9780375727023

Nowhere Man

Hemon, Aleksandar

ISBN 10: 0375727027 / 0-375-72702-7
ISBN 13: 9780375727023
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: 2004
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
A native of Sarajevo, where he spends his adolescence trying to become Bosnia’s answer to John Lennon, Jozef Pronek comes to the United States in 1992—just in time to watch war break out in his country, but too early to be a genuine refugee. Indeed, Jozef’s typical answer to inquiries about his origins and ethnicity is, “I am complicated.”

And so he proves to be—not just to himself, but to the revolving series of shadowy but insightful narrators who chart his progress from Sarajevo to Chicago; from a hilarious encounter with the first President Bush to a somewhat more grave one with a heavily armed Serb whom he has been hired to serve with court papers. Moving, disquieting, and exhilarating in its virtuosity, Nowhere Man is the kaleidoscopic portrait of a magnetic young man stranded in America by the war in Bosnia.

Review:
Following his critically acclaimed short story collection, The Question of Bruno, Aleksandar Hemon's debut novel Nowhere Man confirms that an important new voice has arrived. Unlike other Eastern European coming-of-age novels, Nowhere Man bucks chronological order, spanning the 1990s and sometimes reading like a memoir. Jozef Pronek, who grew up dreaming of hitting it big with his Beatles cover band, wanders through his adopted Chicago while the Bosnia conflict rages on, working as a process server and for Greenpeace, where he meets his girlfriend, Rachel. Jozef spends time in Kiev with American graduate students, such as the uncannily depicted Will, "blonde and suburbanly ... [as if his] family procreated by fission," and Vivian, "pale and in need of a carrot or something." He rooms with Victor Plavchuk, a conflicted doctoral student in literature who develops a crush on Jozef (and who is reminiscent of a subdued Charles Kinbote from Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire). Jozef is sublimely complex, embodying the listlessness and frank practicality of expatriates whose homeland is being shredded by violent conflict. Jozef wonders, "Why couldn't he be more than one person? Why was he stuck in the middle of himself, hungry and tired?" while a woman "[keeps] her hands in the pockets of her formerly blue jacket, as if despair were a marble in her pocket." Hemon's wit is also present: "The only thing that distinguished Pronek in school was that he never, ever volunteered to do anything." Nowhere Man is a somber, saddening, yet vibrant and warm debut novel. --Michael Ferch

Review

Review:
Aleksandar Hemon, author of The Question of Bruno, one of the most celebrated debuts in recent American fiction, returns with the mind- and language-bending adventures of his endearing protagonist Jozef Pronek.

This is what we know about Jozef Pronek: He is a young man from Sarajevo who left to visit the United States in 1992, just in time to watch war break out at home on TV. Stranded in the relative comfort of Chicago, he proves himself a charming and frankly perceptive observer of ? and participant in ? American life. With Nowhere Man, Pronek, accidental urban nomad, gets his own book.

Aleksandar Hemon lovingly crafts Pronek into a character who is sure to become an enduring literary icon. From the grand causes of his adolescence ? principally, fighting to change the face of rock and roll and, hilariously, struggling to lose his virginity ? up through a fleeting encounter with George Bush (the first) in Kiev, to enrollment in a Chicago ESL class and the glorious adventures of minimum-wage living, Pronek?s experiences are at once touchingly familiar and bracingly out-of-the-ordinary.

But the story of his life is not so simple as a series of global adventures. Pronek is continually haunted by an unseen observer, his movements chronicled by narrators with dubious motives?all of which culminates in a final episode that upends many of our assumptions about Pronek?s identity, while illustrating precisely what it means to be a Nowhere Man.

With all the literary verve of The Question of Bruno, but with an engrossing narrative, engaging warmth, and refreshing humor, Nowhere Man brings to life a protagonist whose very way of looking at and living in the world provokes an exhilarating sense of seeing everything new again. And all the while, the inspired freshness of the prose reminds the reader why Aleksandar Hemon earned such extraordinary recognition after just one book.

From the Inside Flap

Editorial reviews may belong to another edition of this title.
 

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Hemon, Aleksandar
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Book Description: Random House USA Inc, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 203 x 133 mm. Brand New Book. A native of Sarajevo, where he spends his adolescence trying to become Bosnia#8217;s answer to John Lennon, Jozef Pronek comes to the United States in 1992#8212;just in time to watch war break out in his country, but too early to be a genuine refugee. Indeed, Jozef#8217;s typical answer to inquiries about his origins and ethnicity is, #8220;I am complicated.#8221; And so he proves to be#8212;not just to himself, but to the revolving series of shadowy but insightful narrators who chart his progress from Sarajevo to Chicago; from a hilarious encounter with the first President Bush to a somewhat more grave one with a heavily armed Serb whom he has been hired to serve with court papers. Moving, disquieting, and exhilarating in its virtuosity, Nowhere Man is the kaleidoscopic portrait of a magnetic young man stranded in America by the war in Bosnia. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780375727023

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Hemon, Aleksandar
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Nowhere Man (Paperback) (ISBN: 9780375727023)
Hemon, Aleksandar
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Book Description: Random House USA Inc, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 203 x 133 mm. Brand New Book. A native of Sarajevo, where he spends his adolescence trying to become Bosnia#8217;s answer to John Lennon, Jozef Pronek comes to the United States in 1992#8212;just in time to watch war break out in his country, but too early to be a genuine refugee. Indeed, Jozef#8217;s typical answer to inquiries about his origins and ethnicity is, #8220;I am complicated.#8221; And so he proves to be#8212;not just to himself, but to the revolving series of shadowy but insightful narrators who chart his progress from Sarajevo to Chicago; from a hilarious encounter with the first President Bush to a somewhat more grave one with a heavily armed Serb whom he has been hired to serve with court papers. Moving, disquieting, and exhilarating in its virtuosity, Nowhere Man is the kaleidoscopic portrait of a magnetic young man stranded in America by the war in Bosnia. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780375727023

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Book Description: Paperback. Book Condition: New. 131mm x 14mm x 203mm. Paperback. A native of Sarajevo, where he spends his adolescence trying to become Bosnia's answer to John Lennon, Jozef Pronek comes to the United States in 1992?just in time to watch war.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 256 pages. 0.186. Bookseller Inventory # 9780375727023

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