The Chateau Paperback – 28 Dec 2000
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"Delicious and dead-on... All the embarrassments and gratifications of European travel are preserved in the amber of Maxwell's much pondered, seemingly casual prose." (New Yorker)
"As the voices of Austen, Turgenev and Tolstoy have survived, so will Maxwell's. There aren't many truly great writers among us. William Maxwell is one of them" (The Times)
"It's hard not to see it as a work of genius" (Times Literary Supplement)
"His gentle urbanity is a joy" (Sunday Telegraph)
"He combines educated intelligent and instinctive apprehension of human complexity in a way that would have earned Henry James' approval. William Maxwell is the very model of what a novelist should be" (Independent on Sunday)
Maxwell is the unsung hero of American literature. This is about the charms and disenchantments of travel. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Maxwell has a metaphysical style which sometimes comes off, sometimes doesn't - it all depends on how deeply you go into the novel
The characters are neatly drawn, with monstrous landladys, ingenues and wild peasants - all in the third person (which is quite a literary achievement.)
There is something of Ital Calvino here, a touch of modernism but without its white walls and monochromes; also a touch of John Fowles. A sixties novel which looks into the past. A very fine thing indeed.
William Maxwell is one of the five or so greatest writers in the English language in the 20th century. His writing has care, poise, love, delicacy, compassion, and a deep understanding of humans and their motives. This, his longest novel, is second only among his work to his shortest (So Long, See You Tomorrow), as the greatest thing he wrote. It really is special; a novel, and writer, for people who enjoy quiet, beautiful writing.
The first part of the novel was somewhat resistable, seeming disconcertingly as if the author was merely re-using notes he had taken during a visit of his own. But the couple are actually nice - rare in a novel - and also touchingly vulnerable. And gradually the novel thickens, with characters and places, into mental cinema, totally gripping. The ending is odd, and oddly unsatisfactory. But the people and the places are still in my head, a long time afterwards.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For more extensive explanations you'd better read the other reviews. I adored this book. Yes, the American couple were a bit thin, but then I expect this was exactly what Maxwell... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mayke
I like this book, although sometimes you are waiting for something to happen most of the time, but nevertheless it has a unique quality to it..Published 4 months ago by Kenneth James Pilling
I gave up on this book about 40% through it. William Maxwell has been seriously over-rated by some people reviewing here in my opinion. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Rastar
I bought this book because I'd heard it reviewed on Radio 4's "A Good Read". I was rather disappointed - it describes the wanderings in France of a young American couple... Read morePublished 19 months ago by barbara (cumbria)
I adore this book. It transported me to a time and place that I hadn't imagined before, and in addition perfectly captured what it is to be young and in love and foreign. Read morePublished on 7 April 2014 by Jessica Hamer
I confess that I had never heard of William Maxwell, 1908-2000, before reading this book, published in 1961, which concerns an extended holiday trip that an American couple,... Read morePublished on 9 May 2013 by Dr R
Maxwell's evocation of France rang very true to me, even though I lived there almost 40 years after the period depicted. He writes beautifully and should be more widely read. Read morePublished on 30 May 2012 by Lynn
If you enjoy great writing with intimacy then this story about a couple's journey to France to stay in a chateau is for you. Read morePublished on 26 May 2012 by SACB