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The Cost of export subsidies: Evidence from Costa Rica (IMF working paper)
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Top customer reviews
Edmund Talbot is priviledged by class and education, and yet utterly hidebound socially. His arrogant sense of superiority leads him to flout ship's rules immediately and to get in the way at every stage of the voyage. It is a deft balancing act to let us laugh at his clumsiness, hypocrisy and snobbishness, yet still retain some sympathetic feeling for him. Golding manages this. Edmund is young, after all. He will learn!
There is wonderful humour in Rites of Passage, (the seduction of Zenobia being a standout scene), and there is great pathos too, most obviously in the plight of poor Reverend Colley. This book is an English classic, no question.
Golding's admits in his excelllent introduction that the sequels ("Close Quarters" and "Fire Down Below") were not planned from the outset, but that he felt there was more to discover about Edmund and his co-travellers, so allowed his imagination to extend the full length of the voyage. How marvellous for us that he did so!
Read on their own, books 2 and 3 would possess less of the beautiful structural arch of the first (a fact cunningly acknowledged by our unreliable narrator midway through Close Quarters!) However, read right through, they gather momentum, transforming into a terrific, page-turning sea adventure. Gradually the pretense of an interrupted journal narrative gives way to a more suitable novelistic treatment. By the end, Edmund has emerged as quite the hero (though still somewhat accident-prone!) More importantly, he has gained some much-needed self-awareness along the way.
Through all three books, fascinating explanations of nautical terminology and ship structure are smoothly interwoven with the human trials and tribulations. In fact, by the final installment, the ship itself has almost become the central character.
Very well-researched, and very well written indeed. I couldn't recommend this trilogy more highly.
However, by the time I was well into the second book, I had realised that it was more of a comedy, as well as being a comment on the English class system. By the third book, I couldn't put it down and didn't want it to end.
The ending was a bit soft for my taste, but I absolutely loved the main character, Edmund Talbot (and having recently learned that he was played in the BBC's version by Benedict Cumberbatch, I love him even more!).
The three books describe a voyage to Australia on a ship that is literally falling apart. Edmund is a young aristocrat who initially sees the crew as jolly tars there to serve him, and barely registers the poor emigrants in the other part of the ship. He thinks that because he himself receives fine food and brandy, the sailors have no cause for complaint.
Gradually, however, he begins to change his attitude and see his fellow voyagers as people, particularly when disaster threatens them all, and the food begins to run out, even for the rich passengers.
Now that I've been encouraged to read the rest of William Golding's novels, I can see where he was going with 'To the Ends of the Earth'. I'm definitely going to read it again very soon!
He is not disappointed in his hope, as I found his trilogy absolutely absorbing and engaging. Honestly I place it as some of the most enjoyable prose I've ever read. I'm actually considering doing a research project on him for my degree, is the extent to which this book has impressed me.
It's just refreshing hearing Golding write through such a thoroughly happy and upbeat narrator. It infuses the book with a cheerfulness despite Golding's perrenial themes of social class and human nature.
Certainly this trilogy must be seen as central in Golding's work, not just for its sheer size, but also since it most clearly manifests Golding's frequent allusions to existence as a sea journey. In this case we see these existences being played out literally on a journey to the ends of the earth, from England to the Antipodes.
The journey presented is undeniably fraught, and for a work of serious fiction, remarkably exciting at a vary basic level. Alongside it's obvious literary credentials, it stands on its own as simply and enjoyable book.
What's the essence of this journey that's presented? In my opinion, nothing more or less than the journey through a "Good Read."
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Most recent customer reviews
The first volume (Rites of Passage) is obviously the main draw, being a ground-breaking and Nobel Prize-winning historical novel that proved you...Read more