Uncanny Valley by Lawrence Weschler
Adventures in the Narrative

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Synopsis

Shuttling between cultural comedies and political tragedies, Lawrence Weschler’s articles have throughout his long career intrigued readers with his unique insight into everything he examines, from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Uncanny Valley continues the page-turning conversation as Weschler collects the best of his narrative nonfiction from the past fifteen years. The title piece surveys the hapless efforts of digital animators to fashion a credible human face, the endlessly elusive gold standard of the profession. Other highlights include profiles of novelist Mark Salzman, as he wrestles with a hilariously harrowing bout of writer’s block; the legendary film and sound editor Walter Murch, as he is forced to revisit his work on Apocalypse Now in the context of the more recent Iraqi war film Jarhead; and the artist Vincent Desiderio, as he labors over an epic canvas portraying no less than a dozen sleeping figures.

With his signature style and endless ability to wonder, Weschler proves yet again that the “world is strange, beautiful, and connected” (The Globe and Mail). Uncanny Valley demonstrates his matchless ability to analyze the marvels he finds in places and people and offers us a new, sublime way of seeing the world.
 

About Lawrence Weschler

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Lawrence Weschler is a staff writer for The New Yorker, where he specializes in political and cultural reporting. His book The Passion of Poland includes his reports on solidarity and martial law, for which he was awarded the 1981-2 Hemingway Prize of the Overseas Press Club for the year’s best magazine reporting from abroad. His art-world writings include Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees, David Hockney’s Comeraworks, and Shapinsky’s Karma, which was awarded the 1988 George Polk Award for the year’s best cultural reporting. Mr. Weschler has also written for Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, Artforum, Los Angeles Times, and the International Herald Tribune. Mr. Weschler lives in New York with his wife and daughter.
 
Published October 1, 2011 by Counterpoint. 322 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Uncanny Valley

Publishers Weekly

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Former New Yorker staff writer Weschler (The Passion of Poland) gathers the finest fruits of the last 15 years in this delectable collection.

Oct 03 2011 | Read Full Review of Uncanny Valley: Adventures in...

Los Angeles Times

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It's the story that counts in our existence, the author contends.

Oct 09 2011 | Read Full Review of Uncanny Valley: Adventures in...

City Book Review

Uncanny Valley: Adventures in the Narrative is a collection of 23 literary nonfiction pieces of Lawrence Weschler’s articles from the past fifteen years.

Jan 17 2012 | Read Full Review of Uncanny Valley: Adventures in...

Portland Book Review

In each, he brings to voice the role that narrative play: the shaping of expectations, the discovery of evidence for experience, the particular art of sharpening human meaning in search of an unfolding world.

Apr 05 2012 | Read Full Review of Uncanny Valley: Adventures in...

Book Forum

Somewhere at the intersection of practical science, high art, dorm room philosophy, and idiosyncratic star-making exists the journalism of Lawrence Weschler, a longtime New Yorker writer and the current head of New York University's Institute for the Humanities.

Nov 16 2011 | Read Full Review of Uncanny Valley: Adventures in...

ForeWord Reviews

Who influenced who, he wonders, “was the ant simply God … or what?” The impact of his craftsmanship is exactly what computer animators aim for: “Be amazed, but don’t notice.” No matter the subject, Weschler goes after its mystery.

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truthdig

He soon links up with a man called, for the purposes of this movie, Peter Brand (an expert Jonah Hill), a Yale economics graduate, computer nerd and baseball geek, who believes statistics driven baseball professionals are looking at all the wrong stats.

Sep 26 2011 | Read Full Review of Uncanny Valley: Adventures in...

truthdig

It is also due to an ever increasing consumerist influence on mental health, whereby services are guaranteed to work fast, and are pitched in 140 characters or less—this has only been exacerbated by articles (several of which appeared in The New York Times last year) encouraging therapists to sel...

Feb 02 2013 | Read Full Review of Uncanny Valley: Adventures in...

truthdig

Obama must match his clarity about the limits on what the United States can do militarily with equal clarity about what the United States is doing and will do to create a modestly less dangerous world.

Jul 21 2014 | Read Full Review of Uncanny Valley: Adventures in...

truthdig

Her carefully orchestrated stump speech will soon become stale and she will come under the same scrutiny that Obama, Clinton, and Biden came under during their long primary campaign.

Sep 05 2008 | Read Full Review of Uncanny Valley: Adventures in...

truthdig

Zing, October 8, 2009 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment.

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