Added 3/18/11. _The Paris Wife_ (2011) by Paula McLain "A Novel of Hemingway’s First Marriage" (to Hadley Richardson)(NY Times article*)
I first heard abAdded 3/18/11. _The Paris Wife_ (2011) by Paula McLain "A Novel of Hemingway’s First Marriage" (to Hadley Richardson)(NY Times article*)
I first heard about this novel (a fictionalized biography) via NY Times reviews: ================================ * http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/boo... "Narrated largely from Hadley’s point of view, “The Paris Wife” smoothly chronicles her five-year marriage to the novelist, most of which was spent in Paris among aspiring writers... ... Based on letters and biographies, and on Hemingway’s own ample recollections of Paris, the novel proceeds by the book — all the books, in fact, about Paris in the 1920s, including those by Hemingway — and thus bumps against the usual expatriate suspects, like Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ezra Pound, who, as Hadley almost apologetically explains, “were or would soon become giants in the field of arts and letters, but we weren’t aware of this at the time. Livelier and fresher is the reconstruction of Hadley’s youth. ...” FROM: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/28/boo... ===================================
9/21/12 - I finally finished listening to the audio-book of The Paris Wife which is a fictionalized biography of Earnest Hemingway's first wife, Hadley. I especially enjoyed the latter part of the book which touches your heart-strings as it describes the break-up of their marriage.
NOTE: This book is told in the first person voice of Hadley.
This fictionalized story is based on fact. The Godolphin Arabian is the ancestor of the finest thoroughbred horses. The story tells about a swift and spirited Arabian horse named "Sham" who is sent by the Sultan of Morocco as a gift to Louis XV of France. Sham eventually sires a colt which is the beginning of the Goldolphin Arabian breed.
Although this is a book for young readers, it's an interesting, touching, well-told tale which appeals to older readers as well. A customer review at Amazon says: ========================================================== "Marguerite Henry's fictionalized biography of the Goldolphin Arabian, one of the three founding thoroughbred sires, follows the horse Sham and his mute groom Agba from the stables of the Sultan of Morocco through hardship in France and England to celebrated triumph at stud. ... Agba, who never speaks a word, is one of the most absorbing characters in children's fiction. ... it's a must for horse lovers." ===========================================================
_Burr_ (1973) by Gore Vidal (partially read in Sept. 2009)
Edit - 4/1/11: Below is from a GR reviewer (Galen Johnson) who gave the book one star: ========_Burr_ (1973) by Gore Vidal (partially read in Sept. 2009)
Edit - 4/1/11: Below is from a GR reviewer (Galen Johnson) who gave the book one star: ================================================ "The story of Aaron Burr, told by his young assistant in his law firm when Burr is in old age. Based on historical facts, but told in a usually well-paced narrative. Interesting look at the politics and daily life of the times, but lacking in continuity that would make reading it easy. Maybe recommended for someone who enjoys historical fiction, but not as a fun read in general." FROM: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... ===================================================
I've underlined "lacking in continuity" and other words above because they pinpoint the reason I didn't finish the book. Perhaps the word "disjointed" would also be a good one here. I just didn't enjoy the book enough to finish reading it.
BTW, I don't remember that the book was "well-paced", as the review states above....more
I read the first part of this book, _The Women_, but it began to drag. So I stopped reading. I appreciate T.C. Boyle's style of writing, but lost inteI read the first part of this book, _The Women_, but it began to drag. So I stopped reading. I appreciate T.C. Boyle's style of writing, but lost interest after a while in this particular book describing the life of Frank Lloyd Wright. I enjoyed Boyle's novel, _The Tortilla Curtain_", but I found that _The Women_ wasn't as compelling.
If you'd like to get a feel for the personality and life of Henry James without struggling (g), try this book.
Colm Toibin, author of _The Master_, imiIf you'd like to get a feel for the personality and life of Henry James without struggling (g), try this book.
Colm Toibin, author of _The Master_, imitates Henry James' style as he tells this fictionalized biography of part of Henry James' life.
I found it thrilling to feel so close to Henry James who has always seemed so distant as a writer. It was interesting to learn, as I read Henry's inner thoughts, that he suffered from self-doubt . He was human after all.
It was also interesting to read how James created his stories by taking ideas from the lives of real people in his own life.
The book relates Henry James' thoughts about his brother, the psychologist William James, as well as Henry's interaction with other relatives and close friends.
At times Henry seems rather wistful and even sentimental as he thinks about the "unrecoverable past". Author Toibin talks of how Henry goes through the rooms of his house observing them carefully "so that they could be remembered and captured and held". The book says: "He moved around it relishing the silence and the emptiness". I got the impression that Henry James enjoyed his solitude.
In the acknowledgments, Toibin says: "I wish to acknowledge that I have peppered the text with phrases and sentences from the writings of Henry James and his family."...more