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Jubilate [Paperback]

Michael Arditti
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
RRP: £11.99
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Book Description

3 Feb 2011
Michael Arditti's passionate and passionate and provocative new novel combines tender romance with a unique and richly observed setting. A woman wakes in a Lourdes hotel room beside her lover of just two days. She has brought her brain-damaged husband on a pilgrimage to seek a miracle cure; her lover is making a TV documentary to mark the shrine's 150th anniversary year. Setting aside personal doubts, family ties and spiritual differences, they embark on a turbulent affair from which neither they nor those around them will emerge unchanged.

'Carries you through with humour, warmth and, above all, the urgency of a great romance.' - The Guardian

'Combines a moving story of love against the odds with a moral debate on the nature of faith. Despite its serious theme Jubilate is a highly readable novel, full of humour and warmth.' - Sunday Express

'Closing this novel after reading the last page, one briefly believes in miracles, at least of the human redemptive kind.' - Independent on Sunday

'The reader retains a quiet sense of celebration indeed, jubilation as people face the crosses they must bear with as much dignity as they can muster.' - Daily Telegraph

'Arditti does indeed take the reader on a very different kind of a literary journey, as enjoyable as it is unusual. Jubilate is something to celebrate indeed.' - Independent

'Arditti is a nimble, dry guide to the meandering streets and kitsch architectural delights of Lourdes and the extremes of emotions it elicits from its pilgrims.' - The Times

'I was amazed at how emotional this book is. What makes the book so poignant, and so urgent, is that the ethics of choice, and how we care for one another, are made to matter, not just to the characters but also to the readers.' - Literary Review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Arcadia Books (3 Feb 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906413738
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906413736
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 464,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Arditti is a novelist, short story writer and critic. His novels are The Celibate (1993), Pagan and her Parents - Pagan's Father in the USA (1996), Easter (2000), Unity (2005), A Sea Change (2006), The Enemy of the Good (2009), Jubilate (2011) and The Breath of Night (2013). His short story collection, Good Clean Fun was published in 2004. He was awarded a Harold Hyam Wingate scholarship in 2000, a Royal Literary Fund fellowship in 2001, an Oppenheim-John Downes memorial award in 2003, and Arts Council awards in 2004 and 2007. He was the Leverhulme artist in residence at the Freud museum in 2008. His novels have been short- and long-listed for several literary awards and Easter won the inaugural Waterstone's Mardi Gras award. In 2012 he was awarded an Honorary DLitt by the University of Chester.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant !!! 18 Feb 2011
I've been a fan of Michael Arditti's novels ever since I read Pagan and her Parents fifteen years ago. In Jubilate I think he has written his best yet. All the usual Arditti themes are here - the grappling with moral and spiritual dilemmas - but in the context of a beautiful and unique love affair. The Lourdes setting is inspired and the characters of all the pilgrims are richly developed. Who would have thought that a pilgrimage would be the source of so much comedy? Arditti has always been a master of unusual structures but here he has excelled himself, with Vincent telling his side of the love affair forwards and Gillian telling her story backwards, so that the reader is left guessing the outcome to the final page. I'd heartily recommend this wonderful novel.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lourdes and more... 18 Feb 2011
By Sadsack
Michael Arditti has done it again: religion without pomposity, debate without prejudice, ideas without over-elaboration as well as descriptions with finesse, and emotions with sincerity - he can create them all with amazing facility. 'Jubilate' is a tour de force and is by far the best of this author's books - not just because it is more accessible than some of Arditti's other books, but because there is such a profusion of things to enjoy it in it that your interest is held from line to line and page to page. You come to know Lourdes and to understand the changes that it brings about in people's lives. You end up knowing more about your fellow men and their beliefs as well.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love at Lourdes? 12 Mar 2011
By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWER
What are the chances of falling in love while in Lourdes on a pilgrimage? Fairly small, I'd suspect, but Gillian and Vincent manage to do so while on an organised group pilgrimage. Michael Arditti's excellent novel, "Jubilate", has two voices - Gillian's and Vincent's - tell their tale in alternating voices. Arditti's writing covers a week, but in addition to the two voices, there's no time continuity in the segments. Vincent might write "Tuesday morning", while the next chapter might be Gillian writing "Friday afternoon." Sometimes the same events are described twice, in both voices, from both perspectives.

Gillian, a 39 year old British woman, is the wife to Richard, a man who has suffered a brain hemorrhage a few years into their marriage, rendering him into a child-like existence. He will never recover the mind he lost and will remain a grown child for the rest of his life. Gillian, a fairly good Catholic, has stayed with her husband since his hemorrhage out of a sense of duty. Vincent is a film maker who is in Lourdes to make a documentary about the pilgrimage. He's a lapsed Catholic, with his own sad personal history. Also along are Patricia - Richard's do-gooder mother - along with many people coming to Lourdes to find some relief from their ailments. Arditti's writing gives a very good description of how Lourdes "works" - the various facilities and churches and events which the groups of pilgrims are routed in and out of on a weekly basis.

Arditti's writing is smooth and the changes in voice and time really are not difficult to manage for the reader. He tells the stories of love and devotion, along with the story of Gillian and Vincent. It's quite a winning read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A love story, and a story about love 10 Mar 2011
By Rovi
Michael Arditti has already proved himself as a major contemporary English novelist, and one willing to traverse territory abandoned by much of current literature. Jubilate is a gripping, brave, and inspiring novel, leaving the reader wanting more, and certainly seeking the opportunity to discuss the huge questions it raises.

For Michael Arditti is willing to use the novel, and its engaging and plausible characters, to talk about God, the wounds we carry from experience, and the contradictions as well as the consolations of religion in belief and practice. Thus he takes us deeper, and shows the limitations of the superficial. He has no truck with the unexamined life.

However, the lives of his characters are far from being ciphers, animated in order to illustrate particular points of view. Though his central male character, Vincent, is a religious sceptic, marked by a cynical disbelief, and scarred by earlier tragedy, and his key female character, Gillian, a woman who clings to her Catholicism almost as a life raft to help her cope with the daily ordeal of caring for a disabled husband, both are achingly real. They show the frailties and reflect the `inwardness' of real life. What happens defies our conventional expectations.

For this is a romance, a love story and, more broadly, a story about love. Set in Lourdes, where tears meet tackyness, it allows for the unexpected, and pays its dues to the strange winds of providence, which can shape our lives.

It is a great read - strongly recommended and much to think about.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional 18 Feb 2011
By os99
I struggle with theological debate and I usually don't care for romantic fiction, but I found 'Jubilate' completely clear, unsentimental and satisfying to read. I heartily recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Rosie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase

I suppose I had not really ever thought about Lourdes very much and when I did I could never imagine what type of pilgrims would bother to go. In my woolly mind there was a rocky road in the middle of some vast wasteland with pilgrims in different stages of various illnesses slowly making their way there over a very long timescale.

I am a great Michael Arditti fan and I therefore approached "Jubilate" with curiosity and interest and was rewarded with the fascinating backdrop of Lourdes which was entirely different to my imagined Lourdes, and a wonderfully written and colourful story peppered with rich characters and moments of wonderful humour in some of the pathos. I engaged totally with the novel and found it hard to put down. What a brilliant way to become more familiar with the Lourdes experience.

I recommend this book to everyone whatever your beliefs are and whatever your knowledge of Lourdes. It works on many levels and you will find it fascinating and entertaining.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning sensitive and beautiful
Whether you've been to Lourdes or not, this novel is a wonderful portrayal of faith in humanity and faith in miracles but these miracles aren't of the obvious kind. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Fleur Dorrell
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
I love Michael Arditti's books and this is the best one I've read. On the surface it's just a love story, but it goes far deeper than that since it is set in Lourdes where the two... Read more
Published 5 months ago by P. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Jubilate is a cause for rejoicing!
Its unusual back to front storyline; likewise the sensitive yet erotic sex scenes were beautiful and its setting was familiar to me, having been to Lourdes. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Ann Margaret Thorp
4.0 out of 5 stars People Watching
Although this novel is set in Lourdes it is an extraordinary portrait of lives and loves seen through the eyes of Vincent and the helpers. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Ann Gleeson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read!
Ignore the cover and enjoy this book. Story takes place in unusual setting of Lourdes during annual pilgrimage. Very
well written and extremely realistic. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Sophie
2.0 out of 5 stars Jubilate
This is a banal story of a woman married to a brain damaged man seeking a "cure" on a pilgrimage, and although you get the really tacky atmosphere of Lourdes quite well, the story... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Sunny
5.0 out of 5 stars The book I will never forget!
The book I will never forget!

Jubilate has 10 chapters named by the main protagonists - Gillian and Vincent. Read more
Published 23 months ago by A.B.Cubrilo
1.0 out of 5 stars Hard going
This was rather disappointing. I persevered to the end but it was was often hard going. The chronological twists added nothing but confusion to the story and moreover I couldn't... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Applecross
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
When I read the novel I assumed that Michael Arditti was, like me, a Catholic, but on further reading found he is Church of England. Read more
Published on 3 Sep 2012 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Pilgrimage Pun
An enjoyable read combining fictional love, pain and loyalty issues with a real grasp of the Lourdes and pilgrimage setting. Read more
Published on 2 Oct 2011 by maytrees
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