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Ducdame Paperback – 21 Aug 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 468 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (21 Aug. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571242146
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571242146
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 754,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

John Cowper Powys (1872-1963) was born in Derbyshire, brought up in the West Country (the Somerset/Dorset border area was to have a lasting influence on him), went to Cambridge University and then became a teacher and lecturer mainly in the USA where he lived for about thirty years. On returning to the UK, after a short spell in Dorset, he settled in Wales in 1935 where he lived for the rest of his long life. Those are the bare bones of his life. In some senses they seem unimportant when set alongside his extraordinary writing career. Not only was output prodigious, it was like nothing else in English Literature. Indeed, George Steiner has made the bold claim that his works are 'the only novels produced by an English writer that can fairly be compared to the fictions of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky'. And even that doesn't touch on their multifarious strangeness. John Cowper Powys wrote compulsively: letters, diaries, short stories, fantasies, poetry, literary criticism, philosophy and, above all, novels poured out of him. He also wrote a remarkable autobiography. In addition to his Autobiography his masterpieces are considered to be Wolf Solent, Glastonbury Romance, Weymouth Sands and Porius. But his lesser, or less well-known, works shouldn't be overlooked, they spring from the same weird, mystical, brilliant and obsessive imagination. John Cowper Powys is a challenging author with an impressive list of admirers. In addition to George Steiner, these have included Robertson Davies, Margaret Drabble, Theodore Dreiser, Henry Miller, J. B. Priestley and Angus Wilson.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Catislyn on 10 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
Charminster Book Club decided to read Ducdame as it was a story reputedly based on our own village, just north of Dorchester, the county town of Dorset. While some of the story brings Charminster to mind, it would be truer to say that Cowper Powys used certain elements of the village as his inspiration. We found it difficult to pin down the period depicted, but decided on 1880-1890. Powys' love of nature was evident and we enjoyed the way he used landscape and elements to affect the emotions of his characters; the never-ending circle reflected by the book's title. We were grateful to be able to refer to notes and opinions from members of the Powys Society as we accompanied Rook Ashover on his somewhat weak-willed journey through the women in his life. These notes gave us an added insight into a thought-provoking tale of rural Dorset.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
J C P fans - wont be disappointed 4 April 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have really just started this on my kindle and right away i cant stop reading it.

The only other JCP I have ever read a Glastonbury Romance but even that has spoiled me for most other authors. I was reluctant to purchase this novel as it didnt really seem to feature in any reviews of JCP's other work - i would have happily purchased any of his other "big" ones - Wolf Solent, Weymouth Sands etc except that they are not in Kindle form - hard to read in bed etc etc. Instead i dithered for ages.

This story is about two brothers - one lives with his mistress in slightly odd circumstances and the other brother is sickly and i suspect not long for the story. But even though i am early into the story line, the writing is just POW! Already i am captivated - immersed in the moody, slightly dark atmosphere of the story and the characters have already captured me with their individual temperaments, frailties, strengths and particular traits. The JCP descriptions of the material aspects of the story just amaze me - a description early on of two women walking along a rainsoaked muddy path is so convincing that i am practically there. This interwoven with each woman's own diverging thoughts and motivations produces such powerful images. All i am sorry about is that i didnt get it sooner.

Have to say, i appreciate that JCP isnt for everyone - definitely not lightweight and the stories dont exactly rollick along. But if you like a lot of "atmosphere" and are prepared to take the time to read your way through that then I definitely recommend it.
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