William Boyd is not just a wordsmith; he’s a magician who pulls rabbit-words out of hats, throws them together, then lets us marvel at the effect. Problem is, we come away from the page thinking — we, the rest of us, we other purveyors of English prose — what’s the point? Why even bother? With writers lik ...more
Stories are often episodic, even fragmentary. "Visions Fugitives" has some sections that are letters, some that supposedly come from tourist guides, etc. It has this passage - I ... shuffle the images that slip into my mind. ... You kn ...more
Averaging each story out, three stars is correct as a 'score'.
Brief summ ...more
Most of Boyd’s protagonists in these stories experience sudden (and often unh ...more
But then there was a couple of stories that drew my breath away. And it was worth it. Four stars, and I will be reading more of Boyd’s musings.
All but the most diehard fans of postmodernism will likely find Boyd's formal idiosyncrasies jarring. His abrupt changes in style and experimental narrative techniques prompted some critics to hail him as a virtuoso. Others felt that Fascination lacked the conventional pleasures of plot and character-more than one reader found these tales of anguished artists tiresome. This collection is more likely to satisfy on an intellectual level than an emotional one; readers bothered by gimmicks would do...more
Interestingly, some of the stories felt a lot longer second time around, while others seemed far shorter and some I didn't remember at all. All are worth reading for fans of Mr Boyd and all contain his trademarks of well-drawn, complex characters, frequently on the horns of challenging moral or other dilemmas.
At the age of nine years he attended Gordonstoun school, in Moray, Scotland an ...more