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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enigmatic and amazing. Ocean blue. Pure.
-Sometimes I wonder what are we waiting for. -For it to be too late, madame.
I have read OCEANO MARE in its original language, but the grammatic is so clear that the translation can easily keep the beauty of Baricco's writing. It recalls the style fo the naturalists fo the XIX century. It is an original story. There are differents settings that runs parallel and...
Published on 5 Nov 1998

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A strange tale
Having read several of Baricco's books and enjoyed almost every one, this one left me a bit puzzled. The outline of the story is interesting enough - several individuals head for a hotel at the seaside, and all are going there for different reasons; you sense through the tension in the writing that something unexpected will happen. Well, it does. But the treatment of what...
Published on 8 July 2011 by E. S. Moorhouse


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enigmatic and amazing. Ocean blue. Pure., 5 Nov 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Ocean Sea (Hardcover)
-Sometimes I wonder what are we waiting for. -For it to be too late, madame.
I have read OCEANO MARE in its original language, but the grammatic is so clear that the translation can easily keep the beauty of Baricco's writing. It recalls the style fo the naturalists fo the XIX century. It is an original story. There are differents settings that runs parallel and then blend together. Several characters with different stories find a personal meaning in the ocean that can be either terrible or beautiful, gentle of furios, can carry joy oy death. A group of men abandoned on a boat; two men that look for the end or the beginning of the sea; storytellers that comes from the waves; lovers walking on the beach; children that know more than adults about everything; they are all connected to the ocean sea somehow. The book is strong and delicate. It goes beyond the love and hate human feel for the sea, it is a story that goes deep in the human soul, it is a rappresentation of the most secret desires, that goes beyond rational thinking. Enigmatic and pure. OCean blue. I loved it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fairy Tale of Astoundish Beauty!!!, 29 Oct 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Ocean Sea (Hardcover)
It's the book I give to everyone I really love... because it's hard to find a novel, a poetry, and a piece of art all in one book!!! It talks of the love the goes beyond love, of the friendship that goes beyond friendship, and it will delight you with the music of its words... read it, it's too beautiful to be missed! Let it cuddle you in a land where nothing's real, but everything is far more cruel than you expected it to be... Make friends with the characters, Elisewein, the painters, the murderer, the lover... you'll never be able to forget this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ideal book for a day with yourself, 13 Feb 2012
This review is from: Ocean Sea (Paperback)
I don't lie when I say that "Ocean Sea" by Alessandro Baricco is the most amazing book I ever read. A story of human illnesses on the sea shore: a girl that CANNOT live because she is too scared, a man that looks for the limits of nature and other pecular characters all together in the Almayer Inn. Enjoy the fresh style of Baricco, his ability to create an atmosphere which doens't exist. In fact, the story occurs in a place that doesn't exist, in a time that is not time, a place that is not a place, in a life that is not life: you are a bit confused, aren't you? Well, then, there is just one thing you can do: reading this book. You will either hate it or love it. It's not the common Nicholas Sparks work, neither a love story,nothing you have ever read. The price is also very modest and the quality of the paperback book is good. Have a great time!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let's go to the beach!, 2 Sep 2000
By 
Z. Raza "Zed" (Karachi, Pakistan) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ocean Sea (Paperback)
There is nothing predictable about the events of Ocean Sea. The array of characters, their individual plights and maladies and the timeless sea all make for a delightful and moving novel. The aura the novel creates lingers long after the book has been read and in a sense, the story continues.
Set at the illusive Almayer Inn on the seaside, the author brings together people of different ages, backgrounds, even times and yet one can see in all of them what makes us all human: the need for acceptance and validation and the urge to make one's own mark in this world. And in the background one can almost see, touch and hear the mighty sea.
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4.0 out of 5 stars All At Sea, 24 Nov 2008
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This review is from: Ocean Sea (Paperback)
Normally I would start a review with a summary of the plot, but having only read "Ocean Sea" once, I don't feel competent to aummarise it. Suffice it to say that some characters get together at a hotel by the sea, and there's a chap painting the sea with sea-water, a woman who's going to die unless the sea can cure her, another woman who's trying to choose between her husband and her lover, and a lot of strange children. Plus a professor who's writing love letters to a woman he hasn't met yet. And some other characters.

"Ocean Sea" is written in a lyrical, elliptical prose style that will enchant some readers and infuriate others. There's a lot of rhapsodizing. There's cuts between different stories that are connected but don't immediately appear to have anything to do with each other. There's a lot of work for the reader to do, and it's for the individual reader to decide if that work was worth it in the end.

One aspect that did puzzle me arises from what I thought easily the best-written part of the book--the narrative by Savigny of the events on a drifting raft crammed with survivors of a shipwreck. Although it is perhaps overlong, it's written in an urgent and engaging fashion that brings the horror of his situation to life. However, the raft and the shipwreck so obviously derive from the wreck of the Medusa that it's a puzzle why Baricco names the ship Alliance instead. Perhaps it's an attempt at irony, as anything less like an alliance on that horrendous raft is hard to imagine. But given the characters have the same names as those on the Medusa's raft, the effect on the reader is to have them thinking, "But this is the Medusa! I know it's the Medusa!". It's hard to believe this is the effect Baricco sought.

In contrast to the sombre events of the Medusa shipwreck, and the terrible revenge exacted by one of its survivors, we have the mordantly funny tale of Professor Bartleboom and his mahogany box of love letters. Having finally found the woman to whom he should deliver it, he encounters unexpected and often hilarious reverses, but in the end brings happiness to an entire village, and perhaps to himself.

This book is very much a pot-pourri, although perhaps all its parts do make sense once put together. I'd need to read it a second time to be sure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Baricco at his best, 9 July 2009
This review is from: Ocean Sea (Paperback)
This is the second Baricco novel that I have read (the other being Without Blood) and once again I was moved emotionally. Translations can be hit and miss. It is difficult to know if the original has been lost in translation or was not inspiring in the author's native tongue in the first place. I like to think that Baricco's are wonderful Italian novels translated well into English (in Scotland!), in any case, the result is a very readable novel of passionate prose. His descriptions are unusual but beautiful and leave a vivid image in the reader's mind. The one which stood out for me was when he described a winters day, and the 'snow was as tall as children and as cold as the devil'. In this novel, he describes the lives of a number of people who are linked to a remote seaside inn. It is complicated at times as it moves between the past and present in each person's life individually and then brings them together creating a 'can't put down/don't want to finish' novel which hopefully you'll read and recommend to everyone! I can't wait for the next one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ocean Sea by Alessandro Baricco, 6 Feb 2009
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This review is from: Ocean Sea (Paperback)
Blending all the elements of the supernatural, adventure and romance, Alessandro Baricco has written the most beautiful book I have ever read. Dispite - or perhaps because of - his use of surealism and an almost Monty Python-esque humour, the auther manages to touch on the very essence of what it is to be human. His use of imagery, his unique yet unimposing style creates an other-world that nevertheless lives and breaths like our own.
Prais must also go to Alastair McEwen, for his faithful and sensitive translation. I have read the novel in the original Italian, and can safely say that 'Oceano Mare' has lost nothing in its translation into 'Ocean Sea'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magic!, 22 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Ocean Sea (Paperback)
In Ocean Sea we meet a handful of characters at an inn by the beach. Each character needs to be by the sea for a purpose, whether it is scientific, artistic, psychological, spiritual, medical, etc. and by the end of this novel we find out whether and how their goals are reached.
Baricco's style is simple, magical and poetic. The tale of each of the characters in Ocean Sea is beautiful in its own right, and the way the characters interact with each other is even more so. And then there's the omni-presence of the sea, which fills the senses and the mind.
This is a beautiful and magical novel, which I recommend to all of you.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SEEING THE SEA, 31 July 2001
This review is from: Ocean Sea (Paperback)
Some never see it. The sea in their hart. But never mind, those who see it still have books. But they also have troubles sometimes. For example : You have been for years in your library. You regularly read the book-pages of some newspapers and magazines. You're even a librarian, as I am, of a quite (would-be) modern (semi-public) library. Yes, you might even be me. And like me, you have never remarked Ocean Sea of this Italian author of whom you've never heard, until an engimatic but wise woman, your teacher Drama at the local Academy of Arts, tells you they are going to bring it on stage (written by who ? everyone yells, and then : never heard of, very difficult, sakespeare-like I presume ... ). And then you read it, and you really see the sea. Experiencing it on scene makes it even worse : escaping this yearning feeling to tell everyone you meet they absolutely must read this book becomes impossible. And in every letter you write to your many pals, you can't stop mentioning Plasson, the painter who wants to leave his canvas white but not blanco, or others. This story is all about puzzles : pieces coming together and breaking up. It's about leaving things undefined. It's about the sea : you can dive in it, you get a little bit wet, but you can't breath under the sea, unless you wear an O2-mask, and even then. Some books take you up in the air and leave you there. Some put you down to the ground and under it. This one makes you feel alive and you keep reading it. This one you want to share with your best friends. And you would even want to e-mail on it. But you will never give it away. I promise !
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet and dreamlike, 27 Oct 2007
By 
Mr. Nigel JB McFarlane "Nigel McFarlane" (Flitwick, Bedfordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ocean Sea (Paperback)
A sweet book with lovable characters, generous humour and some interesting thoughts on the human condition. The ever-present sea gives a dreamlike quality to the writing. I found myself reminded of Georges Perec's "Life: a user's manual", perhaps due to the nihlistic activities of some of the characters, and the surely-beyond-coincidence similarity of the name "Bartleboom" to Perec's central character. A good read, to be recalled with affection.
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Ocean Sea
Ocean Sea by Alessandro Baricco (Paperback - 17 July 2008)
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