The Poser
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The Poser : A Novel

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" "Named one of the"Huffington Post's"2015 Books We Can't Wait To Read" " Smart and absorbing. . . . Echoes of Steven Millhauser and Tom McCarthy. . . . Probing, witty. "The New York Times Book Review" A masterful debut . . . delivered with vaudeville verve. "The Washington Post" Darkly funny. . . . A deeply sensitive exploration into matters of identity and authenticity. "Associated Press" "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 A hilarious and dazzling debut novel about a master impressionist at risk of losing his true selfAll 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. "From the Hardcover edition.""
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Product details

  • Paperback | 242 pages
  • 137 x 209 x 17.78mm | 212g
  • Penguin USA
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 014310795X
  • 9780143107958

Review Text

Praise for Jacob Rubin and The Poser "If a novel can be measured by its imaginative precision, the shrewdness of its characterization, and the authority of its prose, then The Poser , Jacob Rubin's smart and absorbing debut, claims its power early and rarely surrenders it. . . . I hear echoes of Steven Millhauser and Tom McCarthy. . . . But the sensibility with which [Rubin] shapes his story is highly individual: probing, witty, yet hiding at its center a strangely iron compassion."-Kevin Brockmeier, The New York Times Book Review " Zelig with a dash of Being There. " -New York Magazine , Approval Matrix (highbrow/brilliant)"A masterful debut . . . [a] meditation on the nature of identity delivered with vaudeville verve. . . . The Poser , as it follows Giovanni from triumph to perilous triumph, seduces you with its fanciful prose, its larger-than-life characters and its fun-house-mirror take on a land of opportunity where appearance often trumps reality. It's also one heck of a way for Rubin to announce his own presence on the literary stage."- The Washington Post "Precise and inventive writing. . . . The Poser is an exciting debut and I recommend it for its noirish beats. It is also richly, darkly funny. The novel is set in a fictional country that resembles America in the 1940s and '50s, and Rubin has exquisitely created this world; it is easy to get lost in it. . . . At its heart [ The Poser ] offers a deeply sensitive exploration into matters of identity and authenticity." -Associated Press "Rubin writes with unbridled inventiveness, a vaudeville show on paper. . . . There's a hint of Woody Allen's film "Zelig" here, and a picaresque quality that finally tips over into darkly comic horror. . . Rubin, who's worked as a stand-up comedian, knows about performance, and the ways it can both trap and liberate. . . . The novel's last pages . . . open out into a surprisingly tender ending." -The Cleveland Plain Dealer "To map Rubin's lineage, one would have to draw improbable links between the rueful comedy of Sam Lipsyte, the strange, tender inventions of John Crowley, and the off-historical tales of Steven Millhauser. . . . Rubin isn't afraid of majestic, trippy metaphors à la Denis Johnson."-Alexander Benaim, Bookforum.com "Startlingly fresh. . . . Rubin's uniquely hyper-energized and metaphorical prose . . . seems to fizzle and shriek itself off the page." -Forth Magazine"Witty, inventive . . . immensely entertaining . . . well-sculpted." -Publishers Weekly "Zany."- Booklist
" 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 bestselling 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 bestselling author of The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet and I Am Radar "Jacob Rubin writes with more vitality, drive, and vision than any young writer I've seen in ten years."-Barry Hannah"With twists and snap and more than its share of vaudevillian flair, The Poser is often-dazzling, a high-wire entertainment about entertainment. Jacob Rubin is a first-rate comic writer, and somehow, don't ask me how, he's crafted a hummingly smooth, aching look at why we perform, loneliness, and the nature of self."-Charles Bock, New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Children " The Poser seduces with its imaginative energy, the sheer wit and reach of its invention, but is p
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Review quote

Praise for Jacob Rubin and "The Poser" If a novel can be measured by its imaginative precision, the shrewdness of its characterization, and the authority of its prose, then "The Poser," Jacob Rubin s smart and absorbing debut, claims its power early and rarely surrenders it. . . . I hear echoes of Steven Millhauser and Tom McCarthy. . . . But the sensibility with which [Rubin] shapes his story is highly individual: probing, witty, yet hiding at its center a strangely iron compassion. Kevin Brockmeier, "The New York Times Book Review" "Zelig" with a dash of "Being There." " New York Magazine," Approval Matrix (highbrow/brilliant) A masterful debut . . . [a] meditation on the nature of identity delivered with vaudeville verve. . . . "The Poser," as it follows Giovanni from triumph to perilous triumph, seduces you with its fanciful prose, its larger-than-life characters and its fun-house-mirror take on a land of opportunity where appearance often trumps reality. It s also one heck of a way for Rubin to announce his own presence on the literary stage. "The Washington Post" Precise and inventive writing. . . . "The Poser" is an exciting debut and I recommend it for its noirish beats. It is also richly, darkly funny. The novel is set in a fictional country that resembles America in the 1940s and '50s, and Rubin has exquisitely created this world; it is easy to get lost in it. . . . At its heart ["The Poser"] offers a deeply sensitive exploration into matters of identity and authenticity. " Associated Press" Rubin writes with unbridled inventiveness, a vaudeville show on paper. . . . There s a hint of Woody Allen s film Zelig here, and a picaresque quality that finally tips over into darkly comic horror. . . Rubin, who s worked as a stand-up comedian, knows about performance, and the ways it can both trap and liberate. . . . The novel s last pages . . . open out into a surprisingly tender ending. " The Cleveland Plain Dealer" To map Rubin s lineage, one would have to draw improbable links between the rueful comedy of Sam Lipsyte, the strange, tender inventions of John Crowley, and the off-historical tales of Steven Millhauser. . . . Rubin isn t afraid of majestic, trippy metaphors a la Denis Johnson. Alexander Benaim, "Bookforum.com" Startlingly fresh. . . . Rubin's uniquely hyper-energized and metaphorical prose . . . seems to fizzle and shriek itself off the page. " Forth" Magazine Witty, inventive . . . immensely entertaining . . . well-sculpted. " Publishers Weekly" Zany. "Booklist" "" "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"bestselling 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"bestselling author of"The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet"and"I Am Radar""" "" Jacob Rubin writes with more vitality, drive, and vision than any young writer I ve seen in ten years. Barry Hannah With twists and snap and more than its share of vaudevillian flair, "The Poser"is often-dazzling, a high-wire entertainment about entertainment. Jacob Rubin is a first-rate comic writer, and somehow, don t ask me how, he's crafted a hummingly smooth, aching look at why we perform, loneliness, and the nature of self. Charles Bock, "New York Times"bestselling author of"Beautiful Children""" "The Poser"seduces with its imaginative energy, the sheer wit and reach of its invention, but is propelled at its core by a deeply human generosity to its characters their fierce and confused and fragile hearts. Leslie Jamison, "New York Times"bestselling author of"The Empathy Exams" Jacob Rubin has, to borrow a term from his wondrous debut novel about the world s greatest impressionist, deftly unraveled the thread of his protagonist and impersonated a writer twenty years his senior."The Poser"is a rollicking picaresque that is also a surprisingly affecting meditation on authenticity and loneliness. Teddy Wayne, author of"The Love Song of Jonny Valentine" The liveliest prose and most ebullient voice in fiction I ve read in some time. Full of rich, odd, humorously soulful, and tortured souls who yearn for well, they don t often know, even if they think they do, but they want it. It s a romp, this novel, as if Dickens spawned Stanley Elkin and the Pynchon of"The Crying of Lot 49," yet the voice is Rubin s own. Masterful prose, full of kinetic energy. Brad Watson, author of the National Book Award finalist"The Heaven of Mercury"and PEN/Faulkner Award finalist"Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives" 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"bestselling author of"Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter" "From the Hardcover edition.""
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About Jacob Rubin

JACOB RUBIN s writing has appeared in the anthology "Best New American Voices, The New Yorker "online, "New York "magazine, "Slate," "n+1," and "The New Republic." He also writes for television and film.He lives in New York. "From the Hardcover edition.""
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Rating details

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