(((Read))) ⇷ Sag Harbor ↸ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

This was the perfect book to read in late summer, as well as a nice introduction to the writing of Colson Whitehead It slike a 4.5 star book, but I m rounding up because the writing is so good and the author captures this era so effectively I m definitely going to readby him.It s the summer of 1985 and 15 year old Benji is, as usual, at his family s place on the eponymous Sag Harbor, a small village in the Hamptons populated during the season by upper middle class, professional A This was the perfect book to read in late summer, as well as a nice introduction to the writing of Colson Whitehead It slike a 4.5 star book, but I m rounding up because the writing is so good and the author captures this era so effectively I m definitely going to readby him.It s the summer of 1985 and 15 year old Benji is, as usual, at his family s place on the eponymous Sag Harbor, a small village in the Hamptons populated during the season by upper middle class, professional African Americans.Not much happens Unlike most coming of age books, there s no big goal, nothing leading up to a life altering event In that respect, it s life like Changes happen slowly family tensions gradually build up Three whole months are enough to reinvent yourself before going back to your mostly white Manhattan private school, right Maybe, maybe not, especially if you re a Dungeons Dragons playing nerd like Benji, who wants to be called Ben from now on because it sgrown up sounding.Benji no one, it turns out, ends up calling him Ben gets a job at the local ice cream parlour he hangs out with friends he only sees in the summer they re sprawled around the New York New Jersey area during the rest of the year together, they discuss the changing music rap hip hop is just emerging and play around with BB guns they pack into a car driven by that slightly older friend who s got his license suddenly riding your bike is d class and then there s the question of girlsThe eight chapters are rounded like short stories, and taken together they add up to something very satisfying Whitehead nails the geography and feel of this particular time, place and cultural socio economic milieu And yet it s all universal in its appeal He writes like a dream, whether critiquing the town s few radio stations describing Benji s doctor father s afternoon alcohol regime all done through sounds recounting the pecking order of his friends and how they will, in a few years, change or taking you through the frozen foods section of the grocery aisle.There s something elegiac about the book, especially in the stunning final pages, set during the annual Labor Day picnic and campfire It s here that Whitehead s writing reaches its greatest heights of lyricism, insight and profundity.There are passages that are so brilliant and funny and just beautifully constructed that they demand to be read aloud Do it And try to read the book in the summer You ll thank me afterwardsI ve since read Whitehead s Pulitzer Prize winning The Underground Railroad, and that s a clear 5 star book to me. (((Read))) ☛ Sag Harbor ↹ The warm, funny, and supremely original new novel from one of the most acclaimed writers in AmericaThe year isBenji Cooper is one of the only black students at an elite prep school in Manhattan He spends his falls and winters going to roller disco bar mitzvahs, playing too much Dungeons and Dragons, and trying to catch glimpses of nudity on late night cable TV After a tragic mishap on his first day of high school when Benji reveals his deep enthusiasm for the horror movie magazine Fangoria his social doom is sealed for the next four years But every summer, Benji escapes to the Hamptons, to Sag Harbor, where a small community of African American professionals have built a world of their own Because their parents come out only on weekends, he and his friends are left to their own devices for three glorious months And although he s just as confused about this all black refuge as he is about the white world he negotiates the rest of the year, he thinks that maybe this summer things will be different If all goes according to plan, that is There will be trials and tribulations, of course There will be complicated new handshakes to fumble through, and state of the art profanity to master He will be tested by contests big and small, by his misshapen haircut which seems to have a will of its own , by the New Coke Tragedy of , and by his secret Lite FM addiction But maybe, with a little luck, things will turn out differently this summerIn this deeply affectionate and fiercely funny coming of age novel, Whitehead using the perpetual mortification of teenage existence and the desperate quest for reinvention lithely probes the elusive nature of identity, both personal and communal The first time I read this book shortly after publication in 2009 I didn t like anything about it I didn t understand Whitehead s air of casual privilege I reread it at the end of 2017 because a review by Brandon Harris in theNew York Review of Books Dec 7, 2017 about James McBride s new collection of short stories, Five Carat Soul, mentions Sag Harbor as ravishing What did I miss The short answer is that I missed everything But without going back to interrogate that 9 year ago self, I The first time I read this book shortly after publication in 2009 I didn t like anything about it I didn t understand Whitehead s air of casual privilege I reread it at the end of 2017 because a review by Brandon Harris in theNew York Review of Books Dec 7, 2017 about James McBride s new collection of short stories, Five Carat Soul, mentions Sag Harbor as ravishing What did I miss The short answer is that I missed everything But without going back to interrogate that 9 year ago self, I can t be sure I didn t just miss, but dismiss this gorgeously written growing up summer reminiscent of Bradbury s Dandelion Wine Whitehead surely didn t have a white girl in mind as his target audience he spoke to other young boys in a dangerous world who are uncertain, black, and soon to be men This white girl gets to listen in.This second time I listened to Mirron Willis read the novel and he gave it the voice I needed for comprehension And yes, I do get it now That mid 1980 s summer on Long Island gave a look into a boy s mind, how he thought, what concerned him most, the dangers that lurked at the edges of his testosterone soaked consciousness Even his obliviousness to moves made by the few age appropriate girls in his cohort rang true Often boys look poleaxed at that age fifteen they are thinking of other things while their body is reacting.What jerked me aware of my whiteness this time was the jokey nature of the not quite ready for the world half man Benji talking about the radio spot his father listened to about the shootings happening regularly and constantly, the shootings of black men, or women, dropped into the news like yesterday s weather All of a sudden I was willing to concede that his reality had real, unreasonable, and unexpected death in it, not mine, and I should shut my mouth and listen up Once I gave him the reins, I could see and hear the way language was being used, see how capable that boy was of capturing a mood or the attitudes of his friends, his family When BB guns crop up in the story, they immediately register as danger, despite the innocence all parties have exhibited to now A group of teen boys testing the puncture power of BB shot from close range it sets the blood pulsing and the mind reeling A sense of danger is here to stay.A short section near the end telling of Benji s exciting and mysterious older sister Elena is filled with a barely acknowledged yearning for connection so poignant our hearts break asunder Benji s discussion of his parents marriage, and the father s oppressive attitudes towards his wife and children, explains an avoidance in the family dynamic with an authenticity that can t be faked Benji s mother disappeared, word by word when his father became verbally abusive, and the sense of propriety Benji had developed somewhere led him to close all the windows in the warm house in an attempt to keep the parents raised voices hidden from the neighborhood That sense of shame is a just a shuttercock instant in a boy s life a few years earlier, the youngster would not feel he had the agency, a few years later, he would realize this happens in every marriage.Some set scenes may challenge our credulousness, though anyone who has lived with a teenaged male may well be taken in the pot of writhing maggots, the killing of houseflies with a rubber band, the first open eyed open mouthed kiss of a girl all these elements of a parentless summer by the beach ring so true we feel the grit of wind blown sand between our teeth The beginning of the last chapter has some of the most beautiful writing I have seen anywhere, about the passage of time and reaching the end of summer, of youth, of innocence, and somehowthan all that.This wonderful fiction deserves all the accolades it got at the time, and it makes me curious to try another of Whitehead s novels, especially the science fiction I will look at Undergroundagain, for my own benefit, but I may owe him an apology for a review that did not acknowledge that however he wants to write about his understanding of slavery is a perspective that I have nothing to say about My real rating is 4,5 stars Excellent read The only thing that prevents me from giving this book 5 stars is the ending However, this book has so much going for it and I strongly recommend it Click the link to watch the live discussion My real rating is 4,5 stars Excellent read The only thing that prevents me from giving this book 5 stars is the ending However, this book has so much going for it and I strongly recommend it Click the link to watch the live discussion A sentimental tale of growing up through the lens of a set of black middle class teenagers at liberty for their summers on Long Island There is a timeless quality and sense of innocence in this exploration of juvenile adventure and search for identity The relatively segregated community of wealthy professionals is free from the racism and pressures to succeed they face in their private schools in New York City Benji and his brother are trusted to fend for themselves during the weekdays when t A sentimental tale of growing up through the lens of a set of black middle class teenagers at liberty for their summers on Long Island There is a timeless quality and sense of innocence in this exploration of juvenile adventure and search for identity The relatively segregated community of wealthy professionals is free from the racism and pressures to succeed they face in their private schools in New York City Benji and his brother are trusted to fend for themselves during the weekdays when their parents stay in the city They have freedom of movement with their bikes and the occasional car of older members of their tribe In between working part time at a fast food joint, they spend their time at the beach, exploring, going to parties or movies, engaging in B B gun fights, and just hanging out, developing cool lingo and handshakes, bragging about their progress in sexual conquest or debating the meaning of song lyrics Nothing heavy Surprisingly little in the way of trouble with alcohol, drugs, vandalism, or peer conflicts Some angst about racial identity Benji proceeds past awkwardness and confusion toward a growing maturity and confidence, responsibility as a model for his younger brother, and respect for girls as inspirations for love and not targets for a score The dialog and capturing of that certain aimless freedom of youth makes this a worthwhile read Remember that guy from high school You know the one smart as a whip, and funny too Handsome, nice smile Maybe he was on the basketball team or something Let s call him Mike Mike s teachers used to say he was going places And how could he not be He was enrolled in all the right AP classes, and he was entirely agreeable Always knew exactly the right thing to say, that Mike He wasn t really sure what he wanted to do with his life, but that was okay It s okay not to know in the beginnin Remember that guy from high school You know the one smart as a whip, and funny too Handsome, nice smile Maybe he was on the basketball team or something Let s call him Mike Mike s teachers used to say he was going places And how could he not be He was enrolled in all the right AP classes, and he was entirely agreeable Always knew exactly the right thing to say, that Mike He wasn t really sure what he wanted to do with his life, but that was okay It s okay not to know in the beginning But as time wears on, it becomes less and less acceptable Mike gets a little lost once he goes to college He gets easily distracted, and overextends himself trying to be everyone s buddy like he was in high school He hasn t even started thinking about a major His grades take a dive He has to drop out.He comes back home to live with his parents This, too, is fine Everyone falters a little bit here and there Even Mike He gets a job, let s say at Dairy Queen Sure enough, he becomes manager after only eight months Mike finds that he s farcomfortable back home then he was at college, and all his friends who still live here are so happy to see him.After about a year, Mike gets his own place, just a few miles from his childhood home Years pass Maybe he finds a wife Maybe he gets divorced Nonetheless, he presses on His friends move away to start their own lives, and Mike begins to find that he isandalone He takes to drinking.Now say it s about ten years or a hundred pages after high school graduation Let s say you ve come home for Thanksgiving, and you go to the local bar, just like you used to And who should be there but Mike You re so happy to see him You clasp a hand on his shoulder, say hey, and Mike s sure happy to see you too.He says, Remember when You say, Sure, I remember He says, Remember when You say, Those were the days He says, Remember when You say, Yep, uh huh Man, that was something An hour or an entire chapter passes like this You look around for someone else to talk to or another book to read , but you can t find anyone So you have to sit there and listen to Mike And he drones on and on about the good old days And, finally, you ask what he s up to now, and he tells you he s still manager of the local DQ How could this be How could this be when Mike had so much potential What a waste.Is this metaphor long enough for you Let s drive the nail through the coffin on this analogy and say that SAG HARBOR is Mike Whitehead s prose is faultless, and he s very funny I laughed out loud a few times He makes clear, on just about every page, how eager he is to please the reader.But the damn book never goes anywhere Whitehead is prone to many paged tangents about soft drinks, the local ice cream shop, the narrator s vendetta against people who turn out to be very minor characters It s not clear why the reader should care about any of the shenanigans his teenage characters get up to, except maybe that they re good for a laugh And it s all told through this incredibly sentimental, nostalgic lens.There can be no dispute about Whitehead s ability The guy can craft a sentence But who cares about sentence craft if the story doesn t amount to anything It does you no good at 30 to have taken AP Physics at 18 if all you re going to do is work at Dairy Queen ok, I m done now, I promise SAG HARBOR has no plot, and no insight of real weight It has nothing to say except, remember when and remember when and remember when It s been a couple years since I read this, but this book still brings back memories every time I see it, and I felt it was time to come back and give it a proper review.Since I was 3 years old, my family has owned a cottage on Lake Erie, in a resort community near Cedar Point We stay there every summer for at least one full week, plus a dozen weekends, and are always joined by a bounty of friends and family It has always been a place I will treasure, and holds many fond memories Of all the b It s been a couple years since I read this, but this book still brings back memories every time I see it, and I felt it was time to come back and give it a proper review.Since I was 3 years old, my family has owned a cottage on Lake Erie, in a resort community near Cedar Point We stay there every summer for at least one full week, plus a dozen weekends, and are always joined by a bounty of friends and family It has always been a place I will treasure, and holds many fond memories Of all the books I ve read, only Sag Harbor accurately captures the experience of growing up there.The book itself is a memoir of a restful and sacred place, a bittersweet reminiscence to a simpler and happier time The author looks back fondly upon this last summer where he was able to savor the last gasp of childhood and irresponsibility.These experiences and emotions are so similar to mine that the atmosphere of this book could have been pulled out of my own consciousness There is nothing like vacationing as a child, with nothing ahead of you but fun and games and delicious freedom But, as you near the end of childhood, the feeling never lasts There is an expiration date on it, and this book captures that very well Another feeling I am intimately familiar with, one that was especially strong at the time I read it Few novels have so successfully pulled such strong, personal, feelings from me I have rarely been able to relate so closely with a book, with characters, with a setting There is no complex plot here, no moving parts, just people, a place, and a summer And memories, those that I just like the author will forever hold on to I m trying really hard to fall in love with Whitehead s writing, but it s not quite working and I m not sure why Sag harbor started off strong for me and I was looking forward to moving through the story, but somewhere along the way I wandered away from truly enjoying it I m not sure why his writing is flat for me It s hard when I know in my head that I should be enjoying a story that I assumed I would connect with, but it s just didn t happen I didn t stay invested in the story past the hal I m trying really hard to fall in love with Whitehead s writing, but it s not quite working and I m not sure why Sag harbor started off strong for me and I was looking forward to moving through the story, but somewhere along the way I wandered away from truly enjoying it I m not sure why his writing is flat for me It s hard when I know in my head that I should be enjoying a story that I assumed I would connect with, but it s just didn t happen I didn t stay invested in the story past the halfway mark Maybe I need to start incorporating literary fictionregularly into my reading, because after finishing this I just feel like a literary fiction failure.You can find me atMonlatable Book Reviews Twitter MonlatReaderInstagram readermonicaFacebook Monica Reeds Goodreads Group The Black Bookcase Colson Whitehead is a wonderful writer Although I wasn t a Sag Harbor summer kid myself, the author and I are about the same age so much of his reminiscing about his experiences as a 15 year old stirred similar memories I possess Sag Harbor is a work of fiction, not a memoir, but it reads as much like the latter than as a novel, and no doubt it was largely inspired by the author s youthful days Not a whole lot happens in Sag Harbor, basically a group of teenagers kill the abundance of time th Colson Whitehead is a wonderful writer Although I wasn t a Sag Harbor summer kid myself, the author and I are about the same age so much of his reminiscing about his experiences as a 15 year old stirred similar memories I possess Sag Harbor is a work of fiction, not a memoir, but it reads as much like the latter than as a novel, and no doubt it was largely inspired by the author s youthful days Not a whole lot happens in Sag Harbor, basically a group of teenagers kill the abundance of time they have on hand, and I know plenty of readers would have a problem with this I wouldn t have minded if the story had beeneventful, might have awarded it an extra star in this review if it was After all, if you re writing a memoir about a period of time when nothing particularly earth shattering took place but it nonetheless was vivid in your thoughts because it was a critical period of your life, then you need to be true to what did and didn t happen But if you re writing a novel, certainly you can feel free to throw in a little drama Whitehead resists this temptation and simply gives us a first person tale about an introspective person on a summer vacation somewhere roughly in between the end of his childhood and beginning of his manhood What does Benji think about as he makes his transition to becoming Ben For the most part he reflects on his days up to that point for he knows they will soon be coming to an end, and he wonders what the future will hold for him He holds memories that are both crystal clear and cloudy As for his insight into tomorrow, like the rest of us he can only guess a little and hope a lot I m glad I read this book in the dead of winter it is so evocative of the atmosphere of a little beach town and of a kid s experience of coming of age during the long, restless and wondrous days of summer Though the novel focuses primarily on Benji s coming of age in an upper middle class African American community, so many of his experiences and the themes in the book cross race lines, and Whitehead makes Benji s experiences feel almost universal This novel presents the complex and delicate I m glad I read this book in the dead of winter it is so evocative of the atmosphere of a little beach town and of a kid s experience of coming of age during the long, restless and wondrous days of summer Though the novel focuses primarily on Benji s coming of age in an upper middle class African American community, so many of his experiences and the themes in the book cross race lines, and Whitehead makes Benji s experiences feel almost universal This novel presents the complex and delicate relationships between family members and friends gracefully and subtly beautifully Each chapter could almost stand alone as its own little gem of a short story and in fact, bits and pieces of Whitehead s short story in the winter fiction issue of the New Yorker appear scattered throughout the book Highly recommend