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You & Me: A Novel Hardcover – Jul 23 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco (July 23 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006212613X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062126139
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #527,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
You're on fire, dude. Aug. 12 2012
By las cosas - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Two stand-up comics without a script. Just riffing back and forth on anything two white males, somewhere between Jacksonville, Florida, and Bakersfield, California, can think up. And that covers a considerable amount of territory, from Jayne Mansfield's natural endowments to why anyone thought they could sell something called oleomargarine. Mildly politically incorrect, using a sometimes salty vocabulary Amazon wouldn't allow in a review, the language is simply over-the-top original.

Comparing it to Beckett's Waiting for Godot is misleading. Both works consist entirely of the dialog between two male characters, and in each case the subject matter stutters and wanders, but Godot is as much movement and silence as dialog. Powell revs up the velocity fairly high, leaving little room for anything other than the dialog. There are made-up words, convoluted logic and a verbal interplay I've seldom encountered. It is very much of the United States in the early 21st century, yet it is also any two old guys getting together for a gab. "Mine is the weak strength of bluster."

Each section is labeled "&" because each is just another riff, another of the same, and the dialog is cumulative. We are introduced to Studio Becalmed early in the book, and he bobs back up every few pages, often with his love, Jayne Mansfield. "We have need of adventure. Let us have one. Summon Studio Becalmed." This circling of people and things (lard-and-hair sandwich is my favorite) adds to the pleasure since you can see these inanities from various angles. I mean who knew that you could include lard-and-hair sandwich in at least a dozen scenarios?

Many words are made up, but you always know what is meant, and feel that now you have read it, of course such a word is real...
"The base percentage of crackpottage remains the same."
"leg-sawing racket-specializing insects"
"Do you feel free? I feel as free as a green jujube being wedged from its red brothers in the box. Spring forth, jujube. Jujube the man!"
"When I take that multivitamin without eating something I feel a little upchucky."

And to finish this review I'll give you a larger chunk of Powellisms:

Did we party last night?
Not, to my knowledge, beyond the usual, the genteel talktail party we always hold. Why?
Because I notice that all the knobs to the stove are off the stove.
They are gone?
No, on the kitchen floor.
Neatly or scattered?
I would say they are in a configuration that is between neat and scattered. As if they fell from the stove behaving like apples falling from the tree are wont to behave: not far.
That is an interesting idea, stove knobs as fruit of the stove.
Well, the fruit is on the ground.
I am without answer.
A stove-knob burglar came in and was frightened off the booty by something?
One of us sleepwalks and likes to pull appliances apart? Were you punished for playing with the stove as a wee?
Did another appliance molest the stove - did the toaster oven pull her knobs off? Did a bull come into our china shop? I would like to know who coined that conceit, the bull in the china shop, it is not bad at all.
I wonder if a bull has ever actually got into a china shop.
I would think, in the long reach of time, it not unlikely, at least once. A bull running, say, down a street in Spain could easily detour into a fine shop. Remember your laws of thermodynamics. I'll say it was Dickens, Sterne, one of those guys.
I am a little depressed.
I am too.
Nothing novel.
We should reknob the stove.
I'm going to. I left them on the floor only for evidentiary purposes. The crime will not be solved, we might as well sweep up the evidence.
That could be our motto for Life. Life will not be explained; sweep away the evidence.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Artful Inanities Aug. 13 2012
By JSC Siow - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Whimsical is what I'd call this volume. Comprising a choice selection of non sequitur-ish conversations between 2 ole geezers sitting on a porch in an unnamed dilapidated podunk place with little more than time and liquor-fueled imagination/memory as inspiration, their inane musings embody the best of what's commonly called shootin' the breeze ... which, depending on one's mood, can seem either depressingly trivial and pointless or archly funny and delightfully snippy commentary on the absurdities of life. An easy read that can be finished in one afternoon, this was a welcome and amusing distraction.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Curious reader Aug. 28 2012
By Curious reader - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You and Me by Padgett Powell was so funny at times that you doubled over with laughter and at other times you were gut socked with reality. Both laughter and reality crept up on you as you read. I plan to reread and savor this one.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I been hooked Aug. 3 2012
By mllecheree - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Richard W. Kopperdahl, your review of the book is from a sample? Well, if that's the standard . . . .

In the first third of the book, Padgett Powell displays genius in his use of the English language. I don't care that it has less plot than an average episode of "Seinfeld" -- the book is so hilarious I had to quit reading it before bed. "Seinfeld," on the other hand, I can watch without the smiles and giggles engendered interfering with my beauty sleep. I'm looking forward to continuing the read.

Oh, wait. Richard W. Kopperdahl, your 3-star review was actually about the book's marketing? It made you look, didn't it?
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Deliciously Weird Sept. 27 2012
By bisrosolan - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You & Me is a deliciously weird stream of consciousness that is hard to put down. There seems to be no central plot, but it still provides the reader with a story that feels like it is always moving forward. At times, it feels almost like voyeuristic glimpse into a private world shared by two elderly friends. I wanted the book to continue on further than it did as it felt that time with the characters was too short.

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