The Mariner's Star Paperback – 3 Mar 2003
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On the first anniversary of her husband's death at sea, the heroine of Candida Clark's The Mariner's Star leaves the harbour in a small fishing boat. The soundless shore and the silence of the gulls circling overhead create an atmosphere of pure peace. But Clark's narrator-heroine is soon overcome by "a dark fear"-a morbid foreboding of what the narrative will reveal.
From the outset, Clark invites dreamy escapism with her passionately interior style. Often her prose has a beautiful lyricism: "The air is peppery, vivid with strings of scent". At times, it can mimic the soft, rhythmic turn of the waves: "there is nothing upon the water, no sign or evidence of my love at all. The only sound is the steady bubble and rush beneath the keel..."
In her use of waves, with their recurrent dips and crests, as a reflection of the fluidity of consciousness and the organic nature of grief, Clark reveals a debt to Virginia Woolf's seventh novel, The Waves. Unlike Woolf, however, Clark's writing can stray at times into the verbose, becoming excessively flowery and ornamental ("I am tenderised"/"We are wellingtoned"/"I'm unsleeping").
In spite of these florid interludes, though, Clark does manage to refract the regeneration of her heroine through her changing images of sea and shore. For the men in Clark's novel, the sea signifies adventure and discovery; for the women, the sea spells danger and loss. Ultimately, The Mariner's Star tells of one woman's quest to wrestle with this myth. --Vanessa Cook --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'An exquisite novel...a treat to be lingered over'
'From the opening lines, THE MARINER'S STAR seizes and holds you by the force of its writing, with startling, vital images on every page and the musical rhythms of the prose...THE MARINER'S STAR is a love story and, like all great love stories, a death story... The novel's cumulative effect is emotionally rocking. The writing is so evocative that to read it feels like being inside a painting...I wasn't far in before I was wondering whether there was anything much Candida Clark couldn't do. By page 43, I had already recommended the book twice. By the end, I was making a list of people to whom I intended to give it...It left me feeling hollowed out and weepy, although I hesitate to say so, because its overall effect is of such intense, and profound, pleasure' - Geraldine Bedell, OBSERVER
'Exquisite...By page 43, I had already recommended the book twice. By the end, I was making a list of people to whom I intended to give it...The Mariner's Star is a love story and, like all great love stories, a death story...the whole book is like a treat to be lingered over...[it] left me feeling hollowed out and weepy, although I hesitate to say so, because its overall effect is of such intense, and profound, pleasure' Observer
'Beautifully written by a novelist to watch' Robert McCrum, Observer
'In astonishingly beautiful prose - taut, lyrical, passionate and poetic - the young Candida Clark tells the increasingly irresistible story of her journey towards, and through, the enticing allure of memory and utter despair' Harpers & Queen
'Clark writes mellifluously. Image is piled upon image. Rhapsodic evocation of sensuous pleasure gives way to equally rhapsodic description of natural beauty...This is literary lace-making, insubstantial but exquisite' The Sunday Times
'Arresting...The Mariner's Star is unlike anything else currently being written in England, worked out with enormous conviction and conveying the seriousness of its authorial purpose at every turn' DJ Taylor, The Literary Review
'Clark is an interesting and imaginative novelist...far too few of today's fiction writers take risks with form or style' Guardian
'Poetry [to] savour...its ultimately optimistic message of new life emerging from grief lingers and comforts' Independent
'Clark is an interesting and imaginative novelist, and far too few of today's fiction writer's take risks with form or style' Guardian
'A delicate, poetic and unforgettably moving miniature of grief and resignation' Sue Gaisford, Independent on Sunday
Praise for THE LAST LOOK
'As close as prose can get to poetry and vividly feels its way around in
two people's minds' JP Donleavy
'A bright little jewel - passionate, glittering, wonderfully allusive, with
a narrative line that is both subtle and complex. It is full of pleasures,
many of them sensual' Paul Theroux
'Clark hits the ground running in this haunting first novel' Telegraph
'Beautifully written' The Times
'Sensuous and confident...rich in striking poetic language' Guardian
'Every moment is intensely vivid... Clark's writing is heavily poetic'
'Maturity way beyond her years... an extremely powerful piece of writing'
Praise for THE CONSTANT EYE:
'Bringing to mind the best work of Muriel Spark... this is writing that
restores the sense of novels being a forbidden treat' Independent
'Audacious...works very well' Telegraph
'An idiosyncratic mix of icy elegance and stewed carnality...richly
'Vice-like and urgent, Clark's writing grips you while its poetry demands
slow savouring. The result is a book that renders its reader a voluntary
captive until the close' Metro
'A meditation on the nature of writing itself... by challenging our
expectations, Clark forces us to read carefully, and to be aware of the
very seductiveness of storytelling' New Statesman
'Intense, direct prose... a smart chalking-up of the price life must pay
for art' Condé Nast TravellerSee all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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