The Raft Paperback – 6 Apr 2007
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'Arabella Edge describes the extremes of human emotion here with empathy and panache
Its an unusual and enlightening read -- Warren Brewer, Mercury Magazine
'There is a sense of immutable patterns of cyclical injustice, inequality and occasional reform.' -- Age
'You come away from it thinking of art, politics and the sheer strangeness of things -- Age
'immensely enjoyable retelling of facts so sensational as to barely require fictional embellishment' -- Art Quarterly
gave The Raft its top vote for the best read -- France Magazine
A combination of fable, thriller and comedy of manners. It is a rich, florid and pacy novel -- The Daily Telegraph summer reading
Award-winning author Arabella Edges brilliant and original second novel Page-turning and substantial, a rare combination -- Daily Mail
The Raft is an illuminating account of appalling events and people pushed to extremes -- Times Literary Supplement
The writing takes on a compelling vividness that keeps the pages turning' -- Age --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
A tale of grand passion set in Paris in 1818, Arabella Edges second novel is inspired by the story of Théodore Géricault and his extraordinary masterpiece The Raft of the Medusa. Aged just twenty-one, Géricault is feted at the prestigious salon for his painting Charging Chasseur. Seven years later lovesick and distracted by his secret affair with his benefactoruncles wife, Alexandrine he is still desperately searching for inspiration for his next work. Then he hears about the French frigate Medusa, wrecked off the west coast of Africa. With a hundred and fifty souls abandoned on a makeshift raft, rumours of madness, murder and cannibalism horrify the French public but fascinate Géricault; when he manages to track down two of the rafts survivors to discover what really happened during those fifteen days at sea, he knows he has finally found his subject. This is a marvellously rich and pacy novel about the gestation of a masterpiece . . . Arabella Edge weaves a combination of fable, thriller and costume comedy of manners Novel of the Week, TelegraphSee all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Edge's language is very poetic, too. It flows freely and only rarely did I stumble and have to re-read a sentence. If I had one criticism, and this is obviously a very subjective thing, I think that sometimes her metaphors and similes ran away with themselves. They sometimes became very ambiguous and difficult to pin down and picture. Another (again, slight) criticism I have is that this book isn't necessarily about the raft from the shipwreck of the Medusa; it's about the artist Géricault's attempt to paint it. There are very few 'first-hand' descriptions of what took place on the raft from the survivors whom Géricault talks to.
Beautiful book. Very enjoyable read. Four-and-a-half stars.