The Verificationist

The Verificationist With The Verificationist Donald Antrim acclaimed author of The Hundred Brothers confirms his place as one of America s strangest and fiercely intelligent young writers One April night a group of p

  • Title: The Verificationist
  • Author: Donald Antrim
  • ISBN: 9780679769439
  • Page: 235
  • Format: Paperback
  • With The Verificationist, Donald Antrim, acclaimed author of The Hundred Brothers, confirms his place as one of America s strangest and fiercely intelligent young writers.One April night, a group of psychologists from the Krakower Institute meet at a pancake house, where they order breakfast foods and engage in shop talk and the occasional flirtation At the center of thisWith The Verificationist, Donald Antrim, acclaimed author of The Hundred Brothers, confirms his place as one of America s strangest and fiercely intelligent young writers.One April night, a group of psychologists from the Krakower Institute meet at a pancake house, where they order breakfast foods and engage in shop talk and the occasional flirtation At the center of this maelstrom of pyschobabble and unrequited lust sits Tom, program coordinator for the Young Women of Strength, who has been known to sob uncontrollably at meetings When Tom tries to initiate a food fight, a rival psychologist bear hugs him into submission, resulting in an out of body experience that leaves our Tom hovering over his colleagues In the hands of Donald Antrim, this unique perspective becomes an exuberantly funny riff on our culture that does nothing less than expose the core of emotions underlying the most basic of human needs.

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      Published :2019-02-02T07:27:40+00:00

    About "Donald Antrim"

    1. Donald Antrim

      Donald Antrim is an American novelist His first novel, Elect Mr Robinson for a Better World, was published in 1993 In 1999 The New Yorker named him as among the twenty best writers under the age of forty.Antrim is a frequent contributor of fiction to The New Yorker and has written a number of critically acclaimed novels, including The Verificationist and The Hundred Brothers, which was a finalist for the 1998 PEN Faulkner Award in fiction He is also the author of The Afterlife, a 2006 memoir about his mother, Louanne Self He has received grants and awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Dorothy and Lewis B Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library.Antrim is the brother of the artist Terry Leness and the son of Harry Antrim, a scholar of T S Eliot Antrim has been associated with the writers David Foster Wallace and Jonathan Franzen, and the visual artist Christa Parravani.He has taught prose fiction at the graduate school of New York University and was the Mary Ellen von der Heyden Fellow for Fiction at the American Academy in Berlin, Germany, for spring 2009 Antrim teaches in the MFA program at Columbia University He lives in Brooklyn.

    497 thoughts on “The Verificationist”

    1. Life, I think, is like eating pancakes at night: full of compulsion, sweetness, regret, heaviness, strange incongruity, and, if the ingredients are just right, a surprising grace. In this brilliant, witty, and insightful short novel by Donald Antrim, a group of psychologists meet for a pancake supper one evening. Not much happens. They talk both shop & gossip, they flirt and argue, and the narrator, whose narration is rich with astoundingly witty, inventive, insightful, sad, and hopeful lang [...]


    2. I don't use the P-word lightly, so you can be assured of my certitude when I tell you that this book is some pretentious-ass bullshit.


    3. This book happened to catch me at the exact point in my life where it would be the most uncomfortable.I get pretty down on myself around my birthday, which I know is pretty ridiculous, but here we are. This most recent one was probably the toughest yet -- without wallowing too much in self-pity, I'll just say that I'm not exactly where I thought I'd be at 31 years of age in terms of my career, finances, creative goals, or most importantly, relationships. I'm acutely aware of time passing these d [...]


    4. I recommend this to the reader with a 2 to 3 hour flight because, like the compact little snack you'll probably get on the flight, this is a compact little book that you could probably finish off before you touch down to wherever you're going. Try starting the book in line at the airline consul and continue reading as you taxi around the runway for take off, then you should leave the ground at just about the same time the narrator does. It'll be like you're living the book! As the summary on the [...]


    5. If the Postal Service's Such Great Heights pops into your head more than once while reading The Verificationist don't be surprised, since most of the story takes place in the cloud layer of a pancake house. The protagonist--whose lengthy astral projection is the result of a homoerotic bear hug: floats as he admires his server, thinks about his wife, picks apart his co-workers, all while provoking a few debates within his introspective search for a comfortable state of maturity. Antrim's brand of [...]


    6. Antrim is one of my favorite writers, but he had more fun with this book than I did as a reader. George Saunders' intro nails it: the writer is like a dog rolling around in the grass without a care in the world. Which is both delightful and, ultimately, tiresome. Still, I'm glad I read the book. Its humanity and humor are indispensable, and, like the Hundred Brothers, written amazingly in real time with only minor reflections on the past.I don't resent being frustrated by a great writer like Ant [...]


    7. And now, a scene from the Simpsons that encapsulates my feelings towards this book:Moe has radically remodeled his bar, and it is now filled with assorted eurotrash, yuppies and pseudo-hipsters. Homer and friends appear at the grand re-opening and are taken aback by the crowd and environment. Looking up at a TV above the bar that is showing an image of an eyeball blinking and looking wildly around, they ask him what the hell it's for. "It's po-mo" says Moe. This elicits no reply from the guys. " [...]



    8. This is one of the few American novels I've read more than once, and one of even fewer published in the last 30 years that doesn't make me want to hold my head under a massive magnet until it erases all knowledge I have of the language. I first read the excerpt that was published in the new yorker in 99 or 2000 and couldn't believe that they actually published a decent piece of fiction. Astonishing. I waited for the book to come out and it far exceeded what the excerpt set up. So much humor plus [...]


    9. Regarded only through the lenses of magic realism or surrealism, this book is a hilarious (albeit in an entirely disturbing and discomfiting manner) and occasionally poignant story of an adult male trying to simultaneously avoid and claim his status as a man. But Antrim seems to not be writing a narrative only about this character's dream-like journey (or lack thereof). His deft use of these techniques to heighten the disassociative state of the narrator, to lend it greater realness and credence [...]


    10. o del surrealismo fatto arteTom è uno psicologo, e come molti che fanno questo mestiere tende a manipolare, analizzare e attribuire significati un po' a casouna sera durante una cena coi colleghi in una tavola calda che serve solo pancakes la faccenda assume connotati surreali, certo che se uno psicologo lancia briciole di pane è normale che i colleghi psicologi infantili, essendo lesti a capire i gesti ludici, alzino i menù tutti insieme come un sol uomo per ripararsi, del resto le farnetica [...]


    11. Antrim is the master of the casually bizarre. In crisp, fact-laden descriptions, he gives the reader a perfectly ordinary world scarred by just one or two total strokes of insanity, making his short books both archly comic and deeply unsettling. A genealogy of his influencers could include Charlie Kaufmann, Woodie Allen's neurotic monologues, and Kafka's Metamorphosis, but you don't really need to go past Donald Barthelme (Antrim discusses this in a wonderful retrospective by John Jeremiah Sulli [...]


    12. Wild, funny and dreamlike in the truest sense (in that, at the end, you are left scratching your head, wondering what it means). But there are so many great moments. Antrim is clearly toking off the Saunders bong. If I had to guess at what this book is about, and it's one of those books where the author's genius is foregrounded, I would say the Verificationist is about the impossibility and subsequent infinite longing for human connection, as well as the sadness that results when someone looks a [...]


    13. Despite how much I look for strange fiction, this is one of the more unique novels I've managed to come across in a long time. It's premise, it's style, it's language, it's characters, it's everything are as fresh and interesting as anything I've seen in a long time. It is a real pleasure to read. I just got into it right form the first page and remained just as interested all the way through. There is wonderful humor as well. Really, it is a wonderful book.


    14. Okay, to say I read this book is an overstatement. I just . . . could . . . not . . . finish it. I tried, but I couldn't do it. It was just too absurdist for me. The story is told by a psychologist and takes place during a dinner of psychologist coworkers at a local diner. Maybe if you were a psychologist you would be amused by it??? I was not.



    15. Fans of Antrim's bizarre brand of absurdist comedy will not be disappointed. That said, The Hundred Brothers is a far superior work. So, three stars.



    16. Nifty, smart and absurdly crazy!Antrim has created, with his extraordinary imagination, a sharp-razor-off-the-wall literary work that is amazingly full of rude humor, grief, and longing to capture the domestic American life in a pitch-perfect surrealizing atmosphere!For instance, the narrator, Tom, views much of the book's action from the perspective of the pancake house's ceiling!!Oh, yea!*From the Inside Flap:"With" The Verificationist, Donald Antrim, acclaimed author of The Hundred Brothers, [...]


    17. This book is really weird. There were things I loved and things I didn't quite connect with here, so overall a mixed bag. The premise of this book is that a troubled psychologist goes out to dinner with his coworkers at a pancake restaurant. He decides to throw a piece of toast, gets put in a bear hug by another coworker to stop him from throwing the toast, and then he ends up having an out of body contemplative experience for the next 150 pages or so. The main character Tom is struggling with a [...]



    18. Imagine The Homecoming mixed with A Confederacy of Dunces. Somehow, despite the book being mostly internal emotions, reflections, thought processes, memories, and tangents, I think it would work well as an absurdist play. The book takes place almost entirely at a pancake restaurant where our hero, Tom, has invited his psychotherapist colleagues to dinner. It also almost entirely takes place while Tom is being held tightly in the arms of his corpulent coworker, Richard, ostensibly to prevent Tom [...]


    19. i didn't like this as much as elect mr robinson for a better world, or one hundred brothers. the verifcationist had far less of the vitality and rocket fuel. the mania of the protagonist was deeply reflective, perhaps whereas the other characters in EMRFABW and 100 Bros, were nearly oblivious about their psychological unmoorings. those protagonists also were essentially extremists in a extreme world, that was only slightly distorted from our own, and thus served as a fascinating commentary on mo [...]


    20. One review drew a strong parrallel between The Verificationist and the recent book, Atmospheric Disturbances. Of the two, I prefer the Verificationist because although it supposedly all takes place within a pancake house, things ACTUALLY HAPPEN in this book. The pilgrim's self-aware, pursues fantasies, and changes, whereas in Atmospheric Disturbances, as clever as it was, the book itself was one big disturbance. The protagonist moves around the planet but stays locked within his delusions.To be [...]


    21. 4.5/5Donald Antrim is a writer who I've only discovered recently, which has left me cursing the time I wasted not knowing him. It's not unlike my experience with George Saunders several years ago—who wrote the introduction to The Verificationist and is, unsurprisingly, a fan. Antrim, like Saunders, is a master of surrealism, compassion, and humor. He's a man after my own heart.In The Verificationist, our narrator, Tom, a psychologist at the Krakower Institute in New England, invites his collea [...]


    22. “I know you were in pain. But other people’s pain is funny, don’t you think?”This line is uttered at the two-thirds mark. Read out context, you could easily assume that this is a cruel bastard of a person but allow me to assure you that she is actually a beautiful teenaged waitress who had just been cajoled by a dysfunctional therapist into joining him into a levitation by the ceiling of a pancake restaurant. The incident to which she is referring was when Tom, the aforementioned therapi [...]


    23. "The verificationist", wat een titel. Nog voor je één letter gelezen hebt zoek je al naar de betekenis van dit woord, dat amper vertaald kan worden naar het Nederlands. Het boek startte met een heleboel existentiële overpeinzingen, vervlochten in een verhaal over een kinderloos koppel, waarvan de man - temidden van zijn midlife/identiteitscrisis - menig zinvolle psychologische (analystische) theoriëen verkondigde, zowel tegen zijn vrouw als tegen zijn collega's, waarmee hij een pannenkoekend [...]


    24. time has come to a chokehold halt. "We respect one another's shame. Let me say in this light that I take no special pleasure in reporting on my bowel movements, and would not do so for one minute were it not for the fact that Jane was showing no sign of leaving the bathroom. In the meantime I was chattering and pontificating, loudly, to cover the unromantic, humbling sound of shit hitting the water. 'It is not unusual,' I announced from the toilet, 'to invest other people with precisely those qu [...]


    25. Donald is certainly a talented writer and arguably deserves to be recognized by the NYT as a Notable Book, if for no other reason than he is one to watch. I enjoyed the book, just fine, found the convention he used in which to tell his story comfortable enough for me to fall in line with. However, my problem with the book seems to be my problem with a lot of "post-modern", "contemporary", "literary fiction" hitting the shelves these days: Clever premise, but perhaps not dimensional enough to ser [...]


    26. I remember the strangeness of reading Beckett's Molloy the first time. The strangeness of reading that book was like the strangeness of reading this book. At times, I found the strangeness completely absorbing and felt that it worked as a way of expressing something that a more traditional mode of writing couldn't really express -- something about, say, the "reality" of our fantasies and nightmares exceeding the "reality" of the ordinary and mundane, about the intensity of desire, about the comp [...]


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