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Wise Children Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Though their father may have been a "national treasure," he was also a self-centered and irresponsible hedonist, and Nora and Dora considered the doting Peregrine Hazard, Melchior's twin brother, their true "father." Brought up by their "Grandma" Chance, a "naturist" who claimed to be descended from the Booth family, the twins were surrounded by a bizarre assortment of "relatives," the result of their father's several marriages, which led to additional sets of Hazard twins who also adopted show business careers. As Dora describes her sexual coming-of-age, along with that of Nora, in bawdy and unapologetic language, she simultaneously describes their entry into show business as a song-and-dance team, a career that led to Hollywood.
As Dora's reminiscences continue at a manic pace--always exuberant, confident, and full of high emotion--the family's passion and love for life in all its variety become the real story here.Read more ›
Wise Children is narrated by Dora Chance, twin sister to Nora and illegitimate daughter of Melchior Hazard, the renowned Shakespearean actor. It's the twins' 75th birthday and Dora takes this opportunity to recount the dramatic story of their lives, born on the wrong side of the tracks in South London and into a life of musical theatre as chorus girls (aka "hoofers") which is but a faint copy of their natural father's "legitimate" acting career. However, fear ye not, that won't deter the Chance sisters from treading the boards, living life to the full and ending up having a less complicated and perhaps more enriching life than the legitimate children of Melchior.
Wise Children has copious amounts of twins and this twin theme mirrors the themes of illegitimacy versus legitimacy (not just in terms of birth), upper class and lower class, illusion and reality. However this is most certainly not a dull social treatise but an absolute powerhouse, rollercoaster ride of a tale with Dora very firmly at the helm. I cannot begin to tell you how much I loved Dora, an old gel who likes to give the impression that she doesn't give a damn yet she takes in the invalid ex wife of Melchior who has been abandoned by her upper class twin daughters. Being upper class is obviously not contingent upon being charitable and or/loyal.
At the outset I must admit to being rather befuddled by the huge array of characters in this tragi-comedy, but a quick glance at the Dramatis Personae will keep you right and let you sink into the story.Read more ›
Now imagine that in book form. Add a huge dollop of sex, Shakespeare and insanity, with just a pinch of incest, and that is Wise Children for you.
Angela Carter's narrative is fabulous, she is undoubtedly one of the most talented writers I have ever read from, with an almost unique ability of weaving stories under stories under stories and all in between. Wise Children is no exception to this. Practically every line is an allusion to a different text, every event has significance, and every character is there for a very important reason.
OK, so Wise Children isn't for everyone. It's a book you have to immerse yourself in completely, and don't be put off by the bizarre nature of it all. In my view, a new classic in the making.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very brown and musty pages. Unpleasant to read because of musty smell.Published 5 months ago by Angela Randle
What a frolic! Enormous fun, many many cross references which are revealing and mind-stretching. Not yet finished but savouring every chapter.Published 7 months ago by blewburyfam
The best of Angela Carter. Wonderful writing, just love Dora or is it Nora! Love the Shakespeare connections, anyone who studies the Bard should read this bawdy, down to earth,... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Rowlandjumper
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