Stone Arabia

Stone Arabia

A Novel

Book - 2011
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Stone Arabia, Dana Spiotta's moving and intrepid third novel, is about family, obsession, memory, and the urge to create--in isolation, at the margins of our winner-take-all culture.

In the sibling relationship, "there are no first impressions, no seductions, no getting to know each other," says Denise Kranis. For her and her brother, Nik, now in their forties, no relationship is more significant. They grew up in Los Angeles in the late seventies and early eighties. Nik was always the artist, always wrote music, always had a band. Now he makes his art in private, obsessively documenting the work, but never testing it in the world. Denise remains Nik's most passionate and acute audience, sometimes his only audience. She is also her family's first defense against the world's fragility. Friends die, their mother's memory and mind unravel, and the news of global catastrophe and individual tragedy haunts Denise. When her daughter, Ada, decides to make a film about Nik, everyone's vulnerabilities seem to escalate.

Dana Spiotta has established herself as a "singularly powerful and provocative writer" ( The Boston Globe ) whose work is fiercely original. Stone Arabia --riveting, unnerving, and strangely beautiful--reexamines what it means to be an artist and redefines the ties that bind.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, c2011.
ISBN: 9781451617962
9781451617979
Characteristics: 237 p. ;,23 cm.

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tegan
Dec 15, 2011

I had such hope for this book as it had been compared in the New Yorker to 'Freedom' and 'The Goon Squad'. I liked both of these books, but this book was a bit of a flop. The voice of the book is strange. And the plot is annoying...it is all about a sister talking about her brothers music career and his fake scrapbooking. I do not recommend this.

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burleighsmith
Oct 14, 2011

Wonderful tale of a sister’s love for her rock-obsessed brother. The brother could-of-been-a rock art star (think Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth), but principles—or something—got in the way, and instead, he created his mythology and art for an audience of only his immediate few fans. The voice we hear telling us this tale is that of his devoted sister. Her predicament is arresting. Being in the shadows of wanna be rock star guys who can’t grow up, she doesn’t grow up. Although being a member of the responsible gender, she does carry her share of responsibilities—making up for her brother. If you were born late ‘50s or so and were caught in the glow of the nihilist punk rock scene, this imaginative fabrication should delight you. I liked Jennifer Egan’s A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD, but would recommend this first. Dan Spiotta is less about spinning a clever story and more about getting to the soul of these lost aging rockers.

kcs76 Oct 10, 2011

A novel about memory, obsession, delusion, and reality. It's well written, the characters are interesting (if not compelling), but somehow the whole thing feels like an exercise by the star pupil in an advanced fiction writing workshop. I guess there is such a thing as too much craft.

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