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3.68  ·  Rating details ·  3,886 ratings  ·  487 reviews
Damage is the gripping story of a man’s desperate obsession and scandalous love affair. He is a man who appears to have everything: wealth, a beautiful wife and children, and a prestigious political career in Parliament. But his life lacks passion, and his aching emptiness drives him to an all-consuming, and ultimately catastrophic, relationship with his son’s fiancée.

ebook, 186 pages
Published August 10th 2010 by Open Road Media Integrated Media (first published 1991)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,886 ratings  ·  487 reviews

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Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
An ounce of pretension equals a pound of manure.

A seemingly happily married man who has it all enters into an illicit affair with his sons girlfriend and becomes obsessed with having and keeping her. This affair will be the ruin of all of them.

I'm really torn on this book. While I liked the idea of the story I found the writing to be overly pretentious and it made this book a bit boring if you ask me. All the highbrow, intellectual back and forth does nothing for me. Also, I found the relationship between the father and Anna completely cold.
Nov 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Dark and tragic Literary Fiction.
“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.”

Josephine Hart "Damage".

Damage is a novella. It is a short terse sizzling little gem of a book about betrayal, passion and what happens when your one wrong choice causes your life to go out of control.

The main character in this book has always tried to do the right thing. He is a serious straight laced man He's a A loving father and a devoted husband and he is happy in his somewhat sterile but pleasant marriage.

All that ends when his
Kimberly Dawn
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Damage is very smartly-written and effective in arousing curiosity in readers, leading us to question the characters’ self-destructive actions.

A beautiful couple, Roger and Ingrid had it all. A successful marriage and careers, beautiful grown children, and plenty of money.

Yet as a father, Roger fell short. He had always felt distant from his children. He and Ingrid were friends more than lovers in their less than passionate marriage. Likewise, Roger felt no compensating joy or passion for his
Aug 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Oh good gravy.
Let's start with the facts.
Fact: This book is VERY well written.
Fact: It is also VERY short, which allowed for me to read it in its entirety in under 3 hours.
Fact: Symbolism runs rampant, which I love.
Fact: Damage is an excellent title and describes perfectly what happens when obsession overrides sanity. Or, in the eyes of our MC, what happens when one finally finds "passion." (passion= being a man whore pyscho....but whatever. Also, this fact is turning into an opinion....)

Mar 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
"And round every meeting with her spun a ribbon of certainty that my life had already ended. It had ended in the split second of my first sight of her.

It was time out of life. Like an acid it ran through all the years behind me, burning and destroying."

I ate this book for lunch. Delicious.
JaHy☝Hold the Fairy Dust
May 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing

"There is an internal landscape, a geography of the soul; we search for the outlines all of our lives"
This is the story of a man, whom appears to have the dream life.. ..wealth, intelligence, power, successful marriage, prestige. So why does he spend countless hours wondering....Why he is so unhappy? How someone that appears to have it all, can feel so empty? When did he lose control of his life? And most i mportantly, why does he feel dead inside?
I felt like I was engaged in a long, drawn-out battle of fisticuffs with this novel; with my opponent being an otherwise placid Englishman lecturing me properly on the sporting necessity of the Marquess of Queensberry rules as he jabbed me almost apologetically with knuckles pointed upward and outward and cloaked in dainty boxing gloves; his endurance greater than mine as he slowly but surely battered my face to a pulp in patient, cumulative, and ultimately devastating fashion.

The novel is
I absolutely loved the opening line of this novel. "There is an internal landscape, a geography of the soul; we search for its outlines all our lives." It goes on to say "Those who are lucky enough to find it ease like water over a stone, onto its fluid contours and are home... An efficient dissembler, I gently and silently smoothed the rough edges of my being. I hid the awkwardness and pain with which I inclined toward my chosen outline, and tried to be what those I loved expected me to be."

Apr 23, 2011 rated it did not like it
Bullshit. Absorbing enough as a read, but utter bullshit. The whole 'undermining respectable middle class life' is so cliche. Goodness. 'One hasn't lived life by following some social template'. This has been done to death and this book is one of the more pathetic attempts to get that idea across. I found the prose corny. Apparently I was supposed to get all excited over the 'poetic' parts of this book but -- I'm sorry -- I've read MUCH better writers. Josephine Hart is a hack. She's not just a ...more
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
3.5 stars - It was really good.

Tales of ecstasy are endless tales of failure. For always comes separation.

What an incredibly twisted, disturbing novel that was anything but enjoyable to read. Yet, I was fully engaged and even found it to be compelling in the back . The author certainly has a beautiful way with words and I would like to read something else by her that doesn’t have despicable main characters.

Favorite Quote: Those who are lucky should
Emmanuelle Maupassant
Damage is a tale of desperate erotic obsession, and its inevitable path to destruction.

The narrative, told by the male protagonist, eminently respectable, and respected, cabinet minister Fleming, is clinical in its formality, in keeping with his social position. His life revolves around public service, and the care of his family and, at the heart of this seeming ‘order’ he is deeply unhappy.

This very formality, with its lack of true passion, has suffocated him, so that we have some
Fiona MacDonald
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had originally purchased 'Sin' by Josephine Hart and haven't actually read that yet. So it was probably foolish to then by 'Damage' simply because I liked the look of the cover...
Without me realising it at the time, 'Damage' was made into a very successful film in the 90s staring Jeremy Irons and Juliette Binoche, and I was glad to say I have already watched it and so remembered vague scenes from it.
The story of 'Damage' centres around a politician (we never know his name) who is married to a
Sincerely, Jane (18)
Apr 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Nobody
Shelves: owned-books
I bought this book in a library sale for 10p as a mistake, the blurb on the edition I have led me to believe this was a book about damaged people and "psychological darkness". Instead I ended up reading the most unbelievable, cliché characters, predictable basic storyline from the start and a whole lot of crap about sex and incest. What an appalling read and a complete waste of my time. The writing is in a constant "i-am-trying-to-create-suspense-and-mystery" style which fails completely.

030219 from 021111 from ??? 2000s: i have read this, thought i had put it on list, but no. so here it is and i can warn people off, unless you want to stay up late reading this wonderful and creepy and horrific and obsessive love affair... so yes, i remember this book quite well. i think a girlfriend gave it to me. sometimes a book is just a book, sometimes it is a quiet torpedo that hits without any warning. i am not now nor was i then, this respectable middle aged mp. then again, i (hope...) i ...more
Nihal Vrana
Jul 20, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book tries to shock you with such trite stuff that you feel sorry for it. It is supposedly poetic, but it is poetic only in the way for the people who do not have a good sense of poetry (like some pop songs might be appealing for tone-deaf people). It is a bondage/ fantasy book, which cannot accept this fact and it tries to act like something more literary.

It was laying there in the collection of my mom's summer books. I did not have any books to read with me and not knowing any of the
Jun 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It's hard to hate a novel written by a poet. Her language is sparse, focused, emotional. All the stuff that I love in words strung together. The book pulses on in short chapters. I'm about a quarter through, and I don't think the protagonist has a name yet. It's never mentioned. Interesting! You love him, you hate him, as he loves and hates himself from page to page. I'm hooked.

But, as a therapist, I'm having a hard time leaving my therapy-mind out of it, and diagnosing his bad thinking,
A powerful, scaldingly erotic, shattering read about obsession and sexual doom. (And, yes--- Jeremy Irons was perfect as the hero in the film) "Damage" is quiet, chill, deeply disturbing and alluring in its austere prose--- a gripping tale of amour fou and a Dark Lady who's all the more frightening in her self-knowledge and gentleness. Very much a favourite.
Jan 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Hart takes a banal subject (middle aged man drifting through life having an affair with his son's fiancee) and makes it quite compelling. This book has amazing tension. I kept finding myself holding my breath and the novel's climax was truly a surprise, one that made me gasp. Very fine read.
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.”

By the time the narrator of this story is fifty he has lived his life almost as if by accident. An unexceptional childhood followed by an impassionate marriage and successful but unfulfilling careers, first as a G.P and subsequently as an upstanding but unremarkable Member of Parliament. A life lived without strong emotions of any kind. A life which, had it ended in the narrator’s fiftieth year, would have been widely respected and
On the surface, Damage is about a middle-aged man who has an affair with a younger woman. Pretty standard dramatic fare, right? But wait--there's more. The younger woman in question happens to be his son's fiancée, and the man in question happens to be a member of Parliament.

There is much more at work here than mere lust, or even mere love. No, it is sexual obsession that dominates this story, an obsession so pervasive that it propels the narrator to unspeakable lows. It propels the narrative
♆ BookAddict  ✒ La Crimson Femme
I found this book when I was still in high school. It was a bad time for me. At the time I was upset and confused. Mostly, I was angry at males and the patriarchal society. I didn't know how to relate as a trained under duress strong female who had suppressed submissive tendencies.

I also thought there was something wrong with me. The title of this book caught my attention. Damage. How true. I read this book and I was horrified at how a seemingly perfect life could go terribly wrong. I could
Freesiab (Bookish Review)
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This little book Is pretty twisted and I liked it. I can't say much with out bringing down the house of cards. I live the minimalist writing style because it fit the story so well. If you think your family is dysfunctional you'll feel much better after this book. It's just messed up and you should read it!
Jun 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Reading this book is like watching a train wreck. You know from the beginning that it's all going to end badly, the author even tells you so. She tells the story of a man's obsession with a woman in the first person. I didn't feel her "male voice" was a very true. I'd be interested to hear what male readers think of the protagonist's thoughts and actions. I give it 4 stars for compulsive readability rather than craft...I couldn't put it down.
Akshay Dasgupta
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a rather short book and I am quite grateful for that because the plot gets more and more twisted as it progresses. A very unusual story about obsession and erotica but very very beautifully written.
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A married, middle-aged MP becomes obsessed with his son’s girlfriend – a fixation that turns his life and that of his family upside down.

I’ve been meaning to read this novel for a long time, probably since I saw the film version in the mid-1990s, but had somehow never got round to it. Having read it, I’m sorry I waited so long for such an intense and physical experience. I don’t now remember much about the film which is a blessing as I wouldn’t have wanted it to interfere with the experience of
Daniel Villines
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I like to think of myself as a generally good person, but in doing so I also contemplate the speculative limits to my goodness. Where do I fall off the edge? The honest answer probably involves a blinding temptation and a mental perception that I'll get away with the crime, be it based in greed or passion. I like to think that such 'opportunities' are a rarity in life. After all, there is no greater threat to temptation and perceptions than that of rational thought. And yet, those elements must ...more
Mar 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-books

This book was GREAT, in a dark, crazy, obsessive way. It's love as obsession and truth. It's love as longing and breath. It's deceitfulness in the name of obsessive love. The narrator tells the story as if it is HIS story to tell and he is honest in his evaluation of his own mental imperfections and his descent into pain and near insanity. What he is NOT honest about is the part his deceitful companion, Anna, plays in her dark, damaged way. Although, she DOES WARN HIM in the
Apr 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have in the past read mixed reviews of Josephine Hart's debut thriller of erotic obsession, but finally decided to pick up a copy of "Damage" due to my plan this year to focus on female authors, together with my having enjoyed the film adaptation. Whilst the book is in as places as melodramatic and overwrought as the film, it proved a pleasant surprise: consistently entertaining, convincingly conveying sexual obsession without the need for too much explicit sex, and in places extremely ...more
Jul 02, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Damage follows a man who has essentially been going through the motions throughout his life. He has a wife, two children, a great career, and seemingly everything going for him. So why does he feel it's not enough? Cue his meeting with his son's girlfriend, Anna. The two start an affair, and the man forms an obsession with Anna. An obsession that may have deadly consequences..

Judging by the synopsis, I was sure I would love this book. The thriller-esque plot sounded right up my street, and I
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Josephine Hart was born and educated in Ireland. She was a director of Haymarket Publishing, in London, before going on to produce a number of West End plays, including The House of Bernarda Alba by Frederico Garcia Lorea, The Vortex by Noel Coward, and The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch. She was married to Maurice Saatchi and had two sons. She was the author of Damage. Hart died, aged 69, of ...more
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“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.” 586 likes
“All damaged people are dangerous. Survival makes them so.' 'Why?' 'Because they have no pity. They know what others can survive, as they did.” 57 likes
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