Mr. Eternity (Paperback)

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“Clever, smart, and brilliantly comic as it deals with our humanity, our resilient spirit, and the tremendous challenges that demand our cooperative attention, Mr. Eternity is a delight. Who can resist the tale of a 560-year-old American man named Daniel Defoe, who has much wisdom to offer the world and its people. This genre-bending page-turner is a blast to read!”
— Ed Conklin (M), Chaucer's Books, Santa Barbara, CA

Description


A novel of exuberance and ambition, spanning one thousand years of high-seas adventure, environmental and cultural catastrophe, and enduring love.

"Mr. Eternity will be sizzling in my brain for a long time." -Lauren Groff

Key West, 2016. Sea levels are rising, coral reefs are dying. In short, everything is going to hell. It's here that two young filmmakers find something to believe in: an old sailor who calls himself Daniel Defoe and claims to be five hundred and sixty years old.

In fact, old Dan is in the prime of his life -- an incredible, perhaps eternal American life. The story unfolds over the course of a millennium, picking up in the sixteenth century in the Viceroyalty of New Granada and continuing into the twenty-sixth, where, in the future Democratic Federation of Mississippi States, Dan serves as an advisor to the King of St. Louis. Some things remain constant throughout the centuries, and being on the edge of ruin may be one. In 1560, the Spaniards have destroyed the Aztec and Inca civilizations. In 2500, we've destroyed our own: the cities of the Atlantic coast are underwater, the union has fallen apart, and cars, plastics, and air conditioning are relegated to history. But there are other constants too: love, humor, and old Dan himself, always adapting and inspiring others with dreams of a better life.

An ingenious, hilarious, and genre-bending page-turner, Mr. Eternity is multiple novels in one. Together they form an uncommon work -- about our changing planet and its remarkable continuities.

About the Author


Aaron Thier is the author of the novels Mr. Eternity, a finalist for the 2017 Thurber Prize for American Humor, and The Ghost Apple, a semifinalist for the 2015 Thurber Prize. A regular contributor to The Nation and a graduate of Yale University and the MFA program at The University of Florida, Thier received a 2016 NEA Fellowship in Creative Writing. He lives in Great Barrington, MA.

Praise For…


"[A] sharp, inventive and compassionate novel . . . to be savored and heeded." - San Francisco Chronicle

"Mr. Thier’s dizzying time-travels will inevitably call to mind David Mitchell’s “Cloud Atlas,” and the danger of such books is that they tend to grow solemn and sanctimonious as they peer into the future. Happily, “Mr. Eternity” remains playful even as it relates catastrophe." - The Wall Street Journal

"With symbolism and analogy, surrealism and fantasy, Thier deftly reflects on and explores the human condition through ‘the lavender light and sweet scented dust of history.’ Erudite. Imaginative. A work to be read slowly and savored." - starred review, Kirkus Reviews

"Thier uses his deathless protagonist to chart the rise and fall of the American empire, and also those certainties--love, trade--that afflict every age . . . The moral imagination behind Defoe’s adventures rivals that of his namesake, begging comparison to the best literature has to offer." - Publishers Weekly

"Thier’s story lines entwine in Faulknerian brilliance . . . An enchanting, humorous, and visionary experience." - Booklist

"Only a writer as wickedly smart as Aaron Thier would think to write such a twisted and wild story about Florida and climate change and time-battered Daniel Defoe; only Aaron Thier could pull it all off with such aplomb and in such gleeful and spiny language. Mr. Eternity will be sizzling in my brain for a long time." - Lauren Groff, author of FATES AND FURIES

"The end of the world has never been so much fun as in Aaron Thier’s brilliant cavalcade of a novel. Careening back- and forward while staying peacefully centered, offering absurdities and heartbreaks in equal measure, Mr. Eternity is a moving exploration of our past, present, and future discombobulations." - Daniel Handler, author of WHY WE BROKE UP and WE ARE PIRATES

"The combination of vivid inventiveness at the sentence level, and wide-ranging vistas across the centuries, makes this novel a joy to read. Daniel Defoe himself would have loved this book." - Kim Stanley Robinson, author of THE MARS TRILOGY

"Aaron Thier's Mr. Eternity is shrewd, smart, and funny." - Elizabeth Kolbert, author of THE SIXTH EXTINCTION

"An absolutely phenomenal book, a comedy of everything. Astonishing." - Michael Hofmann, critic and author of WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?: SELECTED ESSAYS

"The books reminds me of a modern Candide . . . Read this book, it's awesome." - Ryan Holiday, "Reading Recommendation" Newsletter

"[A]n amazing work of staggering genius . . . Aaron Thier has reinvented the comic novel, reimagined the picaresque, written the Don Quixote for our time -- one that features not a mad idealist but a cynical wit, appropriate for this century and the ones (if any) to follow." - Betsy Burton, "Books & Beats," KUER

"Clever, smart, and brilliantly comic as it deals with our humanity, our resilient spirit, and the tremendous challenges that demand our cooperative attention . . . This genre-bending page-turner is a blast to read!" - Ed Conklin, Chaucer's Books, Santa Barbara, CA

"Thier likes messin' with historicity, as did Faulkner, and he uses crisp precise wit, as did (Donald) Barthelme, to mess with it." - Padgett Powell

Product Details
ISBN: 9781632860958
ISBN-10: 1632860953
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
Pages: 272
Language: English

How to read more

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( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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