get it That s where the song went all wrong They dreamed Wrong way They lost HA HA HA HA Seriously, there is that part in the lyrics Man MAN That s some fucked up shit, right there I have so much to say about this book that I don t know where I should start or how to say anything, and last night when I started this review, I was just kind of stuck in a kind of disturbed loss for words And I ve seen the movie and I knew what to expect but I still feel a deep sadness and revulsion and shock after finishing the story It s just traumatizing Brilliant, but traumatizing I ll just go ahead and say now that if you re conc Man MAN That s some fucked up shit, right there I have so much to say about this book that I don t know where I should start or how to say anything, and last night when I started this review, I was just kind of stuck in a kind of disturbed loss for words And I ve seen the movie and I knew what to expect but I still feel a deep sadness and revulsion and shock after finishing the story It s just traumatizing Brilliant, but traumatizing I ll just go ahead and say now that if you re concerned about spoilers just move on I don t think I can avoid spoilers in this one so continue reading if you want, but don t bitch if you read something you didn t want to know about the book movie It s been many years since I ve seen the movie but it s one that has stuck with me I m sure I m not at all alone in this There are some images and feelings that the movie evoked in me that just stay with me When I hear the title, or even just the word Requiem , these images and feelings surface When I hear music from the Kronos Quartet same thing It s a visceral reaction I didn t recall every moment of the movie, of course, having not seen it for years prior to reading the book But the amount that stuck with me was enough to make this reading experience almost like re watching the movie At least that s how it felt to me as I was reading After I finished the book, I watched the movie again, and though there are some differences some of them major , for the most part, the movie adaptation sits right in the book s lap Right from the start, watching Harry steal his mother s TV to pawn it for dope money, it was like I could see the movie playing in my mind as I read This is a pretty rare situation that I find myself in, though, because I almost feel as though I m comparing the book to the movie, rather than the other way around I usually go out of my way to avoid seeing movies prior to reading the book they are based on if I can help it , but seeing as how I saw this movie first when I was 18 and didn t know it was a book until over a decade later, it makes sense that it would feel this way to me The only other time I ve felt this way was with Children of Men, a movie I really liked and a book I fucking hated Clearly I didn t hate this one, though In fact, I kind of loved it I feel like the movie, while pretty damn accurate to the book, didn t quite have the same depth I feel like the book did a better job at portraying the inner thoughts of the characters especially with Sara The book spends a lottime showing the slow descent into desperation for these addicts The movie kind of seems like a long PSA worst case scenario cautionary tale Do drugs and this is how you could end up And, while that s valid to an extent, and the same could be said about the book, I think the movie almost loses sight of the fact addiction is a disease, it s as much a mental need as a physical one, and it s not just a result of an action like doing drugs or drinking alcohol This is made much clearer in the book, in my opinion The movie touches on it briefly a little scene where Harry and Marion are talking about Sara s TV habit, for instance, but for the most part it just shows the most dramatic and horrifying aspects and kind of doesn t have time for the everyday problems of addiction Side note here There s a lot of stereotyping in the book the Jewish mother figure, her Yenta friends, the late 70s black character, the uber racist South, etc There s a lot of it, and those are just some examples It s extreme But in a way it s necessary, I think This is not a subtle book It s an intense in your face with a 2x4 kind of book, so I think that, if the characters weren t also shown in extremes, it would have felt inconsistent to me But the movie does away with much of that, and I feel like, while the movie s been modernized to a certain degree, it also takes away some, maybe a lot, of the impact.The movie also glosses over some of the non addiction fueled ugliness shown in the book Sara s care is a big, big, big one to me In the book it s horrifying HORRIFYING The movie portrays the care she receives at the end in a not very patient friendly kind of way but it s still care The doctor tries various things the orderlies are firm almost to the point of being rough but you can see they are trying to help her even if it seems cruel But this is a sanitization of what s portrayed in the book, this horrific situation that Sara, confused, lost in her own starvation and drug induced haze, is put into, where every act of trying to force food into her is almost like rape There s not only a lack of care, it s a lack of human decency and kindness and empathy in general It s frightening and terrifying to think that some bureaucratic pencil pusher can strip someone of their basic human dignity simply to avoid authority conflicts, ignoring what is morally and ethically right Another example is how Tyrone is treated in the south Some of the tone remains in the movie form, but again it s a much milder version In the book, Tyrone and Harry are hated universally once they step foot below the Mason Dixon line They are treated cruelly, as sub human, because they are addicts But Tyrone gets it worse, because not only is he a Yankee addict, but he s a black one They are arrested for vagrancy FUCKING VAGRANCY In the late 70s OMG I saw this word and my stomach clenched It makes me so angry, this mentality that it s OK to abuse someone just because you don t want them in your neighborhood This, as much as anything else in the book, sickens me Arrest them because they have fucking HEROIN in the car Arrest them because they are clearly intoxicated Arrest them for suspected car theft because the car wasn t theirs , or for driving without a license because they live in NY and don t have cars, so why would they need a driver s license or fucking any number of reasons that aren t the most fucked up and discriminatory one ever Arrest them and follow due process, and I can understand But this is horrific hatred that should have ended long before this book was set But of course, that s not how the world works, unfortunately.The movie shows almost none of that hatred and racism based brutality There s a general tone of suspicion and dislike, and a cruelty in general, but it is not clear as to the reason behind it in the movie, and it isn t even close to the depiction in the book The movie doesn t specify what they are being arrested for, just that they were recognized as addicts and the police were called I actually am disappointed that the overt racism was taken out of the movie There s a scene in the book where they stop for gas, and the gas attendant won t serve them, lies directly to their faces about being out of gas, and that the bathroom is out of order, and spits on them for nothingthan because Tyrone is black and Harry is a nigger lover Harry begins to argue, but Tyrone just gets back in the car to leave because he knows, even though he s never experienced this kind of racism before, just how ugly it can get His treatment in jail in the book is It s fucking disgusting, and the movie completely avoids the topic making it look like it s just a cruelty towards addicts, not that it s racism The exception to this kind of softening is Marion s situation The book hints at the play time she participates in With other girls and she didn t know what she d be doing and the smell on her lips and fingers is pretty much all that we get in the book But the movie goes very visual and very pull no punches there To be honest, I was kind of surprised by this, because I expected the book to be grittier and uglier in every way including Marion s willingness to sell herself for her addiction But the movie portrayed that very accurately to the book, just elaborating on that one scene Some other differences though aresubtle For instance, a huge amount of scenes where Harry and Tyrone struggled to find dope were skipped over in the movie There s a small reference to this difficulty in the movie, but it comes out of nowhere Their dealer is killed, suddenly and with no explanation, and I feel as though that s supposed to explain the shortage, but that s not the case in the book at all There s a shortage because there is not because there s some sort of sting operation taking down the big dealer So the fear and anger and need that s present is kind of out of place because it s never really shown that there s a city wide shortage and EVERYONE is desperate and has been for months This is kind of the catalyst for the end of the book, and what spurs the decision to try to go to Florida and get weight for their dope security, but it just feels shunted into the movie awkwardly Another subtle change is that Marion and Harry do not have sex in the movie, though in the book they have sex many times, and it s a kind of juxtaposition of how she feels when selling sex for her habit compared to how she feels having sex with Harry The fact that they don t have sex in the movie, I think, is a nod to that relationship that it sthan just physical, and that they really do love each other but the addiction, their elephant in the room, overwhelms that connection with a physical and chemical one that is stronger and makes them resent each other In the book, there s no closure, no reconciliation, not even acceptance, as shown in the movie Harry doesn t call Marion from jail, he doesn t even think about her He thinks about his arm and his pain In the hospital, after, he thinks about his arm and his pain It s like the further they get from NY, the further she is from his mind His concern and focus gets smaller and smaller the further he and Tyrone drive, until it s centered on his infection to the exclusion of all else To counter this point, though, is the relationship between Harry and Tyrone In the book, it starts to splinter as well They hold back money and dope from each other, their greedy need taking precedence over their friendship At the end of the book, Tyrone is almost de humanized, in a way Not only because of his addiction and withdrawal causing him to suffer, but also because of the treatment that he experiences in the southern jail, all of which he blames Harry for If he d not suggested this trip if he d not continued shooting into his infected arm if he d done this differently or that differently, Tyrone wouldn t be in this situation In the movie, that resentment doesn t exist In the movie, they are friends till the end or, rather, Tyrone is Harry s friend Harry is sick Tyrone s need is present, and painful, but his friendship and concern for Harry s life trumps that The book not so much In both the book and the movie, poor Sara is alone with her own pain and needs and delusions Her struggles are the most closely matched between the book and the movie She is the character that I feel the most for, and who breaks my heart the most Definitelyin the book than the movie, because the book really shows her loneliness and sadness a lotthan the movie BUT Ellen Burstyn does a great job filling a lot of those gaps her scene with Harry when he calls her out for being on pills is gut wrenching With four words, you can feel a decade s worth of sadness there I m old I m alone It gives me chills Book Sara doesn t quite have that same power By which I mean that what I feel for her character is a huge amount of empathy, and I feel a mixture of sadness and rage at how her life spirals out of control for want of being wanted and how she has nobody to speak on her behalf or help her But it sof a generalized If this happened to anyone, I would feel this way feeling, rather than an identification with her, if that makes sense I feel for her, and her situation breaks my heart, but really Ellen Burstyn just brings her to life and makes her real and so sad Both the book and the movie have unresolved endings but in the movie it s interesting to note that they throw a little symbolism in there All four characters curl into a fetal position at the end and both women are smiling Both women who have fallen so far down that their only concern is their addiction Sara s had a complete break from reality, and she hallucinates a happy reunion with Harry on TV, and that s all she s really ever wanted anyway Marion is just content that she s got dope, and a regular supply, if she s willing to work for it To her, that s security, and nothing else matters The men are both crying at the end of the movie, because both are thinking about the dreams they ve lost Tyrone, his safe and secure life with a caring, supportive woman his mother and Harry thinking about how things have gone so bad with Marion There s really nothing to hope for with any of them Harry has a habit of drowning his every feeling in heroin, and I don t see that getting easier for him after losing his arm, and his friend, and his girlfriend, and his mother If, by some chance, he actually were to get treatment, he might make it through but where he is, in the South, I don t see anyone making much of an effort for him, given the precedent set so far in how they ve treated him Same with Tyrone, who has lost his friend, his freedom, his dignity, etc If he were to get treatment, he might be OK but if they just release him at the end of his sentence, he d go right back to using And Marion, who has lost just about everything as well, and her life now consists of selling sex to make a score to last her until the next one I think that with her, even if she were to have someone step in and try to help her, it wouldn t do any good She s intelligent and manipulative, and she wants to feel good, not hurt mentally and physically She doesn t have coping mechanisms so I don t see her breaking the cycle either Sara, though, she makes me the saddest, because Harry recognized what was happening, and could have stopped it if he tried, but instead he felt guilt because of the fact that he knew he didn t have the strength of character necessary to support his mother in her need and instead he abandoned her because it was easier than dealing with the situation One last thing I want to talk about is the writing style of the book because I d seen the movie first, as I read, I kept comparing the writing style to the cinematography of the movie I really am impressed, very impressed, with how similar they feel Darren Aronofsky truly captured the feel of the book in the movie But the writing style is messy It worked for the book, because the BOOK is messy It s spastic and urgent and shifting and hazy and the way that the book was written really FEELS that way, to me There are a lot of run on sentences I think the longest I saw was 4 pages long , but they really are put to good use here The 4 pager was the scene where Harry is waiting for Marion to come home after he suggests that Marion ask her shrink for money so they can use it to get some dope to turn around and sell In the book it s 300, by the way Not the 2000 from the movie He sells her for so much less in the book And he goes along with her trips to Big Tim in the book as well that s not just a Harry s gone, what do I do now desperation as it is in the movie He knows what s going on, that first time with the shrink, and he feels sick about it, but not enough to change, not enough to care, really I mean, after all, she agreed to it it s on her now too, right And after that it s like he just distances himself from her scoring method just caring about the fact that they now have a score at all Anyway I digress The 4 pages depict his feelings about what he s sent her out to do, and why, and how he s coping with it, and failing to cope with it, and cycling through all of these emotions that he doesn t want to be feeling but then not wanting to get high because their supply is so limited and unsure, but then not able to avoid it It s like a perfect microcosm of his addiction in a long, long stream of consciousness that just works It s not pretty punctuation use is spotty at best, misspellings abound in a kind of patois that supports the stereotyping Christ is spelled krist , for example , capitalization is iffy, and it s just a mess of chaos like the lives we re reading about And it just worked for me.This is sloppy on purpose writing, and it really just dragged my eyes along for the ride and I found it hard to look away I read about 70% of this book in one sitting yesterday afternoon because I just couldn t look away The fact that the dialogue was intermixed with the action, and I never knew really who was speaking, or whether it was thought, or hallucination, or dream, or reality only added to the texture of this book It almost didn t matter, because in the end, their dreams were their realityreal to them than their reality was, anyway, and somehow the reader gets that I m almost afraid to read Selby s other books now I feel like writing styles like this should be used sparingly, consciously, and intentionally I feel like they should be used to enhance and transform a particular kind of story into an experience for the reader This style, which I thought worked perfectly with this story, did that for me So, I m afraid that, if he just writes like this and CALLS it his style, I d be disappointed, like I d feel like this wasn t intentional choice of style because it told this particular story so well, but instead was just lack of skill, and I would feel misled I bring this up, because I did feel like this after reading and really enjoying Saramago s Blindness I thought that the style there worked beautifully with the story being told But then, I looked his other books, and it was the same style even though the stories were vastly different, and then it just feels gimmicky rather than a deliberate style choice made to fit the story Bah Anyway, for this book, which is the only one I ve read of Selby s, I say it s brilliant and brutal I loved it, but I don t know if I can recommend it I love book that make me feel and this one did, but it s not sunshine and rainbows that I felt, so I d stay away from this one if that s what you re looking for

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *