Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Tuesday Intros and Teaser Tuesday - 'Where the Bird Sings Best' by Alejandro Jodorowsky, Alfred MacAdam

Where the Bird Sings BestThis Tuesday I'm using a book which as been calling my name for a long time now and somehow haven't gotten round to. So I'm trying to tease myself as much as you right now. Hope that makes up for the merciless teasing!
In this wildly imaginative, powerfully moving, “psychomagical” autobiography, legendary filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky tells the story of how his Russian Jewish grandfather (also named Alejandro), his fiery wife, Teresa, and their four children moved to Chile under fake passports and assumed Christian identities, with only a half-kopek to their name, and no idea how they’d forge their new lives. 
The book is a visionary family saga filled with ancestors both mythical and real—including relatives always covered in bees, women who commune with wolves, snake charmers, and militant anarchists. Where the Bird Sings Best owes its title to Jean Cocteau’s reflection: “A bird sings best on its family tree.” Drawing on history, ancestral legends, and intimate family stories, in this memoir Jodorowsky brings to bear the same unique storytelling genius he has brought to his iconic films El TopoThe Holy Mountain, and The Dance of Reality in this deeply personal search for his roots.
Tuesday Intros and Teaser Tuesdays are hosted by Diane over at Bibliophile by the Sea and MizB over at Should Be Reading. These quotes are from an advanced reading copy and may therefore differ from the final, published novel. 

BB (from the Prologue):
'All characters, places, and events are real - though from time to time the chronological order is altered. But this reality is transformed and magnified until it achieves the status of myth. Our genealogical tree is the trap that limits our thoughts, emotions, desires, and material life, but it is also the treasure that captures the greater part of our values. Aside from being a novel, this book may, if it is successful, serve as an example that all readers can follow and, if they exercise forgiveness, transform family memory into heroic legend.' p.1
I'm all for turning family memory into heroic legend because everything that happened in the past fascinates me. I like this beginning because Jodorowsky draws you in by maintaining the reality of what he is describing while also allowing for some narrational magic to seep in.
TeaserTuesdays2014e
Teaser:
'"I've lost her. And now that she's not here, I finally know how much I loved her. I'll feel her absence or the rest of my life. I love the empty space she's left, where she is missing is now my place. The light is gone."'  p.113
I was considering not using this teaser because it technically could be a spoiler but then, we have no clue who is talking here about whom, so I feel like there is plenty of suspense left. And isn't this prose just absolutely stunning?

Does Where the Bird Sings Best sound like your kind of book? Or are family sagas not really your thing?

29 comments:

  1. Isn't that how it goes? You don't know what you love til it's gone? Thanks for sharing.
    sherry @ fundinmental My TT

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  2. Don't think this one is for me...but I hope you like it.

    My Tuesday post: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/2015/02/first-chapter-first-paragraph-94.html

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  3. I would like to read a Russian memoir. I think the Teaser describes the pain of loss. He says his light is gone. Sad. I would read it.

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  4. Oh, you definitely grabbed me with these excerpts, and I love the part in which the author talks about transforming reality...who doesn't do that when telling their own tales?

    Thanks for sharing....and here's mine: “YOU CAN TRUST ME”

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  5. this sounds like a really good story. You have to admire people who start over in life. enjoy your book. Kelley at the road goes ever ever on

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  6. This looks a bit too literary for my taste. (I'm very plebeian.) Hope you enjoy it.

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  7. I like family sagas, but this one might be a little too ephemeral for me. Here's Mine

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  8. I do like family sagas--sometimes. This actually sounds very good. I like the author's "voice" and definitely would keep reading.

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  9. I enjoy family sagas, but "psychomagical" doesn't appeal to me. However, I am curious about the family's adjustment when moving from Russia to Chile and what happened as a result. Sounds like an engrossing story.
    Thank you for visiting my blog today and leaving a comment.
    Sandy @ TEXAS TWANG

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  10. Oh, that teaser on page. 113 is so sad! Thank you for stopping by. :)

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  11. I like the quote but not feeling immediately tempted by the intro. I never heard of the author (or title) before... Maybe if it keeps turning up! one never knows :)

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  12. I don't really go in for family sagas, but I could go for this. Great teaser!

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  13. That teaser is so poignant and I'm really liking the sound of this book, I do enjoy a good family saga. Thanks for visiting my TT https://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/teaser-tuesday-17-february/

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  14. The Teaser is so gripping, you can feel the emotional stress and regret! Great post Juli :)

    ​My Teaser

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  15. It's always that way, you only know what you had when it's gone. Nice Teaser.

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  16. I know exactly how this person feels. Nice teaser. Thanks for visiting my blog and sharing.
    Nadene@Totally Addicted to Reading

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  17. I know exactly how this person feels. Nice teaser. Thanks for visiting my blog and sharing.
    Nadene@Totally Addicted to Reading

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  18. Interesting sounding book! I hope you enjoy it. Happy reading!

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  19. I do love sagas and the prose you've shared really is lovely. I'd love to read more.

    Thanks for visiting Write Note Reviews.

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  20. Tragic teaser. Bet it makes for good reading though.

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  21. 'm not sure, but I am curious enough to read a bit more. Enjoy Juli

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  22. This sounds like an interesting book and I love the teaser you picked out! I will have to add this to my TBR. Thank you for stopping by my teaser!

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  23. Such a sad teaser. I wonder how he lost her. It's such a lonely thing, loss is.

    My TT - http://fuonlyknew.com/2015/02/17/teaser-tuesdays-102-the-loch-by-steve-alten/

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  24. The first paragraph didn't grab me, but the plot description and your comments made me pay attention. I love a good family story and I'll have to check this one out.

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  25. Oof, this sounds beautiful! I'm not sure I can handle this kind of read, but I do love a good family saga.

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  26. The premise sounds interesting, but the intro didn't really grab me. Hope you enjoy it!

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  27. I like long stories, epics... and of course family sagas... stories on lives of Jews intrigues me...
    One such book I had once read was 'The Debt of Tamar'
    Interesting post..

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  28. This seems like it is twisted, but I like it. Thanks for stopping by.

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  29. Sounds like there will be quite a lot of pining in his life from now on...

    Have a wonderful Wednesday, Juli!

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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