18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant and challenging...,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Golden Bowl (World's Classics) (Paperback)
Definitely the most demanding read I've had in a long time, Henry James' THE GOLDEN BOWL is not to be missed. In James' final novel, he has created a true masterpiece. Not only must the reader concentrate, but he/she must also actually participate and think in order to take anything away from the book. It's basic plot is quite straightforward: Adam Verver and his daughter, Maggie, are affluent art collectors living in Europe. Maggie marries Amerigo, an Italian prince in reduced circumstances, and Adam marries Maggie's longtime friend Charlotte. What father and daughter don't know is that Charlotte and Amerigo were formerly lovers, and that they have rekindled their affair.
Written in a beautifully ambiguous style, BOWL is full of ingenious symbolism, and must be experienced to be fully appreciated. James has decided to tell a story with a very unique voice, and it is likely that most readers will be scared off by the decidedly difficult prose. However, it is an absolute must for any serious reader who wants to challenge him/herself with what is arguably Henry James' best novel. It may take months to trudge through (as it did for me), but it is worth it!