- Paperback: 800 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (6 July 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099458268
- ISBN-13: 978-0099458265
- Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 4.3 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Human Traces Paperback – 6 Jul 2006
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"An extraordinary novel of magnificent scope" (Evening Standard)
"Faulks is beyond doubt a master" (Financial Times)
"His most ambitious novel yet... Love, loyalty, courage, compassion, goodness...these are the poles around which his always skilful storytelling revolves" (Independent)
"Shocking and enlightening...touching and affecting" (Daily Mail)
"He is the best novelist of his generation" (Scotsman)
Reissued in new series style to match Faulks's most recent novel Where My Heart Used to Beat, which was a major Sunday Times bestseller in 2016See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Aside from that, I did enjoy the plot and enjoyed seeing how life treated Jacques and Thomas over the years. Ultimately this is a very interesting book and I’m sure those who have a particular interest in the field of neurology and psychology would hugely enjoy this book, but it was just too didactic for my liking.
Sebastian Faulks has taken his obvious interest in the thoughts and philosophies of humans and woven them into a deeply human and touching story. I loved all the characters and cared for them. It was one of those books which I couldn't wait to get to bed to read and woke up early in the morning to see what would happen next.
It explores what it means to be human which although set in the past is very relevant to today. It gives insight into scientific research and the ways that new ideas are put forward then discounted or fall out of fashion. It made me realise that we are still a long long way from understanding the human mind one hundred years later.
I thought the ending was perfect and very satisfying. An incredibly rewarding book which makes you marvel at the skill of the writer.
As it was, I found the characters dull and flat, and the narrative drive non existent - for much of the book, there was no drama, no conflict - everyone's lives went by without anything particularly interesting happening apart from medical lectures and patient examinations, much of which I have to admit I found just far too technical to really want to read.
A shame, because it is obviously very well written, and the good bits really held my attention. By far the best section of the book was Thomas's visit to Africa, which was interesting both in terms of what would happen and whether the expedition would make it back safely, and in the discovery of the footprints and Thomas's subsequent discourse on our ancestors and the voices they heard, which was both amazingly thought-provoking and incredibly moving. Daniel's experiences in the war were also a highlight - as was Thomas's announcement to the family that he has Alzheimer's, which was the most moving part of the book.
So in summary - all the bits in lecture halls or consulting rooms: too technical. All the bits about the idyllic life in the schloss: too boring. Everything else: great!
Though i thought the idea of the story was good and i did get into the first chapters, there were pages and pages of waffle! I was at a loss to find myself reading entire chapters on medical psychological philosophy! I felt the changes in the characters were poorly explained and the ending was terrible! Parts of the book were good & did engage me and I felt I could appreciate what he was desperately trying to convey through the character but in the end I found myself frustrated.
What a waste of a good story line and a potentially fab read.
I've thoroughly enjoyed his previous work and would recommend the Girl at the Lion D'or & The Fatal Englishman, but sadly Human Traces doesn't come near Faulks previous excellence!
I hope he comes back with a book that matches his earlier style & elegance.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderfully perceptive and realistic about the human spirit, and reflective about the fleeting nature of our lives and their passions and imperfections. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Andrew DAvis
This is a great book, however unfortunately lots of the pages were joined together so I had to cut them open. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Lizzi Bellman
This is Sebastian Faulks at his best. I had to read it to the end, but at times I wished I hadn't. It was well researched, had lots of interest, but images of the lunatic asylums... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Speedwell
Interesting read, some 'slow' passages in the middle, but an interesting concept and I like the way the story plays in different locationsPublished 12 months ago by Mrs. Carmen James
What a book, I was fascinated by the medical side a really interesting read would recommendPublished 17 months ago by angi
I'm not finished it yet but so far it's is well written and has kept me engaged, it's also very much a period book with the ideas and psychological concepts being very much of... Read morePublished 18 months ago by David McEntee