Trust Exercise

Trust ExerciseRead Trust Exercise Susan Choi Pulitzer Finalist Susan Choi S Narrative Upending Novel About What Happens When A First Love Between High School Students Is Interrupted By The Attentions Of A Charismatic TeacherIn An American Suburb In The Early 1980s, Students At A Highly Competitive Performing Arts High School Struggle And Thrive In A Rarified Bubble, Ambitiously Pursuing Music, Movement, Shakespeare, And, Particularly, Their Acting Classes When Within This Striving Brotherhood Of The Arts, Two Freshmen, David And Sarah, Fall Headlong Into Love, Their Passion Does Not Go Unnoticed Or Untoyed With By Anyone, Especially Not By Their Charismatic Acting Teacher, Mr Kingsley.The Outside World Of Family Life And Economic Status, Of Academic Pressure And Of Their Future Adult Lives, Fails To Penetrate This School S Walls Until It Does, In A Shocking Spiral Of Events That Catapults The Action Forward In Time And Flips The Premise Upside Down What The Reader Believes To Have Happened To David And Sarah And Their Friends Is Not Entirely True Though It S Not False, Either It Takes Until The Book S Stunning Coda For The Final Piece Of The Puzzle To Fall Into Place Revealing Truths That Will Resonate Long After The Final Sentence.As Captivating And Tender As It Is Surprising, Trust Exercise Will Incite Heated Conversations About Fiction And Truth, Friendships And Loyalties, And Will Leave Readers With Wiser Understandings Of The True Capacities Of Adolescents And Of The Powers And Responsibilities Of Adults. One lurks in every high school a charismatic teacher who cultivates a clique of acolytes Miss Jean Brodie aside, this teacher is typically a man in his prime, parceling out the precious gift of his intimacy to a select group No matter how many years have passed, you can probably still recall his name at your own school the droll iconoclast who always seemed at odds with the administration, the cool teacher who made thrillingly inappropriate asides Amid rumors of some past glory, he radiated an air of long suffering superiority, as though his willingness to teach mere high school students were another example of his largesse.In fact, as you realize later, he could thrive nowhere else but in that moist terrarium of adolescent desire He was a vampire thirsty for the fervor of teenage boys and girls.That immortal figure rises up at the center of Susan Choi s Trust Exercise, the latest of her startling novels about academic life Mr Kingsley is a theater teacher at Citywide Academy for the Performing Arts, an elite institution intended to cream off the most talented students and prepare them for their exceptional lives Mr Kingsley is exotic by the standards of this unnamed Southern town in the early 1980s He once lived in New York He refers to B
Wow, this one didn t work for me at all Given how much I read I guess it s surprising that it doesn t happen often.Susan Choi s newest book, Trust Exercise , is a marvel of language and imagery, but on the whole, I found it confusing, a bit meandering, and once Choi flipped the script on the plot, I wondered whether what I was reading was actually happening or if it was a figment of the characters imagination.The book took place in the early 1980s at the Citywide Academy for the Performing Arts The first year students are ready to being learning Stagecraft, Shakespeare, the Sight Reading of Music, and, of course, acting, where their charismatic teacher, Mr Kingsley, puts them through a variety of trust exercises, challenging their sensory perceptions and awakening their emotions.Two students, Sarah and David, fall for each other, and begin a passionate yet mercurial relationship in full view of their fellow students But neither of them are ready for the ramifications of a relationship, and they re not prepared for the manipulations of their peers or Mr Kingsley, for that matter In an effort to drown out the pressures of everyday life, Sarah makes a decision which has major ramifications, ramifications that ripple long into the futur
Incredibly ambitious structurally, with a shape that is organically interesting than ASYMMETRY which it is quite similar to Reminds me a bit of SPECIAL TOPICS IN CALAMITY PHYSICS, but loses its connection to the fun teen drama that propels the first 100 pages of the novel A very, very fun book to talk about, and think about I m just not sure the ambiguity about what is true at the end of the novel is a slight misstep I would have liked thi
Trust Exercise is a novel about a performing arts high school in a sprawling southern city that for some reason is never named it s Houston The first half of it is told from the point of view of Sarah, one of the students, who goes through the usual issues with friends and boyfriends and parents, although everything is ratcheted up to 11 here, I guess to emphasize that performing arts schools can be a tad dramatic Self important Certainly the writing in the first half of the book would support this idea Sure, everything feels like a big deal in high school, but does it really feel like THIS BIG of a deal Everything is overwrought Everything is overwritten Everything is like a tiny terrarium into which way too many lizards have been crammed The sides of the terrarium are steaming up Everyone is flushing pink and sweating literally I got a little tired of learning how everyone smelled Who keeps reaching into the terrarium and poking the lizards Why, the illustrious drama teacher Mr Kingsley, a man with such an inflated sense of the significance of himself and his theatre never theater, god forbid department that he was only bearable if, every time he appeared, I imagined Jon Lovitz s voice in my head, intoning HELLO I AM LLEWELLYN
To one degree or another we are manipulated by writers I don t think it matters if we read fiction or nonfiction we are influenced just the same Skillful writers tinker with our beliefs, emotions, philosophies, knowledge or lack thereof and so much On some level, regardless if we agree or disagree or if we like or dislike what is presented, an element of trust comes into play Beyond the trust exercises that the characters engage in during theater classes, this novel is
NO SPOILERS Full disclosure Book abandoned on page 61 out of 257 pages It s so important to care about characters, really care, to be invested in what happens in a story I couldn t care less about those in Susan Choi s Trust Exercise In part one, the story is about high school freshmen David and Sarah studying drama in the early 1980s as they develop a romantic relationship I couldn t get a solid grasp of just who these young teens are they re just names on a page, not characters brought to life I attribute this to Choi s love of narrative summary There s little action and dialogue in Trust Exercise that would have allowed me to draw my own conclusions about David and Sarah and the peripheral characters Instead, in large blocks of text, Choi told me all about them their history, their thoughts and feelings, what they think of various other characters everything It s dispassionate storytelling In no time I was bored As for David and Sarah s relationship, it begins with a groping where the consent is questionable but that Choi presented as acceptable From there, the relationship is defined mostly by overly detailed sex, which left a sour taste in my mouth Yes, many teens have sex, but there s something repellent about reading every detail of their encounters A fade to black would have worked just fine As someone who loves stories set in academia, I looked very forward to reading Trust Exercise, but it
This experimental novel discusses consent by shifting timelines and perspectives, thus forcing the reader to question and re adjust which characters to trust and it s no spoiler to state that in the end, no one will turn out to be who you thought they d be Choi starts with a high school drama that then turns into a meta fictional revenge tale only to end in an even disturbing coda, and I just love how she defies expectations and disrupts narrative conventions There s a certain brutality in the ever shifting reading experience, and the novel also requires some detective work in oder to find out what is actually going on, so there s all the stuff I enjoy in experimental fiction In the first part of the book there are no chapters or other indicators, you have to unlock the story which takes place in the early 80s, we meet Sarah and David who are students at a renowned arts high school in an unnamed big city in the southern part of the United States In an environment full of aspiring artists who dream of taking the big stage, dynamics of power and dependency unfold The enigmatic theater teacher uses his position to manipulate students, and he submits them under so called trust exercises where they have to look at each other, repeat each other s sentences or openly reveal all kinds of hidden thoughts When D
Thank you to Henry Holt Company and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.Boy, oh boy where to start Unfortunately, I have no real positive things to say about this book I have had it for weeks Within the first 10 pages I knew this was going to be something I would struggle with The best way I can describe it is trying to read a book while it s under water It s never quite fully in focus and I felt like I was only picking up every other word or so To explain it another way there is way too much superfluous language and also it doesn t read how I would normally talk I felt like I was reading a translation of another language Susan Choi obviously has a talent for the written word, but I wouldn t say she writes for the reader, she writes for herself and the literary critics I could be way off base here, and I don t mean this in a mean way, but when 2 or 3 words work, why do you need to use 10 To show off I thought this book would be kind o
This is a book that has some structural tricks up its sleeve, similar to books like FATES FURIES and ASYMMETRY So you need to proceed with caution when reading anything about it Just saying it plays with structure feels like a bit of a spoiler, but in this case like both the books I mentioned before I think it s good to know because some may find the first section of the book grating enough to quit, not knowing what they are losing by bailing early Like the other two books, I d recommend you get at least halfway through before you decide to jump ship Now that I ve said all that I have the tricky job of trying to tell you all the ways this book thrilled me without being able to actually tell you about the book TRUST EXERCISE feels like it s in conversation with Choi s last novel, MY EDUCATION It feels like there are ideas around the power dynamics between men and women, between teachers and students, that she is not done working out It feels like the right time to do that, the book is timely in a way that makes me worry about seeing too many reviews with hashtag metoo attached to it, but it really does feel like it s of this particular moment It is about the narratives women give themselves about the relationships and encounters with men that can leave them with scars of all sizes It s about the intensity of being a tee
This is a hard novel to discuss without ruining the experience so I will just say it starts out with high school students in an arts magnet school with a lot of theater focus I read it because it was on the Tournament of Books Camp Tob list.More detailed thoughts that I ll hide behind a spoiler I really recommend reading this without reading about it view spoiler I think the author had good instincts I m a fan of the idea that everyone tells a different version of a story, and everyone has their reasons But the last two sections are hardly that, especially the last one I would have liked a much fleshed out final part to understand what she was trying to do there More than anything, the way people s names change based on who is telling the story kind of masked the story for me in a bad way.And some of the points of contention, for instance the rather clever Joelle was part of Karen s personality are. well, clever, but are they necessary I think they muddy the waters But possibly intentionally so we don t expect what s coming.Unfortunately I know chekhov s gun so I always knew someone was getting shot Too obvious Beginner s error.So I feel I would have given the book a solid 4 stars for its capture of teenage artsy fartsy theater culture similar to how I gave The Animators 5 stars for a similar capture, but slightly better and could have upped that if I felt Choi had done what she wanted to do effectively, but instead feel these extra

❮Ebook❯ ➬ Trust Exercise ➭ Author Susan Choi –
  • Hardcover
  • 257 pages
  • Trust Exercise
  • Susan Choi
  • English
  • 08 April 2018
  • 9781250309884