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The Love Object: Selected Stories of Edna O'Brien Hardcover – 3 Oct 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (3 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 057127028X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571270286
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 4.4 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 353,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

O'Brien anatomises with a forensic eye the yearning for love ...these stories [have] extraordinary power. (Matthew Dennison The Times)

Every one of the stories included is a shining example of a master at work. (Lucy Scholes Observer)

Edna O'Brien is one of those writers who are masters of the art of the short story as well as of the novel ... perfectly pitched passages, beautiful, layered with meaning and powerfully evocative, abound in these stories. O'Brien has the finely turned sensibility of the greatest artists - there is often a Mozartian flow to her work. Precisely the right words are shaped into perfect sentences and perfect narratives, which perform their magical alchemy in the reader's soul. There is something miraculous about it all ... As well as being an intensely enjoyable book, it is a very important publication in the history of Irish literature: the selected stories of one of the major writers of our era ... this is an outstanding collection. (Eilis Ni Dhuibhne Irish Times)

A stubbornly resilient and defiantly individual talent. (Joyce Carol Oates Times Literary Supplement)

Book Description

A stunning collection of short stories from Edna O'Brien, spanning five decades.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Susie B TOP 50 REVIEWER on 21 Oct. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This collection of Edna O'Brien's short stories is aptly titled 'The Love Object', for love is an enduring theme for the author, a theme which is beautifully portrayed in many of these deftly-composed stories. The story from which the collection takes its name, tells us of the sad love affair between a well-known, older married man and a younger woman, but these tales reveal love in all its various forms: passionate love; first love; mother love; unrequited love; however love is not the only theme - loneliness and alienation also appear in this collection. In 'The Connor Girls' the narrator of the story, due to her new husband's unfriendliness, misses the longed-for opportunity of going to tea with the two Connor sisters. Immediately she defers to her husband, she realises that she is saying goodbye to her own world and those in it, and how by making such choices, she tells us, we gradually exile ourselves and become quite alone.

One of the most poignant stories is 'The Rug' where a thrifty, hardworking woman, who longs for a carpet instead of linoleum, is sent a luxurious black sheepskin rug from Dublin; she does not know who it is from, but believes someone has chosen it especially for her and she spends hours in happy contemplation of who has sent it. When she discovers the rug was delivered to her house by mistake, she weeps, not so much for the loss, but for her own foolishness in thinking that someone wanted to do her a kindness. She tries to cover her disappointment by undoing her apron strings and then retying them in a tighter knot, after all, life is life and we live and learn. In 'The Doll' we meet a very unpleasant teacher who harbours an intense dislike for one of her pupils, taking pleasure in making the little girl's life a misery.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 22 Oct. 2013
Format: Hardcover
These stories are typical O'Brien, concerned as they are with the interior lives of women.

This isn't a modern collection but though the settings may at times feel less than contemporary, the emotions are still acute and poignant.

Like her more famous Country Girls trilogy, these are set in a mix of Irish rural and urban settings and deal principally with moments where female characters confront the loneliness, disappointment or disillusion of their emotional lives. Not the most upbeat of reads, then, though there are moments of dark humour.

This is a quiet collection where the drama is restrained and muted - but the emotional impact can be quite devastating. If you haven't read O'Brien before, this is a fine introduction to her subtle, controlled and intricately-calibrated writing.

(This review is from an ARC courtesy of the publisher)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joan Martin on 9 Nov. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
great read what would expect from such a great writer.She brought everything to life .You thought you were in some of the places in this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Debbee Frost on 31 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Immediately captures atmosphere and detail and one world. Great to read these fantastic snippets of life and love and people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Glynn on 9 Jun. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A masterpiece by one of Ireland greatest writers.Edna O'Brien has the unique gift of getting into a characters heart and then going beyond into the depths of their souls.I would urge anyone who has ever loved to read this collection .
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