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In Arcadia

3.24  ·  Rating Details ·  234 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
A group of angry and ill-assorted people accept an invitation to make a journey. Inspired by a painting and financed by a mysterious benefactor, they set off to discover the real Arcadia. Or what remains of it. Their journey begins in ignorance and chaos at Waterloo station and takes them through superstition and myth to harmony. In the Louvre, in front of Poussin's master ...more
Published July 24th 2003 by Orion (first published 2002)
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Arcadia by Tom StoppardThe Old Arcadia by Philip SidneyThe Tomb of God by Richard AndrewsUnveiling the Mystic Ciphers by Dave  RamsdenPlays 5 by Tom Stoppard
10th out of 30 books — 5 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Oct 22, 2009 Kansie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written. Its magical realism, the plot that breathes on philosophical ideas of the author and its mystical characters....
Jan 14, 2010 Nathaniel rated it did not like it
Shelves: africa
Every page I turn to of "In Arcadia" justifies my decision to spare myself a close reading of the last 160 pages. All of my forays into the later parts and books and chapters lead me smack into the exhausting, uninvested, list-making and cranky ranting that this too self-involved novel obsessively churns out.

Okri can't seem to tell a story anymore--his threadbare shrug towards narrative is only a convenient vehicle for his reflections on modern life, on meaning, on art, on film--anything mentio
Nov 16, 2015 Priscillia rated it it was amazing
Ben Okri never fails to amaze me. Deeply magical and fascinating, gorgeous choice of words.
Georgiana Paun
Sep 30, 2016 Georgiana Paun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

"Poate ca asta inseamna ratarea: transportarea mai multor fantome si umbre decat poate sufletul cuiva sa duca"

"Arcadia poate rasari doar din realitate, nu din ideal: aceasta este contradictia cea minunata. Arcadia poate rasari doar din fapte nu din vise, din viata nu din visare. Aceasta este puterea si farmecul ei. Arcadia nu este o speranta si nici o promisiune, nici un ideal intruchipat si nici campiile cultivate. Nu exista in ceea ce se vede ci in ceea ce este creat, evoc
May 13, 2014 Realini rated it liked it
In Arcadia by Ben Okri

The book has a very good start…perhaps even a wonderful finale. I haven’t reached it, so I couldn’t tell.
When my Kindle was alive and kicking, I selected only books that were very likely to entertain and give meaning to me, since they have been very highly recommended; scholars had placed on the lists of the best books ever, or at least of the 20th century.
My Kindle is dead, and with it some reading patterns have been changed. At one point, I will get another one, or resume
Raluca Nicula
Jul 13, 2016 Raluca Nicula rated it liked it
"În Arcadia" este o călătorie inițiatică în care pornește o echipă de filmare alcătuită din persoane care au eșuat în plan personal și profesional: "Echipa celor șase ratați ai iadului. Dacă nu ne ucidem între noi, vom crea o nouă religie". Protagoniștii sunt frustrați de eșecul vieților lor și văd acest nou proiect, ale cărui etape le sunt revelate pe parcurs, ca pe o binevenită evadare din cotidian.

Cartea orbitează în jurul tabloului lui Nicolas Poussin - "Păstorii din Arcadia" și te face să
Ovidiu Sky
Aug 06, 2016 Ovidiu Sky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

O carte de o frumusețe extraordinară în care nigerianul Ben Okri, laureat la premiului Brooker, își dezvăluie cu talent forța și vizionarismul de poet. „În Arcadia” este o poveste despre descoperirea sensului vieții, sens pe care unii dintre noi au uitat să-l mai aibă, sens pe care unii poate nu l-au avut niciodată, Arcadia lăuntrică a fiecăruia dintre noi.



A book of an extraordinary beauty, where the Nigerian Ben Okri , winner of the Brooker Prize , reveals his force, talent visionary
Nandini Pradeep J
Jul 16, 2014 Nandini Pradeep J rated it it was ok
Sheer Randomness - Likable at places, and at others, tiring, very tiring.

It's like a film which's seemingly a novel attempt on the medium but there's nothing too flashy in it to grab the audiences' attention - they don't really care about it. Maybe in 50 years people might tear it apart, looking for the unseen; maybe not? It's a Waiting for Godot-esque narration; stark resonance, you see. But the approach to chapter division & content reminds one of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities. Seems p
Aug 01, 2013 Phyl rated it liked it
Shelves: just-read
This book addresses the notion of what Arcadia or Paradise is. It is structured round a group of people who are all in some way or another damaged by life and who are seeking some meaning in their lives. Heavily philosophical, I found it readable but curiously flat. The exploration of meanings within meanings carried on throughout the book, but left more questions unanswered at the end. Perhaps this was the author's intention? I did not find any of the characters engaging and couldn't have cared ...more
Jun 30, 2014 Dipa rated it really liked it
Wordsmith, yes.

Philosopher, yes.

Unique, yes.

Unfortunately not in this novel.

I loved this book, all the discussions, the musings on life etc. I'll probably read it again at some point cause I really did like some of the points that Okri made and he really is a master magician with words. My only bone to pick was that the narrative started off strong and then withered away.
Jul 12, 2011 Mirjam rated it did not like it
Am half way through and not sure if i will finish it.
I loved the beginning and thought i had found a real gem.
The concept was interesting and the style descriptive and thought provoking.
Half way through the book the thought provoking changed to irritation as the story progresses too slowly due to all the expounding of thought all the time.
Probably wont finish this one,

Brought it back to the library, not finished 12 /7/11
Graham Tapper
Not impressed with this book. I found it self-indulgent. It seemed to me that the whole book was simply an excuse for a couple of pages of the author's ideas on the meaning of the picture which is the subject of the story, such as it is. Full review on Dooyoo UK.
Jan 24, 2012 Nafkote rated it it was ok
I think that when a piece of art attempts so desperately and verbosely to define art, at almost every twist and turn, that means something, especially when prose and narrative aren't fully backing up that exploration.
Aug 22, 2012 Jordon rated it really liked it
this book is amazing, but I don't understand why is put under the 'Africa' literature tag. It's set entirely in Europe and speaks of humanity. The author may be Nigerian, but the narrative sure isn't.
Jan 21, 2015 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is both prose and poetry, story and philosophy.... I will most likely reread it in full or part. The story itself is a "lattice" for the philosophy, and the philosophy is often written in poetry. I liked that it ended without actually ending.
Aug 23, 2009 A.M. rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
I got bored about halfway through. While the premise is intelligent and seems promising, the writing is flat and the characters are difficult to engage with.
At some point I'll try reread this and see if fresh eyes make it seem any better, but for now I honestly can't be bothered.
Nov 07, 2008 Bogdan rated it liked it
Shelves: hic-sunt-leones
This book is modern quest of Ben Okri for an answer regarding what is paradise. This questions was debated by all generations of writers, and now this modern nigerian writer tries to answer it.
My copy of this book is in romanian.
Shivanee Ramlochan
Oct 01, 2013 Shivanee Ramlochan rated it really liked it
Beautifully cryptic, threaded with equal parts philosophy, fable and metanarrative, 'In Arcadia' demands a second read.
Mar 24, 2013 Raluca rated it liked it
Cryptic, but fun. Maybe you'll like it or maybe you'll find it pretentious. Kinda short, so why not give it a try?
Ben Okri, as always writes beautifully.His books should be your only book when visiting islands in Mozambique,lodges in Zanzibar - magical books for magical experiences.
Rosalind rated it it was ok
Jul 26, 2011
Laura Davies
Laura Davies rated it it was amazing
Jan 10, 2012
Silviu Apostol
Silviu Apostol rated it it was amazing
Jul 03, 2014
Rachel rated it it was ok
Mar 13, 2012
Amy Cameron
Amy Cameron rated it liked it
Jul 15, 2014
Calin  Carpenco
Calin Carpenco rated it liked it
Jan 05, 2011
Caroline rated it it was ok
Mar 18, 2011
Richard rated it it was ok
Oct 08, 2013
Ralibaba rated it it was ok
Jan 14, 2013
mihai rated it liked it
Jan 21, 2016
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Poet and novelist Ben Okri was born in 1959 in Minna, northern Nigeria, to an Igbo mother and Urhobo father. He grew up in London before returning to Nigeria with his family in 1968. Much of his early fiction explores the political violence that he witnessed at first hand during the civil war in Nigeria. He left the country when a grant from the Nigerian government enabled him to read Comparative ...more
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