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After a bit you realize there's only one invaluable commodity Not gold or love but timeHow far are we willing to go to stay young? Hanif Kureishi acclaimed author of The Buddha of Suburbia and Intimacy explores the possibilities in this provocative story of an older man whose brain is surgically placed in a younger man's body by a network of underground doctorsAdam is offered the chance to trade in his sagging flesh for a much younger and pleasing model He tells his wife and son that he is going on an extended vacation He immediately embarks on an odyssey of hedonism but soon finds himself regretting what he left behind and feeling guilt over the responsibilities he has ignored Sinister forces pursue him wanting possession of his body and he soon finds himself with nowhere to turnA fluent socially observant writer whose sentences move with intelligence and wit The New York Times Book Review Kureishi presents us with both a fantastically vivid tale and hard hitting uestions about our own relationships with our minds and bodies and with time that is running out


10 thoughts on “The Body

  1. says:

    The BodyA theory loving friend of mine once argued that the notion of portraits or the concept of ‘physical self’ must have developed around the same time as the invention of mirrors in the sixteenth century This led me to wonder how people had considered their own image face and body; and appreciated the 'difference' from the other Is this notion a reversal of the kind where instead of conscious awakening to the subjective sense of ‘I’ the accumulated sensations and objective bodily perceptions lead to a joyous eruption of self awareness? Is that why everyone is laboring over their bodies as if the mind’s longing and anxieties can be cured via the body? I would always argue against this yet this book made me think through the story of Adam Adam is an old and famous playwright who decides to trade his aged body for young flesh while preserving his brain in the new body Kureishi narrates Adam's life from there onThe first thing that Kureishi made me notice though indirectly was the idea of using the body as an ‘object’ Whereas Adam’s monologue was about how important a young body is and he was rather drawn to the way youngsters accessorize their bodies My perspective is that bodies can be ‘communicative in many ways’ they can be deceptive at the same time in giving away about your mood your personality and anxieties by the kind of tattoo you wear what you expose why must you expose how much you groomSome bodies are inviting some repulsive and others discreet In hindsight if the book made me think this much then I think Kureishi is praise worthy And then maybe I ought to ignore the little judgmental voice in my head that just loves to run its hypothetical mouth I cannot stop mentioning that the book had some excellent sections and occasionally contemplative prose though I could only grasp a fraction of Kurieshi’s idea behind this book His science fiction plot of the book was a trial and I endured it In return of his torture with the obscurities and abstruse ending that distracted me from musing; I pour all of my anger in this review Kureishi did not develop the plot as much and I found him skirting along the intricacies that the story deserved If he was not interested in taking the story a bit seriously he could have simply written an essay Conclusively I disagree with Kurieshi Adam on every thingI was particularly displeased with the Adam’s perspective of elderly ‘how young terrify the old with their incomprehensibly hip vocabulary and threatening presence’ which led him to get his brain surgically placed in a younger man's body Actually Kureishi attempted to build the idea of using the body as an object to buy youthful years It led me to think how a possibility of extending life or staying alive or being young can make one’s present and past mundane I wish people both young and old could look beyond wrinkles sagging flesh clouded eyes and sparse hair; to the rich histories they have created and the tapestries of a life well lived and the adventures they will undertake which can keep them entertained for as long they liveIf you want to think as hard as I did for the sake of a review you can read this book The prose is noteworthy; the plot however is flimsy Not recommended


  2. says:

    Imagine if you were elderly and offered the opportunity to have your brain transplanted into a younger body for a brand new chance of lifeWould you take it?Adam an elderly playwright who has achieved much success with his writing and who loves his wife Margot and their son is met with this opportunity at a party After telling his family that he is going on a six month sabbatical to travel He decides to accept the offer and undergoes the procedure of having his brain transplanted into 'a newbody'Adam has his pick from an archive of newbodies younger people who have died or been murderedHe doesn't have to pick a male newbody He can pick a female newbody ​Depending on whether he wants to experience giving birthThe newbody Adam ends up choosing is called Leo He is classically handsome with a thick penis and heavy balls MeowAdam spends his first several months as Leo partying taking drugs and fucking women and men He travels dances and works as a catwalk modelTiring of that lifestyle Adam ventures to an island where he gets a physical laboring job at a spirituality centre As a playwright he never had the opportunity to experience using his physical bodyand gets the job to explore those feelingsLook there are some poignant scenes in this book that I will NEVER forget He runs into his elderly wife as this young handsome newbodyand the scene had me in tearsHe asks her all the uestions he SHOULD HAVE asked her as a husbandHe LISTENS to herBut most bizarrely he kisses her she's unaware that it's her husband Adam and thinks he's a young man called Leo Can you imagine the stuff that would bring up within? Talk about a conundrum WowBut 'he' AdamLeo actually sees his wife Margot for the first time Really SEES her for who and what she isI won't spoil the ending But in all honesty I feel I was shortchangedIn this youth obsessed world that we live in books like this need to be written Kureishi could have gone into intricate details He could have explored so much with this subjectIt was an AMAZING concept and in this horrifyingly scary world of Kardashians and TrumpIt wouldn't surprise me if they try to do this later down the tracklong after I'm pushing up daisiesThis is my third or fourth read of Kureishi's and I love how he makes me thinkBut yeahdisappointing endingPSActually scrub that It's not the ending that is disappointing I just think MORE should have come before the ending ​It felt like a sketch rather than a fully formed story


  3. says:

    The Observer review of this book states 'The effect of reading Kureishi is cumulative you are impressed with a certain intensity and indeed integrity of vision' It just can't be put any better This book explores the same themes as all his others youth hedonism beauty selfishness fatherhood romantic love And rather than these themes wearing thin with repetition you find that the you read the deeper he goes; the he says the there is to say The Body caught me by surprise as I don't associate Kureishi with speculative fiction but it's seamless and perfect For humour truth and a pageturner of a plot he's always a sure bet


  4. says:

    Kureishi uses sci fi as a way to explore some of the philosophical uestions that haunt all his work What is my relationship to my body? To your body? How necessary is the pursuit of pleasure? How can we come to terms with old age? Can I reinvent myself? How much of myself do I owe my partner? In other words Who am I? The Body is different from his other work in style as well as genre The style is almost contemporary Japanese like Haruki Murakami or Banana Yoshimoto It actually reminds me uite a bit of that sci fi novel by Ishiguro about the forced organ donation but this is psychological The writing here is spare the focus narrow it's not populated with the usual slew of crazy characters nor is it set primarily in London Here an aging writer tells his wife he's going on vacation and has his brain transplanted into a young hunky body An old soul peers out from the body of a male model It's fascinating thrilling and ghastly Kureishi takes us exactly where we would wish to go he meets friends of his old body; he meets friends who knew the original inhabitant of his new body; he makes love to young sexy women and to a flabby old feminist full of pent up longing; he befriends a young girl who is uneasy in her body and cuts herself; he visits his wife incognito in his new body The book evolves into a kind of thriller but I found the ending too neat and tidy a bit of a cop out I wanted him to return to his old life for good in either body it wouldn't matter and see what wisdom he's gained from his adventure But Kureishi always writes his own life and he's obsessed with uestions tormented by irreconcilable paradoxes and in his life he left his old partner and children for a new young partner He doesn't pretend to have the answers and for that I'm grateful


  5. says:

    From the greatest writers I expect to be revolutionary unconventional to shake me make me think about something I​ have never though​ about To make me change myself or to give me a completely new perspective of an old dilemma To push the boundaries To be 1000 steps ahead of meThat's why I like Kureishi His books have traces of that He's playing with tricky delicate uestionsThis book is about our relationship with our body what it means for our lives How the way we see us and the way others see us affects who we are our identity Then how we discover other people and world through bodies ​What ​is​ life​ like​ when we are healthy young and beautiful and how cruel old age is How difficult facing the death is​ As well as many other things sex drugs ​journeys hedonism all kind of experiences that enrich and shape us And of course feelings and responsibilities that are among all that There are very few things in life that mean all Just because we feel soIt is so easy and so difficult at the same time to live today to appreciate life​ to be aware of every luck that we have and that is slowly slipping out of our hands Why do we realize what's important only when it's gone?Da biste imali dobar brak morate posedovati dar za svu složenost intimnosti i larvalne promene morate želeti na primer da zajedno sanjate Bili smo potrebni jedno drugom Margot i ja ali nismo želeli da brak pretvaramo u zatvor više nego što je to neophodnoOduvek sam kao nešto što se podrazumeva smatrao da sam pre svega ličnost i da je to dobro Sada sam otkrio da sam pre svega telo telo koje nešto želiU životu postoje trenuci od koji postajete zavisni želite da se stalno vraćaju ali onda osećate frustraciju kada više niste u stanju da nastavite kada ono što ste najviše želeli počne da izaziva dosaduUprkos svemu u trenucima trezvenosti želeo sam da budem u blizini svoje žene Voleo sam da je posmatram dok ide po kući da slušam kako se svlači da dodirujem njene stvari Dok je ležala u krevetu i čitala njušio sam je po celom telu i mrdao nosem kao stari pas Još je nisam obišao sa svih strana Telo joj se opuštalo i boralo boja mu se menjala ali ja je nikada nisam ni želeo zbog toga što je bila savršena već zato što je bila onaNe znam što bismo morali da poznajemo sebe ili jedni druge A šta drugo nam preostaje? Možemo da uživamo jedni u drugima Za mene uživati znači poznavatiUradio bi to? Nemaš nikakvih sumnji? Kakvih sumnji? U sebe U to za šta si sposoban? To te čini različitim od mnogih ljudi Od većine zapravo Da rekao sam imam i ja sumnje ali im ne dozvoljavam da me ometaju u pravljenju grešaka


  6. says:

    What if you could have your brain transplanted into a younger body for a second chance at life? Well that's what this book explores Adam is an aging playwright and teacher living in London who undergoes a pioneering medical miracle by having his brain transplanted into a dead young body He then leaves his home and family in London for six months to take a vacation What ensues is a hedonistic debauchery as he wanders through Europe encountering women and eventually ending up in a New Age feminist commune of middle aged women undergoing middle aged crises of various sortsIt gets worse though but I'll spare the details This was an awesome book I really enjoyed it and it kept me on my toes It also touches on central themes like death and aging sex and survival which are so much a part of the human condition The ending didn't uite amount to what I thought and I could very easily see a seuel being written to tie off this work but this was like Frankenstein's monster on the run I really like this slightly sci fi and somewhat philosophical piece of fiction asking the simple yet essential uestion If you could have eternal life would you take it?


  7. says:

    I loved the first story in this book which was the longest one A sci fi philosophical tale about our society our relationship with our bodies and fear of aging Sadly the other few just didn't resonate with me as much although they are well written By the way I read the french version of this book and the translation feels very organic hadn't I checked I would have thought it was originally written in this language I might read other works by this author as he clearly has the ability to captivate the reader and to challenge your thoughts


  8. says:

    uite a short book but one that stays with you imagine you can transplant your brain onto a younger body of your choice speculative fiction which thoughtfully takes the reader through the implications using the example of a famous author in a gripping tale


  9. says:

    Read for school I honestly don't know what to make of this book except that we are all obsessed with youthful desirable and perfect bodies I guess? The ending was so bleak


  10. says:

    Adam is a famous playwright who is floundering through his twilight years His body isn’t what it used to be and neither is his patience He isn’t dissatisfied with his life – he has children a wife that still loves him and he has succeeded in making a living and a name for himself from his creative works One night at a party a young man tells Adam he is a big admirer of his work He offers an opportunity to be young again by undergoing an operation that would transplant his brain into a brand new body The young man underwent the procedure in order to be a stage actor something he wanted to be in his previous ‘life’ but was too old when he discovered his passion for acting Now with his younger body he is achieving everything he never would have been able to in his old bodyAdam has already achieved success but he gives into curiosity anyway and undergoes the procedure He takes a six month sabbatical from his wife in which he tells her he’ll be traveling At a rundown warehouse which houses a hidden surgical center his brain is transplanted into the body of a tall handsome young man The story was pretty interesting up until this point Most of Adam’s adventures in his new body however felt like Cliffs Notes of what happened Months of promiscuous sex and partying are summed up in one or two paragraphs I never felt like I knew his real feelings about what it was like to inhabit this new body or what his experiences meant to him He seemed to be living a life that he was never able to before but all the reader really learns of these experiences were that he mostly enjoyed them and then became bored with them After his money runs out Adam winds up working at a new age therapy center and this is where the story really seems to go off the rails I won’t give anything away but his time here which takes up most of the rest of this short novel seems to have little relation to the central uestion driving this story what is it really like to live again in a younger body? Instead it seems to veer to the growing culture of these secret body swap operations and the dark intentions that could develop around such a realityTo be fair I enjoyed most of the book There were many salient passages about getting older and the regrets and compromises that come with it I will admit there is at least one passage that will influence me for some time Right before he goes under for the operation Adam admits to himself that he could easily die during the operation In that moment he sees images of his children as babies and he regrets not being of a father to them instead opting to do some ‘important’ work or another Being the father of a young child I couldn’t help but think about this part every time I saw my son and it reminded me to really be involved in the moments I’m with himThe other scenes that really worked were the ones in which he saw his wife while in his new body It was an interesting way of seeing someone through someone else’s eyes from a removed viewpoint I’d say the first half of the book is worth a read since it’s short The end just didn’t satisfy as it seems to end before the story was finished Maybe that’s the point but to me it seemed to conclude with a theme that had only begun to develop in the last twenty pages or so I’ll also disagree with the other reviews on Goodreads in that this story is definitely not sci fi There are no scientific explanations given for the transplant procedure and it’s clear that science has no driving force in this story except as a brief device to get one person’s brain into another’s body