Vada Prickett is a 29-year-old Hose Associate at a car wash in South Carolina, and Darla, the woman he loves, is about to marry his friend, rival, and life-long neighbor, Wyatt Yancey. Vada has “spent his life waiting for the thing to get a proper start.” But it will never get that start, for Vada, as this wildly original novel opens, is being crushed to death by Wyatt’s lVada Prickett is a 29-year-old Hose Associate at a car wash in South Carolina, and Darla, the woman he loves, is about to marry his friend, rival, and life-long neighbor, Wyatt Yancey. Vada has “spent his life waiting for the thing to get a proper start.” But it will never get that start, for Vada, as this wildly original novel opens, is being crushed to death by Wyatt’s latest animal trophy, a stuffed grizzly bear Vada has been helping him to smuggle—against Darla’s wishes—into Wyatt’s house. It turns out that the cliché is true—at the moment of death, your life does flash before your eyes. Trophy, the account of a man’s final, fleeting instant on earth, joins Vada as he attempts to make that flash last as long as possible. As he lies dying, too soon and too absurdly, Vada tries to unravel the mysteries of his life. He first bargains with God, then rages against the dying of the light. Exhausted, Vada proceeds to prolong, in every way available to a man in his dire circumstances, the time he has remaining. Just beneath Griffith’s dark humor and witty take on our present-day culture lies a meditation on memory and identity and the power of language over both....
|Title||:||Trophy: A Novel|
|Number of Pages||:||296 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Trophy: A Novel Reviews
I REALLY wanted to love this book. And, although to some extant I enjoyed reading it, I can't give it more than two stars.I guess the allure and praise this book receives stems from its unconventional presentation.* It's like a later Palahniuk novel, and I don't worship at the church of Chuck. Oddly, I kept thinking this book had similarities to Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying," and I kept waiting for a five word chapter stating something as odd as "My mother is a fish." That said, the chapter titles in this novel are just as profound. Ironically, it wasn't until after I finished the book that I realized how apropos it was for me to choose this particular Faulkner novel to compare to Michael Griffith's "Trophy: A Novel." I apologize for the pun. I struggled to finish and enjoy "As I Lay Dying," much as I struggled to finish and enjoy reading this book.The crux of my mixed feelings for this novel rests squarely with the plot or, more precisely, lack of a plot. To quote Buffalo Springfield, "There's something happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear." Actually, the plot is so straight forward and simplistic that it can be summed up in one word, albeit a word I invented, Ursataxicide (death by a stuffed bear, hence the title and cover photo). It isn't a spoiler to mention how the protagonist, Vada, meets his demise because the inside flap jacket states this fact. What isn't revealed though is the long, roundabout tangents, deviations, digressions and recollections of Vada's life as he is suddenly crushed to death; despite the length of the novel and the author's intimations otherwise, Vada's death happens quickly, it is not a prolonged event. I remember specifically feeling that the novel was actually going somewhere when, on page 190, we finally revisit the events immediately preceding his passing, which began on page one, but weren't mentioned again until much later. And then, shortly after this brief re-visitation, the reader is taken off on another series of tangents and diversions unrelated to where the book finally takes us. I understand the author is trying to present to us that, "at the moment of death, your life does flash before your eyes," (inside flap jacket) but the wandering and seemingly unconnected vignettes presents an unconventional, non-linear interpretation of how this might occur. Perhaps I'm just too conservative a reader to appreciate this book, wishing that this brilliant writer had presented a more accessible story of Vada's life. But, although I didn't like the presentation of this narrative, I am agog at the author's brilliance. Michael Griffith is an absolutely incredible writer!!! By his own admission, as revealed in the Acknowledgments at the end of the book, this was a "mess-in-progress" that took seven years to write. Given seven years to work on a novel, it doesn't surprise me that he rewrote and reconfigured every sentence and paragraph several times until each and every word shined like diamonds in a very expensive necklace, dazzling to the eyes. For example, I loved this paragraph, from page 179, "Reader, we are donkeys who pin on our own tales [sic]. And if we are skilled donkeys, those appendages do more than cover our asses." I almost gave up on this book several times, but felt compelled to continue because the aforementioned quote is just one of hundreds of other similarly brilliant verbal concoctions. Like an alcoholic, I got hooked and thirsted for more. The longest chapter in the book, "Where It Says the Heavy Head of Pablo the Possum, Read ...," weighing in at 19 pages, is a tour de force of hilarity. But, just like this novel as a whole, we are presented with one of several subplots, there is a brief interruption (actually titled, "Sorry for the Interruption, Which Only Serves to Prove That Philosophy Is the Last Refuge of the Sphincter-Loosened and That Vada Can't Bear to Yield the Spotlight, Even to His Beloved"), a brief follow-up to the subplot, and then an extensive coda towards the end of the book. I would have enjoyed the entire narrative of the subplot more if it was presented as a distinct section of the book, instead of fed piecemeal to us after many other subplots and diversions. But, as I began this review, I think this is why most people like the novel. It is challenging to read because it is executed unconventionally, albeit brilliantly. I just prefer novels that aren't as challenging, although I loved the author's devotion to crafting some of the best writing I have encountered in a very long time.*I didn't read any other reviews before writing my review, although, due to how Goodreads let's us search for books, I noticed the four star rating.
Hilarious, but with an undercurrent of tragedy that grows stronger as you go through and remember just where it always told you it was headed. I can't think of a book quite like it.
Four stars for bravado, intelligence, phrasing, and the ability to pull this off. Fewer stars for the passages of dense, self-involved prose. Still, this is an intriguing read, though one unsure of whether it is trying to be popular writing, or artsy, grad-school writing. It falls somewhere in between. the characters feel a bit distant, and the sentences sink under the weight of their own wit at times, but the short chapter format keeps the story moving forward. Or rather, backwards, or in directions that don't quite have words yet. The tone of self-confidence in the phrasing began to feel cloying at times, but I was in awe of the energy and flow of the writing just the same. It's funny, very funny, in many parts, and it pushes towards what language and narrative can deliver. I liked that pushing of boundaries, and exploring what might work, but like a jazz solo, it often finds what doesn't quite work, too. This is a novel that will probably not have as many readers as it deserves. It deserves more, for a host of right reasons--comic voice, prose power, cleverness, and narrative bravado.
This started out a 3-star, but redeemed itself a bit. Still probably just a 3.5-star for me. Griffith seemed to be trying to be "too cute" with his writing throughout, which was disappointing given how much I liked Bibliophilia. The guy knows how to write, but it was like he was trying too hard here.
I like the book but the choppy narration and the short chapters make it hard to get into the characters and makes this reader feel like he's got ADD. There's a staccato quality to the writing that tests one's patience in bending the paragraphs into coherence at times
The choppy narration detracted from the story: such as it was. I didn't care much for the protaganist, either. Either it was not very good, or I simply missed the point: both equally possible.
Awesome! A friend recommended this, and it was a surprise, as I'd never heard of Griffith before. Funny and, though I wasn't expecting this until midway through, weirdly touching. Read it in one day.