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Meditations in Green

Meditations in Green Sardonic searing seductive and surreal the award winning Meditations in Green is regarded by many as the best novel of the Vietnam War It is a kaleidoscopic collage that whirls about an indelible a

  • Title: Meditations in Green
  • Author: Stephen Wright
  • ISBN: 9780375712937
  • Page: 162
  • Format: Paperback
  • Sardonic, searing, seductive and surreal, the award winning Meditations in Green is regarded by many as the best novel of the Vietnam War It is a kaleidoscopic collage that whirls about an indelible array of images and characters perverted Winky, who opted for the army to stay off of welfare eccentric Payne, who s obsessed with the film he s making of the war bucolic CSardonic, searing, seductive and surreal, the award winning Meditations in Green is regarded by many as the best novel of the Vietnam War It is a kaleidoscopic collage that whirls about an indelible array of images and characters perverted Winky, who opted for the army to stay off of welfare eccentric Payne, who s obsessed with the film he s making of the war bucolic Claypool, who s irrevocably doomed to a fate worse than death Just to mention a few And floating at the center of this psychedelic spin is Spec 4 James Griffin In country, Griffin studies the jungle of carpet bomb photos as he fights desperately to keep his grip on reality And battling addiction stateside after his tour, he studies the green of household plants as he struggles mightily to get his sanity back With mesmerizing action and Joycean interior monologues, Stephen Wright has created a book that is as much an homage to the darkness of war as it is a testament to the transcendence of art.

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      Published :2019-07-18T02:23:25+00:00

    About "Stephen Wright"

    1. Stephen Wright

      Stephen Wright born 1946 is a novelist based in New York City known for his use of surrealistic imagery and dark comedy His work has varied from hallucinatory accounts of war Meditations in Green , a family drama among UFO cultists M31 A Family Romance , carnivalesque novel on a serial killer Going Native , to a picaresque taking place during the Civil War The Amalgamation Polka He has taught writing courses at various universities, including Princeton University, Brown University, and The New School.

    170 Comments

    1. This is a book that has remained among my Top 10 since I first read it in about 1987 or so (it was originally published in 1983). I really can't say enough about it, and while I recognize that war novels are not to everyone's taste, I have long encouraged everyone I know to read it, even if it takes them out of their comfort zone. It's one of those novels that transcends its genre. It is, quite simply, a classic--or at least, it deserves to be. And yet, so few people have ever heard of it, or of [...]


    2. Stephen Wright’s debut novel, first published in 1983, is a difficult one to categorize. The blurb describes it as being “sardonic, searing, seductive, and surreal…” It is certainly all of that.It is also overwritten, with sentences that cover an entire page and paragraphs that cover more than a page. After reading about ten or fifteen pages, I wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to finish the book and after about thirty pages, I was almost positive that I wasn’t. In fact, I alm [...]


    3. The book cover states that this book is regarded by many as the best book ever about the Vietnam War, and having read most of the works considered part of the canon of that era, I in no small measure agree with the statement. It is nothing short of brilliant. The story (like other works of that era) is about a man’s struggle to adapt back to society as a vet, with enough flashbacks that you understand his mental and emotional wrestling. The prose is tight, the structure of the book is creative [...]


    4. Sitting here propped up in a chair for much of the past week, rendered immobile by a torn abdominal muscle, I’ve gotten a chance to immerse myself in this twisted, profound war novel. Reading it and entering the hallucination-addled mind of Vietnam serviceman James Griffin has been a transformative experience and one that’s offered me a strange kind of solace. With 50 pages left to go, I couldn’t wait to finish it before showing some love. The fact that it’s the first book to make me wan [...]


    5. War, pot, insomnia, Jimi Hendrix, death, boredom and horrord green. Jungles, camouflage, paint, leaves, sunrises, and death in green and shades thereof.


    6. The man writes zero boring sentences. And I felt like I didn't breathe during the last 30 pages of this book.


    7. The haphazard style, the cast of idiosyncratic grotesques, inevitably leads to comparison with Catch 22, but despite this the book stands up on its own. It's interwoven by a neat plant, growth metaphor that ties it all together, as if the book were wrapped up tightly in a jungle vine. The casual violence, the nihilism and surrealism are all present and correct but used in a deadening way - like a heroin memory, like a discarded needle in a dilapidated squat. Filled with apathy and numb pain, it [...]


    8. taken me a while to get to thiswas smashed about the head by this, review laterI came to this book via Wright's Going Native which was as I called it - lush, hyper-real/surreal and trippy - and this is the same, prose that glows.Maybe I learnt nothing new in relation to war: maybe I'm Vietnammed (or war in general) out. What happens here covers familiar ground – it combines the hallucinatory horror of Apocalypse Now (released 3 years before) with the absurdity of Catch 22 (eg all the dogs in t [...]


    9. I'm not the aficionado of the massive heaps of art, literature, film and music left in the wake of the Vietnam War that some of my friends are . But this book and Robert Stone's "Dog Soldiers" transcend their peers on every possible level. Note: this book is not for the faint-hearted. Additionally, Wright will make you feel like you're on drugs, whilst writing about other people being on drugs. This is not entirely a good thing.


    10. Insanely good. A most overlooked drug novel containing some of the best sentences in the English language. It makes you shudder with awe, close the book, and think.



    11. Meditations in Green perfectly captures the weird amalgam of influences and cultural currents that was life in the Seventies in the United States. People who went to war in Vietnam as fresh-faced youth came home confused, addicted, honored and reviled. The novel’s main character, Griffin, is one of those young people. He spent more time stoned in Vietnam than he did sober, and now he’s trying to meditate himself into becoming a plant as a salve to the continuing confusion and a shield for fe [...]


    12. Probably the best Vietnam war era novel you have never heard about. Amazingly vivid detail and imagery showing the horror and dysfunction of combat, albeit, through the eyes of a non combat soldier slowly going mad while the world around him does the same. At times almost incomprehensible and incoherent, it's chaos seems to shadow the world in which the characters themselves live. Definitely worth reading although, beware, at some stage you too may find that you have no idea of what is going on [...]



    13. Ptsd has become fashionable, the symptoms and descriptors described in the popular press have moved it from being a source of shame for those of us who finally succumbed to a desirable trait a topic of converstaion. It has become synonomous with the Vietnam War and a point of fascination for the wanna be's and the war junkie's. When I first collapsed under the weight after 30 years of struggle, I only found others who had seen and suffered, who knew what it was to experience the confusion and fe [...]


    14. A series of descriptions of drug highs,insanity, murder and battle gore that goes nowhere. There is no context, no motive, no origins, no fault. The obvious impression it made on me was that war is insane and repulsive but a sociopath will read it as an exciting adventure story. The main character and narrator, Griffin, lacks emotion, with his observations on the chaos and violence, rendered in a poetic style that feels inappropriate for the subject. I felt the book was simply: 'and then the sar [...]


    15. Addict and war veteran James Griffin is fixated on foliage. In between flashbacks to Vietnam and addled encounters with his girlfriend Huey and his vengeance-crazed war buddy Trips, Griffin tries to get into the botanical mindset, contemplating all that is green and leafy. Stephen Wright is an insanely creative author. He drops at least one sentence per page or two that makes the reader stop, rewind, replay and admire all over again. Unfortunately, his cleverness sometimes comes at the expense o [...]


    16. A novel about Vietnam. Green is indeed the motif here. Green is everywhere, and not just the lush jungle vegetation. If it had been my copy I would have underlined the word “green” hundreds of times throughout the book. Great alternation of first person point of view with third person during the war. Wright goes Small. Large. The scene in which soldiers run to a shot-down helicopter to put U.S. soldiers in body bags and recover official business (which has already disappeared) is both graphi [...]


    17. I had to begin this book again after a few years. The drug aspect of it left me cold at first. On my second reading I somehow got past that and am glad that I did. The book follows the pattern of being "changed" by the war, something that I myself fought against for quite a long time. The war, any war, will have long term effects upon the warriors, physically and emotionally. There are extremely strong elements of the novel that I was able to reflect on. The totally insanity that occurs during c [...]


    18. I don't know what it's like to be in a war zone, but I can imagine. Stephen Wright has contributed greatly to my imagination with this book. Wright DOES know what it is like to be in a war zone; he served in Vietnam 1969-1970. He has an extraordinary gift for using figurative language. As you can surmise from the title, this is an internal experience of war more than a tale of battles fought. I can't do it justice by writing a review, but I encourage every person who wants a sense of what fighti [...]


    19. I think Stephen Wright is an incredibly talented albeit flawed writer. I've now read all his books, my favorite being The Amalgamation Polka. I was wondering why this is and I came to the conclusion that that book, in addition to being lyrical, has the most narrative thrust to it. This novel, on the other hand, has the least "story" aspirations of his novels, and is more content to be simply a series of meandering wartime vignettes. The prose is beautiful -- if a bit overcooked (mushy pasta) at [...]


    20. The daily grind of the war in Vietnam takes its toll on certain members of an Army unit. These individuals were referred to as 'the heads' in the film "Platoon". They go about their jobs day-after-day regardless of weather, enemy actions, and the prejudices of their ultra-conservative sergeant. One of these servicemen, James, brings the memories back home with him (it's called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder now) and plots revenge on a man who he thinks is his old sergeant now in civilian life. V [...]


    21. I didn't fully buy all of the "meditation in green" sections (they just bored me compared to the rest of the scenes, though I liked their concept). Overall, amazing stories and character sketches from the war. Most of these characters are what they call today, "Fobbits," those that do not leave base; their jobs usually involve them staying on base. However, being a Fobbit in the War in Vietnam and especially at this base in the book is a completely different story as they face a lot of fight fro [...]


    22. Yet another series of vignettes posing as a 'novel.' If it were only the third-person narrative of the Vietnam War, with its mini-apocalyptic ending, I would have been completely satisfied with this 'novel.' But the author interjects stilted, pace-slaughtering, and at times pretentious 'meditations' on life as a plant, along with a bland rambling first-person narrative of a soldier back home from the War trying to find mental/emotional stability. And by doing this he fails to have a coherent wor [...]


    23. I had read a bunch of reviews saying that this novel was the novel on Vietnam. It was supposed to be better than any of Tim O'Brien's pieces. This isn't a bad novel, but O'brien's works -- particularly Going After Cacciato -- have much more depth. This has the absurdity of Catch-22 and the horror of Apocalypse Now. But from a literary standpoint, it isn't as powerful in language and imagery. Not a bad book, but didn't live up to the hype I had heard.


    24. "I don't know, maybe it's me, but I couldn't make any sense of it at all. I mean, there's no beginning, no middle, no end. There's no coherence. It just kind of settles over you. Like a musty tent."Our hero, Spec. 4 James Griffin, is speaking above, but it's also a perfect description of the book, which reads like a memoir, wrapped inside a nightmare -- as brilliant, brutal and poetic as it is almost incomprehensibly bizarre.


    25. More of the same from one of our finest prose stylists. Meditations in Green is a bit richer in symbolism than Wright's later work but also a bit more uneven in pacing; the novel drags just a bit in the midsection. But even in this first novel we see the author's prose style emerging. Wright's prose is hallucinatory, it is euphoric and it is spiritual.


    26. Awesome read. Not the best book ever, but up there as far as war novels I'v read. And the writing I read a lot of sections out loud. Stephen Wright has a wonderful way with words that really rubbed me the right way. I will definitely keep an eye out for any other novels he has written, if he has (I hope so!!).


    27. One of the best books i've ever read and certainly the only book to have read more than twice - just keep going back for more, depending on how my perspective has changed over the years. Surreal, narratively brilliant, drug-soaked, funny and utterly sad. Not just a war book, but a book about how a person deals with reality and the merits of escaping it.


    28. Brilliant writing! Mordant humor. The Hell and futility of Vietnam is limned devastatingly. It missed 5 stars because it went on an on, long after it had made it points about the Hell and futility of Vietnam.


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