Customer Review

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maybe parrots cry, even stuffed ones, 24 April 2006
This review is from: Flaubert's Parrot (Picador Books) (Paperback)
This is an interesting book in the way it is structured especially with the play of so drastically varying the way the chapters were written.

Nonetheless, I am not sure that the frame of Mr.Braithwaite, the narrrator and doctor, around the biography of Flaubert, works. I had to keep going back to what his sad tale was which gets muddled between the suicide of his wife and the loner adulterous life of Flaubert. This became more like a prop rather than a person to enhance the analysis of Flaubert's life. On the other hand, the parrot dilemma brings the book full circle.

I was held though by how Barnes created a dialogue with this early 19th century author and felt frustrated that I was not more familiar with Flaubert's writing and modernist presence so ahead of his time.

As an aspiring writer, a second career, I noted many quote/phrases from Flaubert. Barnes must have done incredible research and the excitement was to be inside Flaubert's person through Barnes's interpretation. Perhaps this reader wanted to feel less intellectual and more in touch with the soul of Flaubert's life, to feel rather than read of 'his passions'. Perhaps Flaubert could not show his heart, though Barnes speaks of how crying came easily.

Maybe parrots cry, even stuffed ones.

Definitely a great read by an inventive author.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Dec 2008 19:35:22 GMT
anne says:
A well informed and helpful review. A must read book for those who have read Flaubert.

Posted on 6 Dec 2008 19:37:42 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 6 Dec 2008 19:38:34 GMT]

Posted on 2 Nov 2013 22:48:28 GMT
Last edited by the author on 2 Nov 2013 22:51:29 GMT
Eileen Shaw says:
Hi Victoria, I wondered if you knew of the source of Flaubert's Parrot, a short story by Flaubert, called "A Simple Heart". It's in a delightful collection The Oxford Book of French Short Stories and it is my favourite in the collection. If you are interested I'd be pleased to send you the book. I usually give my books, once read, to a local charity shop, but I'd much rather this book goes to someone I feel would appreciate and enjoy it. Send me your address and you can have it with pleasure.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Nov 2013 16:44:41 GMT
v oscarsson says:
Do you mean 'A Simple Soul" or 'A Simple Heart'? Translations sometimes are different. I can actually read it on line. Thank you for the thought.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2013 23:07:25 GMT
Eileen Shaw says:
Hi - that's fine. In the Oxford Book of French Short Stories, it's called A Simple Heart.
Best wishes anyway.
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