Sway: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

Three dramatic and emblematic stories intertwine in Zachary Lazar's extraordinary new novel, SWAY--the early days of the Rolling Stones, including the romantic triangle of Brian Jones, Anita Pallenberg, and Keith Richards; the life of avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger; and the community of Charles Manson and his followers. Lazar illuminates an hour in American history when rapture found its roots in idolatrous figures and led to unprovoked and inexplicable violence. Connecting all the stories in this novel is ...
See more details below
Sway: A Novel

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price

Overview

Three dramatic and emblematic stories intertwine in Zachary Lazar's extraordinary new novel, SWAY--the early days of the Rolling Stones, including the romantic triangle of Brian Jones, Anita Pallenberg, and Keith Richards; the life of avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger; and the community of Charles Manson and his followers. Lazar illuminates an hour in American history when rapture found its roots in idolatrous figures and led to unprovoked and inexplicable violence. Connecting all the stories in this novel is Bobby Beausoleil, a beautiful California boy who appeared in an Anger film and eventually joined the Manson "family." With great artistry, Lazar weaves scenes from these real lives together into a true but heightened reality, making superstars human, giving demons reality, and restoring mythic events to the scale of daily life.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Lazar's second novel (after Aaron, Approximately) fictionalizes the 1960s, the Rolling Stones, Charles Manson, and Kenneth Anger, successfully capturing both the emotional and the emotionless, including a disturbingly stoic Manson before a murder and the confused, bipolar Rolling Stones on the rise-and sometimes on the run. The story shifts among the stories, linked by filmmaker Anger and actor Bobby Beausoleil, the latter of whom eventually joined the Manson family after acting in Anger's first film; considerable attention is paid to the Stones' internal conflicts, leading to the death of Brian Jones and the band's subsequent success. Although the story is a creative remaking of the 1960s, there is nothing particularly striking about the plotline because we know the end. The story seems like any other Stones biography placed side by side with Kenneth Anger and Charles Manson as a comparative device to bring out the horror. Yet this is also a compliment to Lazar, who's able to make his work seem like nonfiction, encapsulating the aura of the times in much the way that a film captures the essence of real characters. Recommended for large public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ9/15/07.]
—Stephen Morrow

Kirkus Reviews
The often self-destructive misadventures of "young people severed from all ties to the ordinary world" are chronicled in Lazar's alluringly creepy second novel (Aaron, Approximately, 1998). It tells three linked stories, each populated by iconic figures of the late 1960s. Beautiful-boy drifter and sometime rock musician Bobby Beausoleil wanders into the orbit of a charismatic "messiah" named Charlie, whose southern Californian "family" obediently isolate themselves in order to articulate his vision of uncompromising "love." A few years earlier, several young males survive a frigid winter in an unheated London flat, devoting themselves to the creation of a driving musical style compounded of ingeniously mingled influences and raw technical virtuosity. As Mick, Brian, Keith et al. become the Rolling Stones and their "aloof antistyle" makes them famous, an introverted California boy, Kenneth Anglemyer, having survived the late Depression years and converted his fear of his physically abusive father into an artistic passion, becomes a furtive homosexual cruiser and the celebrated underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger, creator of such abrasive cinema as Scorpio Rising and Flaming Creatures. As pansexual Bobby glides in and out of Anger's life, the Stones grow ever more famous, abuse various substances and one another and attract the attention of the itinerant Anger-who sees in Mick Jagger's polymorphous perversity the "Angel of Light" Lucifer, for which role Anger had groomed the unstable Bobby. The novel moves swiftly, and Lazar handles the numerous segues from one story to another with a veteran film editor's finesse. The novel drags, so to speak, when focused on the Stones's sartorialcampiness, the suicidal shenanigans of their least energetic member Brian Jones and the sniping brought on by sexual sharing of notorious rock molls Anita Pallenberg and Marianne Faithfull. But the ending has a powerful kick, and we're still hearing its echoes. A skillful dramatization of the consequences of making and inhabiting your own world. The Stones ought to write a song about it.
From the Publisher
"Zachary Lazar's superb second novel, Sway, reads like your parents' nightmare idea of what would happen to you if you fell under the spell of rock 'n' roll...Elegant and intricate...this brilliant novel is about what's to be found in the shadows, the most terrifying crannies of twisted souls, the darkest gleaming gems."—Charles Taylor, New York Times Book Review

"Lazar has created a powerful, infernal prism through which to view the potent, still-rippling contradictions of the late '60s. It's no mean feat. Despite the era's nearly impossible richness, fresh insights are hard to come by."—Mark Rozzo, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"One hypnotic tone poem.... It is not the now-historic acts of violence that make Sway so riveting, but its vivid character portraits and decadent, muzzy atmosphere, all rendered with the heightened sensory awareness associated with drugs and paranoia. The near miniaturist precision with which he describes Keith Richards's attempts to master his guitar, Brian Jones's acid trips and Anger's obsessive desire for Beausoleil bring this large-scale tableau into stunning relief."—Liz Brown, Time Out New York

Charles Taylor - New York Times Book Review
"Zachary Lazar's superb second novel, Sway, reads like your parents' nightmare idea of what would happen to you if you fell under the spell of rock 'n' roll...Elegant and intricate...this brilliant novel is about what's to be found in the shadows, the most terrifying crannies of twisted souls, the darkest gleaming gems."
Mark Rozzo - Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Lazar has created a powerful, infernal prism through which to view the potent, still-rippling contradictions of the late '60s. It's no mean feat. Despite the era's nearly impossible richness, fresh insights are hard to come by."
Liz Brown - Time Out New York
"One hypnotic tone poem.... It is not the now-historic acts of violence that make Sway so riveting, but its vivid character portraits and decadent, muzzy atmosphere, all rendered with the heightened sensory awareness associated with drugs and paranoia. The near miniaturist precision with which he describes Keith Richards's attempts to master his guitar, Brian Jones's acid trips and Anger's obsessive desire for Beausoleil bring this large-scale tableau into stunning relief."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316028363
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 1/7/2008
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 205,768
  • File size: 513 KB

Meet the Author

Zachary Lazar graduated from Brown University, has been a Fellow at The Provincetown Fine Arts Works Center, and received the Iowa Writer's Workshop's James Michener/Copernicus Society Prize. His first novel, "Aaron Approximately," was published in 1998.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 6, 2009

    Not impressed

    Recommended by B&N staff and some good word of mouth around store, but overall, not very impressive.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Lost in the Sixties

    I just finished reading Sway by Zachary Lazar, and am a little lost. He takes three actual people from the 60s (Brian Jones, Charles Manson and Kenneth Anger) and intertwine the real life events of their lives to make this novel. I did get the feel of what life was like in that time, and 'getting' to know the early Rolling Stones was fascinating but I didn't get the feel of what Lazar was attempting to do with the book.. He inserted a lot of actual events and then some fictional stuff too. The story was uneven. Did it even have an ending?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)