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Thomas Berger · Sneaky People EPUB

DOC ï READER Sneaky People ´ 9780743257954 FREE å JOHNSCYCLINGDIARY Ë ❰Download❯ ➹ Sneaky People Author Thomas Berger – Johns-cycling-diary.co.uk The time is the 1930s Buddy Sandifer dressed in his natty white flannels baby blue shirt striped tie tan and white shoesUsed car lot and father of a fifteen year old son with a penchant for sex manuals Buddy has decided to murder his wife and marry his mistress Laverne a robust blonde who cooks his favorite meal of fried p My book club pretty much hated this book and the cries of outrage when they saw that I gave it a thumbs up to their six thumbs down were full throated and incredulous I was not surprised as I had predicted their displeasure to another friend before we ever got to our group discussion but it is instructive to try and understand why my position specifically about 35 out of 5 stars here is different to theirs and what it says about the perils of reading any piece of fiction without access to its historical moment or the intentions of the author While to my fellow members the name of author Thomas Berger meant nothing I was aware of his place as a writer of some renown his most famous novel of course being Little Big Man which was turned into a fairly major motion picture directed by Arthur Penn and starring Dustin Hoffman back in 1970 Berger wrote around two dozen novels one The Feud which the 1984 Pulitzer Prize fiction committee recommended be awarded that year’s top prize two of which I had read before Sneaky People Reinhart’s Women the fourth in a series about the agreeable yet hapless everyman Carl Reinhart and the sublimely dark comedy Neighbors It was Neighbors that exposed to me Berger’s penchant for gallows humor in the suburbs and a dry and corroding wit that both lacerated and treated with affection the soldiers in the ongoing battle for civility and morality in a social milieu rife with both venomous greed and callous disregard for the basics of proprietyWith this primer I came to Sneaky People with an appreciation for Berger’s disarming style and his ability to ably steer a narrative towards a moral reckoning that his characters are helpless to affect Sneaky People written 5 years before Neighbors can almost be seen as a trial run for the latter book in some respects as both novels depict a main protagonist who is at an emotional remove from the members of his own nuclear family and either cannot or willfully will not understand their real natures It was Earl’s journey in Neighbors to see his family clearly and Buddy has a similar intellectual journey in Sneaky People though both men’s paths to discovery are interrupted by rather serendipitous and fateful occurrences it’s in this omniscient plotting that the sardonic humor of Thomas Berger can be found at its most unmerciful if not wholly compassionateBut Buddy is not the only character in the novel and almost all of the characters of note are indeed behaving sneakily Clarence the black man who works for Buddy at his car dealership ends up absconding with money without performing an agreed upon service; Leo another of Buddy’s employees steals money Buddy has set aside to pay Clarence to kill his wife Naomi; Buddy’s mistress Laverne has grown tired of Buddy and plans her big breakto a convent; and unbeknownst to her family Naomi leads a rich and fulfilling life as a writer of pornographic short stories Berger believes as Jean Renoir did that “everyone has their reasons” and his novel is a cataloguing of his various characters’ motivations for acting as they doThe sadism of the author is that he is the one pulling the strings and it’s his decision that Buddy’s self actualization will only begin to come about after his rashly devised plans for murdering two people are thoroughly hijacked by the unpredictability of a world over which he has no control If Berger gives many of these characters some ultimate moments of grace as the novel reaches its end it is only because he also gets to provide some ultimate comeuppance in the form of a robe a belt and a basement staircase In Berger’s caustic universe a moral reckoning can only be forestalled for so longSo perhaps my club co members weren’t aware how to “read” this book not knowing the author’s penchant for social satire and not considering that there was a Saharan wit behind the machinations of the plot Some were definitely put off by the vulgarity of the uneducated characters’ lack of class Maybe they didn’t take into account the time in which the story took place 80 years ago and the time when the story was written 40 years ago and the huge social differences that drove the motivations of the various people who inhabited its pages But my friends are pretty bright so it’s not a uestion of not getting it but of taking the novel at face value of not looking for the puppeteer pulling the strings always a dicey proposition especially in these modern times when the “unreliable narrator” has become by default the only kind of narrator Readers these days are not encouraged to contend with an authorial voice with a writer who has something to say and perhaps ultimately this is the delight one can find in an old fashioned author like Thomas Berger he created moral universes and through his fiction taught us lessons in the ethical treatment of our fellow human beings If occasionally he pulled the spare wing off the random fly so be it

EPUB µ Sneaky People · Thomas Berger

Ork chops fried potatoes and fried apples while wearing a short pink apron over black lace step ins and brassiere long gartered silk stockings and platform shoes The only problem is how to arrange the cri I had high hopes for this given the rave reviews I guess something is lost on me here In the 70ish pages I read I encountered racial slurs and puerile attempts at humor than I might encounter in a bargain bin Pulp Fiction knockoff Nothing struck me as amusing and i found myself not caring about the story or characters at all

KINDLE Sneaky People

Sneaky PeopleThe time is the s Buddy Sandifer dressed in his natty white flannels baby blue shirt striped tie tan and white shoes and coconut straw hat with polka dot band is falling into one of his moods Owner of a I flat out like Thomas Berger He's a terrific writer with a built in sense of social satire I consider this his best The problem with Berger is that he's so prolific He can't help himself he has to write and as a result some of his concoctions are so outlandish invisible people men who become women accidental detectives that it can test the credulity of a reader who if he or she is like me will nonetheless suffer through the premises because there's always something brilliant to find What's less forgivable are the books about downright nasty people which I begin and soon put aside But this book like The Feud has Berger's socially redeeming teenagers living in a world of idiot or absurdly obsessive adults which leavens the nastiness and turns dislikability into enjoyable edifying farce