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on 29 June 2010
TO THE WEDDING is a remarkably beautiful novel that works through a series of fluid images and as the blind narrator says at the beginning, he (and the reader) has to determine how to fit a them all together. It's a book that cries out for several readings, as one reading will not do justice to the way these images are subtly linked.
It's a story of life's transience, of terrible things happening to innocent people There are two ways of responding to such injustices, the first being a futile religious practice, as exemplified by the narrator who sells "tomatas" at the beginning of the story to ward off evil happenings. The second is simply to realize that bad things happen to good people and to celebrate the present moment, the climax of this attitude being, of course, the wedding of two ordinary people.
The wedding guests become "a creature half mythical like a satyr with thirty heads. It only lives a day or two, and is reborn when there's something to be celebrated". This promise of happiness, and that's all it is, a "promise" is further intensified by the food (the sacrificial lamb) and by the bsnd which plays loud "to keep out the din of the world." The din, the discordant notes, the tragedy will come soon enough. But for now, we enjoy the beauty of the moment.
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on 9 March 2010
Somehow, this was less like a novel and more like you had stumbled into the pain and joy of someone else's life.
It is a beautifully constructed tale of love and the pain of bereavement told through the characters as they slowly reveal their stories on the way to the daughters wedding. As each story is woven into the other , the warp into the weft, it creates a whole that is both beautiful and yet flawed because the ending of the story is known and unchangeable.I found this a powerful, poignant and beautiful read.
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on 26 December 2011
To the Wedding tells an almost unbearable story of love, hope and sadness. There can be few more humane writers than John Berger. His ability to get to the core of ordinary peoples' lives in a prose so poetic and sensitive is simply beautiful.
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on 29 November 1998
This is an incredibly beautiful book: through the ears of a blind Greek the disturbed love of a young French woman and her Italian friend is described. Her father and mother travel towards the wedding. Wonderfully written.
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on 11 April 2003
One of the best books I have ever read. It really moved me and I cried in the end, which I don’t usually do.
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on 18 April 2016
Wow - one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. Poetic, tragic, beautiful and utterly moving. John Berger as his masterful best.
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