Customer Reviews


10 Reviews
5 star:
 (6)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vivid, attentive, lovingly human writing
I found this book absolutely compelling - the way the story is told kept me feeling very close to what was happening, even when I was confronted with stuff that was completely, wildly unexpected. This is a thoughtful, intelligent, exploratory book but not a solemn one. There's powerful emotional warmth and engagement as well as an infectious delight in words and in comic...
Published on 5 Sept. 2010 by Sarah Wood

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Second reading
I will read this book again, in the hope of getting more out of it. I loved the beginning, having recently lost both of my parents. Towards the end I lost the plot a little and will go back and try again.
Published 15 months ago by steven sarson


Most Helpful First | Newest First

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vivid, attentive, lovingly human writing, 5 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Quilt (Paperback)
I found this book absolutely compelling - the way the story is told kept me feeling very close to what was happening, even when I was confronted with stuff that was completely, wildly unexpected. This is a thoughtful, intelligent, exploratory book but not a solemn one. There's powerful emotional warmth and engagement as well as an infectious delight in words and in comic or bizarre touches of experience. Quilt's subject-matter, the death of the narrator's father and what happens in the following weeks, is undeniably sad but the writing is so vivid, so attentive and lovingly human, that the effect on me was revitalising. I read it again.

The brief Afterword suggests some very interesting ways of thinking about fiction today, what it can do and what it might do. It also prompts a rethinking about Quilt itself.

Royle's critical work is justly famous and has always had a kind of inventiveness more usually associated with literary writing. In Quilt he takes this creative energy to the level,as Helene Cixous comments on the back cover, of mythmaking. It's an exciting development for English novel-readers.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quilt by Nicholas Royle, 4 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Quilt (Paperback)
I am on my third reading of this amazingly poignant book. Dealing with the grief and
shock of his father's dying, the protagonist finds his own way to come -or not- to terms. It is a warm, personal story with a surprising twist. It is especially meaningful and validating for those who have had experience dealing with a loved one's passing and the immediate aftermath. The afterword should not be overlooked as it is very helpful. It invites an immediate (and, rewarding!) rereading of this new kind of rich literary fiction.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting novel with an irritating afterword, 31 July 2011
By 
D Belbin (Nottingham UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Quilt (Paperback)
The Nicholas Royle who wrote this is not to be confused with the Manchester Royle, although the two men are, I'm told, friends, and enjoy the confusion. This is a very well written novel that deals starkly with grief and its effects upon the psyche. Centred around the funeral of the central character's father, the writing has an alert, direct, autobiographical quality that reminded me of BS Johnson. The story, and the character, then go off on one into an obsession with manta rays. Sounds offputting, but it's a satisfying narrative. The story is told in three parts, and it's probably best to read each in one go. However, I'd avoid the 'afterword' unless you're after quotes for an essay. This Nick Royle is a Sussex literature professor and whoever advised him to append this rather irritating (in this context) set of thoughts about the state of the novel was mistaken. It breaks the spell of the rather fine work of the imagination that precedes it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rays of compassion in the murk of grief., 23 Sept. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Quilt (Paperback)
Quilt is not at first an easy read, but worth persevering with through the linguistic and textural substrate for its brilliant portrayal of grief and obsession. The grieving of the son for his now dead father, his attempts to clear the parental home, arrange the funeral, meet his lover, who lives abroad, come to terms with his situation and past relationships with his parents, are all very tenderly and sometimes wittily done. The strength of the book lies in its central image: the son's obsession with stingrays. He builds first one, then an even bigger, aquarium in his father's home to house four rays. His identification with the rays in their substrate murk gradually takes over his life, culminating in a stunning final image. Stay with this book; read it slowly, twice. It will reward the attention.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hauntingly beautiful novel, 13 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Quilt (Paperback)
From the very beginning of this book the reader embarks on a fictional journey that feels distinctly different from any they may have had before. Language in all its strangeness and beauty comes to the fore, whilst at the same time the very human story is movingly conveyed. The tale is about the profound nature of the everyday, about emotional events that every reader will experience at some time in their lives. But it is also funny and intellectual. It engages the reader's thoughts, challenges them, calls for them to think about the very language they read and speak and inhabit. This is an inventive, risky piece of writing, which succeeds because of the way in which it combines flights of imagination with the sense of a powerful emotional reality.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique and complex representation of mourning., 16 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Quilt (Paperback)
Royle's debut is a profound and enthralling account of a man's mourning following the death of his father. It might be surprising, therefore, to learn that 'Quilt' itself is a work that is as humorous as is it lamentory; as playful as it is sobering, and it is, in fact, in the ornate interweaving of these superficially contradictory tones that the novel develops a distinctive strength and beauty; 'Quilt' never wallows. It is always looking for something affirmative: sometimes it finds it in the subdued, redemptive laughter that can be heard when all else is still and sombre; sometimes in the humorous recollection of forgotten etymologies. Whilst the narrative is not without moments of sadness, I never felt that all was lost.

Throughout the novel, the prose is confident and accomplished, and clearly the work of an author who is at ease with language. Royle captures the imagination of his reader with an infectious style that belies an interest in almost everything, from words, to stingrays, to metempsychosis. 'Quilt' is a novel that is in love with thinking, and a great pleasure to read.

A short afterword is appended to 'Quilt' which offers a treatise on the implications of writing a novel in modern society, as well as adding certain points of emphasis to the preceding narrative. Revisiting the novel from a new perspective further illuminated its intricacies, so one that I would recommend reading twice.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious, 15 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Quilt (Kindle Edition)
I hope the writer got a lot of pleasure out of showing how clever he is with words. I certainly got none from reading the book, even though I, as usual, persevered to the end. I kept hoping that all would become clear but it never did.
I would not recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story or indeed any story as I failed to find the thread.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Second reading, 21 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Quilt (Kindle Edition)
I will read this book again, in the hope of getting more out of it. I loved the beginning, having recently lost both of my parents. Towards the end I lost the plot a little and will go back and try again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Bright and effervescing language illuminates its subject matter, 9 Sept. 2013
By 
Allie (Poynton, UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Quilt (Kindle Edition)
Quilt is an intriguing and sometimes perplexing story of loss, loneliness and coping. A man loses his father and begins the doleful process of funeral-organisation and house-clearance - the cumbersome outward manifestations of the grieving and coming-to-terms which occupy him within. On the face of it a dreary enough subject for a novel in all conscience, although a very human one to which many of us will all-too-poignantly relate, and yet the fizzing, darting, tangential lexicon of Nicholas Royle’s prose illuminates it into a bright and effervescing thing. At times I felt like a pin-ball in one of those old-fashioned amusement machines, ricocheting from one image to another, spun off mid-sentence into new trajectories by rhymes and associations of ideas. Then again I was on a bob-sleigh, hurtling down a linguistic crevasse with my stomach in my mouth wondering what on earth was going to come at me round the corner of the next page.
How refreshing it was to have something required of me in the reading process! To be obliged to grapple with the allusions and to think about the philosophy, natural history, psychology and literary references which make up this novel, in order to make sense of it. This novel has more than a little of the savour of the novels of Henry James, Conrad and Poe, which require the same kind of ‘active reading’. Certainly, Nicholas Royle has much of interest to say in his Afterword about the nature of fiction and the role of the novel itself which is well worth reading. Perhaps what we have here is a neo modernist novel. How splendid!
The journey on which the author takes his character (and his readers) is unexpected to the point of being bizarre, but peel away the word-play and what remains is a heart-felt homily which speaks in words a mile high of the abject emptiness of grief and the frantic, eccentric efforts we make to fill up the void.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a call to write, 21 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Quilt (Paperback)
Quilt is an extremely moving and beautiful work.

Above all else, I was touched the way words are shown love. Few words in Quilt are subjected to anthropomorphism; language is lovingly surrendered to, words are allowed to move and sound and interact with each other in such a way that reminds us they are living things. Sounds and letters are given a new lease of life, rendering our everyday idioms and phrases strange, yet brimming with a dark energy. It is rare that the English language (or any language for that matter) is treated like this - with so much tenderness, respect and imagination.

While this is a novel that instantly demands to be read again, almost every sentence made me want to write something new. Quilt is rewarding and pleasurable for the reader, but also opens up the possibilities of literary fiction and, coupled with the Afterword, can be heard as a call to write.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Quilt
Quilt by Nicholas Royle (Paperback - 26 Aug. 2010)
£7.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews