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Mantissa (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 5 Nov 2009

3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics (5 Nov. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099530287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099530282
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 199,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"The novel seeks to explore the nature of reality and creativity, the alienations of art, the evolution of literature to its present self-conscious phase, the relationship between the sexes, and much more" (Martin Amis Observer)

"The only writer in English who has the power, range, knowledge, and wisdom of Tolstoy or James" (John Gardner)

"John Fowles is an artist of great imaginative power" (Sunday Times)

Book Description

John Fowles' provocative and playful battle of the sexes available for the first time in Vintage Classics paperback

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"mantissa" is defined in a footnote on page 185 of this books as "an addition of comparatively small importance, especially to a literary effort or discourse". As ever, it's not clear how literally Fowles intends us to take this - but for me this book succeeds as a charming jeu d'esprit. The "mantissa' definition seems about right.

The book is in four sections, all with dialogue and narrative between the central character, an author Miles Green, and (exclusively female) figments of his imagination, or just possibly the muse Erato in various guises. All four sections are fun to read page by page; and raise interesting questions about the nature of art as well as the relationship between men and women.

Quite different from Fowles' first three novels (which are each quite different from each other) - light-hearted and self-consciously learned and literary - it's a slight, but a wholly enjoyable read.
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Format: Kindle Edition
What I looked for in Fowles wasn't here- the delicate but multi-layered character insights of Daniel Martin or Ebony Tower and stunningly ornate prose. instead we get basic psycho-sexual indulgence - some of the intoxicating displacement and confusion of the Magus but nowhere near as classy a high
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love John Fowles work I have read so far, and believe him to be a wonderful scene setter and storyteller. Admittedly his novels can be frustrating at the lack of....conclusions, but that is part of Fowles charm, and also a mainstay of his literary style. I found 'The Magus' fantastic, 'The Collector' disturbing. The collection of short stories 'The Ebony Tower' has its moments of classic Fowles but this book, Mantissa, for me did not achieve the great heights to which its author was capable of soaring. The story does contain some insight into his characters from earlier novels, and also into the Fowles viewpoint of the relationship between women and men, but overall I was a left little disappointed.
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