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Sweetness #9: A Novel (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Stephan Eirik Clark

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"Funny and moving. After this, nothing will ever taste the same again."--T.C. Boyle

"Sweetness #9 does for flavor science and its sweetly dangerous concoctions what White Noise did for chemical transportation and airborne toxic events--that is, makes them real enough to produce legitimate anxiety and funny enough to make you fall off the couch."--Keith Lee Morris, author of The Dart League King

"Sweetness #9 is funny but still human, entertaining but also illuminating, smart but not smug, thought-provoking without lecturing: it's a rare book that does all this at once, and does it so well."--Caitlin Horrocks, author of This Is Not Your City

"A truly gifted writer, Stephan Eirik Clark writes with an inventiveness and artistry that few can match."--Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

"Haunting and hilarious, Sweetness #9 is so compelling that it made me throw the maraschino cherries in the trash and run out to buy organic greens. That's how sucked in I was by Stephan Eirik Clark's sly, bold version of our modern world, where nature and falseness vie for supremacy, and nothing can taste sweet enough, vivid enough, for children intoxicated by the tang of chemicals. This book offers us something amazing, with the startling ring of truth: the fact that not knowing where our food comes from is inexorably linked to not knowing who we are."--Stacey Richter, author of Twin Study

"Sweetness #9 is that rare thing: an intelligent page-turner. Read this book for its whip-smart prose, its thoughtful characters, and its sharp observations about the synthetic (and authentic) aspects of modern life."--Karl Iagnemma, author of On the Nature of Human Romantic Interaction

"This debut novel is a hilarious take down of an industry more interested in getting us to buy its products than in selling us good food. Essential for fans of Christopher Buckley's Thank You for Smoking."--Library Journal

"The energetic mixture of laughter and revulsion, outrage and dismay, fact and fiction, skewer a food industry that provides neither food nor sustenance and damages us in ways we are just beginning to fathom."--Publishers Weekly

"All Hail Stephan Eirik Clark! He writes with terrific gusto, insight, and compassion."--Ken Kalfus, author of Equilateral

"A comic novel that brims with insight and imagination. Stephan Eirik Clark casts a sharp eye on our addiction to simple solutions and quick fixes."--Laila Lalami, author of Secret Son

"So smart, so funny, and totally entertaining. Nothing on the dinner table escapes Stephan Clark's incisive wit--and that's only the beginning."--Bonnie Nadzam, author of Lamb

"Sweetness #9 is a Trojan Horse of brilliant, social critique hiding in a sugar packet. A dysfunctional family, a fantastic sense of history and presence, dire cultural portents - with so many addictive hooks... Like Gary Shteyngart, Clark writes with bombastic color and satirical sweetness. It's an exciting time for new American authors; Clark uses vantage points towering and small to create a treasure of complex ideas."

Zane Jungman, Austin-American Statesman

"The pitch-perfect first half of the novel demonstrates that Clark is not only an adept stylist...but possesses a flair for pacing....Comparisons to Don Delillo's White Noise aptly signal Clark's ability to, like Delillo, cast fearful question onto the most basic and unavoidable structures of our daily modern lives (and hint at the deft homage to Delillo's masterpiece built into the plot's final turns)."--The Huffington Post

"Set in the world of fake flavorings, a snappy satire with plenty of bite."--O, The Oprah Magazine

"This funny, provocative novel examines the grievous consequences of living in denial about what we eat."--New York Times

"Positively fresh and unique.... SWEETNESS #9 is a family story, a corporate thriller and delicious entertainment. It's also very much a social commentary that entices us into taking a closer look at what we eat....High-calorie food for the brain wrapped in a mouth-wateringly delicious morality tale."--Chicago Tribune

"Clark's lively and funny debut is set in the world of food flavorists sparring over an artificial sweetener....SWEETNESS #9 convincingly argues that food may be the last truly mass culture we have....A fast-moving, witty satire."--Minneapolis Star Tribune

"A scary/funny/tender/thought-provoking novel"--St. Paul Pioneer Press

"SWEETNESS #9 is a Trojan Horse of brilliant, social critique hiding in a sugar packet. A dysfunctional family, a fantastic sense of history and presence, dire cultural portents -- with so many addictive hooks "Sweetness #9" refuses to be ignored.... Like Gary Shteyngart, Clark writes with bombastic color and satirical sweetness. It's an exciting time for new American authors; Clark uses vantage points towering and small to create a treasure of complex ideas." --Austin American Statesman

"If the best social satire makes the bitter pill of truth easier to swallow, SWEETNESS #9 coats it with something better than sugar. This debut novel by Clark shows up our national obsession with instant gratification as both poisonous and desirable, and very, very funny."--Boston Globe

"SWEETNESS #9 is as American as an apple pie deep-fried in artificial sugar....This is a story of a man who wants nothing more than the American Dream for himself and his family but has to live with the crushing feeling of being responsible for the decay of the American condition. Though funny, SWEETNESS #9 presents in every way an America tragedy."--Boston Herald

"You know how they say you reap what you sow? Well, let's just say Clark's delightfully twisted, funny tale about a man coming to believe that an artificial sweetener he developed is the source of many modern-day troubles will make fans of Sam Lipsyte quite happy."--Flavorwire

"Clark takes the Levereaux family to the brink of the absurd and then reels them back to consider the ramifications of a world getting fatter and fatter... Clark turns a dystopian nightmare into a comic romp through the dark side of the American dream.—San Diego City Beat

"Sweetness #9 is a surprisingly gentle story about the passage of time, and Clark leads us through the years to a poignant ending that satisfyingly pulls at the heart. For a story about artificial sweeteners, and trying to understand where to draw the line between the confusion of the head and the gut, it's fully rewarding. Bittersweet, even."—Minnesota Monthly

"Sweetness #9 hits that seriously sweet spot between speculative and literary fiction--the place where writers like Margaret Atwood live. Put this on the must-read list."—Sacramento News and Review

Présentation de l'éditeur

"Funny and moving. After this, nothing will ever taste the same again."--T. C. Boyle

It's 1973, and David Leveraux has landed his dream job as a Flavorist-in-Training, working in the secretive industry where chemists create the flavors for everything from the cherry in your can of soda to the butter on your popcorn.

While testing a new artificial sweetener--"Sweetness #9"--he notices unusual side-effects in the laboratory rats and monkeys: anxiety, obesity, mutism, and a generalized dissatisfaction with life. David tries to blow the whistle, but he swallows it instead.

Years later, Sweetness #9 is America's most popular sweetener--and David's family is changing. His wife is gaining weight, his son has stopped using verbs, and his daughter suffers from a generalized dissatisfaction with life. Is Sweetness #9 to blame, along with David's failure to stop it? Or are these just symptoms of the American condition?

David's search for an answer unfolds in this expansive novel that is at once a comic satire, a family story, and a profound exploration of our deepest cultural anxieties. Wickedly funny and wildly imaginative, Sweetness #9 questions whether what we eat truly makes us who we are.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 696 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 353 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0316278750
  • Editeur : Little, Brown and Company (19 août 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00MC3YUS6
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°210.105 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.5 étoiles sur 5  37 commentaires
16 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The flavor of Stephan Clark’s writing in SWEETNESS #9 has whetted my appetite for more. 19 août 2014
Par Ryan J. Dejonghe - Publié sur
Here’s what I love about SWEETNESS #9: introducing me to Stephan Eirik Clark. His storytelling has a special flavor (sorry about that pun) that is fascinating and stands on its own. As the story progressed over decades of time, I felt the characters change. I wasn’t just a witness, but I could sympathize and feel. As a reader, I was involved with the characters making realistic connections along the way, especially true with protagonist David Leveraux.

The scariest story is that which mirrors reality. Clark often had me researching sweeteners and flavorings, including scanning through congressional reports. The best type of writing spawns action. And yes, while some readers may find certain final elements “preachy”, the narrative serves as a springboard for conversation. I think this is great.

The writing was so realistic that the final footnote convinced me to Tweet to the author asking for more information. And I do want to know more. (The author replied, "...and the question about the last footnote. I can't say any more.")

This is an interesting fictional work that goes well with non-fictional works like FAST FOOD NATION. The story element of SWEETNESS #9 offers several interesting facets: from personal and business details to the more global historic aspects. There’s liberty taken to enhance (again, sorry for the pun) the actual, real-life details, but it makes the pages flip all the faster.

I enjoyed all the author’s included elements, both miniscule and widespread. It all served to make an excellent reading package. Yes, some of the diet structures may skirt the boundaries of comfort, but that’s part of why I read: to question and to learn. Overall, this is a great book and is something that has whetted my appetite (sorry, last pun…maybe) for more.

Thanks Little, Brown for providing this electronically for my review.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Very disappointing 6 janvier 2015
Par Cynthia Parten - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
The premise was really interesting and the book started out well enough. But then it just kind of went downhill. By the time I realized how little I was enjoying the book, I felt like I had put too much time into it to mark it as DNF. It was just one of those books I felt I had to finish. Here were the positives: I enjoyed reading about David's marriage to Betty and their attempts to have a baby. The descriptions of him at the lab testing the animals was also interesting, if not a bit dry. Then it started to resemble a nonfiction book. A boring nonfiction book. I actually had to double check the genre on Goodreads. This book actually had footnotes! I hate footnotes even in nonfiction books. They distract from the story. But why did the author feel the need to place footnotes in this fiction novel? The author would go back and forth between talking about his family and talking about his work at the lab. His work at the lab would also be intermingled with actual historical events, which is why I had to make sure this was fiction.

I liked the character of David in the beginning. He thought he was doing good and he genuinely tried to make to right when he discovered the possible side effects of Sweetness #9. Then he gets forced out of the company and suddenly I hate him. His wife and children spend decades using that sweetener all the time and yet he never, ever tells them about the possible side effects. This is despite the fact that every single member of his family (himself included) are experiencing those same side effects. When his daughter begins to question it, he even tries to shut her down and tell her there is nothing wrong with the sweetener. After his concern with the side effects in the beginning, I really did not get that decision. This was not a good read.
5 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 "The tastes of HO HO or Ding Dong suggested a life freer and more limitless than any possible under...Communism." 21 août 2014
Par Amelia Gremelspacher - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This witty, slightly snarky book starts with a quote from Reagan, "All great changes in America begins at the dinner table." Perhaps he meant grass roots, but our protagonist, David Leveraux has trained as a flavorist and believes that historic changes can occur due to diet. As the book opens, he is a true believer. He had joined the field in search of the ability to replicate the memory of his parents with additives that deliver key smells. He haunts the news for stories of long lived humans and copies their diets. Eagerly he greets the advent of the TV dinner and the microwave with anticipation. He believes that the new seductive chemical flavors will win the world for Democracy.

Sweetness #9 may be fiction, but it incorporates the fears and suspicions about food additives that have appeared in the news and scientific articles for years. The chemical in question, Sweetness #9, is an artificial sweetener poised to take the place in the diet market that saccharin was about to vacate due to studies showing carcinogenic qualities. David is conducting animal studies and from there all that we may secretly believe about the manipulation of safety data, the force of the marketplace, and voodoo science comes into play. To tell the truth, it is a little shattering with the blend of what I know to have been discovered and this fictional character.

The world that David lives in is changing under his feet as he views the Watergate trials with dismay that people might question Nixon. He is a proud citizen of the capitalist state, and it is with reluctance that he views the ground shifting. The details are spot on. For example, who is not creeped out by that slice of white bread that doesn't mold? Why don't Twinkies rot? He is a "square" in a hip world and his very reluctance to question authority drives the often sly dark humor.

This book was recommended in Huffington Post best weekly reads, and I am not disappointed. I would dare you drink a diet soda after reading it.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting but Cold 26 septembre 2014
Par katie lyle - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Interesting and scary ideas prevail in this book. But it does have a peculiarly cold-blooded outlook behind the story, which was not appealing to me. All the characters shared in this -- it is like the story continued, and one was interested in continuintg, but never cared much about any of the characters, including the narrator. There's no emotion. But the story is compelling!
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Sweetness #9 was one of my favorite types of summer ... 18 septembre 2014
Par S. Krumm - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Sweetness #9 was one of my favorite types of summer reading. It started out as a novel with a rather unlikely premise, and I was prepared for a story that was merely entertaining. It was quite well written, the story unfolded very quickly, and the characters really kept my attention. About half way through I started to get an eery feeling that it was looking more like reality all the time, and by the end, I could completely see how this could have happened. Wild! I haven't read any backstory about the author or the book, so I take it purely on face value. It's an entertaining read. I had a hard time putting it down, and when it was over, it left me thinking about it for days. What more can you ask from a fabulous summer read? Totally recommend it.
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