Download The Last Samurai fb2

by Helen De Witt
Download The Last Samurai fb2
Short Stories & Anthologies
  • Author:
    Helen De Witt
  • ISBN:
    0786887001
  • ISBN13:
    978-0786887002
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    Miramax; Reprint edition (April 3, 2002)
  • Pages:
    544 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Short Stories & Anthologies
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1965 kb
  • ePUB format
    1952 kb
  • DJVU format
    1191 kb
  • Rating:
    4.9
  • Votes:
    682
  • Formats:
    azw lit lrf doc


The Last Samurai (2000) is the first novel by American writer Helen DeWitt. It was sold in more than a dozen countries, with 100,000 copies sold in English. It was reissued by New Directions in 2016.

The Last Samurai (2000) is the first novel by American writer Helen DeWitt. The Last Samurai is about the relationship between a young boy, Ludo, and his mother, Sibylla.

Helen DeWitt’s 2000 debut, The Last Samurai, was destined to become a cult classic (Miramax). The enterprising publisher sold the rights in twenty countries, so Why not just, ‘destined to become a classic?’

Helen DeWitt’s 2000 debut, The Last Samurai, was destined to become a cult classic (Miramax). The enterprising publisher sold the rights in twenty countries, so Why not just, ‘destined to become a classic?’ (Garth Risk Hallberg) And why must cultists tell the uninitiated it has nothing to do with Tom Cruise?

The Last Samurai, Helen DeWitt The Last Samurai (2000) was the first novel by American writer Helen DeWitt. Infatuation The Last Samurai is a book where you’re never quite sure where you’re going next and at what speed, you just realise it’s going to be unconventional.

The Last Samurai, Helen DeWitt The Last Samurai (2000) was the first novel by American writer Helen DeWitt. To make sure you remain connected to the short snappy pointed tone of the main characters the writing adopts a similar style.

A flood of bad luck has kept Helen DeWitt’s The Last Samurai out of print. But the book’s genesis and its themes have roots in DeWitt’s itinerant childhood, her largely accidental education, and her relationship with her father. The DeWitts are a military family, and her father, John, attended the Naval Academy and then joined the Marines, turning down ROTC scholarships to Princeton and Brown. I think that’s what turned him into an alcoholic, she said. He kept going over the wall in Annapolis to the Sportsman’s Bar.

This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

The book has been a great source of motivation for me. I must outdo Ludo, because he is younger than I am but smarter than I am. My father says that this is ridiculous, as Ludo is a fictional character.

Helen DeWitt’s The Last Samurai. Photo: Courtesy of the publisher. Ask a set of writers and critics to select books for a new canon, and it shouldn’t come as a shock that the one most of them name is a novel about the nature of genius

Helen DeWitt’s The Last Samurai. Ask a set of writers and critics to select books for a new canon, and it shouldn’t come as a shock that the one most of them name is a novel about the nature of genius. It is also, more precisely, a novel about universal human potential. Like many epics, Helen DeWitt’s The Last Samurai charts the education of its hero and proceeds by means of a quest narrative.

So at 11, Ludo takes matters into his own hands. This bizarre, bold, brilliant book, originally published in 2000, is original both in content and form. Perhaps the book is a little bloated, but DeWitt’s zeal cannot fail to enchant. Conversation reflects rhythms of speech rather than formally correct grammar and punctuation, and the narrative moves in and out of digressions, contemplating, for instance, John Stuart Mill’s education

Helen DeWitt's extraordinary debut, The Last Samurai, centers on the relationship between Sibylla, a single mother .

Helen DeWitt's extraordinary debut, The Last Samurai, centers on the relationship between Sibylla, a single mother of precocious and rigorous intelligence, and her son, who, owing to his mother's singular attitude to education, develops into a prodigy of learning. Helen De Witt's late debut (it's not polite to point out a lady's age but one can say most writers debut quite earlier than she did) is one of the most entertaining novels I have read in a long time. The book is about Sybilla, an American single mother eking out an existence in London as a transscriber of old magazines while at the same time trying to deal with having a miraculously smart child, Ludo.

Helen DeWitt's extraordinary debut, The Last Samurai, centers on the relationship between Sibylla, a single mother of precocious and rigorous intelligence, and her son, who, owing to his mother's singular attitude to education, develops into a prodigy of learning. Ludo reads Homer in the original Greek at 4 before moving on to Hebrew, Japanese, Old Norse, and Inuit; studying advanced mathematical techniques (Fourier analysis and Laplace transformations); and, as the title hints, endlessly watching and analyzing Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece, The Seven Samurai. But the one question that eludes an answer is that of the name of his father: Sibylla believes the film obliquely provides the male role models that Ludo's genetic father cannot, and refuses to be drawn on the question of paternal identity. The child thinks differently, however, and eventually sets out on a search, one that leads him beyond the certainties of acquired knowledge into the complex and messy world of adults.

The novel draws on themes topical and perennial--the hothousing of children, the familiar literary trope of the quest for the (absent) father--and as such, divides itself into two halves: the first describes Ludo's education, the second follows him in his search for his father and father figures. The first stresses a sacred, Apollonian pursuit of logic, precise (if wayward) erudition, and the erratic and endlessly fascinating architecture of languages, while the second moves this knowledge into the world of emotion, human ambitions, and their attendant frustrations and failures.

The Last Samurai is about the pleasure of ideas, the rich varieties of human thought, the possibilities that life offers us, and, ultimately, the balance between the structures we make of the world and the chaos that it proffers in return. Stylistically, the novel mirrors this ambivalence: DeWitt's remarkable prose follows the shifts and breaks of human consciousness and memory, capturing the intrusions of unspoken thought that punctuate conversation while providing tantalizing disquisitions on, for example, Japanese grammar or the physics of aerodynamics. It is remarkable, profound, and often very funny. Arigato DeWitt-sensei. --Burhan Tufail


Feri
Brilliant. Funny. Delightful. Thank you Helen DeWitt. For those who couldn't get through the big words... be aware that's one of the plot points. Being smart doesn't mean you don't struggle with insecurity, arrogance, fear.. Don't get bogged down in in intellectual minutiae, stick with the big picture plot for maximum reading pleasure. Even when it rambles down the road it has a destination. One of those books I closed with a sigh regretting the fact that there aren't enough like it. Basically, it is the story of a highly intelligent, socially akward young american woman and her highly intelligent 11 year old son. The are very poor financially and quite isolated although they live in London, but survive and in some ways even thrive making the most of other resources such as their wits, the library, public transportation...
Fearlessdweller
When I read the first few pages, I sent off emails to friends to get this book. As I read a few more pages, I cancelled my recommendation Then a friend who has not read the book advised me to read it like a poem. I'm glad I read it. This is a masterpiece...the best and most challenging novel I've read in years. Not only are the characters geniuses, so is Helen DeWitt. I would have liked it more if I knew someone who was reading the book along with me so I could share my laughter and awe to the very end.Thank you, Helen de Witt, you leave me speechless with your genius.
Jelar
Fascinating read. Well written, engaging and thoughtful. I know that this book has been compared to to Infinite Jest. I enjoyed this book, The Last Samarai, more. I find myself hesitant to say more as my own lack of brilliance and ability to properly paint a picture that represents the depth and breathe of the experience of reading this. I hope the reader will take the plunge and experience it themselves.
Kezan
Fascinating, astonishing, enigmatic, heartbreaking.

Try not to prepare yourself by reviewing the plot of THE LAST SAMURAI. Just let it take you on a river of discovery.
GoodBuyMyFriends
It slows in the middle. Put it down for a few days. Return. It will move faster, and you will laugh out loud at some of the passages. Mostly you will meet a few extraordinary people that you will marvel at.
Marirne
Well, he said, I have read a lot of books in my life. The word best doesn't slip unsupervised past my lips and run screaming down the street very often. Oops, there it goes. He said.
Querlaca
Although much has been said already in the glowing reviews this book has justly gotten, I want to add my own voice to the chorus of praise. Helen De Witt's late debut (it's not polite to point out a lady's age but one can say most writers debut quite earlier than she did) is one of the most entertaining novels I have read in a long time.

The book is about Sybilla, an American single mother eking out an existence in London as a transscriber of old magazines while at the same time trying to deal with having a miraculously smart child, Ludo. Since Ludo lacks a father, she raises him on countless viewings of Akira Kurosawa's masterwork "The Seven Samurai", as well as spending her little income on buying second-hand books on languages, physics, astronomy and other subjects. Ludo masters all these things at a shockingly young age; so much so in fact that his short attempt to attend an actual school is a dismal failure. As he grows up though, Ludo wants to find out who his father is, hoping to find a rolemodel in him as well as a support for his often despondent and potentially suicidal mother, for whom "boredom is a fate worse than death".

The book traces Ludo's quest for his father and the various odd and over the top characters that he considers, while at the same time describing the intense bond between a single mother and her son. De Witt's writing is highly inventive and original and makes maximal use of page layout and changes in pace and style, without this becoming a gimmick like it does with Danielewski. Although the mother Sybilla is unabashedly based on herself, the way De Witt captures the mind of the strong-willed wunderkind is definitely the best characterization in the book, and this alone makes it worth reading. Add to that the solid structure of the book (I don't understand why some reviewers found this meandering, when it's more compact and structured than most famous 19th century novels put together), the inspiring erudition of the various interludes on linguistics, foreign lands, physics, astronomy, and Kurosawa, and finally the unpredictability and novelty of the book as a whole, and you have a definite masterpiece. If it is true that a writer's first book is usually one of their weaker ones, then we have a enormous talent in Helen De Witt.
My favorite novel. Heartbreaking. Funny. Curious. Familiar. Reading it was like living parts of my own life on another, more interesting, plane. I have read this book so many times and I will read it again.