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Exchange Place

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  26 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
'He took out his watch and looked at it. He rested for one minute as timed on his watch. He opened the briefcase and took out a passport and a pair of spectacles. He put the spectacles on and looked at the passport, and realised he was the man in the picture.A gunshot rang out: Part thriller, part spy novel, Exchange Place is set between Belfast and Paris and tracks the ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 2012 by Blackstaff (first published September 14th 2012)
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Brian Wilson
Oct 20, 2012 Brian Wilson rated it it was amazing
Wow! This is by far my favorite novel by Ciaran Carson. It is simultaneously cohesive and non-cohesive, a dense puzzle of a book that wears its metaphors and parallels very much on its sleeve. As ever, Ciaran's prose is that of a poet, beautifully and uniquely crafted, endlessly fascinating and endlessly fascinated with itself. Ciaran's previous novels have tended to be less about plot and more about the unpacking of his character's psyche, relationships and internal monologue - and while there ...more
Alessandro
Nov 21, 2015 Alessandro rated it it was ok
Le storie complesse e intricate mi affascinano ma secondo il mio modesto parere, in questo racconto abbiamo a che fare con qualcosa di troppo "cervellotico".
I primi tre quarti di libro contengono esclusivamente descrizioni e citazioni, solo nelle ultime pagine si risolvono le vicende dei due protagonisti, e ciò mi pare squilibrato per un testo di poco più di duecento pagine.
C'è da dire però che le descrizioni e le citazioni storiche di cui sopra sono molto interessanti e piacevoli da leggere.
Barbara
An eloquent book. This phrase embodies the theme "a fascination with memory, paranormal phenomena, surveillance, questions of identity and the bombing campaign conducted by the Provisional IRA in Belfast in the later decades of the twentieth century". Identities are constantly switching in this story which moves between Paris and Belfast.
Susan
Jul 26, 2015 Susan rated it it was ok
Shelves: novels
Noted Belfast poet Ciaran Carson writes about John Kildare, a character obsessed with his clothes, whose identity has been fractured by Belfast bombings and perhaps also by musing about Walter Benjamin and other literary theorists. The 60-ish KIldare keeps seeing himself in other people named John as he wanders through Parisian arcades and the mystery is why Exchange Place (where personalities are exchanged?) is considered a literary mystery. Its structure is like a fugue in which thematically ...more
Niall
Apr 22, 2015 Niall rated it really liked it
Shelves: qub
Uni reading. The narrative mentions fugues a few times throughout, and that's basically wat this novel is. Wikipedia, which is better at explaining things than I am, calls the fugue "a contrapuntal compositional technique in two or more voices, built on a subject (theme) that is introduced at the beginning in imitation (repetition at different pitches) and recurs frequently in the course of the composition."
In this book, all of those elements are present. Two voices, leading parallel lives, recu
...more
Danielle Brewster
May 02, 2015 Danielle Brewster rated it liked it
I only gave the book 3 stars as the author is very clever, scholarly and writes well. However this is such a hard read and refers too much to other works instead of focusing on this book. The author calls everyone John, which is a bit tedious. I guess ther@ e may be a point to this but still, its not obvious. And the blurb only really enters the story near the end. The rest of the book doesn't have a vast amount of storyline. Some good imagery though.
Gail
Jun 22, 2014 Gail added it
'A car-horn sounded ceremonially and my whole being shimmered with the knowledge that the atoms of my brain had been forged aeons ago in the stars, billions of atoms forming dense thickets of neurons and transmission cables endlessly communicating, more active often in sleep than in waking life.'
Pietro Del vecchio
May 21, 2014 Pietro Del vecchio rated it it was amazing
Esiste anche una edizione italiana!
http://www.delvecchioeditore.com/libr...
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Ciaran Gerard Carson was born in 1948 in Belfast and educated at The Queen’s University, Belfast. He knows intimately not only the urban Belfast in which he was raised as a native Irish speaker, but also the traditions of rural Ireland. A traditional musician and a scholar of the Irish oral traditional, Carson was long the Traditional Arts Officer of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and is a ...more
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