Archipelago: a problem Paperback – 15 Nov 2015
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Top customer reviews
Initially I was confused, disappointed almost, as the book does not begin in any dramatic way until I realized that I was reading as the author, in this case an emigre from the Galapagos Islands, is becoming a better writer as the book proceeds, like the matryoshka doll she mentions - G H Neale has placed a poet inside the main character and she is writing the book that I was reading. This disjointedness mimes the concept of separation and community – the human archipelago. I guess it is difficult to explain but structurally its uniqueness is quite brilliant. I have not read anything quite like it. You should too. Five Out of Five for me.
Mr. Neale has easily demonstrated his mastery of the English language. Each character has a point of view and all are expressed, so let the mingling commence.
I rate -Archipelago- A Problem 4.9 of 5 stars!
May I introduce you to G H Neale: a man with creative powers, in my judgment, which come along once in a generation, or perhaps less, in the vast world of words and images.
A brilliant book is the hardest of all to critique: to entice without giving away too much, so that the reader may make their own discoveries within the bowels of the text. With G.H. Neale’s first novel, Archipelago: a problem, the problem is to center your focus on one variation of the theme which is in reality, quite simple: a day in the life of a gawky poetess as she traverses a small village in England to deliver her manuscript to a publisher.
What begins as an enticing early-music melody on a viol, continues to escalate into a symphony full of dashing counterpoint. Ah, would it not be sweet to stop here and let the rest fill itself in? But that is impossible. Neale’s observations on the human condition in our present time juxtaposed to those still breathing, who are trapped in a world which no longer exists, is stunning to say the least.
G H is a magician with delicate, but powerful hands, which befuddle your eyes from page to page. The mental machinations of each character brought onto the stage, the poetic narrative, the visual design of the interior of the book, like scenery in a theatre which changes at the whim of the author, all contribute to a phenomenal accomplishment.
Archipelago clocks in at two-hundred and eighty-three pages and has thirty-three chapters: names of Islands within the geography of the title. The shifting of the winds from political, to scientific to philosophical/esoteric is constant. It is like a, who-done-it with no crime committed. The mystery exists in the finite brain of the author.
An extremely rare sight is a glossary of sources and references in the back: that particular aspect being normally reserved for non-fiction works, which brings us to our conclusion.
After reading Archipelago once (and I know I will have at it again) I walked away wondering if it were fiction or non-fiction? Judge for yourself.
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