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3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  242 ratings  ·  20 reviews
'A celebration of the modern city ... in such vivid prose that you can almost see the bloom on the peaches, taste the sun-ripened oranges and smell the coffee at the market traders' stalls' Sunday Times
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published by Atheneum Books (first published 1992)
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An interesting novel with a great deal going on beneath the surface. Victor is an aging millionaire, a self made man living in the penthouse of the skyscraper he owns in an unnamed city. His origins lie in the countryside; after his father's early death his mother brings him as a baby to the city where she begs for food in the market area of the city using Victor as a draw. His mother dies, but Victor survives, eventually making his fortune through the market, which he now owns.
Victor's right ha
This work of fiction by the contemporary English Author, Jim Crace is definitely different. It is set in an unnamed place and is told by an unnamed journalist who tells the story of an aging millionaire’s quest to build a commercial center that will embrace the pastoral idyll. The beginning introduces us to Victor the millionaire and his able assistant Rook. The middle section is the story of Victor’s youth and the last part is the actual story of Victor’s vision and the building of the commerci ...more
Lauren Albert
At just under 350 pages, Crace's Arcadia still manages to feel epic in scale. I think that while many see Arcadia as an allegory of country versus city, it is more about vibrant life versus deathly artifice. “We flock in to the city," writes Crace,"because we wish to dwell in hope. And hope—not gold—is what they pave the cities with.” In creating Arcadia, Victor has (temporarily) given a death blow to that hope for those in the market. With mordant irony, Crace shows how the lowly sparrows, temp ...more
Jun 18, 2008 Erikka rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: depression era readers, Crace fans, fiction lovers
Recommended to Erikka by: Jason Nelson
Shelves: reads-of-08
Again,I wonder if I missed allegories in this seemingly straightforward novel. This was Crace's second novel, and is very different than the later two I read (Quarantine, Being Dead). There definitely was some deeper ideas on age and society, city vs country, but the plot was hard for me to engage with in order to search and construct these hidden lessons.
Don't own a copy of this, but it is one of those rare books whose memory continues to haunt me and that I should like to hunt down and reread at least partially one day.
A funny little book, not at all what I expected from well, judging the book by it's cover, and a slight misunderstanding of exactly which modern day Crace wrote it. Victor is an old man, about to celebrate his birthday, looking back on a life which started in poverty and ended in extreme wealth. His personal story parallels that of the market he grew up in, and it's coming transformation into Arcadia. In the meantime, his conniving butler Rook gets into trouble for underhand dealings, and tries ...more
Janice Windle
I found this book riveting to read. Its poetic flow - to the point where I found myself noting rhymes and loving the rhythm of each paragraph - carried me along, through the many scenes evoked in the course of developing the story of a traditional vegetable market and its denizens. Victor, the man who grew up there from rags to riches and owes to it his millions, decides on his eightieth birthday to change it beyond recognition, putting paid to the chances of anyone else rising through associati ...more
Mar 26, 2014 Ruth marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
Very appears I have read this book, or at least made it to page 55 as I have marked a word for my word list (sodality), which since said word never made to the list maybe I didn't get much past page 55 either...

I may try again some day, or not. The back cover was mildly intriguing, the first page more so, however, flipping in at random did not bring me to any pages I want to turn.
Peta Watson
I wasn't sure I would like this book, although Jim Crace has never let me down so far. I am pleased to say, he still hasn't.

It was a great read - almost quaint. I am not sure where it was set( I envisaged London, while I was reading it, but it could have been anywhere)or the year, however that unknowing really does not impact in any way on the events that occur.

The story revolves around the life of an old and wealthy self-made man with not much time left, who wants to leave his mark on the city
This is an epic, but because it's Crace it still manages to be rather short. The whole work balance between the quotidian and the alien. Things and events are familiar, but you're not sure exactly where you are or when this is taking place. It is this approach which takes Crace's story of a fruit market and elevates it beyond a simple parable of the machinations of capitalism. The story pulsates with something more timeless, the pettiness and selfishness and need for gratification which drives p ...more
This is the third Jim Crace book I have read (Quarantine and Pesthouse are the other two). He is such a diverse writer, none of the three novels I have read are alike.

Arcadia is an intricate view of what makes people who they are and how their background drives what they become and perhaps ultimately how they behave and why they make the decisions that they do

If you haven't read Jim Crace before this might be a good place to start
Beautiful prose telling an unusual story. Crace has a poetic style and a strong sense of irony. I found myself oddly disappointed by the ending, though, and also by the sentimentality of the book. At times it was very sharp and witty, but the constant rehashing of the main character's childhood made the book seem old-fashioned and a bit depressing.
You like slow novels? This is the book for you! I have read and liked other Crace novels, but I had a hard time with this one. None of the characters are engaging or likable and even the crafted prose is chilly and hard to warm up to. Signals of Distress and Being Dead are better books if you want to read something by this author.
I love Jim Crace and am slowly reading my way through all of the novels he's written, but this is not one of his better ones. If you've never read Crace and would like to (and I would certainly suggest that you do!) I would not recommend this as your first selection. Better to read Being Dead or Signals of Distress.
Paige Nick
every book of his i read just gets better and better. the most poetic book i've ver read. every sentence a work of art. wow.
I didn't really like this book. Long & lots of words, but a dull concept. No satisfaction in finishing.
I like Crace a lot, but reading too many of his books in a row is like eating too much candy.
Luscious language. The sort of book that you want to read aloud.
Cheryl Brown
It was a good read. OK. Not startling. But worth a read.
Beth Shields-Szostak
Aug 12, 2011 Beth Shields-Szostak marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: signed
1st edition, signed & inscribed by author
Toby Burden
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James "Jim" Crace is a contemporary English writer. The winner of numerous awards, Crace also has a large popular following. He currently lives in the Moseley area of Birmingham with his wife. They have two children, Thomas Charles Crace (born 1981) and the actress Lauren Rose Crace, who played Danielle Jones in EastEnders.

Crace grew up with his siblings Richard, Cyril, and Graham in Forty Hill, a
More about Jim Crace...
Harvest Being Dead Quarantine The Pesthouse The Devil's Larder

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