Waiting Period

Waiting Period

3.37 (915 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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In this highly polished and slightly twisted moral tale, a man pulls back from the brink of suicide when his application to buy a gun with which to shoot himself is delayed. Instead of throwing his life away, he decides to spend all his time and effort disposing of those who he feels deserve to die. Targeting a bureaucrat in the Veterans' Administration, he devises an ingenious method of murdering people without trace. With a renewed zest for living he embarks on a joyful killing spreeI>Hubert Selby Jr. was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1928. After a career in the merchant marine cut short by illness, he achieved international recognition for his acclaimed cult classic, "Last Exit to Brooklyn." Darren Aronofsky's film adaptation of Selby's "Requiem for a Dream," starring Jared Leto and Ellen Burstyn was one of independent cinema's biggest hits in 2001.[box]Also available: "The Room"TP $14.95, 0-7145-3038-7 - CUSA"The Demon"TP $14.95, 0-7145-2599-5 - CUSA"Song of the Silent Snow"TP $14.95, 0-7145-3050-6 - CUSA"The Willow Tree"TC $25.95, 0-7145-3024-7 - CUSA
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Product details

  • Hardback | 177 pages
  • 141.7 x 222.5 x 17.5mm | 371.95g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0714530719
  • 9780714530710
  • 739,673

Review quote

"I love the book because it transcends fashion and style...It's fantastic."
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Rating details

915 ratings
3.37 out of 5 stars
5 16% (145)
4 29% (262)
3 37% (334)
2 15% (135)
1 4% (39)

Our customer reviews

Even if you haven't read any of Selby, Jr.'s previous works, you should know you are reading one of the true masters of contemporary (20th century) fiction. Selby has always been uncompromising, since his very first novel that caused such outrage and impact (Last Exit to Brooklyn). 'Waiting Period' focuses on the huge frustration and anger that we all feel about the "forces" in our life (read: bureaucracy, institutions, conventional thinking, endless forms to fill in, a demanded subservience to authority). There are several powerful reasons to read this novel: one, is that it speaks up for thsoe who are most often made silent - the vast majority of the wasted, used, exploited, unemployed, unknown. The narrator of the story speaks directly to you, which is powerful enough in itself. But then you find through his narration that he is one of the many neglected, ignored underclass - he has served the government, he has done his duty - and all he is left with is the endless arbitrage with dealing with government bureaucracy as a war veteran. Ultimately, being ignored over too much time, and feeling, in conclusion, desperately suicidal, he decides to buy a gun and kill himself. But there's a glitch in the computer system, and the few days it takes for him to get the gun, makes him completely re-interpret his purpose and - well, r'aison d'etre. There are many wonderful, incredible highlights about this novel: not least, that you are drawn in, as a reader, from the outset to the end, to the narrator's own viewpoint; you have no other. He decides, instead of killing himself, he should kill at least the principal figure who controls the finances of the government administration and who, automatically, continues to deny him his rightful claims to support. Most especially, because you are reading the novel from a deeply personal, angry first person point of view, you are left with no choice as a reader but to determine the truth/fiction of his claims/anger et al, according to what he is writing. Selby's genius, is that he enables you to experience the sheer anger, deprivation, frustration and anxiety of a Vet, while at the same time "hearing" the narrator trying, always, to rationalise his behaviour, so that he does the "right" thing. The intensity, and sheer, unrelenting power, of the narrative, frankly only draws you to one conclusion: inevitably, frankly justifiably, you side with the narrator as he fantasises and commits acts of - how shall we call them - "death"?; "execution"?; no; frankly, you side with him to the point where you think he kills rightly for justice - from the fascistic deniar of rightful VA claims, to genuine racists who have killed and since glorified their actions in yearly festivals. The intensity is comparably to Louis-Ferdinand Celine's fiction, but Selby goes far beyond that. He takes no prisoners; if you read him, from the very first page, you are ultimately drawn - and rightfully compromised/justified - in his viewpoint to take revenge. An amazing novel - incredibly focused, relentlessly first person, overwhelming, powerful, deeply moving. An important novel that is part of the despair, anxiety, alienation and frustration expressed towards the powerful, institutions and society in general that Celine first articulated in the 1930s onwards and, with Selby, we have a writer who has continued Celine's legacy. Should you read this novel you will, I promise, never forget it.show more
by bobbygw
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