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Notes From An Exhibition Paperback – 7 Jan 2008
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'Poised and pitch-perfect throughout, this is an engrossing portrait of a troubled and remarkable character. A fine writer at the top of his game’ Mail on Sunday
‘This is an uplifting, immensely empathetic novel, and Gale's prose, as ever is as clear and bright as the Cornish light' Guardian
'It has the kind of quietly radiant intelligence, craft and integrity that bypasses superficial questions of originality. A novel with a variety and freshness that is all the more powerful and surprising for being discovering in such a circumscribed and very English milieu' Adam Lively, Sunday Times
'Skilfully constructed as a mosaic of different viewpoints that shift back and forwards in time. A warm, well-written novel about creativity and the perils of living with the creative spirit' Times Literary Supplement
'By the end I had laughed and cried and put all his other books on my wish list. This is dense, thought-provoking, sensitive, satisfying, humorous, humane – a real treat' Toby Clements, Telegraph
'Beautifully written, slowly unravelling tale…Patrick Gale's serene and carefully crafted prose conveys a profound understanding of the workings of human relationships and the torment that mental illness causes its sufferers and also those around them' Ross Gilfillan, Daily Mail
About the Author
Patrick Gale was born on the Isle of Wight in 1962. He spent his infancy at Wandsworth Prison, which his father governed, then grew up in Winchester. He now lives on a farm near Land's End. His most recent novels are A Perfectly Good Man and the Richard & Judy bestseller Notes from an Exhibition.
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The characters are beautifully drawn, believable and I loved the economical writing style. There are some lovely turns of phrase that in just a few words conjure up a character. A son drifts "in the upper half of the under-achievers" and later is described as "worryingly like a wife". Elsewhere Rachel's gentle, kind husband Antony is described as "the unchanging pavement under Rachel's weather". The mother of three children by three different men is "a notorious slapper in both senses".
All told a very satisfying read which raises various issues. Some things aren't neatly resolved at the end which would normally drive me to distraction. Here though this adds to the novel rather than being a negative, allowing for differing interpretations. I read this for a book group and it was interesting to hear the different 'takes' on certain aspects.
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