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Publisher's Summary

A Naked Singularity tells the story of Casi, a child of Colombian immigrants who lives in Brooklyn and works in Manhattan as a public defender - one who, tellingly, has never lost a trial. Never.

In the book we hear what happens when his sense of justice and even his sense of self begin to crack - and how his world then slowly devolves. It's a huge, ambitious novel clearly in the vein of DeLillo, Foster Wallace, Pynchon, and even Melville, and it's told in a distinct, frequently hilarious voice, with a striking human empathy at its center. Its panoramic reach takes listeners through crime and courts, immigrant families and urban blight, media savagery and media satire, scatology and boxing, and even a breathless heist worthy of any crime novel. If Infinite Jest stuck a pin in the map of mid-'90s culture and drew our trajectory from there, A Naked Singularity does the same for the feeling of surfeit, brokenness, and exhaustion that permeates our civic and cultural lives today.

In the opening sentence of William Gaddis' A Frolic of His Own, a character sneers, "Justice? You get justice in the next world. In this world, you get the law." A Naked Singularity reveals the extent of that gap and lands firmly on the side of those who are forever getting the law.

©2008 Sergio De La Pava (P)2016 Recorded Books

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

This book isn't for everyone! But it is quite good

I'll start out by saying I enjoyed this book a lot, but that's because I'm an over the road trucker and have a lot of time to kill, and as a consequence books that ramble and spend a ton of time going into things that don't move the plot forward don't bug me in the slightest as long as it's entertaining and/or insiteful. This book rambles like crazy. It includes probably a full hour (if not more) of a biography of a boxer, and full transcripts of plenty of conversations overheard by the protagonist. One more thing, this book isn't nearly as narratively straightforward as you might think. Almost a literary 2001: A Space Odessey (I'm sure I spelled that wrong) except for way less boring. What I'm saying is that many parts of this book make no sense whatsoever and I still have no idea what happened, just like after I watched 2001: ASO.
Every (no exaggeration) character is a complete caricature of themselves, with their personality dialed up to 11 no matter what that personality may be. It's an interesting read, that's for sure.
But the book is also hilarious, entertaining, philosophical, scientific, educational (sorry I saved that for last De La Pava). I thoroughly enjoyed it, and if it sounds at all like your kinda book, I highly recommend it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Hilarious and moving, with caveats.

This book is truly an entertaining read. Hilarious satire combines with some heart-aching narrative developments. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read an amusing novel with philosophical depth. That being said, this book sits firmly in the poststructural tradition--which is to say, it rarely commits to any definitive theme without then undermining that theme. For example, after a really moving interview with a prisoner on death row, the novel's lawyer protagonist exits the cell only to be confronted by a guard with an anti-sympathy pamphlet showing the prisoner's brutal crime. I'm not saying that this is aesthetic failure. It certainly isn't--but it does follow most postmodern literature in being noncommittal as far as meaning is concerned. First we sympathize, and then we draw back, as if the sympathy should be reexamined. On the whole, I find the poststructural universal skepticism offered in this book to be extremely worn out and a little trite, not to mention unwarranted. Still a very good book on the whole.

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Un libro normal y diferente

What made the experience of listening to A Naked Singularity the most enjoyable?

La vida de Casie el dedective privado, es tan real que un ve la gente con sus brazos dañados por la droga, la corruption del sistema juridico. Te sientes como si estubieras en la corte con el.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Casie el detective, inteligente, su filosofia, su forma de ver la vida y sus alrededores, sus historias.

Which scene was your favorite?

El plan para robar la plata de Escalante el vendedor de drogas

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Te ries constantemente, hay escenas que son increible mente graciaciosas

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I'm not sure what I listened to

I bought the because the narrator sounded good on sampling and the quick blurb about the book sounded interesting. I'm not sure what I just listened to the story was all over the place, I lost track numerous times. Also I'm not so sure how I'm supposed to take the ending either. In any case the story was a diversion but I'm not sure to or from what

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Tried & Failed to get through this meandering mess

What disappointed you about A Naked Singularity?

From the description I expected this to be focused on the legal system and the Public Defender's cases. It started out that way but it quickly became obvious that this was not focused on the legal system. Instead the author wanders into minute detail of everyday events in the life of the main character. I gave up about 6 hours into the 27 hour audiobook and that is extremely rare for me. If you want to hear inane conversations between the main character and his roommates, coworkers, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, etc. than this might be for you. Not sure how any of it relates to the main plot line because it was unclear what the plot was even after the hours that I endured.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful