- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (3 Mar. 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0571225829
- ISBN-13: 978-0571225828
- Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.4 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 226,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Jill Paperback – 3 Mar 2005
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"'The qualities one has learned to value in his poetry are there: control of emotion and language, keen observation, and in particular the very precise expression of half-success, anticipated failure or sadness.' New Statesman; 'Jill is, in a sense, a kind of cryptic literary manifesto. It is a novel about writing, about discovering a literary personality, and about the sorts of consolation that art can provide.' Andrew Motion"
Jill is Philip Larkin's first novel and a classic of its time, in which the poet's astute insight into character, emotion and social nuance plays out over the length of a novel in a rich, poetic prose.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
In his own correspondence he says "I persuade words into being poetry & don't bully them" and that's probably the best way to describe this novel apart from telling people what it is about (Oxford, wartime, male friendship and bonding, ego inflation, infatuation and...I won't spoil the ending). He forced beautiful words into a novel but didn't quite finish it off and if my memory serves me correctly, he wasn't enthused about having it published once it was finished as he wasn't particularly proud of it. So alas, it fizzles out towards the end but it's a very lovely read if you don't expect books that go out with a bang. This one goes out with the proverbial whimper. Personally I found too much of a nice thing hard to read at times, particularly as the character's imagination weaved more and more imaginary tales.
Once you're done and have read some of his poetry too, do visit Christopher Hitchen's controversial essay on Larkin for a glimpse of the man himself if you haven't yet done so and see if it changes how you feel about this book. It might. The essay ("Philip Larkin, the Impossible Man") is included in 'Arguably'.
From a poet who always seemed middle-aged and who observed,,isolated, on the borders of life, this is a refreshingly youthful and vibrant piece from a poet whose greatest achievements lay ahead of him. Larkin keeps the reader guessing as to what will happen next and there are unexpected twists and turns that hold one's attention from start to finish. With the main character, John Kemp, so isolated and frequently out of his depth, I felt it almost became the reader's role to look out for him and see he came to no lasting harm.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For a first novel, very good. Larkin's portrayal of the characters is intriguing and his writing style very readable: it carries one on to read more. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Paul Wilson
Heartbreaking, timeless tale of the archetypal fish out of water, drowning not wavingPublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
I have had this book for while now and because Phillip Larkin represents poetry for me i have not got round to reading it.
Now that i have i am so glad. Read more
Started well, I decided to get it after hearing a brief section read on a Radio 4 programme. After a while it seemed to drift and I found the ending disappointingt.Published 17 months ago by Andrew Nunn
yet to read it but the reviews are excellent and I look forward to exploring Larkin in a new format, as I only know his poetryPublished 17 months ago by hobbitt55
larkin was not too keen on this.i suppose as time went by the faults....there are many....began to seem the most visible aspect of the work. Read morePublished 20 months ago by brianbotanic