The Long Take, Or, A Way to Lose More Slowly

The Long Take, Or, A Way to Lose More Slowly

Book - 2019
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Walker is a D-Day veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder; he can't return home to rural Nova Scotia, and looks instead to the city for freedom, anonymity and repair. As he finds his way from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco, we witness a crucial period of fracture in American history, one that also allowed film noir to flourish. The Dream had gone sour but--as those dark, classic movies made clear--the country needed outsiders to study and to dramatize its new anxieties. Both an outsider and, gradually, an insider, Walker finds work as a journalist, and tries to piece his life together as America is beginning to come apart: riven by social and racial divisions, spiraling corruption, and the collapse of the inner cities. Robin Robertson's fluid verse pans with filmic immediacy across the postwar urban scene--and into the heart of an unforgettable character--in this highly original work of art.
Publisher: New York, New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2019.
Edition: First United States edition.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780525655213
Characteristics: 237 pages :,illustrations, map ;,21 cm.
Alternative Title: Way to lose more slowly

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Waluconis
May 06, 2019

"The Long Take: A Noir Narrative" weaves together two series of events, both as lived by one man. Walker fought in World War II, at D-Day and other major, European battles. Most of his time in this book is spent in California, Los Angeles and San Francisco. He relives the war, experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, while the place in Los Angeles where he lives is destroyed to build freeways and parking lots. The noir of the subtitle is not the drama and tropes of a noir movie, but rather the noir movies he goes to the theatre to see, as well as the many times he bumps into the making of the films or their creators on the streets of Los Angeles. If you are a noir film follower, you will run into many noir films with which you are familiar. Occasionally, Walker also reminisces on his young life growing up in Nova Scotia, where he knows he would never again fit. The violence of the destruction of the city life of Los Angeles he knows, destroyed to create mainly freeways and parking lots, and the violence of opposing armies destroying cities and countryside in the war in Europe, come together. They become the "long take" of the book. It is written in free verse, and one can even not notice the line breaks and stanza structure that formalize it as poetry on the page. It is a riveting narrative of life's disruptions that can be read without pause. It does not have a story plot as such, however the impact will last long after you finish the book.

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PASAYTEN57
Mar 29, 2019

A must read. Very poignant. 50's L.A. could be Portland today in a lot of respects. My favorite read of 2018!

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