I really enjoyed it and I feel temped to give it 4 stars.
It is a tender story of how gender, sexuality, marriage and even love is fluid and changing.I really enjoyed it and I feel temped to give it 4 stars.
It is a tender story of how gender, sexuality, marriage and even love is fluid and changing. I have some of the same complains about it already posted by other reviewers: some passages are repetitive, others are somewhat diluted and confusing. I too wonder if there was not enough material in Gerda and Einar/Lily Wegener's lives to allow the author to stay more true to the real people on which this story is based.
Yet, I am really glad I stumbled into it. I am looking forward to the movie coming out this month. ...more
“I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun. I pu“I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun. I put them on and went out of the room.”
Now, if this is not hard-boiled as it gets, then what is it?
This is my first Raymond Chandler book, but I can feel a Chandler binge coming one.......more
I just finished reading this, my first Megan Abbott, and it is still running through my veins. I love the thrill of a great book, and this delivered aI just finished reading this, my first Megan Abbott, and it is still running through my veins. I love the thrill of a great book, and this delivered all. It is pulp with literary quality, entertaining with an old 1950’s detective paperback vibe. It fits into this “female noir” category that I am still trying to define for myself, but that I think it is my new love in fiction genre. ...more
I am not giving it any stars because I actually never finished listening to it, I simply let it go... And I don't intend to ever pick it up again, asI am not giving it any stars because I actually never finished listening to it, I simply let it go... And I don't intend to ever pick it up again, as life is too short. ...more
I would love to say that I read Brideshead Revisited and The End of the Affair consecutively because of my previous knowledge of how those books shareI would love to say that I read Brideshead Revisited and The End of the Affair consecutively because of my previous knowledge of how those books share common religious themes, both authors were friends later in life, both converted to Catholicism in their late 20’s, both used bibliographical aspects of their own lives in the creation of each book, both reflected in their writing the sense of moral apathy of post war England and – now that I have checked this all out on the internet – these books are endlessly compared and analysed against each other by academia. The truth is more mundane: I bought the audio version of these books because they were narrated respectively by Jeremy Irons and Colin Firth and I am getting to be very picky about narrators of audiobooks.
I listened first to Brideshead Revisited and I loved it. My review of it is here if it interests anyone. So I approached The End of the Affair with high expectations. I should say that I was never disappointed on the narration by Colin Firth, if anything he made Maurice Bendrix even more petty and obnoxious (and a liar, and mean, and childish) than I could had imagined him to be if I had read him on a paperbook.
As for the book, it had been a long time since I disliked a book so much. I disliked the characters for starters. But I have disliked characters before and yet enjoyed the book, so I have been doing some soul searching about my reaction to it.
I do think that Greene did not write with the same expertise as Evelyn Waugh. Waugh’s story was full of layers and nuances while, for me at least, Greene’s story felt two dimensional and quite early I knew he would push some religious parable down my throat.
However I think my reaction to this book runs deeper than that. I have lately been so tired of the portrait of God I see in the news and social media. I am tired of a God that dictates to civil servants not to issue marriage licenses to loving couples; the God that, in his name, has the temples of Palmyra destroyed, of course that God is doing much worse and having killing and raping in his name; a God that wants a war; even the God I see some people in Facebook claiming wants us to vote conservative in the next Canadian election.
I think I saw some resemblance of this in the God of Sarah. (view spoiler)[ A bargaining God that bets people’s lives against love and pleasure. (hide spoiler)] A God weighted down by sin and repentance, making small miracles and giving them to people like a carrot on a stick.
I am sorry, Graham Greene, if this is the God of your conversion, of this spiritual awakening that happened to change your like, he is yours to keep. Vade Retro["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I really enjoyed this book, but I do wonder that had I “read” it as opposed to listened to it, as I did, if I would have enjoyed it as much. The audioI really enjoyed this book, but I do wonder that had I “read” it as opposed to listened to it, as I did, if I would have enjoyed it as much. The audio version I listened was narrated by Jeremy Irons and his voice made the first person narrator so very personal. Therefore be advised that this review is about the audio version of this book, as much as it is about the book itself.
I should start by saying that Evelyn Waugh is a MALE author. I was ten minutes into the book when I wondered about it, so I googled it and sure enough, Evelyn’s first name was Arthur. I think I was expecting a female contemporary of Daphne du Maurier but Brideshead isn’t Manderley, and definitely Brideshead Revisited is not Rebecca.
For quite a while, the whole first part of the book to be precise, I thought it was about male homosexuality, which it was by a large degree, but not overall. Then, on the second part, I thought it was about finding redemption through love – heterosexual or not. Of course, all along I thought it was also about social class, and the rapid decline of such high class during the period between the two world wars. It is certainly a great social commentary of the period and of the people on the “upstairs” part of the house/society.
I ended it by thinking that I was lead through a religious book and that I never realized it until the final pages/narration. The Wikipedia page where I learned about Arthur Evelyn also mentioned his conversion to Catholicism in his late 20’s.
I am afraid to call this book a religious book, or catholic book, and drive other readers from it. The religiosity in it is not heavy handed, and it is never evangelizing. But I think it is at the heart of this story, a search for the divine which would raise our lives above the ordinary. It is almost incongruent in a book that portraits homosexuality and adultery in such a detached way – it was first published in 1944, let’s not forget it – that I finished it by thinking of sin and forgiveness.
Somewhere I read that this book was about loss, of course now I can’t remember where I read this and I can’t give proper credits. But the reviewer alluded to the loss of a generation on WWI, the loss of love (Sebastian and Julia), the loss of a way of living for those in such a privileged class, even the loss of the Brideshead manor.
It is not a simple book, too many layers and not enough conclusions. Like life itself, I would say.
PS: Here is the review by Lydia Kiesling that I so poorly paraphrased. ...more