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The Blue Afternoon by [Boyd, William]
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The Blue Afternoon Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Length: 325 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

A perfect-pitch story of love and redemption. The New York Times

About the Author

William Boyd was born in Accra, Ghana in 1952. He is the author of five other novels and a collection of short stories that have been published around the world in over two dozen languages. In addition, eight of his screenplays have been filmed, the most recent of which is A Good Man in Africa, based on his first novel. He is married and lives in London.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1097 KB
  • Print Length: 325 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1856193667
  • Publisher: Penguin (19 Dec. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H03IE94
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,985 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By BookWorm TOP 100 REVIEWER on 21 Oct. 2008
Format: Paperback
Few authors could successfully create a coherent novel by combining such diverse elements as an early attempt at 'heavier-than-air' flight, a series of murders, a doomed love affair, life in the colonial Philippines, and medical advances at the turn of the century. William Boyd is one of those few who can, and the result is an original, quirky novel.

As with all of his books, the writing is excellent, every phrase hitting the mark, encompassing both tragedy and comedy with equal skill. Boyd's originality means you can never quite predict exactly where the story is going. His characters are simultaneously infuriating and likeable, and always very very real.

My main criticism of the book lies with the sections set in Los Angeles, which I didn't think quite worked. It would have been better to launch straight into the story proper and leave out the cloak and dagger beginning, and use a simpler way to relate the ending. The end of the story also seemed a bit rushed and left too much unanswered.

But overall another great read from William Boyd - not his best, but still better than most other recent novelists!
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By Wynne Kelly TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 April 2012
Format: Paperback
Although this is a relatively short book Boyd takes an ambitious sweep from 1930s California back to the Philippines of the 1910s then forward again to Lisbon of 1936. The strongest part of the narrative is the part set in the Philippines - this could almost have been a stand-alone novel.

In Los Angeles Kay Fischer is approached by an elderly man who claims to be her father. But her father died when she was an infant and her mother (now remarried) has told her about him - and he is not this strange man. But Kay is intrigued and is drawn to Salvador Carriscant and sets off with him "to find a killer".

The narrative then becomes Carrascant's story of his life as a doctor in the Philippines under US rule. The vivid descriptions of the steamy atmosphere of life in the tropics are brilliant. The hospital scenes are especially good - and not for the squeamish! Carrascant becomes obsessed with a married American woman and plots ingenious ways in which they can be together. In places the writing was reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

The Blue Afternoon is a very bold piece of story telling with some excellent plotting devices and lively characters. However it is not without faults. We have to question Kay's willingness to go with (and finance!) Carrascant on the trip to Europe. And the ending is a bit rushed, leaving a number of loose ends.

Nonetheless a highly enjoyable novel.
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By Thomas Douglas TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 Jun. 2003
Format: Paperback
Deeply touching
In the Blue Afternoon, William Boyd paints a vivid picture of the Philippines in the early part of the 20th century. And within that picture is a touching love story.
So emersed was I in the Philippines, that when the story 'returned' to 1930's Los Angeles it was like emerging into daylight from a darkened room. It takes some minutes of blinking to reorientate.
There are debates about the storylines and the need for the beginning and end, but none of it bothered me. This is simply a very good story, written about a distant place and time with impossible clarity.
William Boyd is an extremely talented author, and this is as good as he has written.
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Format: Paperback
This book sucks you in with its detailed melancholy -- a melancholy that crescendos to a most heart-breaking (and yet strangely satisfying) conclusion. Boyd has done it again -- another unique, emotional journey, with translucent craftsmanship that you can only admire as your emotions are toyed with, your preconceptions smashed against various twists and turns, and then totally immersed in a world that you have to believe Boyd knows instinctively -- and from long and deep experience. Who cares if the historical mesh that pulls it all together is invented or completely and utterly factually correct? (Although you believe everything Boyd tells you, of course!) Another masterpiece from the man who appears to have no end to his inventiveness, and no tell-tale style except perfection.
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Format: Paperback
It's quite a tall order to name a book as your favourite of all time, but this would have to be a contender for mine. William Boyd's narrative style evokes such a powerfull sense of place and time that the sights, the smells and the emotion seem to draw you into the page. I don't agree with the other reviewers comments that the supporting characters are uninteresting. For me, there was lots of peripheral interest, but the true skill of this story is its central character with whom it's impossible not to empathise, and the way it makes you ache for more long after the last page has been turned. Spellbinding
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
started well and hoped to settle down into another huge novel full of plot and period detail. whilst that was there, i was expecting it to be similar to his other books, but it just didn't make it. I guess Boyd has spoiled us. It's still head and shoulders above other authors tho'.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
... as told by a father (in his sixties) to his daughter whom he never seen until she was 32. The year is 1936. Other reviews have already summarised the story itself (e.g., that by "Lovereading"). I will just say it is a compelling read which may at times seem somewhat implausible or stretch the imagination.

I have now read seven Boyd novels and they are all different as regards the period and place (country or continent) of their setting, unlike many detective stories which often feature the same detective in the same city where only the crime and the killer's motive are different. (That doesn't mean they aren't good reading, for example Ian Rankin's Rebus novels set in Edinburgh are all highly praised.) but ALL Boyd's novels (that I've read) are COMPLETELY different.

In this novel the 'story' is set in the Philippine Islands at the turn of the century (1901-1903), and the main protagonist is a skilful surgeon (trained in Scotland) with forward looking ideas, while his anaesthetist is devoting all his spare time to constructing a heavier than air flying machine.

All in all a rattling good read.
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