Attention grabber

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"Blindfolded, I could no longer control my motions. I had no dignity. I stumbled about like a baby or a drunken man. The smoke had become thicker and with each new blow it seemed to sear and further restrict my lungs. My saliva became like hot bitter glue. A glove connected with my head, filling my mouth with warm blood. It was everywhere. I could not tell if the moisture I felt upon my body was sweat or blood" (22).

The first chapter of this book I found particularly disturbing. It is some of the most intense writing I've ever read and it made me want to keep reading, but not because I liked what was happening, more because I was disturbed by it. The fact that they were blindfolded and fighting was bad, but when it started talking about the electrified rug, i found it just demented. How can people get pleasure out of this type of abuse?

I started this book not knowing anything about it. This chapter grabbed my attention and makes me want to keep reading to see what will happen next. The author did a great job at grabbing the readers attention right from the beginning.

What did you think about it? Does it make you want to continue reading?

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7 Comments

It absolutely made me want to continue reading. Even though I've read this book before, I was still drawn in by his powerful use of sensory detail and the way he builds suspense. I think part of what's so attention-grabbing about this novel is that each episode seems to start out normal and then gradually goes horribly awry. We think he's just showed up at this club to deliver a speech, and it dissolves into a sadistic humiliation ritual. Similarly, the narrator's seemingly nonchalant drive around the campus with Mr. Norton turns into an embarrassing encounter that leaves Mr. Norton physically ill and gets the narrator kicked out of college. The job at the paint factory ending in an explosion is pretty surprising too. Nothing really seems to work out for this guy. I think as we come to expect things to go wrong for him this creates a sort of tension too as we wait to see what kind of horrible event will come out of the narrator's next misadventure.

Alicia Campbell said:

I did want to keep reading for all of the same reasons that you mention, but also because I was amazed at the protagonist's resilience. I could not believe that after taking such a beating, he was not only willing but even eager to deliver his speech. I cannot say that I would be able to do the same, so I immediately reached a level of respect for and loyalty to the protagonist to follow his story and see what situations he would encounter.

Carlos Peredo said:

It only gets worse. This is one of the most demented books I've ever read. A lot of the vivid imagery and seemingly taboo scenes go over my head. A lot of Ellison can often just seem too disgusting to be worth analyzing.

Andrew Adams said:

I completely agree, this chapter is an amazing attention getter. What I really like about the way that the book is presented is the fact that it deals with such terrible things, but doesn't use filthy language or just try to gross us out. The stories, while terrible, are not that far out of the realm of reality, and I feel Ellison did a great job creating a very human atmosphere to go along with these terrible happenings.

joshua WIlks said:

I find that the passion with which this book is written really keeps the reader going as well. There was a reference to Ellison's parents wanting him to be a poet in Carlos blog and i think that the elegance with which Ellision uses to convey the story certainly shows that he had a way with words. What i find interesting is that this was ellisions only popular book.

Sue said:

You asked how people could have enjoyed watching this and I got to thinking. People have been have been watching and enjoying sick and twisted stuff like this since the days of the gladiators. I agree with you though, even though I thought what I was reading was crazy and twisted I couldn't put the book down because I wanted to know what happend.

Rebecca Marrie said:

This chapter disturbed me beyond anything I've ever felt before. They treated these people like animals. How anyone could find entertainment from abuse is impossible for me to comprehend. However, Ellision definitely caught my attention and provided me with a longing to continue on in his story. So I guess this chapter was necessary in the novel.

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Rebecca Marrie on Attention grabber: This chapter disturbed me beyo
Sue on Attention grabber: You asked how people could hav
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Andrew Adams on Attention grabber: I completely agree, this chapt
Carlos Peredo on Attention grabber: It only gets worse. This is on
Alicia Campbell on Attention grabber: I did want to keep reading for
Matt Henderson on Attention grabber: It absolutely made me want to
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