- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; New edition edition (6 Mar. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0747585156
- ISBN-13: 978-0747585152
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.3 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 164,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Hallucinating Foucault Paperback – 6 Mar 2006
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A brilliant first novel dark, romantic and scholarly -- Fay Weldon, Sunday Times
If you buy one book make it Hallucinating Foucault this novel leaves you perspiring, but chillingly inspired -- Observer
Ominous, classical, dark and romantic -- Louis de Bernières
Stylish, surprising, teasing, but above all grippingly readable -- Margaret Drabble
From the Publisher
A literary thriller that explores with consummate mastery the passionate relationship between reader and writer, between the factual and the fictional, between sanity and madness.
Hallucinating Foucault was winner of the Dillons First Fiction Award 1996 and the McKitterick PrizeSee all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Duncker has wit, intelligence and insight. This is about love, human relationships, the impersonality (or not) of the author/writer and art, madness and many of Foucault's notions of governmentaltiy and power/knowledge.
A truly absorbing debut that will surely appeal to the casual reader who knows nothing of Foucault and yet, also, those who are more familiar with the theoretical underpinnings of the novel. Wonderful!
But in places it is very well written, with some lovely turns of phrase. Unfortunately the sum of the parts in this case is insufficient to win me over. Perhaps if the lead characters had been more likeable (and dare I say believable) it would have been different. I wondered at times whether the Germanist would be better off swapping places with the novelist, given her sociopathic tendencies. The parallel was doubtless intended, but the novelist seemed considerably more sane!
The quality of the writing has much to offer, I just did not find the story particularly engaging, or the main characters any more so.
Rather than comment on the plot (intriguing) or her style (lyrical) I can only say that her debut novel remains unique. One to stir the soul and awaken the brain.
As our narrator meets his lover, `the Germanist', as he calls her (who is a rather interesting and deceptive character who keeps you on your toes) in Cambridge and afterwards his initial admiration for Paul Michel takes an obsessive turn when he hears the mysterious tale of Michel's incarceration into a mental home. The Germanist and her gay father, Michel the fictional author in the novel also happens to be homosexual, then push him to go and uncover just what happened and why a man who meant so much to many has ended up in such a situation. What could it have been that drew this man to madness? Could it be to do with the great, and real, Michel Foucault (the French philosopher who I now want to learn much more about) himself?
What follows, without giving too much away, is a thrilling tale (though not in the way you might think `thrillers' stereotypically are) and journey of self discovery. Duncker uses this tale not only to discuss sexuality, which becomes a key part of the novel, but also to look at the relationship between the people who write the book and those who read them.Read more ›
So are mine to that book. Brilliant.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Many aspects of this book I, in fact, enjoyed. It is true that the approach to mental illness is very dated, to put it mildly, as is the language used to describe it. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Alastair Bickley
This was lent to me by a friend, she said I had to read it, that I would love it. No pressure!
It tells the story of a postgraduate student, he’s writing his thesis on... Read more
This is without doubt one of the best books I've read. It was dark, thrilling and beautifully written. Superb!Published 22 months ago by Lana
This book was recommended on the flyleaf of another which I had really enjoyed, however, I found it a bit ordinary, but ok, finished it anywayPublished on 12 Jun. 2013 by lolabubble
What a strange novel. I bought it having read about it and then seen the reviews here on Amazon. I was shocked by the portrayal of mental illness and the fact that none of the... Read morePublished on 14 Feb. 2012 by Sweet suburbia
I am reading Halucinating Foucault for the second time, because I found it was so full of information, my small brain had some difficulty in assimilating it all. Read morePublished on 22 April 2010 by Ms. B. Taylor
A page-turner, though not necessarily a careless one. I read it in one sitting - it is a short book, and not too challenging either. Read morePublished on 6 Jun. 2008 by Stan
This is my comfort book - the one I turn to when I'm lonely or feeling down - I love it to bits. I'm not sure what the other reviewer is going on about but everything about this... Read morePublished on 11 Jan. 2007 by A. W. Fletcher