Read The Room by Hubert Selby Jr. Free Online
Book Title: The Room|
The author of the book: Hubert Selby Jr.
Edition: Penguin Books
Date of issue: August 1st 2011
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 371 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.7
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'It is quite an experience to be locked up all by yourself in any size room' says the anonymous narrator of Hubert Selby Jr.'s second novel. What follows is a startling series of recollections and fantasies that illuminate the workings of a prisoner's unhinged mind. He yearns for his violent childhood, rages against obscure authorities, and imagines enacting horrible revenge on those who imprisoned him. The prisoner's remand cell becomes the scene of a surreal mental torture. Disorienting, nightmarish and structurally inventive, "The Room" is a shocking examination of the suffering humans can inflict on each other.
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Read information about the authorHubert Selby, Jr. was born in Brooklyn and went to sea as a merchant marine while still in his teens. Laid low by lung disease, he was, after a decade of hospitalizations, written off as a goner and sent home to die. Deciding instead to live, but having no way to make a living, he came to a realization that would change the course of literature: "I knew the alphabet. Maybe I could be a writer." Drawing from the soul of his Brooklyn neighborhood, he began writing something called "The Queen Is Dead," which evolved, after six years, into his first novel, Last Exit to Brooklyn (1964), a book that Allen Ginsberg predicted would "explode like a rusty hellish bombshell over America and still be eagerly read in a hundred years."
Selby's second novel, The Room (1971), considered by some to be his masterpiece, received, as Selby said, "the greatest reviews I've ever read in my life," then rapidly vanished leaving barely a trace of its existence. Over the years, however, especially in Europe, The Room has come to be recognized as what Selby himself perceives it to be: the most disturbing book ever written, a book that he himself was unable to read again for twenty years after writing it.
"A man obsessed / is a man possessed / by a demon." Thus the defining epigraph of The Demon (1976), a novel that, like The Room, has been better understood and more widely embraced abroad than at home.
If The Room is Selby's own favorite among his books, Requiem for a Dream (1978) contains his favorite opening line: "Harry locked his mother in the closet." It is perhaps the truest and most horrific tale of heroin addiction ever written.
Song of the Silent Snow (1986) brought together fifteen stories whose writing spanned more than twenty years.
Selby continued to write short fiction, screenplays and teleplays at his apartment in West Hollywood. His work appeared in many journals, including Yugen, Black Mountain Review, Evergreen Review, Provincetown Review, Kulchur, New Directions Annual, Swank and Open City. For the last 20 years of his life, Selby taught creative writing as an adjunct professor in the Master of Professional Writing program at the University of Southern California. Selby often wryly noted that The New York Times would not review his books when they were published, but he predicted that they'd print his obituary.
The movie Last Exit to Brooklyn, Directed by Uli Edel, was made in 1989 and his 1978 novel Requiem for a Dream was made into a film that was released in 2000. Selby himself had a small role as a prison guard.
In the 1980s, Selby made the acquaintance of rock singer Henry Rollins, who had long admired Selby's works and publicly championed them. Rollins not only helped broaden Selby's readership, but also arranged recording sessions and reading tours for Selby. Rollins issued original recordings through his own 2.13.61 publications, and distributed Selby's other works.
During the last years of his life, Selby suffered from depression and fits of rage, but was always a caring father and grandfather. The last month of his life Selby spent in and out of the hospital. He died in Highland Park, Los Angeles, California of chronic obstructive pulmonary lung disease. Selby was survived by his wife of 35 years, Suzanne; four children and 11 grandchildren.
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