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The Electric Michelangelo de Sarah Hall
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The Electric Michelangelo (original: 2004; edição: 2005)

de Sarah Hall (Autor)

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7862321,186 (3.49)77
On the windswept front of Morecambe Bay, Cy Parks spends his childhood years first in a guest house for consumptives run by his mother and then as apprentice to alcoholic tattoo-artist Eliot Riley. Thirsty for new experiences, he departs for America and finds himself in the riotous world of the Coney Island boardwalk, where he sets up his own business as 'The Electric Michelangelo'. In this carnival environment of roller-coasters and freak-shows, Cy becomes enamoured with Grace, a mysterious immigrant and circus performer who commissions him to cover her entire body in tattooed eyes. Hugely atmospheric, exotic and familiar, The Electric Michelangelo is a love story and an exquisitely rendered portrait of seaside resorts on opposite sides of the Atlantic by one of the most uniquely talented novelists of her generation.… (mais)
Membro:KrystalMaurer
Título:The Electric Michelangelo
Autores:Sarah Hall (Autor)
Informação:Harper Perennial (2005), 340 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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The Electric Michelangelo de Sarah Hall (2004)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 23 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Hall's novel tells the story of Cyril "Cy" Parks, a young man from the northern English resort town of Morecambe. Starting in the early twentieth century, the plot, such as it is, follows Cy's life from youth to old age. His early life is dominated by his mother, Reeda, punctuated by boyhood adventures that come to an abrupt end when he is apprenticed to Eliot Riley, the town's tattoo artist. After the passing of these two role models, Cy heads across the Atlantic to Coney Island, where he falls in love with Grace, a woman who asks him to tattoo eyes over her whole body. When things turn out tragically with Grace, Cy drifts around the world, eventually returning to Morecambe as an old man, taking on a young woman, Nina Shearer, as his own apprentice.

Throughout the book, Hall's words seem to be made of concrete. Decorative, poetic, but heavy and inert, the novel moves from the sheer force of her authorial determination rather than any sense of inner momentum. Hall's story is monotone in its heavy-handed attempt to generate meaning. Her metaphors are clumsy and unsophisticated, including the death of Cy's father on the same day as the protagonist's birth, the experimental sinking of Cy in quicksand, and the disparate natures of the Siamese twins who run the Varga, Cy's favorite bar in Coney Island. Hall seems desperate to saturate everything in her novel with meaning, but ends up instead with a cacophony of confused, forced metaphors.

Even more questionable is Hall's decision to engage with history in her novel. The vague references to the Renaissance, especially to Michelangelo, are so shallow as to be laughable. Hall also imposes her own views back onto the early twentieth-century world that Cy inhabits in a way that provides a very one-sided perspective on how culture has changed. His mother Reeda, for instance, is a feminist before her time, an advocate for women's rights who performs secret abortions in her hostel, and is far too saintly to be believable. Despite the historical realities of the world in which he lives, therefore, Cy inhabits in an unrealistic bubble that is unconvincingly welcoming and tolerant toward women and minorities. Hall is so insistent on preaching to the reader that, toward the end of the novel, Cy even delivers a diatribe to his young apprentice on the importance of young people voting.

The problem with The Electric Michelangelo, in the end, is the ubiquity of Hall's fingerprints over every last inch of her creation. The novel suffers, not because "nothing happens," but because Hall is unable or unwilling to open up her story to the contingencies of the artistic process, and by trying to control too much she fails to allow her ideas and prejudices to stand on their own merits. ( )
  vernaye | May 23, 2020 |
An interesting book focusing on the multidimensional aspects of tattooing and in particular, on the relationship between Cy and Grace. Hall's style is a refreshingly strange fusion of dark Victorian esthetics and modern directness. One of my favorite sections of the book is this scene with Cy and Grace, both of whom are completely covered in tattoos: "He knew if he drew Grace in towards him now, so that their skin met . . . [it] would be like touching a soft white effluent, like that quiet portion of the northern lights, the last, most obscurely hidden element of the atmospheric wonder, the humble white pulse of illumination almost lost behind the seeping blood of the sky. And his hands would move right through her" (278).

This book is under discussion in the Tattooing in Literature group here in the Goodreads community. Feel free to join our group and share your thoughts about Hall's novel. ( )
  VicCavalli | Dec 8, 2018 |
At times the language is so abstract and figurative that I thought I would need to diagram the sentences to understand it, but the story is compelling, and in the end I enjoyed this. The book creates fascinating characters, but we see most of them as cars passing on a dark road - they emerge from some unilluminated past, and disappear before we learn much about them. ( )
  rkstafford | Nov 19, 2015 |
Such prose! Hall's writing is beautiful, even when she's describing things terrible and bloody.

A definite MUST for those who have/want/love tattoos, and have an interest in carny (circus/sideshow) culture. ( )
  VladVerano | Oct 20, 2015 |
De Michelangelo van Coney Island vertelt het verhaal van Cy Parks, vanaf zijn kinderjaren die hij samen met zijn moeder Reeda doorbrengt in haar pension voor tbc-patiënten aan de Britse kust, via zijn opleiding tot tatoeagekunstenaar door de markante stadsgenoot Eliot Riley tot zijn belevenissen als tatoeëerder op Coley Island.

Zijn honger naar avontuur doe hem besluiten zijn boeltje te pakken en de grote oversteek te maken naar het land der beloften, Amerika, waar hij op het onstuimige Coney Island zijn eigen tattooshop ELEKTRICHE MICHELANGELO begint. Cy wordt verliefd op de geheimzinnige Oost-Europese Grace, die hem vraag om met haar lichaam volledig te bedekken met tatoeages van ogen.

De Michelangelo van Coney Island is een indrukwekkende liefdesverhaal met prachtige sfeerbeschrijvingen. Sarah Hall weet de lezer op schitterende wijze de fascinerende wereld van tatoeagekunstenaar te trekken. Het is tevens een exotische portret van twee kunstplaatjes aan weerzijden van Atlantische Oceaan ten tijde van de tweede wereldoorlogen.
Recensie(s)

Cy Parks is een in 1906 geboren jongen die opgroeit in het Engelse kuststadje Morecambe, en daar kennis maakt met Eliot Riley, de meest succesvolle (en artistieke) tatoeage-kunstenaar van die streek. Al spoedig wordt Cy zijn leerjongen en krijgt hij het vak onder de knie. Na de dood van Riley gaat Cy in 1933 naar Amerika en opent daar een eigen tatoeage-bedrijfje op het New Yorkse kermiseiland uit de titel, waar hij ook zijn grote liefde leert kennen - met een helaas noodlottige afloop. In de levensloop van Cy schildert de schrijfster een prachtig portret van de ware kunst die aan serieuze tatoeages ten grondslag kan liggen; bovendien krijgt Cy door zijn klanten ook een enorme mensenkennis die het boek als warme adem doorwasemt. De jonge auteur weet het leven in zowel Morecambe als op Coney Island op briljante wijze te schetsen, zodat de lezer de atmosfeer soms bijna kan ruiken. De afwisseling tussen Cy's levenslust en de vaak bizarre wreedheid van zijn omgeving zorgt voor een enorm levendige en buitengewoon goed geschreven roman. Kleine druk. ( )
  wvanderl | May 24, 2015 |
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If the eyes could lie, his troubles might all be over.
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On the windswept front of Morecambe Bay, Cy Parks spends his childhood years first in a guest house for consumptives run by his mother and then as apprentice to alcoholic tattoo-artist Eliot Riley. Thirsty for new experiences, he departs for America and finds himself in the riotous world of the Coney Island boardwalk, where he sets up his own business as 'The Electric Michelangelo'. In this carnival environment of roller-coasters and freak-shows, Cy becomes enamoured with Grace, a mysterious immigrant and circus performer who commissions him to cover her entire body in tattooed eyes. Hugely atmospheric, exotic and familiar, The Electric Michelangelo is a love story and an exquisitely rendered portrait of seaside resorts on opposite sides of the Atlantic by one of the most uniquely talented novelists of her generation.

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