Library Journal"I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, but you will never be happy." So opens this surprisingly funny, anything-but-predictable story about a hapless, perpetually miserable young artist named Vincent and Harlan Eiffler, the manager being paid to make sure he stays that way. Foster Lipowitz, the ailing CEO of the world's biggest media conglomerate, feels guilty about his company's hand in churning out dreck disguised as entertainment. Dying from a slow cancer, Lipowitz tries to redeem himself by inventing an experimental company called New Renaissance. Children with artistic potential will be found and fostered, each by his or her own manager, until they are ready to produce works of timeless artistic merit for a massive audience. There's one catch: since all true works of art are the product of intense suffering by the artist, New Renaissance artists must have their lives manipulated (read: ruined) by their managers. Vincent's family home burns down, his dog dies, girlfriends love him and leave him-the list goes on. This novel, a pointed commentary on the media machine that continuously grinds away at our culture, is by turns hilarious, thought-provoking, chilling, and sad. Goebel (The Anomolies) is a quirky, fresh, and relevant voice for our time. Highly recommended for all public libraries.-Jyna Scheeren, Troy P.L., NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsFrom second-novelist Goebel (The Anomalies, 2003) a dull-edged satire about an entertainment conglomerate that tries to put the pain back into artists' lives. Foster Lipowitz, CEO of IUI/Globe-Terner-in charge of the IUI Internet company Terner Bros. Movies, Terner Bros. Music and subsidiaries, plus Globe Books-is the founder of the New Renaissance Academy of Kokomo, Indiana. His goal: "We will attempt to seek out and develop the polar opposite of the hedonistic millionaires who have been entertaining us and shaping our asinine culture. We will encourage our artist not through rewards such as money, fame, and sex, but through deprivation." One of the first of the 457 prodigies enrolled is Vincent, born when his mother was 15 (father unknown) and named after a song by Tha Dawg Pak, which was a sampling from a NOFX song, which was a cover of the Don MacLean song about Vincent van Gogh. By seven, Vincent is one of the few dozen chosen for the "tortured artist" track. As his "manager," he draws Harlan Eiffler, a former music critic and tedious philosophizer ("Death is huge to me"). Vincent's sorrows multiply as Harlan poisons his dog, his mother disappears after giving birth to a brain-dead limbless baby (the result of her drug use), and Harlan burns down his house. At 16, Vincent falls in love and writes a song that's recorded by the reigning Latin diva. Harlan pays his newfound love to leave the country, and Vincent turns out enough songs in a month for an album, including one that becomes number one in the country. Moving to California, he writes the screenplay for a successful remake of The Wizard of Oz. On his way to stardom, the suffering piles up: tuberculosis, suicide, alcoholism,syphilis. Then, at a decadent party, he meets his mother, who spills the beans about New Renaissance and Harlan. Not bad as a concept, but this Hollywood roman a clef never comes to life.
- MacAdam/Cage Publishing, Incorporated
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)
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Torture the Artist based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
I seem to have the same views on the word as harlan. The edimg is a twist which leaves you content but is not cheesy or far-fetched. I read it in a day and needess to say it was incredibly inspiring for an individual greatly interested in the arts. I found myself in each of the characters which i turn caused me to reavaluate myself and the world in which i live. I found it inspiring, yet depressing and beautiful, yet morbid.
This is easily one of the best books that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I am normally one for the fantasy fiction genre but a friend of mine said this should be a good book for me to try out and I am glad that I listened! The thoughts expressed in this book are simply amazing and the story is top notch! I suggest this for anyone who enjoys artistic type hobbies i.e. writing, playing/composing music, painting, drawing, etc. It will really give you a new feel for the ability you posses. I would not suggest this book however for gifting as it is kind of a different book and one that requires certain tastes.