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The Solitude of Thomas Cave

4.7 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433207605
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433207600
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 16.8 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Product Description

Review

'Harding's exquisite novel is a masterpiece ... a profound meditation on survival, atonement and faith' Daily Telegraph 'Outstanding ... Thomas Cave's ordeal should hold readers fast in an icy grip' Independent 'A haunting, beautifully written first novel, this tale lingers in the back of your mind long after you have finished it' Harper's Bazaar 'A wonderfully well-written story ... At a time when faith of any description seems unfashionable, Harding's parable is a haunting reminder of where we went wrong' Independent on Sunday --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Georgina Harding is the author of two works of non-fiction: Tranquebar: A Season in South India and In Another Europe. This is her first novel. She lives in London and Colchester, Essex. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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By DAR VINE VOICE on 24 Feb. 2007
Format: Hardcover
TSOTC is beautifully written novel set in the Arctic in August 1616. Thomas Cave, a quiet thoughtful seafarer, finds himself at the centre of a wager that leaves him on his own and battling the arctic wilderness for a year with little more than basic provisions. What starts as a book about Man vs Nature evolves into a book about Man vs His Nature, and I was painfully aware of the modern parallels.

The prose is measured, but not manipulative. Author Harding fluently weaves together the psychological and physical elements that claw for Thomas Cave's attention and insinuate themselves as truth, with or without proof. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
There is beauty here, and not just in the exquisite cover and interesting page edges. The writing, like the scenery Harding portrays, is stark but evocative; beautiful and engaging and the concept is reminiscent of Cruesoe.

The writing is incredibly vivid in places. It is a book that touches all the senses. The cold, the isolation, the fear, the sense of timelessness all haunted me as I read. The whaling itself was so well described that it left me quite perturbed. I could almost feel the blubber under foot; I could almost feel the knife slicing through the lice-ridden skin and smell it festering in the 24 hour sun.

On the simplest level this is a book about man's capacity to survive, to adapt, to leave his footprint on the world he inhabits; it is about the ability in the most ordinary of men to do the extraordinary. I love this about it. It is inspiring.

Most of all, though, this novel is about change. It is a allegory of man's impact on the environment and the environment's impact on men. The two are linked and this book outlines that link beautifully.

If I can be fussy for a moment, I would have liked to have seen more of Cave's time back in civilisation and, but this is a small quibble. This is a great read.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a staggeringly eloquent and beautifully written novel about a man who chooses to spend the winter alone in the Artic. I read this in one sitting and it literally sent shivers down my spine because the cold, sparse landscape is described so vividly. I hadn't heard of the author before but I hope she writes more. This is exquisite.
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Format: Paperback
I love reading books about isolation in the North Atlantic - and this book boded well in that regard. Thomas Cave, a whaler in 1616, is left at his own behest at a whaling station when his ship sails away. He has sworn to attempt to live there, on his own, for a year, with the whaling ship returning next season to see if he has been successful or not. They leave him with all the provisions they think he will need. Thomas takes to keeping a diary; not so much of his feelings or thoughts, but of survival - so that at the very least, if he dies before the ship returns, they will know of the limits of his endurance and the viability of any future plans for staying on the island that we now know as Svalbard. While reading Thomas' diary, and hearing his observations, we find more of this enigmatic man; what drove him, what led him to where he is now, and why he is doing this apparently suicidal thing. The story picks up again in 1640, with one of his former shipmates narrating the ship's return to Svalbard after the winter, to pick up Thomas Cave.

This is one of those books that you read hungrily, avid to find out what happens next. But it leaves you thinking, and determined to read it again, slowly and deliberately, to savour each nuance of the characters, of the atmosphere, of the story itself. Recommended for a thoughtful, enlightening read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully written book. The prose is so good I found myself unable at first to enjoy the story, due to constant, involuntary analysis of the text. I think, possibly, more effort had been made early on with style than in later parts, but overall I was very impressed.

It is also a profound book. The themes explored and the imagery and feelings conveyed linger in the mind, leaving a lasting impression. It's weeks since I read the book but I can easily recall the vast, white emptiness, so vividly yet quietly portrayed. I also find myself thinking about man's effects on the environment more often since reading this book.

I found the final part of the book less satisfying than the previous parts, somehow disjointed. But I might have missed something so will read it again shortly, before the winter is out, as a book like this is better read when the skies are white and the days are short and cold.

I've already purchased another of the author's novels, as I was impressed with her prose and really liked the fact there was a moral present in what was already a poignant and unique tale. I didn't laugh or cry, but the story was an emotive one.

4.5 Stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From page one I could not put this book down. I read it in just under four hours. Brilliant and thought provoking - amazing story yet sometimes gory as set on whaling ships in 1600s but true to history. Won't spill the beans on the actual story buy it and read it for yourself. Have purchased author's other book hoping it will be just as good.
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