Learn more Download now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
41
Earthly Powers (Vintage Classics)
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£9.90+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 3 February 2016
This magnificent book is really Burgess writing a pastiche of what the great novel of the 19th century should look like in the late 20th century.
He was clever and profound enough to realize that western culture was in effect closing down by the 1980s when the book was written and that the eternal issues which he defiantly took head on in a typically two fisted catholic Burgess way are now discarded and of no interest to anyone except a few literary diehards.
That's why he didn't win the Booker with this - the judges resented the Catholicism that pervades the book and they saw that he tried to dress it up with a faux 'gay' main character to make it seem trendy and hip.
That is why the book is a pastiche - we live in brave new world now and nobody has a clue what Burgess is talking about.
But, boy, can he write.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 13 August 2010
Everyone has a 'comfort book' and this is mine. I've escaped to 'here' so many times I've had to buy three copies having read the first two to destruction. It genuinely is, for me, a place where I go to visit old friends; the characters are so real they don't just leap off the page, they take up residence in your consciousness. I first read it at 19 - and a couple (and a bit) decades later, it still calls to me every time I scan the bookshelf looking for a new read.

Earthly Powers has two main themes; catholicism and homosexuality, but they are just the vehicle Burgess uses to explore the human condition. From the misery of the First World War to the vacuity of the eighties, our hero Ken Toomey turns up at some of modern history's most fascinating moments; rubbing shoulders with with its leading figures and sketching for us their all too human foibles and failings. Fact and fiction merge beautifully to weave a wonderful yarn that is witty, warm and wonderful - as well as alternatingly dark and hilarious.

Why nobody has turned this into a film script is beyond me. But I'm kind of glad they haven't.
33 Comments| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 4 January 2017
This is my favourite book of all time, and a flawless materpiece, IMO. I read this as quite a young girl and was thrilled by the protaginists openness about sex and love, but on further readings as a grown up, it really stands up as a masterful work of fiction, full of papal intreigue, neuanced family politics and spiritual philosophising. Ten out of ten, would reccomend.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 17 December 2014
A very interesting and multifaceted book. There is some wonderful comedy in the "misremembering" of so many different historical facts in the wrong place and time, but also some very touching passages with very real human emotions, decisions, reactions, spanning over the many decades of the book's plot. For anyone who only knows Burgess' work through "A Clockwork Orange", this book would be a well-chosen entry to experience a wider range of this author's great wit, erudition and empathy with the struggles of a person trying to live a decent and meaningful life amid many personal, artistic, religious and political tribulations.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 27 April 2017
What can one say? A Burgess masterpiece that I rebought on Kindle so as to be able to read and read again.. IMHO, second only to the Malayan Trilogy.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 7 April 2013
This is a joy to read, so don't be put off by the novel's length -- it is a sweeping tale spanning several decades, from the Great War to the hippy era. The writing is top notch, the philosophical and religious musings are insightful and revealing, the narration is compelling, the breadth is audacious. It has made me want to read more about Burgess and more by him. I hope that his (now slightly forgotten) reputatation will go through a major revival. He's about so much more than Clockwork Orange. Earthly Powers is his masterpiece.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 29 June 2013
I've read this book so many times since it was first published and it remains as my favourite read. Highly recommended!
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 13 October 2014
A wonderful book with some great situations. The characters are superb. A great writer
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 6 January 2013
Excellent quality and service delivery. Re reading all the old classics which I had lent out - and with the excellent quality and delivery I get from Amazon, I can now renew my library collection.
11 Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 12 May 2016
Hugely ambitious sprawling story
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse