Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Learn more Shop Men's Shop Women's

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£8.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 24 November 2000
Although the narrator, a man viewing the wreckage of his marriage and the suicide of his son, is not especially sympathetic - few characters are - and little effort is made by the author to make his obsessions and concerns chime with those the reader may be supposed to share, the writing - very short on relief and long on paragraphs - seems so close to the act of thinking, or the way that thoughts present themselves unbidden to us, that I found the experience of reading this enormously pleasurable. Entering so fully into the mind of someone like the narrator, whose helpless pleasure lies more in pinning down past events with words inside his head than in ever effectively acting upon the present, makes for a very absorbing, intense sort of reading. It may perhaps require a reader with similar tendencies towards indecision and endless internal monologue to fully warm to the book - but for those who delight in this sort of thing, this is definately the sort of book they will delight in.
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 October 1999
How this virtuoso performance by Tim Parks could have been passed up by the Booker judges is beyond this reader. Parks writes what is arguably the finest novel of this year. Chris Burton, the protagonist, represents a character study that is one of the finest in contemporary fiction. A reader has to go back to the 1950s and Michel Butor's "A Change of Heart" to find anything similarly accomplished.
Highly recommended!
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 May 2003
This is definitely not a book for sunny beach reading. It demands a block of time to get used to its rhythms and themes. Not to be read on a subway or commuter bus either, since in order to get the full benefit, the reader needs to concentrate. It is defnitely worth any effort expended.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 November 2000
This book is not as depressing as it sounds, and is actually quite refreshing in places. Usual themes of love, family etc, but seen through an ongoing process of grieving dealt with in a way that the majority of people would not own up to. Interesting concept and well written.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 November 2000
This book is not an easy read. The sentences themselves can be very very long. After a while I got used to the strange and the stream-of-consciousness writing style, and got more and more absorped. The book tells a sad story, and addresses some difficult existential themes, but I found it a very rewarding experience.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 March 2000
yes extremely annoying to read - but stick with it and absorb this mans grief and emotions. He writes 3 subjects in one sentence and you dont know if you are coming or going- but neither would one suffering all that angst.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 February 2004
Ok so the sentences are long, but be brave, take the plunge,please don't miss out on this man's genius. His understanding of feelings and emotions is staggering. A whole new world of reading will open up to you.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 September 2000
Beautifully written and thought-provoking, Parks interweaves issues of identity, culture, and personal responsibility. Dark, but not unredeeming.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 16 June 2003
While reading this I was certain that I had stumbled across the most original living writer in English literature. I really enjoyed the style and the 'atmosphere' that the book put me in: books which are constructed, as this one, in a manner of direct thought, force you to move to a lower state of consciousness to absorb them: this cannot be read in a lucid state of consciousness. What is remarkable is the manner in which sentences jump between time frames, and quite credibly, as if they are direct transcriptions of actual thought, and each chapter seems to follow both the narrative of the present-time events, and reminiscences of the recent-past. This is how the story is told, and the technical virtuosity is quite impressive and consistent how Parks jumps between the two story lines to create one whole of the narrator's life, and it is an effort (though pleasurable) to keep up, as it were, of exactly where the narration is in the sphere of time. That is what I have to say in terms of technique and style; in terms of narrative and form, I found, after having read the book, that Parks was almost forcing his plot into a certain mould, one that might suit the judges of the Booker prize, say. This dissapointed me; the style became, by the end of the book, somewhat mechanical, and certain 'unrealist' plot occurences 'forced' the book in a direction I was unhappy with. That said, I do still consider Parks to be a highly original writer; you will need to be able to appreciate 'internal' writers such as Woolf and Sebald to enjoy this - or else you will quickly become impatient.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 January 2000
i found this novel to be both amusing and irritating. i couldnt force myself to finish it, , should i try again. i was reading it on a sunny australian beach holiday, maybe that was the problem !!!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Customers also viewed these items


Need customer service? Click here