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Natural Elements

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  253 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
In this moving, layered novel of memory and family, celebrated author Richard Mason tells the story of a mother and daughter, one caught in the past, one racing toward the future.
Joan is eighty years old, a gifted amateur pianist who can no longer play because of her arthritic hands. Joan’s daughter, Eloise, is an ambitious hedge fund manager who has decided to move her m
ebook, 416 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by Vintage (first published 2008)
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Harvey Tordoff
After reading the first few chapters of this book I was totally unconvinced by the two main characters, ancient mother and menopausal daughter. It's a brave man who thinks that he can get inside the head of such individuals. I read the author profile again and realised how young he is. Well, that explains it. Not arrogance, just unfettered youthfulness!

I also read the dedication and acknowledgements at this point, and when I discovered that the book is a tribute to Mason's great-grandmother, who
Madeleine Decker
J'ai aimé le récit que peu connaissent de la guerre des Boers en Afrique du Sud et le sort inhumain que leur a réservé l'Angleterre.

Le reste, je suis mitigée, ne serait-ce que par la vraiment, mais vraiment mauvaise traduction. Il y même des bouts que je n'ai pas compris! Je ne sais pas comment la traductrice travaille, mais des bouts ressemblent à des mauvauses traductions Google.

Le débit est bon, certaines expression très bonnes et imagées comme, en parlant d'une personne âgée: elle avait le
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great book this was- very funny and touching and the references to the Anglo-Boer War in South Africa opened my eyes even more to the suffering in that country. I also loved his book "History of a Pleasure Seeker" and look forward to reading his other books!
Romanzone avvincente con un notevole intreccio di storie del passato e del presente (e con la capacità di rappresentare la demenza senile senza farti venire voglia di piangere e spararti un colpo in testa).
La storia è complicata e ondivaga e a provar di riassumerla abbastanza senza senso
- Eloise è una broker di materie prime che, sulla base di una frase generica detta da un amore del passato astro-continuamente-nascente-della-ricerca, punta un centinaio di milioni di sterline del fondo che amm
Jan 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Perhaps being old is having lighted rooms
Inside your head, and people in them, acting.

Philip Larkin

Richard Mason è un autore che mi piace davvero molto, ed è così fin dal primo romanzo che ho letto, Noi. Anime alla deriva mi è piaciuto un pochino di meno, ma comunque molto, e Alla ricerca del piacere mi è piaciuto allo stesso modo, anche se la scelta di non rivelare che si tratta di una prima parte, to be continued, mi ha indotto ad assegnare una stellina di meno. Le stanze illuminate è bellissi
May 18, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
How do I describe this book. It sprawled. Loosely, it was about an aging mother and daughter -- mother is 80, daughter is close to 50. The daughter, a high-powered hedge-fund analyst, is wracked with guilt about putting her mother in a retirement home. The book is about their relationship, but also about the events in each of their separate lives around the time that the mother enters the home. Again, I agree with the Amazon reviews that criticize the book for being all over the map and for the ...more
Wu Ming
Dec 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WM4: [...] Con un piccolo esercizio retorico, si potrebbe dire che al fondo è una detective story. L'investigatrice protagonista potrebbe ricordare Miss Marple, solo più attempata, e però, come Sherlock Holmes, si avvale di aiutanti sul campo. Al posto di Watson troviamo Cordelia, un deambulatore geriatrico talmente indispensabile da essere meritevole di un nome proprio; mentre nei panni di Wiggins c'è Paul Dhanzy, un ragazzino di quindici anni dai trascorsi famigliari burrascosi, che preferisce ...more
Lois (three-legged-cat)
A few years ago I read a novel called The Drowning People. I fell in love with it (despite one slightly melodramatic moment in the plot) and went in search of more novels by the same author. There weren't any - I was amazed to discover that this was Richard Mason's debut and that he was only 20 years old. (At which point I immediately forgave him for the moment of unnecessary melodrama.)

An article in a weekend supplement alerted me to the fact that he had a new book out - and that another one (U
Annika M
Initial thoughts:
Overall a really nice read, but the author could have made more of it.

1) The author should have focused more on either Joan or Eloise. Even though you knew their thoughts, feelings and inner-self I had the feeling something important was missing.
2) It lacks a connection thread between the subplots.
3) The transition from an investigation based on facts to hallucinations was really interesting, the mental illness itself was most of the time finely-wrought.
4) Mason jumped too fas
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eloise è una consulente d'investimento non più giovane, single senza figli, che si trova a dover gestire un'anziana madre probabilmente affetta da un principio di demenza senile. Non è l'unica figlia di Joan, ma il fratello George è emigrato in Australia incurante degli affetti lasciati in Inghilterra. Eloise è orgogliosa della posizione lavorativa raggiunta, soddisfacente ma impegnativa, e gelosa dei suoi spazi personali, nei quali l'anziana madre non può rientrare. Decide così d'intraprendere ...more
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