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The Vintner's Luck [Paperback]

Elizabeth Knox
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Elizabeth Knox's fifth book, her first to be published in the UK, plays out its huge themes in a small Burgundian village at the time of Napoleon. A novel of forbidden love, wine and immortality, it yields up its secrets--beautiful, tragic and horrifying--one by one, so they're as unexpected as the angel Sobran Jodeau, the young vintner, encounters in his vineyard one night in 1808. Xas is breathtakingly beautiful, has huge expressive white wings, leather trousers and smells softly of snow. He is a keen gardener, and also profoundly curious about mortals, how they feel, how they live, how they make their choices. They talk, and Xas persuades Jodeau to meet him--same time, same place--every year.

Jodeau marries, fathers children, and continues--bar a couple of years when he's off fighting, whoring and trying to keep his best friend alive on the Russian front--to meet with Xas. Their friendship deepens. Jodeau's wine improves, and the joys and troubles of village life wash around him. But this strange relationship between man and angel is inherently unstable, and following the death of Jodeau's beloved younger daughter, it veers off in a direction neither had anticipated. And then Xas tells Jodeau something that drives the vintner almost beyond madness. --Lisa Gee

Review

"This is a gorgeous novel: as fine, rich, satiny and unpredictable as the vintages that it describes" (The Times)

"Ms Knox's philosophical scheme defies brief summary: like a witty, post-modern Milton, she rewrites the Christian myth and the whole cosmology of "Paradise Lost"" (Economist)

"A beautifully written exploration of the inexplicable, into which is woven an all-too-human chronicle of burning desire, violence, murderousness, bitter jealousy, curiosity, sexual deviations, shame and a fidelity of a sort" (The Times)

"Knox comprehends the irredeemable sadness of loss and, more than any writer I have read for years, manages to touch the heart by paring sophistry and digression from the essential cores of her characters. Beautifully written, The Vintner's Luck possesses a complex bouquet of conceits and ideas but it is the simplicity of Elizabeth Knox's writing that in the end draws out the savour of human experience and compassion" (Independent on Sunday)

"Angelic writing and inspired structure" (Guardian) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

"The nearest useful comparison to Knox's conceptual framework is Philip Pullman's Northern Lights, which also explores social power and control in the context of other possible quantum universes." (ABC Magazine)

"Ms Knox's philosophical scheme defies brief summary: like a witty, post-modern Milton, she rewrites the Christian myth and the whole cosmology of 'Paradise Lost." (The Economist)

"This is a gorgeous novel: as fine, rich, satiny and unpredictable as the vintages that it describes...A beautifully written exploration of the inexplicable, into which is woven an all-too-human chronicle of burning desire, violence, murderousness, bitter jealousy, curiosity, sexual deviations, shame and a fidelity of a sort." (The Times) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Book Description

The cult classic from the author of the internationally acclaimed Dreamhunter Duet. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From the Back Cover

'A beautifully written exploration of the inexplicable, into which is woven an all-too-human chronicle of burning desire, violence, murderousness, bitter jealousy, curiosity, sexual deviations, shame and a fidelity of a sort' The Times

Burgundy, 1808. One night Sobran Jodeau, a young vintner, meets an angel in his vineyard: a physically gorgeous creature with huge wings that smell of snow, a sense of humour and an inquiring mind. They meet again every year on the midsummer anniversary of the date. Village life goes on, meanwhile, with its affairs and mysteries, marriages and murders, and the vintages keep improving - though the horror of the Napoleonic wars and into the middle of the century, as science marches on, viticulture changes, and gliders fly like angels.

'Strange, whimsical and deeply ambitious' Independent

'Enchanting' She

'Angelic writing and inspired structure' Guardian

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Elizabeth Knox is an adventurous and imaginative fiction writer, who has published several novels for adults and children, as well as autobiographical novellas. In the 2002 New Zealand Queen's Birthday honours list, Elizabeth was awarded an ONZM for her services to literature. She lives in Wellington with her husband and son.

Adrian Mulraney is a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Along with being a top voice artist, he has appeared in over seventy theatre shows in four Australian states and has appeared in Stingers, Neighbours, MDA and many other TV shows and feature films. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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