«Col suo parlare di omosessualità, satanismo, tossicodipendenza, promiscuità, nichilismo e decadenza in generale, il superbo romanzo di Zachary Lazar, Sway , interpreta quanto i vostri genitori temono vi accadrebbe se vi lasciaste stregare dal rock'n'roll». The New York Times La famiglia Manson, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Marianne Faithfull e tutti gli altri. L'indimenticabile ritratto collettivo di una generazione di rock star, registi e visionari che in un crescendo di violenza e follia collettiva trasformò nel'69 l'Estate dell'Amore
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Sway (Versione Italiana)

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«Col suo parlare di omosessualità, satanismo, tossicodipendenza, promiscuità, nichilismo e decadenza in generale, il superbo romanzo di Zachary Lazar, Sway , interpreta quanto i vostri genitori temono vi accadrebbe se vi lasciaste stregare dal rock'n'roll». The New York Times La famiglia Manson, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Marianne Faithfull e tutti gli altri. L'indimenticabile ritratto collettivo di una generazione di rock star, registi e visionari che in un crescendo di violenza e follia collettiva trasformò nel'69 l'Estate dell'Amore nell'Estate dell'Orrore. Come una sequenza montata col genio e la sregolatezza di Kenneth Anger, le immagini di Sway si susseguono in un crescendo inquietante e magnetico, raccontando il sogno hippy e la sua deriva demoniaca. Dall'innocenza e il glamour dei Rolling Stones degli esordi, alla morte di Brian Jones annegato nella piscina di casa, dagli omicidi Manson al tragico concerto di Altamont. «Joseph Conrad diceva che la narrativa è prima di tutto un'arte visiva; per questo gli sarebbe piaciuto molto Sway : per i mille indelebili dettagli visivi di grandissima originalità e per la capacità di Lazar di far luce nel cuore nero della contemporaneità». Edmund White «Una penetrante, fantasiosa ricostruzione del lato oscuro del sogno hippy e della violenza degli ultimi anni Sessanta. Sway racconta poco che non fosse già noto ma il libro è comunque disgustosamente intigrante e rivela il considerevole talento di Lazar». Michel Faber
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Editorial Reviews

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A novel of the '60s revealed in three intertwining narratives, Sway links the early years of the Rolling Stones, the life of avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger, and a young itinerant musician, Bobby Beausoleil, who appeared briefly in an Anger film before joining the madness of the Manson family. Anchored in history, Sway is an evocative novel, dissecting the dark heart of a decade that began with such peace-professing promise.

The '60s unveiled a new freedom of expression, including new sounds and images, rock 'n' roll and independent filmmaking among them. Young men in bands became instant icons, their slashing beat and aggressive rhymes touching a dissonant chord no one fully understood but danced to regardless. The new cinema, less about plot than provocative sexual images, violence, and rapture, began to hold its own sway over the generation's most fertile minds. No one knew where it was headed, but everyone was on for the ride.

Lazar's novel unfolds as a series of quick cuts from one narrative to the next -- like the music and film it describes, it's inchoate and chaotic, finally colliding and gathering momentum toward a terrible conclusion. A masterful reimagining of a turbulent time, Sway is an ironic comment on the art and artists who prefigured this maddening decade and served as its dark inspiration. (Spring 2008 Selection)
Charles Taylor
With its motifs of homosexuality, Satan worship, drug addiction, promiscuity, nihilism and general decadence, 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…If there is a literary antecedent to Sway it's Gordon Burn's 1991 novel Alma, a masterpiece that provides another view of the era and is the greatest novel ever about pop culture. Its real kin, in ambience if not method, is Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg's 1970 film "Performance," in which Jagger starred. Like that picture, this brilliant novel is about what's to be found in the shadows, the most terrifying crannies of twisted souls, the darkest gleaming gems.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

A s Mick Jagger sang in the 1970 song"Sway," "It's just that demon life has got me in its sway." In Lazar's second novel, he uses a number of real "demon lives" from the '60s-the Stones and their entourage; Kenneth Anger, the filmmaker who shot Scorpio Rising; and Bobby Beausoleil, a musician and Manson family associate-to channel the era's dread and exhilaration. Lazar shows the decade's descent as the culture of youth (represented most clearly by the Rolling Stones as icons of swinging London) responds to assassinations, the war in Vietnam, the repression in Czechoslovakia and the shedding of naïveté about drugs. Lazar sketches out his narrative through discrete episodes: Bobby's first criminal job with Manson; Anger's filming of Scorpio Rising; the breakup of Anita Pallenberg and Brian Jones; and a series of Anger's failed film projects. Anger serves as the narrative's lynchpin, and Lazar could have easily cast him as a tawdry caricature, but to his credit, Lazar understands that, in the '60s, the marginal was central, and he brilliantly highlights the fragility of an era when "everyone under thirty has decided that they're an exception-a musician, a runaway, an artist, a star." (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9788858402962
  • Publisher: EINAUDI
  • Publication date: 10/7/2010
  • Language: Italian
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

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.

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