- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: Old Street (3 Mar. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1905847440
- ISBN-13: 978-1905847440
- Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2 x 20.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,769,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Passenger Hardcover – 3 Mar 2008
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A sweet and touching love story --The Guardian
Milan, a violinist in a London orchestra, becomes aware of strange musical clicking sounds seeming to come from inside himself. A series of medical tests gradually reveal that before his birth he somehow managed to subsume his twin sister - a not entirely uncommon occurrence termed medically 'foetus in fetu' and which, as well as being a staple feature in a host of television drama series, describes the "troublesome offspring" of Cardinal Guzman in Louis de Bernieres' 1992 novel of the same name. Milan names his sister Roma and embarks on the task of trying to introduce her to the world outside. He enlists the help of young special needs teacher Murri and together the three of them conduct a series of experiments to enable Roma to express herself."Passenger" is a novel about language, identity, perception as creation and the mystery of a fulfilled life. It explores the relationship between the I and the we: the roles we play in the lives of others. Are we our brother's keepers, as Milan is his sister's?"Passenger" arrests the reader, stripping us of the habits of our bored perception, giving us new eyes, new language, newly tapped rhythms with which to experience these issues as if for the first time. This act of dehabitualised perception - Milan's act, Roma's act, Cowie's act - is quietly, beautifully, and quite genuinely, revolutionary. "Passenger" promises to be one of the most talked-about novels of 2008. See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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This is an incredible novel; touching, tender and funny but also sad in places. I was fascinated that Milan was never disgusted by the thought of having his sister living inside him and how he began to look at things differently because Roma. The novel also explores relationships; not only that of siblings and what that means but also the ways in which people come together and the reasons that relationships can fall apart.
Great books make you look at things differently and this book certainly achieved that for me. Beautiful, tender and very funny in parts, this is one that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.
Cowie's writing style is sparse and simple which gives the story a strange detached feel to it. Although initially I thought that this meant the story lacked something, as I got further into the book it felt like the right approach. Ultimately I was left pondering my own thoughts about the events in the book rather than being overwhelmed by what could have been a very complex story.
If you like books that include detailed descriptions of everything that's going on, with detailed characterisation and back-story information, this book may frustrate you. If you like books that are thought provoking and unusual, then I would recommend this book. I just really enjoyed it's simplicity and beauty. The ending was unexpected and very touching.
I'm looking forward to more from Billy Cowie.
The story wastes no words, the writer's musical knowledge enhances without becoming intrusive. Passenger is well written and sympathetic whilst managing to steer well clear of the maudlin. The tragic end is unexpectedly abrupt and very moving.
Billie Cowie is an installation artist, choreographer and theatre writer. This accomplished foray into fiction writing is his only published novel so far.
You care very much for the characters, especially Roma and it is very thought provoking - how do you explain birth and death to someone who can't experience life directly?
A wonderful and easy read - I read it in under a day. I would highly recommend this and I hope Billy Cowie continues to produce such wonderful novels. I will be first in the queue.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and read it in one go.