Sunday, October 26, 2014

Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner

Leaving the Atocha Station: A Novel, Ben Lerner. Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 2011. e book, 142 pps.

     Leaving the Atocha Station is Ben Lerner's first novel. We follow narrator Adam Gordon in 2004 during the Spain train bombing. He is a young man on a fellowship claiming to be interested in the Spanish Civil War. But he gets no research done. Instead, he spends his time generating poetic phrases under the influence of hash, conning women into believing his re-inventions of himself, and having crises generated by narcissistic injury.

sapphoq reviews says: Ben Lerner's first novel is a charmer. I was not exactly smitten by Adam Gordon. It was more than that. The lost poet in a foreign country has a certain appeal. The author described perfectly the process of becoming fluent in a foreign language. I too have had a sense of what others were communicating rather than literal translations. I liked this book. The author also has three books of poetry out and a new novel.

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