Lost For Words


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Definition of lost for words. Learn More about lost for words. Share lost for words Post the Definition of lost for words to Facebook Share the Definition of lost for words on Twitter. Resources for lost for words Time Traveler: Explore other words from the year lost for words first appeared Time Traveler! Explore the year a word first appeared. Dictionary Entries near lost for words lost ball lost cause lost-color process lost for words lost in the mail lost in the mists of time lost in the shuffle.

Statistics for lost for words Look-up Popularity. Comments on lost for words What made you want to look up lost for words? Get Word of the Day daily email! Test Your Vocabulary. Old Norse Greek Portuguese Swedish. It seemed like I was supposed to side with certain characters' views of literature and come out of it all with my own cherished notions intact, and I just expected to finish this with more damage than a giggle at some pretty predictable targets. That is, I feel St. Aubyn is capable of a brutal scorched earth campaign but he restrained himself here to selective shots and not very difficult ones.

Unless I missed the whole point, which is always highly possible, and in this case I'm suspicious that I did. Finally, a lot of this book comprises parodies of various literary or not so literary styles, and while they're cute, they're not nearly as awesome or as funny as I wanted them to be. That kind of trick -- whatever it's called -- is one of my all-time favorite literary devices, but for it to work the way it's supposed to I need to look forward to the italicized parts.

I didn't at all here, though, and sort of groaned when I got to them, because St. Aubyn writing as St. Aubyn is a billion times better than St. Aubyn writing as Irvine Welsh or whoever. Which brings me to my real final point, which is that while the end of this book was completely stupid which did leave me cranky and the characters were lame, it was still written extraordinarily well by a guy who truly understands the English language, so who fucking cares?

I'd read Edward St. Aubyn's g-chats -- in fact, I kind of feel I just have -- and it'd still be more enjoyable than most of the crap that gets published and given prestigious prizes these days View all 6 comments. Apr 11, Cheryl rated it really liked it Shelves: library , both , fiction , british , humour. The Booker awards season is the gift that keeps on giving. The chair that year was Stella Rimington, an ex-spymaster for MI5 whose purported link to literature is her retirement hobby of penning apparently adequately competent spy thrillers. Go The Booker awards season is the gift that keeps on giving.

What about the quality of the writing, of the deeper meanings and layers of the story? Well, there certainly are books that embrace all of those qualities — they are not mutually exclusive. My own conspiracy theory was that the presence of Snowdrops was a case of mistaken identity: the nomination should have gone to Andrew Miller , author of the far better book Pure , rather than Andrew Miller A. Miller , author of the mediocre Snowdrops.

But once such a mistake is committed, it would be impossible to correct. It was fun, nonetheless, to read the snarky articles and comments that permeated the book pages at the Guardian etc as well as the book blogs. Redemption was achieved when Julian Barnes won. And now it has also provided inspiration for this book. This is a deliciously fun romp.

She writes. But her books are popular. These were some of the funniest parts of the book, written in a free indirect style of Penny Feathers. Excerpts of her writings show flat, plodding simple sentences notable only for the extraordinary density of cliches. It all proceeds in a somewhat chaotic fashion, hopping from one viewpoint to the other, and like all good satire, revealing truths along the way. If an artist is good, nobody else can do what he or she does and therefore all comparisons are incoherent.

It is what it is, and for what it is, it is a funny and well-written commentary on the world of literary awards. Just have fun with it. View all 10 comments. When my book club chose this as a monthly choice, I was very pleased and eager to read something else by him.

Unlike previous works by St Aubyn which I have read, this is a satirical look at a fictitious literary prize, the Elysian Prize; although the author barely bothers to disguise the fact that he is writing about the Booker. We begin with a backbench MP with an ailing career, Malcolm Craig, being asked to chair the committee. Hoping for some press coverage he agrees, but is obviously only interested in pushing through the books he is backing and being generally in control.

Along with these characters are, of course, the writers. They mostly circle around the beautiful novelist, Katherine Burns, and include the neurotic Sam Black, who years for her, Sonny, an upper class Indian with designs on the Elysian Prize, his aunt who somehow finds her cook book entered by mistake and a scattered number of publishers and agents. Although this was humorous, and is filled with excepts from the various novels either submitted or written by the characters, you cannot help but feel St Aubyn had more fun writing this than we have reading it.

There are a lot of jokes that have circled around the Booker — bizarre choices, books submitted by mistake and more. However, it is full of stereotypes and did not really do more than make me smile in places. I forgive this author anything for the sublime Melrose novels, but sadly this did not really match those in any way, despite being a pleasant enough read.

View all 3 comments. The characters in St. Aubyn's Patrick Melrose cycle are at once caricatures and possessed of extraordinary emotional depth. In Lost For Words - a satire of a literary prize closely resembling the Booker - they lean far more towards the caricature, although some members of the large cast are granted real personality.

And a dash of angst. Essentially, this is a specimen of the English Comic Novel, with its fair share of farcical situations, silly names, allusions to news old and, er, new, and a few The characters in St. Essentially, this is a specimen of the English Comic Novel, with its fair share of farcical situations, silly names, allusions to news old and, er, new, and a few familiar character types. Though being St. Aubyn, some of it is sharper and deeper than the typical example. This sort of thing wowed me when I read What A Carve Up in the mids, but two decades later, even though it still makes me laugh, I find it a bit routine and occasionally clumsy: comfort-reading material.

I'm still not sure whether setting Lost for Words in a parallel universe, one in which digital media either do not exist or have had no adverse effect on publishing, sharpens the focus on character, or makes the book feel slightly dated. Probably both. Authors with one or two literary novels under their belt can still swan about in hotels, rather than working as the night porter and revising drafts on their days off. They can email one another though. At any rate, it's nowhere near so dark as Patrick Melrose and it's a book I'd recommend more readily. What makes it stand out from a dozen other middle-class comedies is the precision of insight into emotional pain and screwed-up-ness, succinctly expressed, and saying things others never articulate: judge Vanessa decided to reclaim some floor space by throwing out the hopeless cases she thought involuntarily of Poppy's bed at the clinic being liberated by her death how much that says about the dynamic of the entire household, and how crucial that 'involuntarily' is ; novelist and female Casanova Katherine likes sex so much partly because it's a liberation from, something entirely different from, all those damn words ; and the different, detailed experiences of heartbreak of two characters.

lost for words | Vocabulary | EnglishClub

And that particular way St. Aubyn has of at once mocking and having empathy with a state or idea. It's a very British way of not being able to take things entirely seriously even when you are serious, and he captures it precisely without ever explaining it. I'm not generally a fan of novels about novelists and the literary scene needless to say St. A has characters comment on that very idea and was a bit hesitant about what one of my favourite authors might do with such a well-worn and insular topic.

Pleased to say that - although it wasn't perfect - I quite liked it, it was genuinely laugh-out-loud funny and occasionally resonant. View all 15 comments.

Lost For Words

Jun 04, Rebecca rated it really liked it Shelves: read-via-netgalley , laugh-out-loud , writers-and-writing. I take it this is rather different from the usual St. Any recommendations? Does that make me pathetic? View 1 comment.


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A satirical and ironic telling of the back door dealings present during and leading up to the presenting of a prestigious award. Although for the sake of the novel it is named differently, it is said that this parody of sorts is about the Booker Award. The maneuvering, the picking of the judges, each who have a book they want to make it into the short list. One judge doesn't even bother to read the top twenty.

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The authors themselves, pushing their books to make the long list. Really rather intere A satirical and ironic telling of the back door dealings present during and leading up to the presenting of a prestigious award. Really rather interesting. This author can put words and make beautiful sentences. He is a master at adjectives and uses them with flourish. Some of this book was very amusing but really never really had any feelings for the characters, neither like nor dislike, maybe appalled at some of their hubris. There were even some pages of the some of the books being considered. When the prize it announced, the best book may not have won, but the most honest person did.

Maybe a little to clever for me. View all 5 comments. Apr 30, Oriana marked it as to-read Shelves: to-read-soon. Here's a guy I've never read and whom I actually have zero partially formed snobbish opinions about. And here's what Flavorwire says about this one: Edward St. Aubyn, Saint of Bitingly Funny, Dark as Fuck, and Gritty English Realism, we know how herculean a task it is to try and get readers talking about anything other than your perfect Patrick Melrose books.

Thankfully, with Lost for Words, you move on from deplorable English aristocracy to an even madder group of people: writers. Give me Here's a guy I've never read and whom I actually have zero partially formed snobbish opinions about. Give me it! This angered the literati, not least because they have no clue how to write a compelling story, and the prize became the most controversial in years.

Except for the female judges of whom I think there were three but it was hard to distinguish between them. I think Vanessa was the one with the troublesome daughter and wanted the literary book to win, or maybe that was Jo? And there was definitely a third but her name and motivations escape me. If satirising the prize itself feels a bit thin, plot-wise, St Aubyn throws in a half-baked romance plot that bores beyond belief. Katherine, the novelist, is included in this book solely because she sleeps with practically every male character.

Wow, very insightful, never heard that before! So her inclusion was to deliver that piece of trite commentary?

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St Aubyn also includes fictional passages from the shortlisted novels. St Aubyn also includes numerous passages from Didier, a French deconstructionist, who discourses at length on semiotics, which were the most tedious things to read. Do we need to satirise the Booker Prize - does anyone take it seriously? Satire is supposed to reveal hidden truths, right? As it is, you find out: writers are pretentious twits, literary judges are conniving idiots who know nothing about books and judge them purely for political reasons, and the prize itself is a joke.

The parts where the judges get together to discuss the books were the best parts of the novel. Lost for Words is a book that rolls its eyes at literary culture while also giving the impression that its author is deeply entrenched within it. But as a satire, it fails as it refuses to go for the jugular. Nov 08, Roslyn rated it liked it. Maybe 3. This was a very quick, fun read, but I'm still not sure exactly what I read.

Well, I know I was reading a satire, but there were parts that I was sure were serious; I was just never exactly sure. Most of it was pure farce, but there's a point when farce can lose its point because it's just so over-the-top. For instance, the book contained 'extracts' from the short-listed books in the fictional Elysian prize apparently a send-up of the Booker which were so over-the-top silly and re Maybe 3.


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  7. For instance, the book contained 'extracts' from the short-listed books in the fictional Elysian prize apparently a send-up of the Booker which were so over-the-top silly and representative of bad writing that they almost ceased being funny, except that that they often were in fact very funny. I'm not sure how to evaluate the novel, but I did enjoy it quite a lot. Jul 14, Laura rated it did not like it Shelves: book-club , fiction. The committee for the Elysium Prize a thinly-disguised stand-in for the Man Booker Prize sets out to create the long list of novels for the prize, followed by the short list.

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    A giant clusterfuck follows. That's really about the size of the plot, such as it is; unfortunately, "giant clusterfuck" is a pretty good description of Edward St. Aubyn's latest novel.

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