How to Paint a Dead Man
I loved this. The writing is fabulous - full of sentences that make you sit back and marvel at their ingenuity and the images that they conjure up.
The chapters of the book flip between four different viewpoints. Each is set in a different place and time stays tightly with a single character and each is very individually written with no chance of a reader muddling up the writing - the headings announcing which character was in this chapter were totally superfluous. The distinctive voices were in...more
The writer's remarkably fine style fits and evokes the art of still-life painting to reveal each character's life. And their differing stories all focus ...more
Despite the melancholic to sadness of the book, it made me want to head outside and walk in the park, in the woods, past the neighborhood school and hear the life bubbling out from the young kids gamboling there. A desire to go ...more
This is a book about art and artists, about life and grief. It is about "how we investigate our existence and make meaning and teach one another in small and large ways". The book is like a chorale woven of four parts, each part a ...more
However, I found that I couldn't like the grief stricken and destructive main female character (whose name escapes me) but that didn't matter as the other three were warmer and had more interesting back stories.
After learning about How to Paint a Dead Man in the Booker Longlist, its cover and blurb attracted me so I bought it on publication day here in the US last week and I read it soon after, this being a novel that once you immerse in you cannot leave and read anything else, at least fiction, once it ends you are sad that it did so and want more, so you have to reread it at least once...
"How to Paint a Dead Man" is a deceptively short n ...more
I was completely absorbed, read it over the Bank Holiday weekend and it has left me with lots to think about.
It brings together four different stories over a period of about 40 years, all involving artists in one way of ...more
Four characters whose lives interconnect relate their stories in four separate voices. An elderly artist in Italy, a young blind girl, also in Italy, a landscape artist in England, and an art curator in England who is mourning the death of her twin brother. The stories are very moving and there is some majestic prose.
But the novel lost power for me in the scattershot jumping around between ...more
The style is ver ...more
I wished only for a stronger resolution, but I think it does suit the tone of the book, how it ended.
Might write more later once I've thought more about it... this is a thinker, that's for sure ...more
Overall it's an okay book.
Here was my take in the conversation:
I waited until this morning, until I turned the final page in How to Paint a Dead Man, to take in your perspectives on the novel. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on it, especially because in many ways they seem to differ from mine. For example, I seem to be unusual in that I very much enjoyed Sarah Hall’s book, without qualification.
Here’s why. ...more
Vertaalde passage uit de flesdagboeken vertelt over hoe Giorgio terugkijkt en zijn laatste dagen bewust probeert te maken. Over zijn herinneringen aan het lesgeven aan Annette en het ontvangen van brieven van Peter. P ...more
Sarah Hall took a degree in English and Art History at Aberystwyth University, and began to take writing seriously from the age of twenty, first as a poet, several of her poems appearing in poetry magazines, then as a fiction-writer. She took an M Litt in Creative Writing at St Andrew's University and stayed on ...more