As far as I'm aware,this is the edition I read - the cover is the same. However the ISBN is different, and I was interested to see that the synopsis oAs far as I'm aware,this is the edition I read - the cover is the same. However the ISBN is different, and I was interested to see that the synopsis of the book is in French - I read it in English. Maybe mine is a recent reissue.
This book was a pleasure to read, both because the North Berwick, Edinburgh and London settings are all familiar to me, but because I loved the way the multiple viewpoints and the non-chronological structure helped to build up a picture of the whole story in such a way as to focus the reader's attention closely on the 'pieces' of a story as one does on jigsaw pieces when doing a puzzle. The fact that you can't just zip through the story is a way of encouraging the reader to examine and savour small episodes and vignettes closely so as to be able to make sense of them. For me, the effect was to create a series of small close-up pictures of a scenario or even a tiny, fleeting emotion, which mirrors my experience of life....more
This book has attracted many very complimentary reviews here, and there's no need for me to add much more, but I thought I'd share what made a particuThis book has attracted many very complimentary reviews here, and there's no need for me to add much more, but I thought I'd share what made a particular impression on me. Most importantly I was fascinated by relationship between the private history of the author's family, the Ephrussi, and yet much more public history made familiar by literary and artistic figures in both Paris and Vienna. I know much more about Paris and French art and literature than about Vienna so I was particularly struck by the mentions of Goncourt, Proust, Monet, Renoir and even Oscar Wilde seen from another angle, and not as heroes of their own stories, or as celebrities. I learnt, for example, that Proust based his character Charles Swann on Charles Ephrussi, and it's as though fact and fiction are fused together, giving each an extra dimension. In just the same way, it was a revelation to see how true to life Richard Strauss's opera Der Rosenkavalier was - people really did live like the characters, and this book has brought a long-departed world into sharper focus.
I read this book very soon after finishing Margaret Drabble's The Pattern in the Carpet, which also combines family history with an appreciation of books artefacts, in this case jigsaws and children's games rather than fine art and literature. But for me The Hare With Amber Eyes succeeded better in making the intertwined subjects blend perfectly together, and infusing each with real beauty and poignancy. ...more
Pure escapism - mysterious, atmospheric, well plotted with attractive main characters as well as a good mixture of less prominent cast members - theyPure escapism - mysterious, atmospheric, well plotted with attractive main characters as well as a good mixture of less prominent cast members - they were all clearly differentiated, though, and all had a pivotal part to play. Initially I was frustrated by the frequent changes of viewpoint, with three characters in different periods alternating their stories, but as the novel progressed I began to appreciate the gradual building u of the complete picture, rather as a jigsaw gradually slots into place to create a whole.
Ive given te book five stars because I loved reading it and found it enjoyably gripping, but I doubt if it will make the same long term impression on me as more 'literary' novels have done. The more reviews I write, the more I'm aware that I'm not comparing like with lilke, and am sometimes giving mre stars to a 'lesser' book, simply because it's a good one of its kind....more
I’m in the UK and that affected my rating - I’d have given this book five stars if I were American, but as it was, and understandably so, I had to doI’m in the UK and that affected my rating - I’d have given this book five stars if I were American, but as it was, and understandably so, I had to do more work than Gayle Sulik’s compatriots to research the companies and charities she discusses. Nevertheless the scenarios she describes are very recognisable even in the UK, and it’s only because our National Health Service is structured and funded differently from the US health care system (at least for the moment … ) and that pharmaceutical companies aren’t permitted to advertise prescription-only drugs directly to patients, that the parallels aren’t even stronger. (In the UK it’s doctors who are the consumers, not patients, though of course patients are frequently well informed and do influence their treatment).
That said, I was gripped by this book, which shed a clear light on why I have felt so uneasy about and turned off by ‘pink culture’ despite having been treated for cancer myself (not breast cancer, and despite the fact that many of my friends and acquaintances have had a greater or lesser brush with breast cancer themselves. Gayle Sulik examines the way social, cultural and gender issues have influenced ‘pink culture’, and how the needs of business have driven its development.
The book is ased on Sulik’s PhD thesis and I see that this was a turn-off for some fellow reviewers, but I appreciated it, since it ensured that the book was extremely well edited and that the index and citations were accurate and helpful. I was easily able to use the index to track down earlier passages when I needed to refer to them, and the citations have ledme to a wealth of new reading, all impeccably referenced....more