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Preview — The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt
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The Children's Book
A spellbinding novel, at once sweeping and intimate, that spans the Victorian era through the World War I years, and centers around a famous children's book author and the passions, betrayals, and secrets that tear apart the people she loves.
When Olive Wellwood's oldest son discovers a runaway named Philip sketching in the basement of the new Victoria and Albert Museum—a t...more
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Her cast of cha ...more
Both brilliant and flawed, this book is an extraordinary achievement that doesn’t always work, but is nevertheless a riveting, educational and inspirational read. It was so beautiful and utterly engrossing, that I loved it despite its faults, and found it filling my thoughts and dreams for a considerable time after I finished it. And it visits me still.
It describes the creative process (principally writing, puppetry and pottery) in gloriously vivid detail, as it relates to some ...more
Three days after finishing the audiobook version of this novel, I’m still partly in the detailed and intricate world Byatt created. I didn’t want the book to end and I miss the characters.
A saga about the lives of its inter-related characters between 1895 and 1919, the novel concerns itself with the history of England and to a lesser extent Germany during that period. It deals with subjects including Fabian socialism, the Arts and Crafts movement, neo-paganism, the anarchist movement, education ...more
Not even at the halfway point yet, but I am so baffled and dismayed. I love Byatt (loved Possession like everyone else, but I schooled myself to love the Frederica Potter quartet and other novels too), this book is all about topics I love, and so it totally should be my jam, as the kids say, and....instead it's like the dire moment in Little Women when Meg wails about how the jelly won't jell.
I think the biggest problem is the characters - som ...more
Admittedly I was disappointed because I had this idea that Byatt was a good and accomplished novelist. Had I believed that this was the author's first novel I might have been excited by its promise and ambition, fooling myself that future books with judicious rewriting and hard pruning would be good literature.
Ahhhggrh. Reading this book I was struc ...more
It’s a novel rich with rewards for Byatt fans, including all that Byatt loves and that for which we love her. Immediately upon starting the second chapter, I was plunged into her The Virgin in the Garden. It was partly the prose, but also the characterization of the children of another brilliant, eccentric family that lives in the 'country'. As ...more
Byatt's Magnum Opus
This novel is A.S. Byatt's masterpiece. I think it's a much better book than her earlier and better known work, Possession.
It's an ambitious work. It's also intricate, colorful, interconnected, and full of surprises, much like a Faberge egg (which, incidentally were produced during the same time frame as the book).
The novel traces the childhoods and coming of age of a group of British young people before (late Victorian), during, and after ...more
Reading this novel made me think I was diving. Sinking deeper and deeper into its boundless pages, I would sometimes need to resurface, expand my lungs and get fresh air.
For this is a very ambitious novel (view spoiler)[overambitious? (hide spoiler)]and we could not expect any less from A.S. Byatt. I now conceive of it as a compression of about three books.
There is an exhaustive account of the social and cultural settings in Western Europe at the turn of the 19C up to the conclusion of WW1. The ...more
70 odd pages and no hint of a plot, just a lot of scene setting and Victorian historical information.
I get that this is likely to be character or society study rather than a plot-driven novel, which is fair enough, but I'm not digging the writing. There is a lot of info-dumping, telling rather than showing, and circular writing:
And again, a pre-teen / early teen questioning their "capability to love"?
Not for me.
The premise: it’s 1880s England, and this children’s author’s son finds a homeless boy who wants to grow up to be a potter, so he gets deposited with an overly-artistic child molesting artiste in the hope that the kid will A.) Nurture his talent or whatever; and B.) Get the artiste to start b ...more
The book takes place in England between 1895 and 1919. It criss-crosses Europe following the family fortunes of the Wellwoods, the Cains and the Fludds and a host of vibrant subsidiary characters. Olive Wellwood is ...more
I thought it would be a second Possession, but it's not, which is good. In some ways, Byatt's style in this book seems closer to the style of her sister, Drabble, a hands off approach which makes it a little harder (or takes longer) to come to terms or grips with characters. There are even some characters we never come to grips with (interesting considering ...more
*Il libro è stato pubblicato il giorno del mio compleanno: commozione e lacrime*
Questo libro è qualcosa di unico e magistrale: non gli renderò giustizia nella recensione quindi fatevi un favore e leggetelo!!
Sparo subito una cartuccia preziosa, la scrittura e la narrazione della Byatt. Innanzi tutto, le scene si susseguono e sembra quasi uno stream of consciousness: si passa da un evento all'altro, da questo a quel personaggio, con scene che sono descritte per al ...more
This is usually the part of the review where I'd tell you what The Children's Book is about. the summary GoodReads gives you up at the top of the pa ...more
In Possession, Byatt leads her reader through the world o ...more
Il libro dei bambini è un immenso romanzo storico che si propone di dipi ...more
The novel has been described as sweeping, and maybe just this once, Byatt has written an overly sweeping book that spins so much time th ...more
One week since I finished reading this book and I find myself missing the characters: the down-to Earth Dorothy, the imaginative Olive, Philip, Griselda and the others.