As Flies to Whatless Boys

Robert Antoni


As Flies to Whatless Boys

As Flies to Whatless Boys

  • Title: As Flies to Whatless Boys
  • Author: Robert Antoni
  • ISBN: 9781617751561
  • Page: 122
  • Format: Paperback



Finalist for the Bocas Literary Prize for FictionOne of Edwidge Danticat s Best Books of 2013, the New YorkerA Favorite Novel of 2013, Tin House William s account of young love attests to Antoni s fluency in the poetry of nostalgia In words as vibrant as the personalities he creates, Antoni deftly captures unconquered territories and the risks we re willing to take explorFinalist for the Bocas Literary Prize for FictionOne of Edwidge Danticat s Best Books of 2013, the New YorkerA Favorite Novel of 2013, Tin House William s account of young love attests to Antoni s fluency in the poetry of nostalgia In words as vibrant as the personalities he creates, Antoni deftly captures unconquered territories and the risks we re willing to take exploring them Publishers Weekly A rollicking 19th century colonial tale blends history with imagination Library Journal The emotional influence of Willy s narrative his loving descriptions of the people who surround him is profoundly effective Strikes strong emotional chords Kirkus Reviews Antoni has written a novel epic in scope that driven by outbursts of fine writing Booklist This tragic historical novel, accented with West Indian cadence and captivating humour, provides an unforgettable glimpse into 19th century TT The book s narrator, Willy, falls headover heels for the enthralling and wise Marguerite Whitechurch Coming from the gentry, Marguerite is a world away from Willy s labouring class The Trinidad Guardian, one of the Best Caribbean Books of the Year A bittersweet coming of age tale of tragedy, chicanery, high ideals, harsh realities, and the hard choice between love and family duty, As Flies to Whatless Boys is highly recommended Midwest Book Review As Flies to Whatless Boys is a kind of complex word game, a historical narrative in a lilting Caribbean accent, wrapped around with an oddball love story in a wild form of English that seems to create itself as it goes along In between, snippets of contemporary records provide foils for both these linguistic inventions Historical Novel Society Antoni has a fine ear for cultural tensions and a wicked sense of humor Ocean Drive Magazine As Flies to Whatless Boys by Trinidadian Robert Antoni is a tragic historical novel, accented with West Indian cadence and captivating humour, and provides an unforgettable glimpse into 19th century TT Trinidad Express Newspapers As Flies to Whatless Boys is an inventive, witty, comic romance that is as much about history and adventure as it is about language With virtuosic attention to language, Robert Antoni delightfully explores the written word in all its forms as letters, as e mails, as reportage, as narration, as archives to tell stories, to paint characters, to demonstrate the range and integrity of English and its dialects, and to edge us closer to ourselves as equally human beings Earl Lovelace, author of Is Just a MovieIn 1845 London, an engineer, philosopher, philanthropist, and bold faced charlatan, John Adolphus Etzler, has invented machines that he thinks will transform the division of labor and free all men He forms a collective called the Tropical Emigration Society TES , and recruits a variety of London citizens to take his machines and his misguided ideas to form a proto socialist, utopian community in the British colony of Trinidad.Among his recruits is a young boy and the book s narrator named Willy, who falls head over heels for the enthralling and wise Marguerite Whitechurch Coming from the gentry, Marguerite is a world away from Willy s laboring class As the voyage continues, and their love for one another strengthens, Willy and Marguerite prove themselves to be true socialists, their actions and adventures standing in stark contrast to Etzler s disconnected theories.Robert Antoni s tragic historical novel, accented with West Indian cadence and captivating humor, provides an unforgettable glimpse into nineteenth century Trinidad Tobago.


Recent Comments "As Flies to Whatless Boys"

Rating: 4* of fiveI loved Robert Antoni's AS FLIES TO WHATLESS BOYS! Four stars!! My review of this excellent tropical escape from snow is here, or on the book's page! Akashic Books does it right.I'm not posting reviews here anymore, as some might recall. Sorry if clicking a link is too much trouble for you, but if so, please don't come tell me how awful it is of me. It's not awful, you're just lazy.

I thought this book was pretty great and not just because it included an archivist who would totally have sex with a patron but WOULD NOT let him make unauthorized copies no matter how good the sex was. The book includes "documents" -- sketches, newspaper articles, correspondence, as well as a series of video and textual appendices that you access online. That sounds like the gimmicky kind of thing that I usually wouldn't like, but it really works here. There is a consistency and a heart to the [...]

I was so excited to read "As Flies to Whatless Boys." A historical romance told through a collection of narratives, letters, newspaper articles, even emails - it sounded like the type of novel that I would immediately find engaging. However, what I forgot about was the story and even a brilliant format can't make boring, and sometimes ridiculously indulgent content, worthwhile. Here's an example from the book:  be tasting if you don't, & lil buddah say, look here mr robot, u want to cool ou [...]

This is one of the most unusual books I have ever read. It is historic fiction that recreates Trinidad in the 1840s, involving the story of a group of English settlers who follow a charismatic German inventor to the island where they attempt to set up an agrarian society that relies on machines powered by nature rather than enslaved human labor. I would love to ask the author about the inspiration for this book. There are names used for characters that are well known here in Trinidad, so I wonde [...]

As Flies to Whatless Boys is a multilayered tale of dreams and hope and what can happen when they go awry. Because of the multi-storylines there is something here for everyone but also this means that not everything is for one person, and that is the case with me. I most enjoyed the storyline of Willie as a boy migrating with his family and others to Trinidad in the nineteenth century. His coming-of-age and his handling of the curves balls through at him makes this a heartwarming tale.While I wa [...]

Even though I had a hard time reading this novel in more than fits and spurts, I admired the use of language, especially the Trinidad vernacular. I also had a whole new appreciation for settlement in remote lands and the kind of people who were willing to invest and to travel there. There are layers of history, laid one upon the other, explicated by supposed documents in a library in Trinidad, released in hilarious dribbles to the "author" of this novel, And then there is the story a father tell [...]

Not many writers can write a story occurring in 4 different times told by three different narrators, but Antoni makes this difficult feat look so easy that you forget we're jumping far enough in time to make your skin ripple. Instead, the reader slides deep into the story, deep into the romance of Willy and Marguerite, the satiric comedy of Etzler's crazy inventions, and most importantly the mystery of Chaguabarriga. We don't feel the ripples of the story; we see them echoing and spreading throu [...]

Robert Antoni’s As Flies to Whatless Boys is based on the true story of John Adolphus Etzler and his Tropical Emigration Society which in the midst of tragedy led to the establishment of several well-known families in Trinidad, including the author’s. Antoni tells the story of the failed utopian experiment and the love story between Willy and Marguerete, who was born without vocal cords and must communicate with Willy in notes. He also parallels it with the modern romance between Mr. Robot [...]

Hmmm this book was incredibly hard for me to get into to begin with. It bounces around in a way that is reminiscent of Cloud Atlas, but it isn't as well balanced or well done as Cloud Atlas. There are parts that are incredibly heart-wrenching, parts that are beautiful, and parts that are incredibly endearing. However, there are also parts that are forced, over-indulgent, and seemingly pointless and not at all connected to the plot. At times, I really did enjoy the book, and at other times, I jus [...]

Masie Cochran (Associate Editor, Tin House Books): It’s hard to pick a favorite novel of 2013—there were so many greats. One that stands out, though, is As Flies to Whatless Boys by Robert Antoni (Akashic Books, September 2013). The breadth of Antoni’s imagination is inspiring. There were times I had to put the book down and catch my breath. After reading, I went out and picked up two more copies as Christmas presents. It’s just too good of a story not to share.

The pace of this book was slow in the beginning but don't put it down. Once I got into this book, I invested the time that should be spent sleeping. I just had to know what was on the next page. I laughed until I cried and then I caught myself thinking about what I was laughing about. An enjoyable read.

A lively, sprawling, inventive novel about a 19c century English expedition to Trinidad, including also a sub-plot about 20c researchers on the island. Structurally and stylistically very inventive, and great fun to parse out the nested plotlines. The Lear intertext isn't overpowering, though it does make for a great title.

Uh I liked Marguerite. I hated the current day interludes. I was under the impression I would be reading about a failed utopia - and I did - for like 10 pages. This true story isn't much worth telling, should have just focused and made it a love story inspired by events. =/

Magical, mystical, melodica don't miss. Listen to my interview with Robert Antoni tomorrow, Wednesday, October 23, 3 pm ET on The Halli Casser-Jayne Show, Talk Radio for Fine Minds. Listen live online @ bit/U4EEMd.

Very entertaining. The movement of time and dialect was interesting.


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    Published :2018-08-09T05:45:43+00:00