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Nd the first cautious steps taken toward piecing a life back together It took a long time for me to admit I had failed Anastas begins Broke his promising literary career evaporated he’s hounded by debt collectors as he tries to repair a life ripped apart by the spectacular implosion of his marriage which ended when his pregnant wife left him for another man Had it all been too good to be true Anastas’s fierce love for his young so I loved this book for its wisdom about money about heartbreak about longing for its honesty Anastas s poverty may not run uite so deep as those who are truly suffering in this country but I know many of us will recognize ourselves in his struggles and in the connections he makes to what we learn in childhood A beautiful book

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Too Good to Be True

N forces him to confront his own childhood fraught with mental illness and divorce His father’s disdain for money might have been in line with the ’70s zeitgeist but what does it mean when you’re dumping change into a Coinstar machine trying to scrounge enough to buy your son a meal Charged with rage and despair humor and hope this unforgettable book is about losing one’s way and finding it again and the redemptive power of ar Something of a disappointment A memoir of a sort of a once successful author who finds himself entering his 40s divorced broke and adrift I went into it rooting for him but I can t say the story he tells is particularly insightful or compelling Anastas is a talented writer to be sure but there s not much real effort at self reflection or self awareness evidenced in these pages He confesses to a sin of cheating on his girlfriend later wife but everything that follows seems to be the result of others inexplicable and it seems to him inexcusable behavior Perhaps but as the book wore on I found myself trusting him less and less I don t want to dismiss the real anxieties and troubles that he found himself in but he lived to published a book about it and a dash of humor would have helped He traces a central source of his problems to the idea that he lived from his youth onward a life that was too good to be true which left him unprepared for rockier times and unaccountable failure but that phrase reeks of a particular kind of condescension that surfaces here and there throughout this book a kind of attitude I might have taken if it had been presented with a little self deprecation and a bit of a laugh rather than with the utter seriousness on display here

Benjamin Anastas ✓ 8 Summary

When he was three in the early 1970s Benjamin Anastas found himself in his mother’s fringe therapy group in Massachusetts a sign around his neck Too Good to Be True The phrase haunted him through his life even as he found the literary acclaim he sought after his 1999 novel An Underachiever’s Diary had made the smart set take notice  Too Good to Be True is his deeply moving memoir of fathers and sons crushing debt and infidelity a I was definitely exposed to too much Fitzgerald at an early age One of the first things I did when I moved to New York after grad school was visit the Scribner building on 5th Avenue and try to summon the ghosts of Fitzgerald and his legendary editor Maxwell Perkins to no avail What pushes Too Good to Be True over the top and makes it than just a precious lament by a writer who made it much further than most ever will is Mr Anastas s intense and timely writing about money More specifically his writing about what it is like to have almost none at all and to be vertiginously in debt Well well WELL I believe I found The Nomineewith the gaze of a rigorous formalist in the tradition of BS Johnson William Gaddis Robert Coover and Alain Robbe Grillet I got that from Wikipedia nice entrygoogle william gaddis robert coover alain robbe grillet First hit His first published novel Sound on Sound 1995 draws upon innovations pioneered in the work of his father but also contains echoes of many other modernist and postmodernist writers including Robert Coover William Faulkner William Gaddis B S Johnson and Alain Robbe Grillet A rigorously formal book it is structuredAnd Trancewas named a finalist for the 2005 National Book Award for FictionAnd lesseeI bet this is the picture Soon after that you posed for a publicity photo in my old bedroom You know the one You re standing by the window barefoot In a T shirt and jeans Books everywhere It s a nice picture The light is flatteringETA But the Mets you said in your expansive mode are a team strangely inclined to fatalism Yup that s Sorrentino it s a straight uote from Believeniks I mean unless it s Jonathan Lethem but I doubt it Altho Lethem lived in Brooklyn too Hmmm The timing doesn t fit for the kid or the not winning the award tho


10 thoughts on “Too Good to Be True

  1. says:

    When Benjamin Anastas tells us that his memoir is about failure he seems to believe it He flagellates himself for never replicating the success of his first novel He howls at his childish decision to cheat on his wife while on a business trip in Europe He shakes with shame when telling us that he's deep in debt But as Anastas enumerates his sins he simultaneously forwards a counter narrative He continues to wo

  2. says:

    'I was definitely exposed to too much Fitzgerald at an early age One of the first things I did when I moved to New York after grad school was visit the Scribner building on 5th Avenue and try to summon the ghosts of Fitzgerald and his legendary

  3. says:

    Suppose that you are a fairly young writer who has attained an enviable degree of success with a couple of published books and some connections with major literary magazines listed on your CV But then your life starts falling apart You go broke you have an ill considered affair that once confessed causes your pregnant wi

  4. says:

    Why can't you give a book no stars Goodreads This doesn't deserve anyI hated this book so much I live tweeted my h

  5. says:

    Here’s the thing about literary failure if it’s real we would never know No misses the middling literary novel or even the masterpiece tha

  6. says:

    I loved this book for its wisdom about money about heartbreak about longing for its honesty Anastas's poverty may not run uite so deep as those who are truly suffering in this country but I know many of us will

  7. says:

    Reading this I was reminded of two letters to Sugar featured in Tiny Beautiful Things the one from the young woman who can't move forward because she thinks her student loan debt defines her and the one from the aspiring writer with the staggering sense of entitlement and the MFA from the prestigious school Cheryl Strayed tells the former to stop sniveling make a budget get a job and to remember how fortunate she is; she tells the latter to

  8. says:

    Something of a disappointment A memoir of a sort of a once successful author who finds himself entering his 40s

  9. says:

    Haven't read a book this compelling in a long time and I read a lot Writers especially will devour it but I thi

  10. says:

    Most of us open our eyes at some point in our lives and find ourselves in a place we never would have chosen if we'd been