Customer Reviews for

The Flamethrowers

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
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5 Star

(9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

I am aware that critics are calling The Flamethrowers 'the great

I am aware that critics are calling The Flamethrowers 'the great American novel' and other such things. I agree that the author writes with striking verbiage, wonderful syntax, and amazing description of scenes and persons and places. She, somewhat like Mailer whose sty...
I am aware that critics are calling The Flamethrowers 'the great American novel' and other such things. I agree that the author writes with striking verbiage, wonderful syntax, and amazing description of scenes and persons and places. She, somewhat like Mailer whose style I love, makes you want to re-read paragraphs and pages to appreciate the writing along the way.  Her characters are complex, not too admirable, but interesting---often hard to like but always fascinating to watch. Many are full of themselves and the dialogue in certain occasions goes on too long like a long dinner party with too many egos we sometimes attend. The main character, Reno, is young and unfinished, still learning who she is as she encounters these many unique and much bigger characters. She is used and carried and hangs on to go with the flow, and along the way experiences places and things---and people---that will form her life and change her forever. Unfortunately, we don't know how Reno turns out; we can only imagine. I kept wanting her to get stronger and more her own person. I kept wanting more to happen in the plot, the story. While the descriptions were vivid and the conversations philosophical and thought-provoking, I wanted the story to go farther. I love how the book was written, but not so much where it went. 

posted by Atthebeach on June 7, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Fresh look at an often visited topic.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It covers the NYC revolutionary sub-culture in a thoughtful and often very humorous way. Sharp writing and story telling.

posted by Tcasscros on August 28, 2013

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  • Posted June 7, 2013

    I am aware that critics are calling The Flamethrowers 'the great

    I am aware that critics are calling The Flamethrowers 'the great American novel' and other such things. I agree that the author writes with striking verbiage, wonderful syntax, and amazing description of scenes and persons and places. She, somewhat like Mailer whose style I love, makes you want to re-read paragraphs and pages to appreciate the writing along the way.  Her characters are complex, not too admirable, but interesting---often hard to like but always fascinating to watch. Many are full of themselves and the dialogue in certain occasions goes on too long like a long dinner party with too many egos we sometimes attend. The main character, Reno, is young and unfinished, still learning who she is as she encounters these many unique and much bigger characters. She is used and carried and hangs on to go with the flow, and along the way experiences places and things---and people---that will form her life and change her forever. Unfortunately, we don't know how Reno turns out; we can only imagine. I kept wanting her to get stronger and more her own person. I kept wanting more to happen in the plot, the story. While the descriptions were vivid and the conversations philosophical and thought-provoking, I wanted the story to go farther. I love how the book was written, but not so much where it went. 

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 14, 2014

    Uneven but fascinating and sharply written

    She's been compared to Joan Didion and indeed, her "lapidary" prose does thrill as it cuts to the core of complicated political and psychological goings-on, in the turbulent, topsy-turvy times of 1970's U.S. and Italy. If this sounds like a lot to chew on, therein lies both the beauty and the flaws of this novel - an ambitious study of a young woman's coming of age, artistically and socially, that sometimes is brilliant but at others seems patched together. A bit more editing, perhaps, and this story would have flowed more smoothly. Too many of the male characters seemed cut from the same cloth.

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  • Posted November 24, 2013

    I enjoyed the book enough to buy the other book she wrote.

    Proof of what I though of Flamethrowers is that my next book purchase was Telex from Havana the other book by RK which I also enjoyed. Flamethrowers has a historical and political basis which ties the action and romantic parts of the story together. The historical parts I researched were found to be accurate. The character depth was good and you had to believe she had first hand experience of the situations she described. One reviewer criticized the large number of characters but I didn’t think this was a problem, in this book but there are a ton of characters in Telex . A large number of characters can be conquered with a little organized note taking which I always do anyway. Really liked the book and would recommend it.

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  • Posted November 17, 2013

    Interesting Characters and Settings

    Traces life of young woman, her romance with an older Italian Minimalist artist and the story of his Italian Motorcycle Empire family in Northern Europe. Sounds kind of strange by the motorcycle hub works. Includes the New York City art scene, motorcycle racing, radical groups in NYC and in Italy. I found this a different type of book. Sometimes a bit confusing and slow. but i can see why it was nominated for a book award. A young woman's Odyssey from the west coast to NYC to Northern Italy.

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    Posted February 25, 2014

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    Posted July 10, 2013

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    Posted April 12, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2014

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