Anastasia Hobbet's Reviews > Human Voices

Human Voices by Penelope Fitzgerald
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Sep 22, 11

Read in September, 2011

Penelope Fitzgerald is one of the finest writers of the 20th century. In the British firmament, she's right up there with Virginia Woolf, and Woolf would have given her rave reviews if only she'd lived long enough to read her books. In Human Voices, as in all Fitzgerald's novels, most of the drama and interaction of characters is under the surface, revealed in the most artful strokes of the pen. The economy of this book is remarkable. At the end--and I've now read it several times--I always sit back and wonder how she did it. Masterfully, she uses humor--however dark--instead of pathos and melodrama to tell her complicated story. In the space of 144 pages, a very slender little book, she creates a world within a world. Inside that world, a World War is coming to a head, and yet, as a reader, I hate to leave it behind, and turn the last page with great reluctance.
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