[sic]: A Memoir
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[sic]: A Memoir

3.2 11
by Joshua Cody
     
 

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“The memoir of the year . . . a book in which the sentences swing into you like small, gleaming axes.”—New York Times

Joshua Cody, a brilliant young composer, was about to receive his PhD when he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Facing a bone marrow transplant and full radiation, he charts his struggle: the fury, the

Overview

“The memoir of the year . . . a book in which the sentences swing into you like small, gleaming axes.”—New York Times

Joshua Cody, a brilliant young composer, was about to receive his PhD when he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Facing a bone marrow transplant and full radiation, he charts his struggle: the fury, the tendency to self-destruction, and the ruthless grasping for life and sensation; the encounter with beautiful Ariel, who gives him cocaine and a blow job in a Manhattan restaurant following his first treatment; the detailed morphine fantasy complete with a bride called Valentina while, in reality, hospital staff are pinning him to his bed.

Moving effortlessly between references to Don Giovanni and the Rolling Stones, Ezra Pound and Buffalo Bill, and studded with pages from his own diaries and hospital notebooks, [sic] is a mesmerizing, hallucinatory glimpse into a young man’s battle against disease and a celebration of art, language, music, and life.

Editorial Reviews

Gregory Cowles
I found myself wondering, as I read, what kind of music Cody composes, but it's not hard to venture a guess based on his prose: bright and jazzy and meandering, circling around a main theme with little snatches of repeated imagery and plenty of quotes from his influences…Life, of course, is always the point in a cancer memoir, and to judge from [Sic], Cody's has been livelier than most.
—The New York Times Book Review
Dwight Garner
…a stream-of-consciousness book about illness that I'm tempted to call, looking back on 2011, the memoir of the year. It's a sensorium, and a painful one, a book in which the sentences swing into you like small, gleaming axes…Quite early in [sic] Mr. Cody explains that "I'm not really a writer, I'm just writing this one thing and that's it." That first clause is a prevarication, and the second I hope is untrue. But if it's not, this one-off contains more wounded life than some pretty good writers get between pages during their entire careers.
—The New York Times
Elle
Watching Cody chart the newly realized connectivity of his passions, memories, illusions, and delusions against a ticking clock is exhilarating, and will send you reeling, too.
Jonathan Franzen - Guardian
“Hilarious and cracklingly intelligent, fully alive and original in every sentence, and abuzz with the feel of our late-latemodern moment.”
Nick Flynn
“To open this book is to engage with a spirit at once endlessly curious, genuinely funny, fiercely intelligent, and wonderfully perverse. Reading it I kept having the uncanny sense that I was holding something alive in my hands, something with a pulse. This book is a true gift, a wild ride, and a tour-de-force performance. Welcome to the new face of memoir.”
Stephen Heyman - T Magazine
“In [sic], the young classical composer Joshua Cody outstrips the weepy conventions of a cancer memoir by mixing aggressive, intelligent prose with shocking confessions, like the time he had cocaine-fueled sex with a stranger after chemotherapy.”
The New Yorker
“[Cody’s] description of the havoc wrought by both the disease and its treatment is devastating.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“A raw, seductive memoir about [Cody’s] descent into illness and excess . . . offers a beguiling, disquieting performance of the madness and humanity that can attend such life-disfiguring periods.”
New York Times Book Review
“[A] sprightly, manic cancer memoir… The resulting G-force of sex and death and insanity – and also, improbably, of music and math and modernist poetry – is the only evidence you need that for all its seeming formlessness, [sic] is in fact as artfully constructed as a Tarantino film.”
Guardian
Hilarious and cracklingly intelligent, fully alive and original in every sentence, and abuzz with the feel of our late-latemodern moment.— Jonathan Franzen
T Magazine
In [sic], the young classical composer Joshua Cody outstrips the weepy conventions of a cancer memoir by mixing aggressive, intelligent prose with shocking confessions, like the time he had cocaine-fueled sex with a stranger after chemotherapy.— Stephen Heyman
Booklist
“...this dazzling memoir recalls David Foster Wallace’s obsessive observations and evokes W. G. Sebald’s stream-of-consciousness curiosity (complete with photographs and facsimiles). Cody manages to turn what might have resulted in neurotic chaos into an artful and funny portrait of a man who remains courageous in the face of death; is wholly in love with life, art, and language; and breathes fresh spirit into the memoir genre.”
T Magazine - Stephen Heyman
“In [sic], the young classical composer Joshua Cody outstrips the weepy conventions of a cancer memoir by mixing aggressive, intelligent prose with shocking confessions, like the time he had cocaine-fueled sex with a stranger after chemotherapy.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393082975
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
11/05/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
1,043,624
File size:
11 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

What People are saying about this

Nick Flynn
To open this book is to engage with a spirit at once endlessly curious, genuinely funny, fiercely intelligent, and wonderfully perverse. Reading it I kept having the uncanny sense that I was holding something alive in my hands, something with a pulse. This book is a true gift, a wild ride, and a tour-de-force performance. Welcome to the new face of memoir.

Meet the Author

Joshua Cody received his bachelor’s degree in music composition from Northwestern University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Columbia University. He is a composer and filmmaker living in New York City.

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[sic] 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boring. I did not like this book at all, and I can read anything from a hot romance to a book on statistics.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
The rambling stream of consciousness writing is not appreciated when the rambler has no sense of direction. He certainly conveys none to me. I found the book pompous in that he essentially thought he could put any words to paper and we would find them readable. If anything, his writing style puts off the reader instead of welcoming him in. Sorry about the illness and all, but it didn't suddenly give you a talent for writing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
main character a blank (sic)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Clearly a great new novelist...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Love you too."