To the Wedding Paperback – 1 Apr 2009
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'To The Wedding is one of the greatest and most honest love stories of our time. It does what all great literature can and should do -- we become alive in bodies, stories, histories, geographies not our own. We are given a new lease on life through an imaginative act. If I ever pack up my books, this novel will not go into a box, rather I will slip it into my overcoat and carry it with me wherever I happen to be' Colum McCann 'No one knows more about the necessity of love than John Berger: what love makes us capable of, and incapable of. This is a book of the most precise humanity. No one who reads it will forget what it makes us understand: every action has its twin, conscionable or unconscionable; every truth, its shadow in the world; everything lost, alive in love' Anne Michaels 'A masterpiece a novel that will haunt you' Sunday Telegraph 'A great, sad, and tender lyric, a novel that is a vortex of community and compassion that somehow overcomes fate and death. Wherever I live in the world, I know I will have this book with me' Michael Ondaatje
About the Author
John Berger was born in London in 1926. His many books, innovative in form and far-reaching in their historical and political insight, include the Booker Prize-winning novel G, To the Wedding and King. Amongst his outstanding studies of art and photography are Another Way of Telling, The Success and Failure of Picasso, Titian: Nymph and Shepherd (with Katya Berger) and the internationally acclaimed Ways of Seeing. He lives and works in a small village in the French Alps, the setting for his trilogy Into Their Labours (Pig Earth, Once in Europa and Lilac and Flag). His collection of essays The Shape of a Pocket was published in 2001. His latest novel, From A to X, was published in 2008.
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Top customer reviews
It's a story of life's transience, of terrible things happening to innocent people There are two ways of responding to such injustices, the first being a futile religious practice, as exemplified by the narrator who sells "tomatas" at the beginning of the story to ward off evil happenings. The second is simply to realize that bad things happen to good people and to celebrate the present moment, the climax of this attitude being, of course, the wedding of two ordinary people.
The wedding guests become "a creature half mythical like a satyr with thirty heads. It only lives a day or two, and is reborn when there's something to be celebrated". This promise of happiness, and that's all it is, a "promise" is further intensified by the food (the sacrificial lamb) and by the bsnd which plays loud "to keep out the din of the world." The din, the discordant notes, the tragedy will come soon enough. But for now, we enjoy the beauty of the moment.
It is a beautifully constructed tale of love and the pain of bereavement told through the characters as they slowly reveal their stories on the way to the daughters wedding. As each story is woven into the other , the warp into the weft, it creates a whole that is both beautiful and yet flawed because the ending of the story is known and unchangeable.I found this a powerful, poignant and beautiful read.
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