Autobiographical Novel by Wulf Zendik

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Autobiographical Novel by Wulf Zendik

Postby Stevyn » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:18 pm

A Quest Among the Bewildered: The Early Autobiographical Novel by Wulf Zendik (Paperback)
by Wulf Zendik (Author)

# Paperback: 180 pages
# Publisher: Zendik Arts
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 0963056638
# Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.9 x 0.5 inches
# Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces


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Reviewer: A. Boggess from Adirondack Review, NY When a publisher I had never heard of queried me about a posthumously-published novel by an "undiscovered Beat," I was skeptical at first, but also curious. The Beats to me are like a secret lover to the more literary wife I cling to most of the time. I pick up 'Naked Lunch' or 'The Dharma Bums' whenever I want a break from the highbrow fiction I am accustomed to reading. Needless to say, the thought of something new in the Beat vein intrigued me. As I said, though, I was hesitant. After all, any Beat writer worth publishing would have been "discovered" 50 years ago at the height of the movement. Right? Well, apparently not. Wulf Zendik easily fits in with the likes of Burroughs, Kerouac, Ferlinghetti and the rest. His writing is equal parts Bukowski and Buddha, as much Ginsburg as Gao Xingjian.
In 'A Quest Among the Bewildered', described as an "early semi autobiographical novel," Zendik straddles the traditional Beat line between living and meditating. He touches on all the familiar themes: love, lust, homosexuality, intoxication, spirituality, the subculture, and the quest for enlightenment as found in experiencing all the rest and moving beyond. His language rages and burns, then mellows, slows, lulls the reader into a feeling of safety before lunging with a sharp blade:

...Zendik writes with the enthusiasm of a young seeker, while topping off his prose with the insights of a learned master. While all the Beat basics are here: the energy of Kerouac, the poetics of Ginsburg, the over-the-top edginess of Burroughs, Zendik's work often resembles something more eloquent and grand. It often reminded me of Rilke's novel 'The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge' in the way the narrator stops to contemplate the simplest things while keeping what can loosely be called a story hidden far in the background.
'A Quest Among the Bewildered' is the kind of novel one hesitates to enter, but rejoices in having left after its unexpected soul-searching, its journey to places of self and society, its magnificent dreamscape of language and idea. How Zendik remained an "undiscovered Beat" seems as much a curiosity as his work. This book makes a case for his being included among the more noted writers of his generation. At times harsh, at times dazzling, Zendik's prose touches every nerve and reaches every secret desire. It hooks the reader and refuses to let go, not in the way a Stephen King novel might, more in the way carnival rides and conversations do.
Recommendation: BUY THIS ONE. While it might be the last book on your shelf, it will not be last in your thoughts. The words and insights will stay with you for days until you feel the urge to pick it up again, go back for a second helping of life at its most raw, its most fascinating. Expect a truly wonderful reading experience.
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