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The Conversion By Joseph Olshan,

  • Title: The Conversion
  • Author: Joseph Olshan
  • ISBN: 9780312373917
  • Page: 318
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Russell Todaro, a young American translator, moves to Paris to take stock of his life and goals only to further lose himself in the surprising twists fate has in store for him One night, two men waving guns and knives break and enter their Paris hotel room, terrorizing Russell and his much older companion, a famous American poet named Edward Cannon The intruders, not finRussell Todaro, a young American translator, moves to Paris to take stock of his life and goals only to further lose himself in the surprising twists fate has in store for him One night, two men waving guns and knives break and enter their Paris hotel room, terrorizing Russell and his much older companion, a famous American poet named Edward Cannon The intruders, not finding what they seemingly expected, leave without further incident but the baffling, traumatic events overwhelm Cannon who dies in his sleep later that night Now Russell is left to ponder the meaning of the attack, what to do with the poet s unfinished, problematic memoir and, perhaps most importantly, how to reconstruct and move forward with his own life.Hearing of the disturbing circumstances of Cannon s death, an Italian writer, Marina Vezzoli, invites Russell to recuperate at her villa in Tuscany But what at first seems like a generous invitation slowly reveals itself to be a calculated offer As Russell s stay in Italy lengthens, he begins to realize that the people in his life are using or manipulating him, most of all the poet s New York publishers who, against the dying man s wishes, are trying to acquire his unfinished manuscript Looming over everything is the long and fascinating legacy of Villa Guidi, where during Word War II a Jewish family hid in the subterranean floors, later undergoing a conversion to Catholicism In an echo of this dramatic history, Russell is forced to undergo a conversion of his own in order to find redemption and meaning in his life.
    The Conversion Russell Todaro a young American translator moves to Paris to take stock of his life and goals only to further lose himself in the surprising twists fate has in store for him One night two men wavin

    One thought on “The Conversion”

    1. 5 moving, melancholy, resplendent stars 9th Favorite Read of 2016 I am so happy to discover another author whose work I so admire This is Mr Olshan s seventh novel and I look forward to reading of his lovely work.This book talks about all types of conversions religious, romantic, sexual and medical The book grapples with so much content and leaves one feeling wistful, melancholy and yet full of awe around the beauty of architecture, literature, geography, friendship, gastronomy and most importa [...]

    2. Let me start off by saying that this book is written in a literary style, and I don t intend that to denigrate, particularly because of the book s self reflective quality At one point, the main character Russell who is a one time published author remarks on another character s also an author work s accessibility he had feared it would be written in an overly literary style , and I wondered if the author was expressing his own concerns about the novel, right there within it, out of the mouth of [...]

    3. Novels about writers are a blatant display of self indulgence While this may sound like a harsh generalization, a reader can t help but wonder if an author who is lucky enough to have a book or story published took the easy way out by simply embellishing an episode or time period from his or her own life In the case of Joseph Olshan s latest novel, The Conversion, all the major players are writers with varying degrees of success, and each of their life stories turns out to be just as interesting [...]

    4. Late in The Conversion, the author has his protagonist, commenting on a book he is reading, say, e novel is written in an open, accessible style.I find the reading tedious My reaction to that statement was how true, not only to the character s reaction but also to my own reaction to this book The books I review most often rate five stars because I choose the titles I read quite carefully, based on my interests and the genres I most enjoy The Conversion, however, I bought as an impulse I had stum [...]

    5. This book confused me, but I couldn t stop reading it It s very high brow and the main character, Russell, is really a jerk He s condescending and naive and he can t seem to keep his mouth shut Why he keeps telling virtual strangers everything about himself and his relationships is a mystery to me I couldn t, for the life of me, understand what all of these men saw in him I guess because he was young and attractive, they overlooked his less appealing personality traits Olshan is a wonderful writ [...]

    6. Conversions of several kinds are prominent in Olshan s story religious, sero , and dilettante to writer among them Russell Todaro is a so far one shot writer whose French and Italian affairs with men who are unavailable or, in the case of an older poet, whom he cannot love, distract him from becoming the artist he wants to be, but of course also provide him with the kind of experiences that will give him something to write about.The hidden relationships and motives of these men and an Italian wo [...]

    7. An elegantly written book with descriptive scenes of Paris and Italy The main character, Russell, experiences a frightening break in of the hotel room where he and his lover were staying, but the intruders flee upon not finding whom what they were seeking The story lines are many, but entwined who were the mysterious intruders how does Russell deal with his married lovers and why does he choose unavailable men what is the role of Marina and her mysterious husband Stefano will Russell ever write [...]

    8. December 29 2009I started this in November but had only reached a bit past page 50 when I had to return it to the library I just got it back but I m leaving town in three days for three weeks so I m debating whether to risk taking it along If a hold request prevents it from renewing in a couple weeks the fine could add up quick but if I wait to return to it until late January I will probably have to restart it.

    9. A book about a gay guy in his 30s who happens to fall in love with straight guys and has friends with AIDS The protagonist is also a writer and lives in France and speaks French It seems that Olshan went a little overboard with the saying, write what you know The book is an entire gay cliche Nothing really profound happens No big plot shifts or ah ha moments Don t waste you time with this book It s an esoteric snooze.

    10. Boring Sometimes I ll be intrigued about a book simply by seeing the cover I reserved this from my library knowing nothing about what the book was about, after seeing and liking the cover image simply for its artistic appeal and the scene it depicted Guess it s true you can t judge a book by its cover.

    11. A pretty good murder mystery focusing on a gay young writer involved in a relationship with a poet who dies after a series of confounding circumstances Richly written and nicely drawn charcters Olshan s writing really gives you a sense of the Italian setting in which most of the book takes place and the quirky hosts he finds himself involved with.

    12. I guess this is about the connection between love and creativity and the fact that they are not always compatible perhaps because clinging to the past and to false hopes prevents creating something new A young writer, surrounded by prolific and successful writers, has to see his way clear to his own future as a writer Beautifully written.

    13. This is the most I ve enjoyed a first person narrative for some time His psychology is sensitive and his characters believable I particularly liked reading about Paris and Italy I did find the ending a bit abrupt though.

    14. An intelligent novel Though the blurb suggests drama, this is actually a rather subtle story Meandering, and at times almost like a flow of conscience, this book deals with finding emotional stability and a purpose in life.

    15. meh had potential interesting setting the italian countryside manor home of a wealthy, successful author and her famous radical husband but other than that it just didn t bring much to the table not bad, just ok.

    16. I appreciated the twists and turns the author took the main character through, but I wish it would ve ended strongly It was an abrupt end, not a terrible end, just abrupt.

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