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Mr. Chartwell

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  1,818 Ratings  ·  424 Reviews
It’s July 1964. In bed at home in Kent, Winston Churchill iswaking up. There’s a visitor in the room, someone he hasn’tseen for a while, a dark, mute bulk, watching him with torturedconcentration. It’s Mr. Chartwell.

In her terraced house in Battersea, Esther Hammerhans,young, vulnerable and alone, goes to answer the door to hernew lodger. Through the glass she sees a vast
Paperback, 217 pages
Published 2011 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 2010)
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Maggie Stiefvater
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, recommended
Five Things About Mr. Charwell:

1. If I tell you this is a book about depression, you won’t want to read it. At least, I wouldn’t want to read it. Depression is real, yes, but depression also tends to be static; it clogs and slows and dilutes its victim. Which makes for boring fiction. So I won’t tell you that this book is about depression (because it’s not very true, anyway). I will instead tell you that this book is about Winston Churchill, which also isn’t tremendously true. Winston Churchill
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, 4-star
This was a tricky one for me. I thought it was funny and very moving. I really liked it. But. My apologies to Mr. Churchill, but the black dog metaphor just doesn't work for me. Depression as an annoyance, an uninvited guest who shows up and bugs you, chewing rocks and whispering in your ear, crushing your chest and hogging the bed just misses something. Depression is so all-encompassing and I've found that it's very internal as well. It's not a visitor, it's an all-out crippling assault; your o ...more
Rebecca Hunt has created an interesting novel set in 1964 featuring Winston Churchill, in the days before his final retirement, Esther Hammerhans, a librarian at the House of Commons, and a Black Dog. Of course this isn't just any dog but Churchill's "black dog" of depression that has been with him for much of his life. I am tempted to say the dog has been anthropomorphized but can that refer to dogs? Well perhaps there is some other term but I will leave it at that!! You must read the book for ...more
Jan 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Going into Mr Chartwell you should know that Winston Churchill suffered with depression throughout his adult life and referred to depression as "the black dog". Got it? Now you are ready to read one of the more original novels I've read in a long time.

The title character in Mr Chartwell is that black dog. Or something very like a dog. Mr Chartwell is 6' 7", smelly, and resembles a black Labrador. He has quite a few human characteristics: he speaks English, walks on his hind legs, drinks, needs
Rebecca Foster
This novel is based around a simple conceit: Winston Churchill’s depression, which he referred to as his ‘black dog,’ is not metaphorical but actual. He is, in fact, an enormous creature (variously called Mr. Chartwell or Black Pat) who haunts both Churchill and Esther Hammerhans, a widowed library clerk at Westminster Palace, who has her own depression to fight off as the second anniversary of her husband’s suicide nears.

There are clever elements here, but in general I thought a more talented w
hm. Well. This book was an interesting take on depression. Rebecca Hunt uses the figure of a large, black, beastly dog over turning and overtaking people's lives to attempt to illustrate the despair and life-owning horror that is depression. I really thought the imagery et. al was interesting and fresh. I like the language of her writing, but was often bored and slogging through. I was determined to finish reading and I did, but it was difficult.

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Lenore Beadsman64
l'unica vera guerra è con il cane nero che ti perseguita...tutto il resto è accessorio

storia fantasiosa della depressione di sir Winston Churchill raffigurata come un enorme cane nero che lo perseguita, lui non molla, ma si intende che esso lo seguirà fedelmente fino alla morte... in parallelo seguiamo la storia di Esther che ospita il cane nero nella sua stanza in affitto, stanza che era lo studio di suo marito Michael, amico intimo del cane nero e per questo morto suicida...

bella parabola sul
Mr Chartwell centres around a single idea, though it's admittedly quite a striking one: based on Winston Churchill's famous description of his depression as 'the black dog', it imagines the physical incarnation of depression as an actual, huge, walking (occasionally on hind legs) and talking, black dog, the Mr Chartwell of the title. We see how the presence of the dog - Black Pat, as he decides to call himself - affects two characters; Churchill himself, facing the official end of his parliament ...more
Aug 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Wanda
From BBC Radio 4 - Book at Bedtime:
Set across five days in July 1964 we follow the bizarrely intertwined lives of Sir Winston Churchill, Esther Hammerhans and the unwelcome visitor they both share.

Episode 1/10
July 1964: The lives of Winston Churchill and Esther, a library clerk, become intertwined.

Episode 2/10:
July 1964, and the day looms when Winston Churchill must leave Parliament. Meanwhile Esther, a library clerk, has her own black date in the diary. She also has an unusual visitor.

Dec 03, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure what I think about this book yet. I might add more stars after thinking about it for a bit because I think I'm giving it fewer stars because I started with very high expectations.

Originally I was influenced by the artwork on the cover. It's the silhouette of a black dog (looking like a Newfoundland) holding a black hat in his mouth against a yellow/orange background. The dog looked so cute that I wanted to know more about the book. The synopsis begins "July 1964. London. Esther Hamm
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Rebecca Hunt graduated from Central Saint Martins College with a first class honours degree in fine art. She lives and works in London. Mr Chartwell is her first novel.
More about Rebecca Hunt...
“Dennis-John had a dark auburn head of hair, parted to the side. This styling was a never-ending crusade. The hair was wilful and wanted to break out into thick bohemian waves. Sometimes, when Dennis-John was drunk, or feeling beaten, or in a sustained fury, the hair succeeded. For this reason his hair could be used as an emotional barometer by those who knew him.” 0 likes
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