All his life, Giovanni Bernini has possessed an uncanny gift: He can imitate anyone he meets. Honed by his mother at a young age, the talent catapults him from small-town obscurity to stardom.
As Giovanni describes it, "No one's disguise is perfect. There is in every person, no matter how graceful, a seam, a thread curling out of them... When pulled by the right hands, it will unravel the person entire." As his fame grows, Giovanni encounters a beautiful and enigmatic stage singer, Lucy Starlight - the only person whose thread he cannot find - and becomes increasingly trapped inside his many poses. Ultimately, he must assume the one identity he has never been able to master: his own.
In the vein of Jonathan Lethem's and Kevin Wilson's playful surrealism, Jacob Rubin's The Poser is the debut of a major literary voice, a masterfully written, deeply original comic novel, and the moving story of a man who must risk everything for the chance to save his life and know true love.
©2015 Jacob Rubin, by arrangement with Viking Books. (P)2015 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
"The Poser is smart and grand and funny, a wonderful fable. Mr. Rubin is a great hope for comic fiction in the 21st century. He's got the spirit and the ear." (Sam Lipsyte, New York Times best-selling author of The Ask)
"I yawped - because when you read a book as exquisite as The Poser, you yawp. Have you ever met a character like Giovanni Bernini? My heart breaks even now. With astonishing control, Mr. Rubin has created the perfect comic noir tragedy of mimicry and betrayal, of great love and greater loss. Bernini is one of fiction's great ciphers and his parallel universe is such a good imitation of our universe I can no longer distinguish which is which. This is a novel that will be loved and admired for years to come." (Reif Larsen, New York Times best-selling author of The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet and I Am Radar
"Jacob Rubin's The Poser is a tour de force of voice, a genius act of ventriloquism, a terrific novel. From the opening you'll be hooked, as I was, and you'll love it all the way through." (Tom Franklin, New York Times best-selling author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
? have you been regularly forced to immigrate or relocate
? has your life's " deck of cards " frequently been reshuffled
? were you often forced to meet new incentives and expectations
jacob rubin has written a brilliant and imaginative novel for you
it is, i suspect, a metaphor for the intellectual immigrant experience
the book's title character has a deep gift for insightful mimicry and imitation
with dazzling prose, rubin then weaves this gift into character and plot
immigration involves relentless demands on perception and response
new situations with new demands and new expectations arrive daily
without intellectual gifts, this becomes a crushing, defeating experience
but the quick and gifted learn to read the social clues and be " a good poser "
it is this insight and imitation that allow them to succeed in their new home
SIDE NOTE : elmore leonard famously said " if it sounds like writing, i rewrite it "
there are long stretches of this novel that sound like extraordinary writing
some people enjoy that, others think it gets in the way of the storytelling
Such a great experience listening to this great first novel by Mr Rubin. Highest recommendation. More than words can express
Picked this for book club- based on the description, out of 7 of us all 7 thought it absolutely horrible. The description was misleading and had nothing to do with how the story and plot actually unfolded.
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