- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Picador; Reprints edition (2 April 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0330518216
- ISBN-13: 978-0330518215
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Waterland Paperback – 2 Apr 2010
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'Swift's 1983 masterpiece - a wonderfully rich novel that, as this 25th anniversary edition shows, has weathered the passing years.' -- Independent --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Graham Swift’s multilayered chronicle set in the Cambridgeshire Fens is widely regarded as one of the finest British novels of the 1980s.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Regardless of the connections beween Swift's masterpiece and great American novels, this is a fantastic book completely soaked in the atmosphere of its surroundings and doing for the fens what Hardy did for Wessex and Du Maurier for Cornwall. Reading Waterland is to lose yourself among the eels and reeds of eastern England, and is a book that lingers long in the memory, both for the setting and the story.
The majority of the story is set in the Fenlands of East Anglia where Tom the to be history teacher was born and bred, only leaving it to fight in the later stages of WW2. Swift provides us with brilliant descriptions of the landscape and an interesting resume of how this landscape was created by man, one in particular, who kicked off the drainage programme to create agricultural land.
Rather like some detective dramas of recent years in which right at the beginning you are given split second images which reveal part of what happened in the murder of the victim, so too Swift gives us from the outset snapshots of the calamitous events which would happen a few years later or indeed decades later. So the reader does not really have to guess what tragedy is going to befall Tom’s menopausal wife, but this in no way detracts from the narrative. Swift ably pulls the reader through his book: he gets you wanting to know what intervening events and actions occur to bring her to her particular brink.
I would call this a must read book because of the cleverness of the construction of the narrative and the high degree of skill that Swift exhibits as a writer.
Swift's themes are the nature of history, provincial life, and adolescent love; he never pulls his punches and consequently the novel needs to be perservered with at times. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Swift's most acclaimed novel didn't win, however it remains a powerful and moving story and one that should be read.
I am very impressed by the quality of the writing and the control that Swift shows over the different elements of plot and characterisation, which never faltered or allowed my interest to slip away. Some elements of the style did irritate slightly - the narrator's voice seemed in places a little over-stylised (even if this does suit the narrator's character), but overall this stylisation does actually add texture to the novel, even if in places it leaped out at me.
I have never read anything by Graham Swift before, but certainly intend to after reading this. A definite recommendation!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
read it a few years ago it will make an ideal book for my english literature course------i enjoyed it immensely!Published 4 months ago by michael blackmore
I'd never heard of him before, but he was praised in a newspaper review section. Fantastic book and most evocative of a very strange part of the country.Published 7 months ago by suffolkpat
Found the writing was at first pleasant and then after a few chapters would plunge in at every opportunity to find out more about this story and history lesson. A great read.Published 10 months ago by Mike Hammond
This was our book club read for June and one I had never heard of and in all honesty was not overly enthused to read when I picked it up from the library. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Bookboodle
Honestly the worst book I have ever laid eyes upon. Please, if you have any sense in your body, don't sped your hard earned money on this pathetic waste of paper. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Amazon Customer