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The Carpathians

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  217 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Recipient of the prestigious Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1989, Janet Frame has long been admired for her startlingly original prose and formidable imagination. A native of New Zealand, she is the author of eleven novels, four collections of stories, a volume of poetry, a children's book, and her heartfelt and courageous autobiography -- all published by George Braziller. ...more
Paperback, 196 pages
Published March 1st 1993 by George Braziller (first published 1988)
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Emma
Jun 28, 2014 rated it liked it
The Carpathians by Janet Frame

I always feel a bit dumb when I read Janet Frame. I feel like I am missing the main message—as though I’m really only scratching the surface and missing out on all the layers underneath of rich and complex meaning.

The Carpathians is a story about language. I think it’s a story about the power of language and the importance of words and language. Mattina is an independently wealthy New Yorker with a penchant for ‘learning’ about other cultures. By this I don’t mean
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Laura J. W.
“The human race is an elsewhere race and I am an imposter in a street of imposters. I am nothing and no-one: I was never born. I am a graduate imposter, having applied myself from my earliest years to the study of the development of imposture as practiced in myself and in others around me in street, town, city, country, and on earth. The imposture begins with the first germ of disbelief in being, in self, and this allied to the conviction of the ‘unalterable certainty of truth”, produces the tru ...more
Feby Idrus
Jul 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It's actually a kind of optimistic Janet Frame book! Shock horror! Plus about two thirds of the way through the book takes a sudden left turn into surreal magic realism which I thought was both ballsy and awesome.
Tina Hein
Sep 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If you love language you will love this woman's work. One of the greats.
Jane
Jun 11, 2014 rated it did not like it
The book jacket shows a smiling, bespectacled woman who was “[l]iterally rescued from a lobotomy at the age of 29 by the news of her first literary award.” In a note preceding the novel, Frame writes that she was greatly influenced “by [her] mother (recently dead) and by [her] father.” For these reasons, I really, really wanted to like this book.

Mattina Brecon, our protagonist, is a New Yorker with enough money to buy real estate around the world, never work, to patronize indigenous New Zealande
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Tuck
a whole street of bourgeois in nice homes, in an idyllic neighborhood surrounded by peace and possibly the secret of humans in the universe, suddenly are all terrorized and eventually murdered and disappeared.
nothing to see here folks, move along, and hey! big auction and homes for sale, homes for sale!
ahh. either you are a janet frame fan or not, for the fans. a classic.

too bad, my little synop is not even close to what all is going on with this novel. just the murder, none of the love.
Clare Bear
Jan 17, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: annoying, meh
Just started..but have heard good things said of her writing.

Ok. Have since given up on this novel. I find her style overly verbose and cryptic, and not in a way that really piqued my interest. She bored me. I must be missing something here as I hear only good things about her writing.
Mariana Mahood
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant and her last novel.
Selena Hanet-Hutchins
I really, really enjoyed this book. For its tiny size it packs a lot of punch. It brings together a small town's discovery of the Maori legend of the Memory Flower and a physics discovery of the Gravity Star, which appears to be near and far at once (and introduces other paradoxes), and adds the character of Mattina, a wealthy New York publisher who has made a habit of settling somewhere 'at the end of the word' and getting to know the locals (sometimes practically purchase the locals). This tim ...more
Booklovinglady
I had read two Janet Frame novels prior to this one, Owls do cry and Scented Gardens For The Blind, but I have to admit The Carpathians was slightly less to my liking than the other two. Although 'weird' in a good sense, the story didn't manage to grab me the way the two other novels did.

But at least now I've read both her first (Owls do cry) and her last (The Carpatians) novels, as well as one in between (Scented Gardens for the Blind), which gives me a better idea of her style of writing.

For a
...more
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50302
The fate befalling the young woman who wanted "to be a poet" has been well documented. Desperately unhappy because of family tragedies and finding herself trapped in the wrong vocation (as a schoolteacher) her only escape appeared to be in submission to society's judgement of her as abnormal. She spent four and a half years out of eight years, incarcerated in mental hospitals. The story of her alm ...more
More about Janet Frame...
“The human race is an elsewhere race and I am an imposter in a street of imposters. I am nothing and no-one: I was never born. I am a graduate imposter, having applied myself from my earliest years to the study of the development of imposture as practiced in myself and in others around me in street, town, city, country, and on earth. The imposture begins with the first germ of disbelief in being, in self, and this allied to the conviction of the ‘unalterable certainty of truth”, produces the truth of disbelief, of deception of being, of self, of times, places, peoples, of all time and space. The existence of anything, of anywhere and anytime produces an instant denial only in graduates of imposture; in most others who remain unaware of such a state, particularly in themselves, there may be little or no knowledge of their reality, their nonentity…Complete imposture, I repeat, leads to nothingness in which one inhabits all worlds except the world of oneself.” 5 likes
“The fact is, very few of us are real imposters. And it's different from play-acting. Imposterism or imposture comes from the core of your being because there's nothing else there. Your central being never develops a self; that's not a disadvantage, entirely, though you do have to fight for your point of view, almost as if you were dead.” 2 likes
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