The Vivisector
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Vivisector

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  365 ratings  ·  28 reviews
After his friend is killed in a horse-racing accident, up-and-coming glass artisan Gerard Logan finds himself embroiled in a deadly search for a stolen videotape--a videotape that just might destroy his own life.
ebook, 256 pages
Published January 27th 2009 by Berkley (first published 1970)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,146)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Mel
I did a bit of research on the internet and found out from Wikipedia that this book was dedicated to the painter Sidney Nolan. Patrick White denied that the main character Hurtle Duffield was supposed to be Sidney Nolan (or any painter for that matter). I had never heard of Sidney Nolan (I love when books let me discover something new), so for me, the whole time I was reading this book, I kept feeling like Hurtle Duffield was like the painter, Francis Bacon. I have done some research on the inte...more
Justin Evans
So I've started a project, in which I read a couple of things by everyone who won the Nobel for literature. No, I'm kidding. I'd rather walk two hundred miles into the middle of nowhere, sit under a freeway bridge, knife myself in the stomach and die slowly over five days in excruciating pain than read things written by most Nobel laureates.

No, I'm reading this because a) the cover of this book is freaking amazing and b) I'm 33 now, and apparently that's the age when culture cringe* starts to f...more
Nell Grey
A monumental novel which sets out to chronicle the life of fictional artist Hurtle Duffield from childhood to death.

Sold by his poor parents into a wealthy family, the driving force throughout his life is to realize his inner vision by whatever means he can. His ruthlessness in dissecting and exposing the passions and weaknesses of those around him in order to serve his art leaves him cut off from those warmer human emotions which could so easily be his until a musical child, whom he recognises...more
nathan
Something voluptuous, savage, and florid in taking up a painter as the main character of any drama. Everything I've seen of White is florid, voluptuous (a term he employs with a notable frequency), and savaging.



Plan to proceed through his works, one every few seasons. I believe this is his longest work (or nearly), and I flew through it, for the pleasure of the read.

Kayla
There were parts of this book that I enjoyed, but overwhelmingly I found it drawn out, boring, pretentious, and a little bit ridiculous.

The novel is about Hurtle Duffield, a boy essentially bought from his parents for a wealthy couple's amusement at his charm and cleverness. An initially sensitive and bright little lad, the act of being sold seems to bring out something darker in the boy, and his push towards becoming an artists reveals a brutal, crueler side of him that he ends up exploring mo...more
Matt
The Vivisector has its moments: undeniable, succinct moments of clarity and of honesty, moments that shine out from the page and that can make you look at a certain subject in a different way - and it is these moments that make this book a worthwhile read, despite its length and its absence of likeable characters. Just like Hurtle Duffield has to toil for his art, you may feel yourself wading through endless description, occasionally pretentious art-posturing and repetition; but there are diamon...more
Nirmal
Story is about a painter Hurtle Duffield who analyses his friends and relatives like a surgeon performing a vivisection with full detachment. Its all done for the sake of his art. Story starts with his initial childhood in a poor family. But he is eventually adopted by wealthy Courtney's’ where his mom works as Laundress.

Courtney have a daughter Rhoda, who has a disability in the form of bent/stooped back. Hurtle is quiet unusual as compare to any normal children. Chiefly he is ahead of his age...more
Lorraine
I am not sure if the artist is so Romantic. it is uneven, yes. the detachment is peculiar. Coetzee wrote the introduction and I am surprised that he did not touch on the colonial aspect (no space?). For if anything perhaps White's novel shows the uneasiness of the Australian artist upon entering the sanctified 'art' world -- and there is Australia's history of course, as penal colony and all. One is tempted to read this allegorically -- the life events of Duffield.

I am not sure that this is the...more
Sull
Oct 24, 2010 Sull rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sull by: Charity shop find.
I'm not really finished with this yet, but I guess I've had enough for now. It IS endless (700+ pages), one of these huge fictionalized "Life of" books that traces the rise & fall, & rise & fall again & again, etc. I'm interested in ground-breaking artist Hurtle Duffield, but I need a break, & unless my pile of library-&-charity-shop books either disappears or gets pretty boring, it may be a while before I dive back in to finish the last 150 pages of Hurtle's life. He's o...more
Mili Legge
This book was one of my first books that I have read ,when I arrived to Australia 44 years ago. Patrick White showed me the life in Australia, that was new
and different to anything I've ever imagined. I've just read the book again and I was pleasantly surprised , that my understanding of English language 44 years ago, was much better then I thought. I loved the book , Patrick introduced me to a country ,that I've learned to love and enjoy.
Steve
Despite the title this is not an incisive exploration of the influence of the artist's psyche on his body of work as the author's prose all too often obstructs. White has also made his protagonist, Hurtle Duffield, far too unappealing. Uprooted from his poor background, this artist cruelly dissects the deformities of his models but the author fails to achieve the same with his own subject.
Katie
Patrick White was the author I loved to hate when we were forced to read him back in English Lit. I said as much to a customer a month or so ago, and he pointed out that maybe reading him as an adult would be a different experience and suggested that I read this. An absolute stunner of a book, this is everything I love about GOOD literature.
Tagra
I'm giving up. I'm 100 pages in and nothing has happened. I peeked and it seems like very few of the ~600 pages actually spend time advancing plot. I got the gist of it from a synopsis, so I think I'll call it here and move on. Maybe I'll try again another day, but most likely not... I have other things to do.
James
A portrait of the artist as a child, a young man, an adult, and a geriatric. This sprawling novel chronicles the life of a painter named Hurtle Duffield, born into an Australian slum but shipped off to live with an aristocratic family. Dark, brilliantly composed, and engrossing.
Gary Daly
The more I read Patrick White the more I want more
Lauren Albert
Pretentious and arrogant like its "hero." Appallingly long at 600 pages, I found myself skimming the last 200 pages. It is very painful to spend 600 pages with such a tedious and obnoxious character. Reminded me of D.H. Lawrence, which is not a compliment in my book.
Kevin Tole
A fantastic book which yet again shows the power of Patrick White's writing. The character studies of all the characters are so wonderfully detailed. He elucidates the process of art through the all-seeing eye.This is worth every page of it's 700 odd pages.
Elizabeth Bradley
Why didn't anyone tell me about Patrick White before? This was utterly fantastic. Don't read the book jacket, which will lead you to believe that you'll hate the artist-protagonist - - just read the book (and you won't). Diamond-bright and diamond-hard.
Alexandra
One of the most boring books I ever started...I hoped that it would get better, but finally had to give up at page 212. I also did not like how he used the old story of the poor boy that lives with a rich familiy..there was nothing new about it
Foxontherun
A luxuriant, bitter, savage novel. Breathtaking portrayal of a lost artist, torn between cold inhumanity and a humanity who's weight and breadth is almost painful in its scope.

Highly recommended.
Jennifer Mills
This book had a powerful impact on me at eighteen and it is hard to admit it has flaws. Still an astonishing study of the artist's mind. White's sentences make me want to run around the room.
Guy Cranswick
By this time White need an editor and this book shows it: it is a mess, and looks incredibly outdated even for the time it was first published.
J
Very good so far. I enjoy the prose, which I find interesting and smart.

Also a very interesting exploration of an artist, emerging.
Kim
while this book has moments of truly inspired beauty, it is really long and slow.
Jodi
2012-10-03 -- a depressing book.
George Ilsley
One of Patrick White's masterpieces.
Holly
Mar 02, 2010 Holly marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
the lost booker
Charlotte
Charlotte marked it as to-read
Jul 30, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 38 39 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Salon des Refusés: The Vivisector 1 5 Apr 02, 2012 08:39AM  
  • The Bay of Noon
  • Impossible Object
  • The Plains
  • The Dressmaker
  • The Public Image
  • The Keepers of Truth
  • Bruno's Dream
  • The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith
  • The Doctor's Wife
  • The Children of Dynmouth
  • The Road to Lichfield
  • Daughters Of The House
  • Jake's Thing
  • Remembering Babylon
  • Goshawk Squadron
  • The Fat Man in History
  • Praxis
  • An Instant in the Wind
50783
Patrick Victor Martindale White was an Australian author widely regarded as one of the major English-language novelists of the 20th century. From 1935 until death, he published twelve novels, two short story collections, eight plays, and non-fiction. His fiction freely employs shifting narrative vantages and the stream of consciousness technique. In 1973, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literat...more
More about Patrick White...
Voss The Tree Of Man A Fringe of Leaves Riders in the Chariot The Eye of the Storm

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“They walked on rather aimlessly. He hoped she wouldn't notice he was touched, because he wouldn't have known how to explain why. Here lay the great discrepancy between aesthetic truth and sleazy reality.” 4 likes
“No animal suffers worse than a human being.” 3 likes
More quotes…