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Crudo: Book summary and reviews of Crudo by Olivia Laing

Crudo by Olivia Laing X
Crudo by Olivia Laing
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2019
    160 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A New York Times Notable, The New Yorker, Washington Post, NPR, Guardian, Esquire, and Bustle Best Book of 2018

"Love may not be original, but this funny, fervent novel is." - The New Yorker

It's the summer of 2017 and Kathy is getting married. Meanwhile, fascism is on the rise, truth is dead, the planet is heating up, and Trump is tweeting the world ever closer to nuclear war. In Crudo, her first work of fiction, Olivia Laing radically rewires the novel with a fierce, compassionate account of learning to love when the end of the world seems in sight.

First published in hardcover and e-book Sept 2018. Paperback reprint: Sept 2019.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Like the foodstuff for which it is named, Olivia Laing's Crudo is weird, intense, served in a small portion, and totally delicious... Beautifully written and artfully focused."—Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker

"A single moment in modernity, deconstructed by the savagely entertaining, Acker-inspired voice of Laing."—Paris Review Daily

"A narrative written with immense vitality and, miraculously, the lightest of touches."—Deborah Levy, Wall Street Journal

"Written with bristling intelligence, this debut novel… pays homage to the iconoclastic author Kathy Acker, creating a pastiche of voices and identities."—New York Times, "Notable Book of 2018"

"Breathless and gripping.… [Crudo] traps the first summer of Trump and Brexit like a fly in amber.… As a record, Crudo is perfect, and agonizing."—NPR

"[Crudo is] about the longing to escape our ossified selves—to become, if only for moment or within the pages of a novel, someone wilder and more radically free. And in staging that longing so directly and so honestly, Olivia Laing makes Crudo her own."—New York Times Book Review

"Crudo could turn out to be a novel that we pick up years from now to remind ourselves how these times felt."—Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker

"Crudo seduces from the very first sentence. Laing as Acker is not a literary device—it is literary detonation.… Crudo is a hot, hot book."—Guardian

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Reader Reviews

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Elizabeth

Not for the faint of heart or Trump supporters
This book felled most of the members in my book club as it is a departure from any novel we have ever read!. It is written in a stream of consciousness style and refers to many events occurring in the real and fictional (TV) world of 2017. I found the book to be confusing at times and laugh out loud funny at others. The main character was unlikable but somehow I wanted to root for her and her marriage anyway. If you are open to a completely different kind of story with no preconceptions of a plot, read this 133 page book (preferably in one sitting). Many of my fellow book club members gave up on it after putting it down.

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Author Information

Olivia Laing Author Biography

Photo: Jonathan Ring

Olivia Laing is a widely acclaimed writer and critic. She writes for the Guardian, the New York Times, and Frieze, among many other publications. Her books include Crudo, The Trip to Echo Spring, and The Lonely City which was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and translated into fifteen languages. The recipient of the 2018 Windham-Campbell Prize in nonfiction, she lives in London, England.

Link to Olivia Laing's Website

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