- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (4 Aug. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0747592683
- ISBN-13: 978-0747592686
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 557,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Divisadero Paperback – 4 Aug 2008
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
'Hauntingly beautiful What an unusual, and unusually rich, experience it is to read Divisadero those who spend time within its pages will discover even more proof - not that they needed it - of Michael Ondaatje's peerlessness as a storyteller and poet' Washington Post Book World 'Magnificent From its first to last telling sentence, this aesthetic tale, poetic with human detail, is a rare and precious pleasure' USA Today 'Plumply imagined, deeply romantic but vividly traumatic This novel bravely jostles the uncomfortable edges of literary storytelling' Alan Warner, Guardian 'My life always stops for a new book by Michael Ondaatje. I began Divisadero as soon as it came into my possession and over the course of a few evenings was captivated by Ondaatje's finest novel to date' Jhumpa Lahiri --various
From the Publisher
Guest Reviewer: Jhumpa Lahiri
Jhumpa Lahiri was awarded the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, as well as
the PEN/Hemingway Award for her mesmerizing debut collection of stories,
Interpreter of Maladies. Her poignant and powerful debut novel, The
Namesake was adapted by screenwriter Sooni Taraporevala, and released in
cinemas in 2007.
My life always stops for a new book by Michael Ondaatje. I began Divisadero
as soon as it came into my possession and over the course of a few evenings
was captivated by Ondaatje's finest novel to date. The story is simple,
almost mythical, stemming from a family on a California farm that is
ruptured just as it is about to begin. Two daughters, Anna and Claire, are
raised not just as siblings but with the intense bond of twins,
interchangeable, inseparable. Coop, a boy from a neighboring farm, is
folded into the girls' lives as a hired hand and quasi-brother. Anna,
Claire, and Coop form a triangle that is intimate and interdependent, a
triangle that brutally explodes less than thirty pages into the book. We
are left with a handful of glass, both narratively and thematically. But
Divisadero is a deeply ordered, full-bodied work, and the fragmented
characters, severed from their shared past, persevere in relation to one
another, illuminating both what it means to belong to a family and what it
means to be alone in the world. The notion of twins, of one becoming two,
pervades the novel, and so the farm in California is mirrored by a farm in
France, the setting for another plot line in the second half of the book
and giving us, in a sense, two novels in one. But the stories are not only
connected but calibrated by Ondaatje to reveal a haunting pattern of
parallels, echoes, and reflections across time and place. Like Nabokov,
another master of twinning, Ondaatje's method is deliberate but discreet,
and it was only in rereading this beautiful book--which I wanted to do as
soon as I finished it--that the intricate play of doubles was revealed.
Every sign of the author's genius is here: the searing imagery, the
incandescent writing, the calm probing of life's most turbulent and
devastating experiences. No one writes as affectingly about passion, about
time and memory, about violence--subjects that have shaped Ondaatje's
previous novels. But there is a greater muscularity to Divisadero, an
intensity born from its restraint. Episodes are boiled down to their
essential elements, distilled but dramatic, resulting in a mosaic of
profound dignity, with an elegiac quietude that only the greatest of
writers can achieve. --Jhumpa Lahiri --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
If, however, you are looking to a traditional novel about one person or a family, you'll find the dream-like shards of this book disturbing and difficult . . . rather than rewarding. You might want to read another novel instead.
Let me take you into Mr. Ondaatje's theme. Who are you? Most people would answer in terms of their name, their associations, their work, where they live, and their experiences. Michael Ondaatje demonstrates a different point of view; you are who you want to be. You can choose to die to who you were born and become someone else. The ease of doing that is increased if you go where no one knows you. But, your perceptions will be permanently framed by your life experiences in a way you cannot escape. Witness the excellent advice to first novelists: Write what you know. If you do that, you can change who you are (become a novelist) but you'll see the world through the lens of your experience even when you shift your focus to new ground.
The primary character in this book, Anna, lives this experience. She grows up in a twin-like existence with an adopted sister, Claire, and a near-brother, the neighbor boy Coop, who works as a hand for her family. The distance between them is broken when Anna and Coop begin to want more from one another. That idyll is broken by an event so terrible it will stay with you in nightmares. Nothing can remain the same.
But what will happen? The story develops from there to follow the disconnected lives of Anna, Claire, and Coop.Read more ›
A certain mystique surrounds the title; its varied possible interpretations find their echo in the structure of the novel and the personal histories of the protagonists. According to Anna "divisadero" means "to divide" and also "to gaze at from afar". A pivotal experience at some point in each protagonist's life has broken its continuity, resulting in a major change or split in their life from then on. Some inner consolidation may be achieved as time allows for re-examination of the past and discovering of similarities in others. Ondaatje uses different voices and perspectives to bring to the reader more than one linear narrative. The novel's structure also reminded me of a musical composition: across the distinct 'movements' themes are nonetheless recurring, and innocuous motifs, such as the shards of glass, can take on symbolic character in their repetition; parallels in the protagonists' lives are slowly revealed and linkages established.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although can't help comparison with the unforgettable English Patient, this book stands as tall in literature history, in my opinion magical from the opening lines. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Paula Cherry
Started off well then deteriorated, story went all over the place. Poor character building and I stopped caring what would happen next. Don't waste your time or money on this one.Published 6 months ago by SC
Book was a described and delivery was very prompt. Thank you!Published 9 months ago by Hilary - Ely
273pp. Set, I think, some time after WWII, this novel ranges far and wide across America and Europe. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Eileen Shaw
I couldn'tj stop reading it the story is a fascinating web of interconnecting lives and settings.it is like a well choreographed dancePublished on 2 Dec. 2013 by sally
I didn't rate this book in the beginning - a very subtlely coloured book - but on rereading it (several times) I've come to love all the characters very much, and perhaps... Read morePublished on 2 Nov. 2013 by .
I enjoyed this book whilst reading it as I love his style of writing. However, I either missed something, or am too stupid as I was never able to connect the 2 books within it. Read morePublished on 12 Feb. 2013 by vivia
Some years ago, after Michael Ondaatje had written "The English Patient," I finagled an invitation to a private reading in Seattle that was held by the Canadian Consulate for an... Read morePublished on 1 May 2011 by Irma Fritz
This is one of the worst books I have read in many a long year. It is not a novel at all but a collection of four or five short stories thinly connected by spurious and... Read morePublished on 4 Nov. 2008 by Michael Lewis